My son, who is 12 will only wear grey. And I will happily and confidently say “My son will only wear grey soft clothes – no waist bands, no pockets, no collars, no buttons.” I don’t flinch as I say these words.
Then this year I have learnt that I need to wear white soft clothes. I need to block UV, wearing bamboo clothing. And this clothing only comes in black, grey and white. I can’t wear black or grey so I have to wear white.
The other reason I have to wear white is because I am colour sensitive and most colours don’t make sense to my brain. I see them, I even appreciate them, but they don’t make sense. So even when I don’t need to block UV, I still wear white.
When outside I can wear pink or pinkish purple shoes and coats and a blue hat but that is it. I mostly wear pinkish shoes, a white hat with a piece to cover my neck and a purple scarf. I feel conspicuous, strange, eccentric. I feel like people may think I am trying to make a statement when I am only trying to make myself feel comfortable.
What do I boldly say about my son – “He will only wear grey.”
What should I boldly say about myself? – “I will only wear white.”
How come we find it easier to let children off the hook for being different but when it comes to adults we tend to move into judgement? As adults we have more conditioning to undo. It is a tougher ride but being ourselves, no matter how different we feel, is the only path to real freedom . . . and I, for one, have chosen to walk that path.
Are you worried about feeling different? Is there anything blocking you from being your real self? I would love to hear your stories. Please comment below.
My son was 12 and super sensitive to the light. The only thing I could do was to try to identify who he is and what he needs at different times of the year.
He would like you to know that he is now nearly 14 and this year discovered glasses to help his short sight and also dark tints to wear in the brighter light. His life has been transformed. He can engage with life and the world in a much deeper way, However his visual processing issues still mean that he finds activities challenging and tiring that others find easy and not tiring at all.
In January he comes to find me,
In February we like to write.
In March he likes to play outside
But by April he is nowhere in sight.
In May he shuts his curtains
And programmes his way through the day.
In June he hardly speaks,
Only Unity, C Sharp all day.
In July he likes late night picnics
And will go to the beach or the park.
In August he goes on badger hunts,
Wearing his torch after dark
In September the garden is spooky,
In October the leaves are too red,
In November he asks to do music
Now the rhythms make sense in his head.
In December he does animation
Because he can now think straight.
He creates the most heart warming stories;
It was definitely worth the wait!
I have been trying to get to the bottom of my issues with processing pattern for three years now. First I thought it was astigmatism, then I thought it was my binocolular vision. Sometimes I do have these issues but I knew there was something else going on. It isn’t just lines or grids that I can’t process. It is the pattern of blades of grass and branches on a tree. Or looking at the shelf above our fireplace, the sharp edge of my desk, or the food on my plate.
Some days the problem is there and some days it isn’t. It all depends on my perception of the spectrum. If the spectrum feels more balanced, then pattern feels more integrated. If the spectrum feels unbalanced, then lines and patterns seem to stand out.
My experience of the spectrum is that if I perceive a little too less of one or more colours, then I have an unbalanced perception of colours around me. For instance, if I perceive a little too less red, then all colours will be affected and some of them , especially white, will lack warmth. A sky, for instance may appear more stark than it would do with more red light. This stark feeling is hard enough, but if I then look at a pattern of brown branches on a tree against the stark white, the contrast becomes too great and I feel disturbed by what I see.
My difficulty with pattern is more pronounced between the brighter months of February and October, although it drops off and things appear visually softer from April to May, only to reappear again in June and drop off from and July to September. I can only describe the feeling like watching the television on a setting beyond high definition. It is not comfortable and confuses my brain.
I have been thinking about all the things that influence our state of well-being outside of our brains, and our own brains are challenging enough for some of us! Or – is there no such thing as anything outside of our brain because our well-being is all intertwined with our relationship with the world?
With or without knowing it, we are all constantly influenced by:-
Our visual perception
Our perception of sound
Our perception of smell
Our perception of taste and texture
Our perception of touch
Our perception of balance
Our perception of colour
Our perception of light
Our perception of temperature
Our Cycles and Rhythms
Our feelings and thoughts
The quality of our family relationships
The emotional climate around us
Atmospheres of places and buildings
We can’t really separate out these stimuli and and the affects of them on our well-being. I got up today and saw there was sheep on the hill ouside our bedroom window (that weren’t there last time I looked) and felt comforted. I went to the other side of the house and the clouds were as black as black. I felt slightly less comfort but a sort of excitement as the light was bright on the garden, but the sky was dark. Then someone used the tap downstairs and I felt less comfort again, and rattled, and closed the door of the room I was in. Then my husband came in and told me how dark the sky was (!) and I automatically turned to look at it, without thinking first. The colour hurt my eyes. Now I have the sound of hail on my window which sometimes I love, but today I am not so sure about.
And so my day will continue . . a mixture of influences from my own thoughts and ideas, to the weather, light, colour, my son’s feelings . . . I am intrinsically connected to these things. There is no point in seeing them as rude interruptions or nuisances. They shape who I am and what I am going to do. I need to welcome them with open arms and let them move and inspire me.
What I do know today is that this exciting weather is giving me the energy and inspiration to write this post.
We are not islands when it comes to our wellbeing? What is influencing you today?