Meltdown at work today

Im not sure if this is the right place to come, but I find to much energy wiser to type than to speak to someone face to face. 

I dont have have an official diagnosis yet, though am told I am 6th on the waiting list so hopefully not too much longer to wait. I work in a school and had a PD day today where lunch was provided. One of my biggest flaws is that I can’t physically stand the though if eating around other people, and the sound of someone eating makes me feel ill. I was in an office working today when the girl behind me started eating a cracker or something. All I could hear was the crunching, chewing and gulping, to the point I felt I was going to throw up, but also started feeling myself getting angry at myself and the situation. It wad then that another member of staff came in and asked if I was going to get food from the canteen. I said no, but she told me that nobody else was in the hall so I’d be fine. I don’t know whether it was that I felt she wasn’t listening to me, the thought of eating in front of them, or that I could still hear the other girl eating, but I just got up and walked out of the building. A coping strategy I’ve found helps me is driving around in my car, so did just that. 

Im not sure whether it’s relevant, but I was due to go into a presentation about our new school building we are moving into in October, and it’s been driving me mad knowing all these changes are coming.

Even writing this this I feel as though my whole body is closing in on its self and can feel my levels of anxiety rising! I’m not even sure what I want in terms of advice, I just need somewhere to let everything out that doesn’t involve talking.

Sorry for boring you

  • Your not boring me. I'm not diagnosed as I cant go through all of the questions. I find cbt bad enough. The crunching thing I completly understand. I've been like it for as long as I can remember. I am worse when my anxiety levels are high. I have to leVe the room. 

  • We are all different, due to how we process our environment and hate changes.

    Is there someone, say headmaster (or someone you tryust), that you can go to to try to help you through your anxiety over the new school building and appropriate presentation?

    Could you take copy of the presentation away with you to slowly go through it in your own time?

    Maybe your colleague, with good intent, has no real appreciation/empathy of your need for isolation when eating.  Sometimes even my perceptions are that people do not listen whereas they are more likely unprepared for the discussion and have no concept/response for us.

  • O gosh. The eating thing. I had no idea that this was somehow part of autism. I have been on this forum for a matter of days, and found out so much. I certainly feel for you. I worked in an office where people ate lunch at their desks. I wanted to scream and throw up at the same time. It is especially bad at a time when you yourself are feeling low through hunger. I hate eating bananas for the same reason. They make so much noise.

    I used to wear noise-cancelling headphones at lunch, and listen to Gregorian chant. Not totally effective, but it helped loads. 

    All the best with the diagnosis. When mine came along it was just such a relief to know that there was a good reason for being like I am. I am now trying to be myself without feeling guilty about it. I sincerely hope that it works well for you.

  • I'm a teacher, and my headteacher has been amazingly understanding, along with a few others I trust. They know I struggle in meetings/group situations/assemblies etc and understand that I may need to opt out of some of these from time to time. I have INSET tomo, and have already looked at the schedule to see which bits I could skip. In fact, one of the organisers (who knows my diagnosis) spoke to me before we broke up about skipping bits. I will also probably skip the communal lunch as a) I need a bit of peace and quiet and b) I'm a fussy eater so prob won't like what is on offer.

  • This isn't boring at all. I've had meltdowns at work and they're awful - you just want to escape (I tend to sit in a dark room, if I can find one, which isn't always possible). I struggle with the sound of people eating too. I wish I could give you advice, but I can give you my sympathy - I completely understand where you're coming from and I get those days too.