The Philosophy that no one can make you do anything is something that I make a point of instilling in our daughter, Savannah. We all make our own choices even if it sometimes seems impossible to choose. I can not make another person do anything. We make our own choices all day long. If I said kiss my feet or I will give you a wedgie....what would you choose? You are making a choice and I did not MAKE you do anything. Now that you understand my point, let's move on.
Most of my personal choices for the last decade or so have been made while enjoying my time on the 18 acres of land that we owned. I would walk with God and then come home in peace with my decisions. Now that I am living in the city it is hard for me to even think. Why? Because I am constantly surrounded by unnecessary noise pollution.
I feel trapped in almost every place that I go. Nearly every store, gas station, restaurant, fitness center, and swimming pool has music playing all the time. I can no longer think a thought without these sounds cluttering my brain. We have never had tv streamed into our home and rarely do we even have the radio on. Seems that by living the peaceful life these past years, have allowed me to developed a sensitivity to all of the music and TV sounds around me. Is this truly how people live? How do you even think a clear thought or sit in your own silence? My husband and I chose a transition place of a beautiful apartment that is next to the pool for our daughter. It is amazing. The landscaping is so beautiful and the natural creek that we have discovered beyond our boundaries have been an exciting and extreme adventure. But from morning until night the music at the pool outside my door is blaring it’s sounds. The only place I am not bombarded with it, is in my bathroom. The DJ's tend to talk about inappropriate things and the music is being force fed to me like a kid that has to eat Broccoli, leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Everywhere I go I hear constant ads and TV programs. Even the gas station has music playing. What makes you think that I need to hear that? It isn't that the music is bad, or something I don't believe in. It just starts to feel like I’ve been somehow transported into the middle of an old Charlie Brown cartoon. Whereas the sounds from parents and teachers turn in to Wah waah wah wah waaah....I truly understand now why my guests loved coming to our farm, always commenting on the peacefulness of it. I am ready to go back and sit with my own thoughts.
Society is MAKING ME listen to their garbage. It feels like a terrorist attack on my brain. Imagine if you had headphones on your head and all day and night were subjected to listen to another person’s program of choice. You would either start to love it and sing along to it, learn to tune it out, or you just may go nuts because of it.
It makes me think of the “negotiations” between the FBI and the Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993. The FBI played recordings of jet planes, pop music, chanting, and the screams of rabbits being slaughtered all night long. This was used for sleep deprivation. I’m sure this would drive anyone mad.
You may be wondering if I even enjoy music. I love music! I love to turn it up loud and dance the night away. We have friends that are musicians and they are amazing. I enjoy spending time at Rick's Chop House Bar just to listen to the live music. Sometimes I feel the need to get up and dance even when there is no dance floor. I have a passion for many different kinds of music. Our daughter has spent her entire life falling asleep to quiet nature sounds, and soft music. It gives her a great comfort to listen to these sounds on into slumber-land. Music is an expression of love, joy, and even pain.
When I asked our new apartment complex to turn off the loud music that was piped into the swimming area next to my apartment every day, the attitude was....”Suck it up buttercup”. I was not even aware that it would be playing when I signed my lease with them. In fact the first few weeks that we lived at the apartments it was never even turned on. But the maintenance man finally got around to fixing it...Lucky me.
Sensory overload occurs when one or more of the body's senses experiences over-stimulation from the environment. This has become a huge problem in urban settings, and is especially disturbing for someone with autism. Lately, I feel like I can really relate with this. Take a moment to watch this video, it really gives a person an idea of the total chaos one feels in what seems to be today's world’s new persona.
I have a nephew that is non verbal and autistic. His mother does all she can to figure out what he may be crying about or if he is in pain. But at 20 years of age, he still has what is known as meltdowns (looks like a temper tantrum to an outsider). After watching the video, it is so much easier for me to understand why.
I have never considered myself as one having a problem with this sensory overload phenomenon. But with all of these unwanted sounds that have begun to attack me since leaving my nice quiet world, I feel it has made me feel irritated, angry, and even scared. I have a much more understanding and empathy for those that have always dealt with these experiences.
As we were packing up our home to move, I was really noticing all the noise in the house as it began to escalate. The sounds of my daughter and her friend laughing and playing just up the stairs along with Fred the dog chewing on his squeeky toy, while the echos of the near empty room doubling and amplifying the voices of my husband, and the new owners that were buying our home. I found myself thinking.... “Too much talking”. When the voices downstairs quickly hushed. “Wow! Did I really say that out loud?” I realized at that moment just how real my frustrations had become.
Maybe I am crazy like a fox or maybe I just enjoy and embrace natures music. Nature has so many wonderful sounds. When you take the time, you can her the sounds of love, fear, the songs of momma bird and her hungry babies, dogs barking, water trickling, and trees swaying.
Perhaps....I need to go live in a tree.
My Name is Gwen
I am a woman of contradictions and a believer that you can do anything in this world as long as you dare to be inspired.