EDITOR’S NOTE: On Tuesdays over the next year, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers will share his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed the first two weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.
This week I am reminded, “Opinions are like butt*#@*, and everybody has one.” We all have the right to express them, but if we feel we need to express our opinion, we should except someone else has a different one. This could be based on how we were raised, who raised us, our beliefs, or even our ignorance. I don’t mind dealing with most opinions if they are actually coming from somewhere, but if the basis is ignorance, it puts a damper on my day and week.
This week was not too easy of a week. When I look back on it, it was dealing with many ignorant opinions. As I said last week I was working a job this week where I would have to take the metro north up to Westchester most of the week. I cannot express this enough, how I think all trains and subways are pretty much just a germ-infested Petri dish on wheels.
I have such horrible anxiety on trains that it triggers my tics even more. I try as hard as I can to suppress them but I can only suppress so much. So let’s say, I was a little ticcy. A gentleman sat next to me, I noticed he kept on looking at me, which just made me more anxious (stop staring at me).
After about two stops, he got up and moved seats. Needless to say, I was devastated. Because of your ignorance, and unwillingness to learn, you would actually get up out of fear. Fear of what? Do you really think, “Oh no, I think I might have caught Tourette syndrome from some guy on the train?”
One good thing that did happen is our monthly TSA Social Hour. The NYC chapter of the TSA has started a social hour, where we can all hang out, talk, get to know each other, and learn. It’s great. After spending almost 25 years in the closet about my TS, it’s good to have a group of friends who actually know what I’m talking about and how I feel.
For example, when we left the bar, I pulled out my bottle of antibacterial and used it, but before I was able to put it away, I dropped it. There it goes, rolling down the sidewalk. The same sidewalk the 20,000 New Yorkers have walked today. The same sidewalk where over a hundred pigeons landed today and the same side walk where fifteen dogs peed today. We looked at it roll away, as I said, “Oh well, I have more at home.”
Speaking of my antibacterial, I must say that I love my automatic dispenser I bought last week. My husband does too, I think he likes them too much. Not really, I know it’s just my OCD, but before with just the pumps I didn’t know when he used them. Now I hear the little motor go on whenever he sticks his hand under. I instantaneously have a mild panic attack, he’s using all my antibacterial. It shouldn’t matter, I have 19 bottles of antibacterial in my closet, in all honesty, I think we’ll be fine.
One of my big anxiety moments this week was dealing with my best friend. She is a filmmaker and had a private viewing of her new movie. It really upset me, but I was unable to go. It was Saturday night and I spent Wednesday to Saturday trying to get up the courage to go.
With my OCD, I have not been inside a theater in almost five years. I have so much anxiety about the thought of it. When I’m in a theater, movie or Broadway, I just stress out so much. I’m constantly worried about people looking at me for my tics, and hearing my tics. In the past couple years I have noticed my vocal tics have become more noticeable.
Picture being in a quiet theater and the person next to you is flinging his head around, humming, and constantly clearing his throat. It’s the train all over again, people getting up and moving seat, or complaining and staring. It’s ironic seeing as how my writing career started off writing screenplays. Not sure if there is enough Klonopin to get me to my own movie opening.
Despite the sounds of my week, I’m happy. I have a great life, great family, and I do what I love. I’m one of those positive people, and I’m not going to let this world get me down. You moved away from me on the train, so I’m going to educate. I could have actually said something to him at that point to educate him, but I didn’t. I’m hoping my writing reaches more.
Remember you have a voice, I have a voice. If we speak, we educate, and education is the first step. I speak through my writing.
Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”