What is “normal”, anyway?

I am on a verge of a mental breakdown. It has been 2 months since I moved into my apartment. During my first week here, I assumed that cats lived above me because it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop and there were no signs of obnoxious behavior. At least, not yet. This was before Godzilla moved in a few days later, prior to the start of winter semester. I am writing this post because I want my voice to be heard. I feel like the people around me don’t care or have the time of day to listen to me complain, and they don’t sympathize with me at all.

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Perhaps the downside of being extremely intelligent? 🙆

I am a 20-something female who you would call introverted, a girl who keeps to herself, a girl who suffers from social anxiety and to make matters worse, a girl who has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to an extent. Although my mother had me tested as a child, I do not think that the doctors were actually testing me for ADD, more so, they were looking for a learning disability. Isn’t that what ADD is, a learning disability? However, they didn’t confirm that I have ADD. It takes me significantly longer to complete assignments and tests compared to the average person, and I do not get any special treatment. People treat me like any normal person because like I said before, my ADD was never diagnosed or confirmed, and therefore, it must not exist. The world is very linear but my world is much more complex. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with hypersensitivity, I know for a fact that I am a chronic sufferer of this condition along with social anxiety, thus, making apartment living unbearable.

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My 8-month-old daughter at the time

Apartment living is a nightmare for me, especially at night when I need to sleep for my 8am classes and 9-hour campus days. What one would call normal noise threshold, I would call loud. I cannot tolerate noise whatsoever. The noise threshold of a concert or DJ playing music at a wedding is too much for me. My ears do not shut out loud noises like normal people and yes, the doctor confirmed that I was born this way. I have autistic tendencies, but I wouldn’t say that these are necessarily bad qualities. For example, we did not have a dance at our wedding and I have no regrets whatsoever. We had a day wedding so we decided that a dance, which usually occurs at night, was not necessary. My 15-month old daughter did not inherit my genes because she can sleep through booming noises with ease. She must have inherited these superpowers from her daddy.

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Sheldon’s struggle is real

My hypersensitivity is really starting to negatively affect my life. I started wearing earplugs all the time in the apartment, on the bus, while walking to campus etc. and I hardly ever remove them from my ears, thus exacerbating the issue of mysophobia – a sensitively/hatred to sound which has been found to be common in people with hypersensitivity. Godzilla, my neighbor upstairs, enjoys being obnoxious especially when I am trying to study or sleep and it has started to take a negative toll on my life. I still fail to get quality sleep despite the industrial earplugs, white noise machine, and fan blasting in my bedroom. As a result, my grades will pay the ultimate price due to lack of focus and concentration. Thanks, insomnia! Surprisingly, my essay writing skills have improved but writing takes significantly less brain power vs. studying. When I write essays, my mind is on autopilot while I blast Tokyo Ghoul instrumental music to drown out the elephant, er, I mean…. gorilla stomps above me. I have tried studying on campus, but at night I cannot sleep because of Godzilla’s annoying tendencies. I don’t want to complain or continue to aggressively bang on the ceiling since these temporary solutions are not long-term answers. I already requested transferring to the top floor but my request could not be accommodated for various reasons. Today I cried my little heart out. I felt defeated and mentally drained. I have even considered behavioral therapy but who has the time for that?

I’m desperate for solutions, so if you are reading my blog post and can relate to my struggle, please leave your suggestions in the comment section below ↓ I am desperate for your help.

13 thoughts on “What is “normal”, anyway?

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you Alys! It is definitely a difficult situation to be in. Rather than finding a new place to live and paying twice the rent, I resorted to noise cancelling headphones and long study sessions at the library. I keep telling myself that it’s temporary and that I won’t be living there forever 😔

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Stephan Caraway says:

    Hi, very well written. I have A.D.D it is hard, but we learn differently. We adapt in ways others can’t. I’m learning to use it as a strength and not as a weakness. The Bible says that God wove us together in our mother’s womb. It also says that we are respectfully (fearfully) and wonderfully made. God has a purpose for us. Yes your right, depression and anxiety are the “unwanted allies” to A.D.D. But if we learn to navigate through them, with God’s help, we are more sensitive to the needs of others. Those “unwanted allies” grow into Grace and Mercy. That is our God given gift to the world. Your amazing, God loves you and you are a great mom!
    —Stephan

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hilary Tan says:

    Thank you for commenting Stephan!Sometimes I question God’s intentions and question why we struggle so much. My daughter was born visually impaired, I don’t have much family and no family nearby, and my husband and I are in a long distance relationship because of his work and my schooling. I agree with you – by using these struggles and turning them into strengths, it helps us cope with challenges. Some days the hypersensitivity to noise is unbearable and I just need peace. Other days I’m in solitude which forces me to reflect on life, thus, sparking ideas for blog posts. Thanks for visiting this blog! ❤️

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  3. awakeningwildflower says:

    I just finished (like 10 minutes ago) watching the movie “Sensitive: The Untold Story.” It’s me…and it sounds like it’s you! Have you seen it? I know there’s a book out there with an accompanying workbook to go with it that helps “deal” with things. Ordered mine yesterday…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for your comment – I really like receiving recommendations! ❤️ I haven’t heard of it but I will add it to my list of movies to watch. When I eventually watch it (no Netflix or dvd player here) I will let you know. I’m always searching for new books to read and will definitely check this gem out. Thanks again. 😇

      Liked by 1 person

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