What People May Not Realize When I’m Having a Meltdown
I am extremely gifted at a few things, but there are certain things I can’t handle.
Last-minute schedule changes stress me out. Meltdowns are the worst, and having one in public is embarrassing as hell for me. A woman in her mid-30s crying like a child. I hide and cry. This also happens anytime someone I trust misleads me (because I trust few people).
Sometimes if the schedule change is big enough, I will go into a full-blown panic. It is worse if I feel like I am trapped and can’t say no — I feel like I am drowning every time this happens. I know how to recover from them, but they are not under my control.
My meltdown is not a tantrum — it is a true expression of inner feelings I can no longer contain. The dam has broken, and a flood is imminent. Everything I’ve been holding in has got to come out.
People think I am being dramatic or exaggerating things, but I literally can’t stop a meltdown. In addition, the thing I am reacting to may seem small to them. They don’t see things from my perspective or know all the other factors that went into building that meltdown.
Maybe someone I love just passed away, or I am feeling sick, maybe I am having horrible PMS, or trouble sleeping, or sometimes my social anxiety gets out of control.
These are the things I don’t talk about that affect me.
I tend to bottle everything up, which can’t be healthy. And eventually, like a can of frozen soda, when the pressure becomes too great, I pop! I’ve done this all my life.
It’s too late once a meltdown has started — they have to run their course. Sometimes if I get away fast enough, I can help one pass more quickly.
While meltdowns are physically and mentally painful and I never want to have one, in my experience, sometimes the relief felt after one is amazing — especially if I’ve been under extra stress. I always feel worn out afterwards.
Please be compassionate the next time you see a 30-something woman crying in public. You don’t know what she’s got going on. She might be autistic, she might be stressed, she might even be me.
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