Filtered – My Sensory Experience

You are only experiencing the world through your own filter,
just like I can only view the world through mine.
We all have many ways to see.
There are differences between you and me.

Little noises in a quiet room. Did anyone else hear that sound?
There is a humming lamp and a high pitched screeching.
I look around at everyone sitting calmly, not a glance or a twitch.
No one else appears bothered, so my headphones come out.

Walking into the big chain store, the lights are bright and make me squint.
If I wait too long my head and eyes will begin to throb.
From my bag I pull a pair of shades, fifty percent tint to wear indoors.
They are one of an assortment of tinted glasses. Most days I have five pair.

Everyday at work I wear a jacket, even if it’s over one hundred degrees outside.
At home I am always bundled in a blanket or a robe.
The feeling of air moving across my arms is extremely uncomfortable.
I need for the temperature to be about eighty degrees to feel alright.

My sense of taste is amazing. My mouth is my favorite filter.
I love food as long as it is flavorful and bold.
Bland foods make me gag, but I love garlic, onions, and spice.
It is easy for me to distinguish ingredients and seasonings in food.

What is that smell? Can you smell that? I love it!
Sweet scents are the best and I find them relaxing.
Household cleaners and chemical products make me queasy.
We are very careful to use natural products in our home.

Most of these things I keep to myself, with my sunglasses on and my earbuds in.
There is almost no point trying to explain it to people.
Unfortunately it is something most of the population cannot understand.
Words don’t do it justice. I don’t know what to say.

People can only view the world through their own filters. I can only view the world through mine.


31 thoughts on “Filtered – My Sensory Experience

  1. Was your family aware of your sensory issues when you were younger?
    There is so much information out there for families now. I guess I’m just curious if you were able to avoid those issues without anyone having to explain it to your family or if you were constantly bombarded by things that made you uncomfortable.

    1. No, as a child it was hard for me to explain or people did not understand when I did. I remember wanting shades hats in school and not being allowed them. It took me years to figure out the cause of my discomfort.

  2. I think the sensory stuff can be the hardest to explain to people. On the flip side, I can’t understand the way they experience the world either. I find it strange that people can’t tell the difference between the types of fabrics by the way they feel on your skin. Or the way that different foods feel in your mouth. And I hate eating hot food. But all those “normal” people aren’t normal either. I’ve worked with countless people over the years and I’ve found that everyone I’ve encountered has some kind of sensory thing going on. 🙂 It’s part of being human, yet something we don’t talk about. Humans are such funny creatures.

      1. You might enjoy reading Plato then. He wrote a lot about the way that perception changes the way that people engage with the world. The Allegory of the Cave being a good one 🙂

      1. I’ve been writing my whole life, and the hardest thing to write is about yourself. I’ve had people ask for my life story, but that’s the one that I just haven’t done yet … maybe someday … maybe not … but I applaud you for doing what you’re doing and encourage you to continue. It is healing and releasing. A part of me is in every character I have ever created, and I hand wrote a journal for most of my 60-plus years. Be sure and go back and read again what you’ve written after some time has passed. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished, how much you’ve grown, and pleased to read what you created and how much it still resonates within in your soul!

  3. Yes!!! I loved reading this, because as you said, “Unfortunately it is something most of the population cannot understand.”
    I’ve been called crazy more times than I can count for hearing something, for feeling chilly when the air moves even if it is a nice day, for being overly sensitive to lights, colors and smells.
    Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love the conversation above. We are “sensitive” and our sensitivity makes creative, loving, and intuitive … all positives! The people who don’t understand us … they don’t know the power of strong emotion.

  5. Yes! This is wonderful! Walmart gives me a migraine despite the dark glasses, though. A friend of mine complained that I always wear black (tall men’s black t-shirts, own 8 of them) and “instructed” me to dress like she does in shorts and a halter top. She just doesn’t get it…No one does unless…

  6. “People can only view the world through their own filters. I can only view the world through mine.” Is a good conclusion and statement. However, it is good to find out the matter.

          1. For my case, I often enter and see in others’ perspectives until I get confused and lose myself. Christianity helps me to find myself and my identity in Christ. It is also a lot of work to work on myself too. 😅 I thank Jesus to simplify my life.

  7. I have sensory issues. Supermarkets are the worst right now. Someone in my isle talking in their phone because they don’t have a shopping list. Staff in the next isle talking loudly. Vocal babies! A noisy insistent phone on loudspeaker not being attended too. Chatty self-check outs! Flickering movement in my blind spots. And my carer who is busy not helping me shop but doing her own shopping while pestering me with questions why something is on special? And I’m not allowed to smack people! 😈

  8. <3 Love this! I said to a friend a week or so ago, the thing is – none of us know what the sky looks like to someone else. We all say blue, but none of us know what blue means beyond our eyes. We get so hung up on fixing and normalizing that we forget we’re all experiencing the same life differently, through our lens, in our shade of blue. <3

  9. Brilliant writing. I relate to this so much. For house cleaning stuff I’m glad I found essential oils that I can use to make my own. It smells lovely, it doesn’t contain any additional rubbish, and it gets the job done even better than the synthetic stuff.

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