Being rejected by someone else with Tourette

I haven’t written about this on my blog yet, because truthfully I was unable to. It was a year ago that it happened, but I haven’t felt secure enough to write about it until now. It’s been a full year though and I feel like I have enough distance from it now and strength to not let it hurt me anymore.

A year ago, I was a sophmore in college who had come back to school after my first summer as a counselor at Camp Twitch and Shout. I felt empowered because I had made a difference in children’s lives who had gone though what I had, and I felt accepted and loved after being welcomed into the camp twitch and shout family. Coming back to school I was more confident, but still fragile. Other people still greatly affected how I felt about myself.

I joined a new student group on campus and opened up to them about how I was involved in the Missouri Tourette’s Syndrome Association. I didn’t tell them that I had Tourette’s, but I ticced enough that it was probably obvious. After one of the meetings, another girl in the club who was a year older than me came up to me and told me that she was a Tourette’s Syndrome Youth Ambassador and when I asked how she got involved, she told me that she had Tourette’s. I was so excited!

I told her I have TS, too, and that I wished I could have been a youth ambassador but I was too old when I found out about the program. Even though I recognized her as one of the people who interviewed during sorority recruitment for a sorority that I was rejected from and even though the people during recruitment from that particular sorority were not very kind to me, I was still excited.

She was the first (and still the only) person on campus I had met who also had TS. I saw the potential of having a friend on campus who truly understood what I was going through, who was older, and who I could look up to. I saw the potential of having someone on campus that I could have a strong relationship similar to the relationships I had made at camp. Of course I had amazing friends at school already, but the potential of having a friend on campus who also knew what it was really like to have TS was something that I felt could be really special.

I started telling her about myself and about camp and after about a minute she became very standoffish and distant. I was being nothing but kind and warm to her after she had opened up to me, and I was confused. After only a minute or two of me opening up to her, she suddenly said she had to go and walked away. Had I said something wrong?

Now that I had opened my mouth, did she think for some reason that I was just a really lame person who she didn’t want to be friends with? No, I thought. I tried to reassure myself that she must have really needed to go. She probably needed to study or meet up with someone. I tried to convince myself it had nothing to do with me, but after being rejected by so many people in my past because I was different, it was hard for me to truly convince myself of this. Deep down I thought it was something I had said, something that gave me away to be a nerd or someone who was not as “cool” as she is.

Later on, I decided to send her a message.

Continue reading

Telling friends about your Tourette can be a relief

My tics have been really bad for the past week or so. The stress of the start of the semester, being in all new classes with all new people and having to explain my Tourette’s to them all makes my tics so bad! Right now, just about everything is setting them off — including the awful cold I have … perfect timing.

I’m also supposed to be doing sorority recruitment, which is another thing that’s making my tics worse. Today, though, with my cold, my tics, the total overstimulation caused by the cheering and screaming and crowded rooms of recruitment, and the fact that I was feeling feverish earlier, I had to leave recruitment after about half the day and come back to my dorm. I feel like I’m missing out, but I really didn’t have a choice.

Last night, I went to our last sorority recruitment workshop and our pledge family gathering. I stuck through all of that even though it proved to be too much for me. At the recruitment workshop, I was ticcing so much. My grandbig sister is the sweetest person ever and kept checking in with me at various points during the night when she noticed me ticcing a lot to make sure I was OK.

Each time I told her I was fine, even though I was really pushing my limits by not stepping out of the room to take a sensory break and to fully let my tics out. I told my grandbig and my big sister in my sorority about my Tourette’s during this recruitment officially, even though they both had already suspected I had it.

It was interesting because for the most part I tend to tell people about my Tourette’s before they notice my tics or after they see just a few of my tics, but for my big and grandbig I had kept it from them for a long time. I have always been very afraid to tell people in my sorority for some reason.

Anyway, they both had seen me ticcing far to often in the past so they wouldn’t have really asked about it on their own, but I thought that they should know since I was getting so close to them. I told my big when we were walking to get lunch together when I was ticcing a lot by saying in a lighthearted way, “Walking long distances in the cold always seems to set of my tics. Have I told you about my tics before?” Continue reading

Need some help

Hey guys, so I need your help/advice. I know a girl in my sorority who I am pretty sure has tics. I have yet to find anyone on campus with tics/Tourette’s, and I really really want to have someone on campus who I know with tics/Tourette’s, too, so that I don’t feel so alone on campus sometimes.

I’ve been agonizing for a while over how/if I should contact her about it, and I finally think I am ready to/know what to say. I don’t want to ask her if she has tics outright in case I am totally wrong on this one, but I have seen her repetitively tic many times, so I think I am right.

