I am an old lady. On the inside, I mean.
I’ve never been much for the partying scene, unlike the majority of my peers. I don’t make a habit of staying up all hours of the night. In fact, I prefer to go to bed before 10:30. I don’t like constant or loud noise. I don’t want to be around people all the time. (The Medic and my family don’t count as “people”. They’re special to me.) I like my quiet. I like my space. Falling asleep is difficult for me with noise and light.
It’s the roommates again. Let me tell you about what’s happening now. Since my last post about my living arrangements, “Controlled Change”, I’ve lost two roommates and gained one. The one gained was gained against the preference of those of us in the room. “The Original” (roommate that is) and I live together almost perfectly. She’s my “bestie” at Job Corps. Having been roommates since day 1, we have an equal understanding of what the other likes and doesn’t like. It’s the third roommate that gives us trouble. Just this last weekend is a prime example.
Friday night, I was up late on the phone with The Medic. “The Third” came back to the room, and played her music on her phone. She turned the TV on. Sometimes, it got hard to hear The Medic. I see this as something very rude. If you see someone is on the phone, you should be respectful. Later on, it seemed like the room was quieting down. She had turned the TV off, and The Medic and I were starting our drawn-out and sleepy goodbyes. Then The Third decided to turn the music on her phone on again and take a shower. She’s not a quiet person. In fact, I cannot even come close to understanding how she manages to make as much noise as she does just walking across the room. It baffles me. She does everything loud. End of that night, I was kept up until after midnight by The Third.
Saturday night, I may have decided to go to sleep a little after ten, but The Third kept me up past midnight again; watching TV and taking a shower at midnight.
Sunday night, I was alone in the room and I decided to go to bed a little before nine, seeing that I had not gotten much sleep. I had turned everything off and settled down. Then The Third came back and turned on lights and made a bunch of noise. It was kind of obvious that I was trying to go to sleep. Ok, it was really obvious. Then she turned the TV on. And she kept moving about the room and making noise on top of the noise from the TV. For hours, I tried to block out the noise and light and fall asleep. Around eleven, I was finally drifting off to sleep and The Original got back from work. She jumped on my bed and woke me up, saying “I missed you.” This, while irritating me, was sweet. I didn’t mind it that much. But the combined noises of The Original and The Third kept me up until one in the morning.
Three nights in a row, The Third kept me up past midnight. I don’t sleep in late on the weekends. At Job Corps, we’re woken up at a certain time. We had Monday off, so I spent the day alone in my room, relaxing and watching TV. While waiting for the Medic that night, so that we could talk a little before he went to the field again, I had the TV on at a low volume. But The Third wanted to go to sleep. So I turned it down even more, to an almost inaudible level. She then proceeded to ask me to turn it off because it was ten thirty and she was “sleep deprived”. I told her that I was not going to turn it off because I was watching it. She then gave me a little attitude and stomped around the room slamming things before getting back in bed.
After months of being semi-inconsiderate and three nights of being completely inconsiderate, she just expects me to bend to her will? I think not. It’s exhausting to keep my cool when I’m stressed out by normal things, and then I have to deal with more stress that I’m forced to live with. I’m relieved that she plans on moving to a different room. I have no issues with her as a person, but I don’t like living with her. Heck, I don’t know enough about her to find issues with her as a person. The noise she made may have even been bearable had she actually put any effort into living peacefully in the room and adjusting to our schedules. We did our best to adjust to hers. She just acted like she lived alone in the room, and that bothered us.
The Third is not the only frustrating source of noise in my life right now. The girls in the neighboring room have noisy habits too. One of the ladies at my internship has an Asian accent and a lisp. The whistling noise that she makes when she talks gives me a headache. These things would irritate a NT person to no end. Having AS kind of amplifies it. And with my sensitive hearing, I notice a lot, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by loud and overlapping noises. But I do not throw a fit. I do not go off on people. I am quiet and patient.
And I’m tired of being quiet and patient…
But I go on being quiet and patient because I need to. I’m building ‘character’. It shows how far I’ve come from the little girl throwing a fit in the middle of the store because all the noises and lights were hurting my head. It’s a big difference. Yes, it made me angry with a passion. My head hurt and I just wanted the noise to stop. The difference between me then and me now is that I handle noisy situations differently. I handle it in a more mature way.
“Would you please turn your music down? I’m trying to talk to my grandma and it’s getting hard to hear her.” If that doesn’t work, walk away and find a quieter place. If the bundle of impatience that is Allie can do it, anyone can. It’s a work in progress, but there has been progress. And through the frustration, that progress feels good.