It's the auditory overload that really gets to me.
Smells don't bother me, I almost never max out on visuals, I'm fine with touching and being touched (except for fingers in my ears after sexual assault training), and one look at the size of my butt proves that there's no holding me back on taste. But sound is a real stumbling block.
My house is never quiet. Never. At any given point, there is at least one television going full blast, one computer at top volume, and a gaming system playing the same music loop over and over until I feel like I'm trapped in a fun house. My kids all talk loud, my dogs bark even louder, and every single noise bounces off hard wood floors and ten foot ceilings until you could go mad.
It was an oft visited theme in my marriage that I didn't get family dynamics in multi-child households. As an only child, I never had to shout louder or talk faster to get my voice heard. Well, that isn't the case here. If the TV is set at max volume, so is the kid's voice talking. The only thing louder is the kid trying to talk over them. They will then each get louder and louder, but it doesn't really matter because I couldn't hear them over the TV to start with. I smile and nod and look agreeable, but I can't hear a damned thing they're saying. Maybe it's a good thing.
Tonight was a perfect example. Project Runway - a show I legitimately love - was (of course) blasting on the TV in the living room. So was a laptop. Two kids were "watching" the show, but at the same time arguing about the computer game, asking me about my day, telling me about theirs, popping bubble gum bubbles, calling the dogs, reading me the (seemingly four hundred page long) specs on a superhero in their computer game, telling me all about who they did (and didn't) want to go home on PR...all at top decibel levels.In the meantime I was failing miserably at filtering out what I didn't need and hearing what I wanted to. There was too much going on. And it wasn't just tonight. It's every day. We have a house full of big windows in an area where everyone walks their dogs. My dogs bounce off the walls all day and night. All three of my kids feel they can't fall asleep unless the TV is on, which kills me. I like it dark and I like it quiet when I sleep. I don't get it.
During my Psych rotation at the Big Bad Scary Psych Hospital, they made us do an exercise devised to give us empathy for schizophrenics having hallucinations. They fitted us with these devices that simulated auditory hallucinations and sent us about a bunch of mundane, everyday activities. For hours. You would be writing a check to the electric company and all of a sudden someone would start screaming in your ear about how worthless you were or just laugh uncontrollably or hiss or howl. Did I mention this went on for hours? It was horrendous. And it just reiterated my feeling that, for me at least, sound is the weak link. Auditory overload can make me nuts.
With my life this is not a good thing. Am I the only one who gets bothered by stuff like this??