Hearing Voices

Fat Sister’s just reminded me about a funny encounter I had with one of her friends several years ago. I can’t remember what prompted her to mention it but it reminded me that however obvious my tics are, I still need to explain them to people I’m meeting for the first time.

It was Christmas five years ago, and after all the family stuff had finished I went with Fat Sister and King Russell to their friend Justin’s house. It was during my “Lego” era when I was ticcing “Lego” as often as I tic “Biscuit” now. I knew everyone at the house well except Justin, but I thought I’d met him before.

We’d been there an hour or so sitting chatting in the living room. Suddenly Justin, who’d become increasingly quiet, asked in a worried voice, gesturing to me, ‘Is anyone else hearing her say Lego?’ Everyone in the room laughed and shouted an emphatic and reassuring ‘Yes!’ Fat Sister said ‘Justin, I’m so sorry. Haven’t you met my sister before? She has Tourettes.’ A wave of relief spread across his face and he laughed too. ‘Wow,’ he said, ‘No one else seemed to notice, so I thought I was hearing voices.’

I introduced myself and my tics to him properly, and since then I’ve taken extra care to do the same thing every time I meet someone new.

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