I’ve just re-visited a post I wrote last September, shortly after receiving the first copies of my book – Welcome to Biscuit Land. Leftwing Idiot had suggested I should write a message to myself in the front of my own copy and that it should be something I could go back to ‘on days when things feel tough.’
Yesterday was though and it left me feeling sad. This wasn’t just because Fran isn’t going to be working as my support worker any longer but because I’d behaved in a way I felt ashamed of and that’d upset Leftwing Idiot.
We were at work and a colleague offered round some Turkish Delight. I’d already had a few pieces when Leftwing Idiot reminded me I’d decided not to eat too many sweet things.
I’d made this decision for two very practical reasons:
1) I find it hard to brush my teeth effectively
2) My leg tics and poor mobility make it hard for me to exercise
His comment was friendly and based on concern for my wellbeing. But it hit a raw spot and I instantly became disproportionately upset.
Tourettes means I sometimes find it very hard to control my impulses particularly when I experience any strong emotion – frustration, excitement, anger, or even happiness. At these times I can behave erratically and impulsively. That’s what happened yesterday – I bit myself, grabbed some pens and threw them around, scrawled on my arm and said provocative and hurtful things.
Leftwing Idiot and my support worker Hannah followed the agreed plan for times when I over-react like this, and the behaviour didn’t last long. But I could see that it’d hurt Leftwing Idiot considerably. He didn’t want to discuss it at all, which I found very hard to deal with. I know it’s because I’ve got Tourettes that I occasionally behave like this but that doesn’t alter the impact it has on those around me.
I was feeling particularly sensitivity yesterday because I’ve been feeling unhappy about my weight recently, and one of the things my tics often do is highlight undesirable personality traits or cause hidden insecurities to explode in an ugly way.
I know I don’t need to apologise for overreacting but I do regret responding to Leftwing Idiot so explosively. I’ve apologised to him repeatedly but he’s used to this and knows I often do it out of anxiety and a desire to feel better about a given situation. Rather than having to make any number of apologies I wish I’d just thanked him for caring enough to remind me about eating too much sugar.
Reflecting on and writing about what happened has helped lessen the sadness I’ve been feeling. I’m also very glad Leftwing Idiot suggested back in September that I write the message to myself because re-reading it’s made me feel more positive and hopeful.