These are not in any particular order! I just wrote them down as I thought of them. These are the top 5 moments that relate to Tourette’s that happened during the Camp Twitch and Shout counselor reunion weekend. Here’s No. 1:
At the end of the trip last Sunday, I was scheduled to fly back home. My plane was canceled, though, because of the weather. Luckily, though, the airport I flew into to make my connection is where Tasha lives! This meant that my trip got to be extended and that I got to spend more time with Tasha.
My anxiety went crazy, though, with having the flight canceled. When my flight was canceled and when I was alone in the airport before Tasha came to pick me up, I was shaking, having major obsessive thoughts and panicking. My anxiety is pretty irrational, but it takes over my body and mind when it hits, and it can be pretty brutal.
I called my mom and cried, but as soon as Tasha came to pick me up I calmed down pretty much immediately. I feel safe with her. So ultimately, even though I had some bad anxiety and got pretty upset, I got to spend more 1-on-1 time with her.
It was like a big sleepover! I went back with her to her apartment and she introduced me to her dog. Her dog is a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix and is so sweet! She is such a lap dog and will sit in your lap and sleep with you. She has such a personality and loves to play, too! She also understands English and listens to her owner better than any other dog I’ve met.
So we went out to dinner to a really nice restaurant talked and then when we got back we laid in bed and watched two great movies together, “Untraceable” and “The Butterfly Effect.” Kind of like how I let Tasha do my nails, even though it bothered my sensory processing disorder, she watched two semi-scary movies with me even though it bothered her OCD and anxiety.
The movies were psychological thriller movies, which are pretty much my favorite types of movies, and she really liked them even though they were scary and wanted to share them with me. We had a great time watching the movies together. Afterward she was a little scared, but she said because I was there with her she was OK.
My flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 10 p.m. on Monday night, so that meant we got to spend the whole day together the next day, too. We slept in late, ate lunch and then watched the movie “Date Night.” Then we had dinner where we talked more, too, and had more good conversations!
She drove me to the airport and we hugged and said goodbye! She told me that she really enjoyed our time together. I often worry and obsess about what other people think of me, but when I’m with Tasha and the other counselors from camp I know they accept me — always.
I don’t have to worry that they think I’m weird or that they don’t accept my differences. They know my differences personally because they live with them every day. To them, stomping your feet on the ground, twitching your face, hitting yourself and making noises is normal. To them, going into panic/anxiety mode because your flight was canceled or having to avoid touching certain things because you think touching them will make you sick is normal.
It’s incredible to be understood on this level. Being at camp and being with the people from camp is the most understood I have ever felt in my life. I feel like they are all living my life. Even though we don’t have the same tics, same obsessions or same things that trigger our anxiety, it doesn’t matter — we get it, and we get each other.
That’s my complete list! In case you missed any of the others, here they are: