SoftThistle Life

How I Imagine Sensory Overload Feels

Autism, LifeMarylin17 Comments

I can't do this. It's too much. Get him away from me. Leave me alone. I want to run. Run out of the door, away from everything. But I can't. My whole body feels tight with this anxiety. I want to lash out. I wish I could just hide in my bed. I want to get away from it all. Leave me alone. Go away. I need quiet. I need darkness. I need you to go away. Go AWAY. GO AWAY. LEAVE ME ALONE. I don't want to be here anymore. I can't do this. Can't do this at all. It's too much. It's ALL TOO MUCH.


This is how I felt when I was in the darkest depths of post natal depression, which I was diagnosed with about three months after Max was born.

I didn't want him anywhere near me.

He cried. ALL the time.

I couldn't cope with it all.

It was too much.

As soon as his dad came home from work, I thrust this screamy baby towards him to try to escape it all.

It was horrible.

Even now, when I think about it, my whole body tenses up. I look back, and I can't even begin to imagine ever feeling that way about Max now.

What I now realise though, is that all that screaming he did as a baby. It was his pain, his fear, his confusion of being in the middle of sensory overload, and not being able to do anything about it.

I had no idea, just assumed that he was a difficult baby.


This is how I imagine Max feels when he's in the middle of a meltdown.

The only difference between how I felt, and how he felt, is that he goes into destruction mode and can't control himself at all, being only three and all.

I imagine if I had thought I could have got away with it, I quite possibly would have acted out in a similar way to how he does when he's in the red mist.

It's not something he can control, in the same way I couldn't control my constant anxiety.

It's really just pure feeling. He's showing me how much it hurts, how frustrating it can be sometimes, living in his world.

Luckily for him, and me, I now understand him a lot better.

With me being a much calmer, happier, positive person, it rubs off on him too, I'm sure of it.


Could you imagine what it would feel like for a sound, or a bright light to hurt so much you just can't cope? Those of you who suffer migraines can understand, but you know what it is that's happening, and that it will pass.

Imagine living in a world where everything is just the here and now.

There is no past.

There is no future.

There is only how you are feeling right at that very moment.

That's gotta be quite a scary place to live.

Really, it's no wonder it can end in a meltdown.