FREE ONLINE CLASS ON WRITING FOR HEALTH AUGUST 25, 2021!

FREE ONLINE CLASS ON WRITING FOR HEALTH AUGUST 25, 2021!

Subscribe to my website to be the first to read my latest writings and to gain access to FREE classes!

ESSAYS

My essays feature stories on healing from trauma, coping with disorder and practicing mindfulness

Awakening: How Occupational Therapy Uncovered Hidden Trauma

It was March of 2018 and my third attempt at medication in three years. To try to ease my troubled mind. I had tried drugs before — prescribed or not — but this time, I was more desperate than usual for one to work. Because it wasn’t just myself I was trying to save, it was my marriage. My husband and I had recently experienced another incident. Another episode of me unconsciously going after him. Attacking him.

Followed by me attacking myself. Another menstrual cycle had come and gone, and I still didn’t understand what came over me each month. Making my body do things I didn’t want it to do. Like I was possessed. Cursed. Under a spell….

Masking Who You Really Are When You’re Neurodivergent

I performed onstage for the first time when I was 15. I don’t remember the part I played, but I do remember the feeling of being onstage, of being accepted by the audience, of being understood, of being someone else. I continued performing onstage through high school and college, but what I didn’t realize until much later was that I spent my entire life performing offstage, as well.

I am neurodiverse with sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) diagnoses, which makes it difficult for me to function in society, but I hide, or mask, my pain, so I’m more accepted by others. So I’m less different. Playing a role. Because of my neurological differences, every sound, smell and touch causes me to have a primitive reaction: I fight, flee or freeze…

Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

For as long as I can remember, receiving sensory information causes me to have a primitive reaction. Touch makes me want to crawl out of my skin so badly, I scratch at it as if trying to get out. The sound of a knock on the door makes me jump from my seat and gasp for air. If the sound continues, I become frightened. Scared for my life. Paranoid. Then, I blackout. A smell, like fish or someone’s perfume, makes me enter into an altered state. Like when Bugs Bunny turns into a monster. My primitive dukes always up, ready for a fight.

Until the age of 35 (I am now 36), I just thought I was crazy. As I’m sure everyone around me did too. But here I am. Ready to share what happens to me. Because if it wasn’t for others sharing, I don’t know where I’d be….

“Beautifully put, Jenna! I am a former journalist of 30 years, and now an MBSR teacher, working with first responders. PTSD is a huge undertaking. Thank you for sharing this.”

KEVIN

Go to Top