I’ve touched on the subject of spitting tics before, usually to say they’re happening but that I don’t really want to write about them. My instinct with tics that I find distressing is to ignore them, but this time I’m going to fight that instinct and write about spitting.
My spitting tics don’t reflect what I’m feeling and I can’t remember them ever happening when I’ve been angry or upset. They can be triggered by seeing someone else spitting or just by talking about it. I imagine that’s just Tourettes’ dodgy impulse control – someone spits, I think ‘Don’t spit!’ and then I spit.
As you may know, I have a long-standing and strained relationship with Leftwing Idiot’s geranium. This evening I was in his kitchen and out of the blue I swiped out at the offensive plant. Leftwing Idiot told me to stop so I moved away, but then I spat at it from across the room. I can only think my tics decided to use spitting to override my efforts to put distance between the plant and me.
I don’t spit very often but when I do I find it shocking and upsetting. I’m used to not feeling fully in control of my body and behaviour, but there’s something about spitting that highlights this lack of control in a dramatic way. What made it especially odd this evening was how spitting linked with my tics’ obsession with the geranium. I can’t believe I’m really that bothered by this plant.
Spitting on the geranium’s left me feeling very awkward and part of me would’ve preferred not to write about it at all. But I’ve learnt that reflecting on things that feel uncomfortable is a crucial part of unpicking the complexities of Tourettes and helps me get a better understanding of what makes me tic.