Joy’s Stages of Life: March 2013: No Fear

No Fear: Hated noise. Now, I ignore it.

     I applied the ‘No Fear’ phase in my life when I learned how to deal with loud noises such as fire sirens, fire drills, projectors and vacuum cleaners.  Due to autism, I couldn’t even stand it at all.  I was dealing with phonophobia.  When I was a kid, I was so afraid of the vacuum cleaner. To me, it was like a monster that would eat me up.  Then, my mother made realize that it was just a cleaning tool.  From now on, I use it to clean the house.  As for the school fire drills, I used to be a little overwhelmed and upset when they happened unexpectedly.  I did not like them at all, but they have to be present to warn us if there was a fire. What helped me was to be prepared for it. Teachers or other adults would tell me ahead of time that there was going to be a fire drill, so I don’t act surprised.  That was a good strategy to overcome that obstacle.  One time, in elementary school, there was a fire at the cafeteria. I was surprised, but I didn’t act out or anything. Another thing is that I hated the noise from the projectors.  One day, a teacher came over to my house and taught me how to deal with the noise. 

     During my childhood, at the St. Patrick’s parade, I used to cover my ears over the fire sirens because I hated them.  They hurt my ears. Then, I outgrew that as I got older.  In my late teens and early twenties, the loud music and cheering crowds at the American Idol concerts didn’t bother me much.  I just focused on having fun and rocking it out instead of running away just because they were noisy.

     In January 2013, when I was in Europe, I went to a  bar because my mother and sister wanted to see a football game, but it was so noisy and crowded that I hated it. I was a little overwhelmed. I tried to deal with the noise, but it was hard to talk to people and hear what they’re saying. It’s extremely difficult to communicate in a noisy place. So, my mother and sister took me back to the hotel. A social tip: Meet and talk to people at quiet settings. Things got better when we went to a different bar the next day. It had tables and chairs outside.  It was bigger than the last one.  

     Today, I still hate noise, but I just ignore it.  My ears  and eyes are opened to anything.  Well, most things. Phonophobia was one of the obstacles that I overcame.  




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