I wrote out a message that I want to send her on Facebook. What do you think? She has already shared with me that she recently got a diagnosis of something (she didn’t really specify in the moment, but she is very confident and open, so I feel like she would have been willing to if I asked). This is the message I would send her. What do you guys think?

I know this is a bit of a delayed reaction/ message, but I figured better late than never. When you asked me about my experience with disability services accommodations in the dining hall a little while ago, I felt like I wasn’t giving you very good answers since there were a lot of people around the table!

So I wanted to let you know that if you have any more questions, you can definitely ask me or if you just want to talk I am here, too. I know it can feel somewhat lonely to have a new diagnosis when you don’t know anyone else who has a similar diagnosis on campus or around you and sometimes you just want to talk to someone who knows what its like.

Of course, I don’t know your exact diagnosis and you don’t need to share that with me if it’s not something you’re comfortable talking about, but when I first got my diagnosis I feel like I really had no one to talk to who actually understood fully what it was like and I would have really appreciated if someone had reached out to me. We could have completely different diagnoses, but most of the time that doesn’t really matter and it’s just nice to know you aren’t alone in what you are going through

I’m pretty much very open about talking about my diagnoses since I’ve been diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome (a neurological disorder that causes me to have twitches, movements and sounds) for three years, OCD for four years, and sensory processing disorder and generalized anxiety disorder since I was very young.

Most of the time I really enjoy sharing my experiences with others and also hearing about other people’s experiences but I have yet to find anyone on campus! So if you ever want to talk/ ask me questions about disability services or talking to professors about your accommodations I would be more than happy to. I would also enjoy it, too, since I myself can feel somewhat lonely on campus not really knowing anyone else in my friend group or in aoii with a diagnosis/ Cornerstone accomodations:)

— Alpha

So what do you guys think?

It’s Disabilities Awareness Week on campus!

This week I found out about a new student group on my campus. It’s called Wash U Disability Awareness Campaign, or WUDAC for short. For some reason, I didn’t know about it until now, but now that I know about it I am excited about joining!

This week is WUDAC week on campus, and as a part of the week they have a large painted square in the underpass (the area that student groups use to advertise and which every sophomore and freshman walks under to go to class) that says “What does disability mean to you?” and provides sharpies for people to write on. That was a huge success as many people shared their thoughts on it!

Also, they are doing a photo campaign which I participated in yesterday! Every day of the week this week they are at a table in the main eating area on campus encouraging students to write a statement about disability on a board and have their picture taken, which will later be put up on Facebook.

This is my picture for the photo campaign that they took yesterday!

It’s already up on Facebook, and when I shared it on my personal Facebook page, people seemed to really like it. A bunch of the girls from my sorority liked it, and these are the girls that I always worry would judge me about my Tourette’s — even though I know they are really just as amazing and accepting as everyone else on campus.

People from Camp Twitch and Shout liked it, too, as well as my friends from high school, elementary school and college. In total, it got about 40 likes! I think that’s a new record for anything I have posted on my personal Facebook page before!

Tics didn’t stop me from becoming a sorority sister!

481175_323431571109542_1590220057_nHey everyone! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted but I’ve been soooo busy with Rush Week and today was my first day of classes! Needless to say Rush Week was AMAZING! I had so much fun, and my tics were not a problem at all. They were pretty low-key all week, and I didn’t notice them all that much.

I’m sad Rush Week is over since I had so much fun, but I was soooo excited and glad to join my sisters at the end of the week and become a proud member of AOII. My TS did not stop me from rushing and becoming part of this amazing group of girls 🙂

Tourette Syndrome and OCD won’t stop me from rushing a sorority!

I never really thought I would really be saying this but, yesterday I rushed sororities at my college. Rush started Monday and lasts all week. I decided pretty last minute that I wanted to rush. At my college, sororities are really not all about partying, but instead they are more about making lifelong friends and doing community service.

This is the first time in a while that I have really thought to myself, “Please don’t let my tics be bad and ruin this.” Most of the time, my tics are part of my life and just part of why I am. I usually don’t worry too much about having tics in front of my friends or in my classes. I usually think to myself, “The people who like me for who I am — tics and all — will be my true friends.”

Rushing feels like a whole different world. My aunt (who was president for her sorority in college) told me not to tell anyone about my TS or OCD because during rush week she says everyone wants to think everyone is perfect even though most of them have differences and problems of their own.

She told me that telling people about my TS or OCD might hurt my chances of getting into a sorority. Once you’re in, she says it’s a sisterhood of support for who you really are. Before you’re in, though, she says its all about being who they want you to be. I don’t know if any of this is true, but for now I seem to be stuck thinking “please don’t let my tics ruin this.”