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Mary Anne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am leaving due to two things: my sensory processing issues have severely increased in the work environment and there can be no accommodations. Another is the high cost and anxiety of an enormous daily commute by car on a low salary.

I will be leaving behind people with challenges who need me. They are upset and are telling me not only with words, but with their eyes. It’s hard to endure. There is one, who has begun to speak this past year because of me. I worked with him for hours daily, when everyone else just let him sit alone all day. I will miss him the most! I believe he will miss me more. The handful that I was especially connected to, with all their serious daily issues, will hopefully now have better tools to deal in this world. They still have great support systems in place. But I do know how much I will be missed. I just have to go.
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I worked in what is called a day room. People play cards, the radio is ever loud and playing the same crap over and over and over. I am getting headaches daily. The fan (sounds like an airplane engine next to my head) overhead blasts hot dry air continuously. I cope nicely in temps of 69 to 72 degrees (maximum) Fahrenheit. Everyone else is “cold” and demands 75 F or more.

I am in constant misery!

The food we serve at our recreation/day center is of what I don’t like: processed “ American” foods. Ugh, I hate American foods for the most part (even though I was born here) and I sometimes have to cook it myself on a stove for 15-22 people. That is yet another sensory issue.

I play multiple card games and board games with the clients. I notice how the cards feel so greasy and dirty now. It’s my sensory disorder getting obsessive. Our center has a dozen sets of cards, but they all feel this way.

Some clients do not bathe, or wash their clothes. They smell strongly from 8 feet away! This does not bother my co-workers, but it’s killing me! I just have to leave my job, and my hard trained for career!

I am 61.5 years old, and my sensory processing disorder has multiplied to unbearable amounts now. I think it’s because I spent years as a commercial artist and it was a quiet self controlled environment. I also spent decades deep in alcoholism, and that certainly can dampen sensory overload. I got sober over 25 years ago, and slowly got myself re- entered into “ normal” society. But I did not work, and was disabled a very long time.

I find now, I am not trained for any jobs in this technological world. I cannot work in loud, bright, noisy environments. I cannot stand all day due to severe spine pain. The most basic of jobs in one way or another I cannot handle. I was good at my peer support specialist job- really good. But the only jobs available to me are in these sensory over loading far to drive places.

Those of you wanting to work who have sensory overload....train in computers, and things like administrative assistant....learn all the software and take every single course/ certification you can. Then you can get a quiet, focused job somewhere, and work hopefully alone, sitting down. For me to take off 2 years and get an associates in admin assistant sounds great, but how do I pay all of my normal bills???? One cannot pay for market rate homes, and pay daily bills in disability!

The desire is great to work, but the realities of some of our disabilities keeps smacking us back down in misery. Just wanted to share this morning. I am off to a 12 hour shift on our center’s most busiest day. It will be utterly excruciating. Only 7 more days of working at this job, and then the horrors of how to survive and keep a roof over my head or pay my bills; and the endless job applications truly sets in.
It sounds like you would do better as a one-to-one worker/personal support worker in an outreach capacity where you might visit people at home or support clients who have similar sensory needs to participate in less overwhelming community activities.
Would it be possible to work privately with a select group of clients? I know it’s not the same, but: one of my friends used to be a nurse in the hospital. She had to leave because work was getting increasingly stressful and opted to work as a private nurse instead, caring for a small group of clients at their homes instead of in institutions.
Thanks, but without the education, I cannot go father in this field. I would love to work with sensory disorders, but it’s way too much college and I am 61.5 years old. If I were to go back to school I would go for something comepletely different. I would have made a good clinical counselor, but really, I would rather be in the woods, or working as a off-season care taker in a National Park. Or a grounds keeper in a cemetery. I love nature, quiet, animals, and peopleless areas. I also love libraries when they are quiet.

Did you know, lots of people who have schizophrenia need lots of constant noise in order to drown out the voices in their heads? These are some of the people I work with, and in a room with the radio on all day. People with bi polar, and ADD also can talk and move around a lot. I had no idea I would get so triggered when I happily took this vocation up. So I wonder- has the job increased my sensory issues, OR have I just lived my entire life avoiding being triggered until now?
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I would love to work with sensory disorders

I just meant maybe you could be a personal support worker to clients who have similar sensory needs to yourself -- not suggesting you provide sensory integration therapy or other types of OT for sensory disorders.

In social work, you don't always need to have specific credentials if you have lots of experience and solid references -- as you've already said, you won't be paid as much as someone with a degree, but it's not necessarily impossible to find work you can enjoy that still pays the bills.
It's so amazing of you to think of the people you are leaving behind, and the fact that you have helped them in the first place. But it really sounds like you have to go. You must know the old adage about helping yourself before you can help others. And when you have found your next calling, there will always be someone here who needs help. Or fate will send someone your way.

So can you get disability (probably not, I once tried and failed), can you move to a quiet town? Do you have ties in the city? It sounds like the focus should be on nature or libraries. Can you visit libraries and book shops and ask if they have any openings? Museums and art galleries have a lot of standing positions but also a lot of desk jobs, would that be an option? With all your experience, fate must be steering you somewhere.
I live in one of the top three biggest city regions of the USA. One must have educational credentials for everything. I keep searching, with no success! Everyone need certifications, Bachelors, and mostly, Masters Degrees. It might be different in a smaller region. I am open to any suggestions. Thank you.
I live in one of the top three biggest city regions of the USA. One must have educational credentials for everything. I keep searching, with no success! Everyone need certifications, Bachelors, and mostly, Masters Degrees. It might be different in a smaller region. I am open to any suggestions. Thank you.

I don't really know for certain, but you maybe could move to a smaller Town where there's less demand for particular jobs.
I own my mobile home....it’s the first time in my life to have control over where I live. I do plan to sell maybe a year or so from now. I am ready to find a very rural area. Of course, there are less jobs there. Life is complicated!
Gosh, your working life sound like a living hell. How you haven't completely crashed is beyond me.

It sounds as if you have incredible inner resilience. Perhaps knowing the benefit you're bringing to the lives of others has kept you going. But now, before you become really unwell, putting your own needs first sounds like a really sensible thing to do.

If the suggestion to look for work in smaller towns is achievable, that may be a good way forward for you.
I understand that, I work in the city of London and fully intend to move to a quiet town. I've been planning my escape for a while, but it does mean less chance of getting a job and it is a risk. So I'm saving the pennies when I can and holding my city escape as the light at the end of the tunnel...

I do believe in fate and (sometimes lazy) guardian angels, so there is somewhere out there that has a Mary Anne sized hole that needs you to fill it, never give up hope, keep looking and it will all fall into place.

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