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Joe90
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22 Sep 2019, 8:55 am

Me and my boyfriend went into a supermarket that we don't normally go to, so we didn't know where everything was. We only had about 4 items we needed, but my boyfriend kept stopping and looking at other things (he gets distracted by deals and compulsively buys things he can get cheap). The supermarket was badly planned out, with lots of people all gathering with big trolleys and blocking the narrow aisles, and I felt that everywhere I stood I was in somebody's way. I lacked patience because I was hungry and had a headache, and there was a baby screaming wherever I went, and children being silly and running about. I said to my boyfriend that I am getting stressed, so he gave me his car keys and I waited in the car. It felt good to get out of there.

Just thought I'd share this because it's probably familiar to a lot of Aspies here. Luckily I'm not the sort of Aspie to have public meltdowns, but my face started to look stressed and angry.


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Fireblossom
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22 Sep 2019, 11:55 am

Yup, I have the same problem if I go grocery shopping with my mom. Partly I can understand that she takes longer since she's responsible for feeding a family of three while I live alone, but I don't understand why she has to walk through every corner every time. Sure, if she sees something she wasn't planning to get but is on sale as she passes by I don't see why she shouldn't get it if she can come up with use for it, but to go through the whole store just in case there's something new or something on sale... ugh. Ugh especially because on the rare times I do that I still do it a lot faster. This is why I avoid grocery shopping, or any kind of shopping really, with her.



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23 Sep 2019, 1:01 pm

Yes, I identify with this. The only way I can get through shopping is to do it "on autopilot" - I know where everything is and the quickest way around the aisles I need to visit, so that I'm in and out as quickly as possible. I always avoid going shopping with anyone else if I possibly can, as I'm even more aware of my sensory sensitivities when I'm just trailing along behind someone else with no interest in their window shopping.

When I was a kid and we first had a family car and started going to the big Tesco for family shopping, I remember quite often being left in the car. I've never dared ask why this was, because I know that it would probably be taken as criticising my parents' parenting. I do understand why some people would see it that way, but if she were to say that it's what I begged them to do, I would totally believe it - I did used to get separated and lost quite often, and sitting in the car playing games with the letters on car number plates was far more comfortable for me. I still do the same thing now if a friend is giving me a lift somewhere and they need to do some shopping on the way.


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Joe90
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23 Sep 2019, 5:23 pm

As a child I seemed less affected by crowded supermarkets than what I do now. In fact I used to want to go with my mum or my dad to the supermarket, and I don't remember ever getting anxious in crowds. But since I've gotten older I've become more sensitive to everyone around me and cannot focus properly. I seem to feel frustrated if I am in someone's way, especially if they mutter "excuse me" in a way that seems they are pissed off with me being in their way or something. It makes me feel clumsy and awkward, even though everybody gets in each other's way in a busy shop. While 'excuse me' sounds polite, I tend to find it irritating, and I'd rather people say 'sorry, can I just squeeze past?' or something. But then again, a lot of NTs probably get impatient in busy supermarkets too, so it's understandable that you may get snapped at.

Probably other Aspies won't be able to identify with this, but funnily enough no matter how stressed I am feeling in a busy shop, if a stranger makes conversation with me, it seems to cheer me up a bit and I politely reply. One time I was in a really busy supermarket and was getting stressed out, but when I paid for my shopping the lady at the check-out was very friendly and chatty, and suddenly I felt all calm and happy.


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Benjamin the Donkey
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29 Sep 2019, 7:46 am

That's my "normal."


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29 Sep 2019, 9:40 am

I have felt this way in restaurants.

I think the problem is that you were with someone who was dawdling. If you were by yourself you could have walked past the kids quickly and it would not have bothered you.



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29 Sep 2019, 11:42 am

Kudos for you for recognizing your increasing discomfort (stress) and taking the action necessary to keep your spoons (and get more). Thanks for sharing that success. Something I aspire to more.



lostonearth35
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29 Sep 2019, 11:55 am

I guess I'm not as sensitive as you people are, but I do try to avoid shopping or eating out on days and times of the day the stores are busiest. Of course the holiday season is the worst. I now have to try and get extra groceries and supplies so I won't have to make a major shopping trip the last week or so of December.

But when I've been in my apartment for two or three days in a row I feel like I need to get out or I'll go crazy. :(



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01 Oct 2019, 6:20 am

I can definitely relate to this- it seems there were a lot of different things that contributed to your need to leave. I don't like it when supermarkets change their layout, or if I have a specific 'make' of something I'm planning to get and it's not there (I've got better at this, telling myself alternatives are okay :lol:) They are so big too, it's like it never ends. I also always feel like I'm in someones way too, and where I live it's apparently a thing to allow children to wear those wheel shoes in a supermarket :? I am terrified at the prospect of hitting one, so always have to be on the lookout for that. I've actually got all my shopping in the trolley before but with all the build-up am unable to go to the checkout, and leave it in the shop- but that's not happened for years now, so I think my coping has improved :D.



JD12345
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09 Oct 2019, 10:20 am

For these kind of reasons I usually avoid the big supermarkets and instead go to the express/local stores or order online.



FletcherArrow
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27 Oct 2019, 8:59 am

Joe90 wrote:
Me and my boyfriend went into a supermarket that we don't normally go to, so we didn't know where everything was. We only had about 4 items we needed, but my boyfriend kept stopping and looking at other things (he gets distracted by deals and compulsively buys things he can get cheap). The supermarket was badly planned out, with lots of people all gathering with big trolleys and blocking the narrow aisles, and I felt that everywhere I stood I was in somebody's way. I lacked patience because I was hungry and had a headache, and there was a baby screaming wherever I went, and children being silly and running about. I said to my boyfriend that I am getting stressed, so he gave me his car keys and I waited in the car. It felt good to get out of there.

Just thought I'd share this because it's probably familiar to a lot of Aspies here. Luckily I'm not the sort of Aspie to have public meltdowns, but my face started to look stressed and angry.


Big deal. So you got overwhelmed and left the supermarket.

Yeah, I sound harsh but my point is, there is no shame in what happened. Supermarkets have bright lights, wide open spaces, and horrible flourescent lights. So, it is understandable that you might feel overwhelmed.


I began practicing going into big box stores and walking around without buying anything just to get used to places like that. It worked.


There is no shame in feeling overwhelmed and needing to leave a space.



Joe90
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27 Oct 2019, 10:52 am

FletcherArrow wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Me and my boyfriend went into a supermarket that we don't normally go to, so we didn't know where everything was. We only had about 4 items we needed, but my boyfriend kept stopping and looking at other things (he gets distracted by deals and compulsively buys things he can get cheap). The supermarket was badly planned out, with lots of people all gathering with big trolleys and blocking the narrow aisles, and I felt that everywhere I stood I was in somebody's way. I lacked patience because I was hungry and had a headache, and there was a baby screaming wherever I went, and children being silly and running about. I said to my boyfriend that I am getting stressed, so he gave me his car keys and I waited in the car. It felt good to get out of there.

Just thought I'd share this because it's probably familiar to a lot of Aspies here. Luckily I'm not the sort of Aspie to have public meltdowns, but my face started to look stressed and angry.


Big deal. So you got overwhelmed and left the supermarket.

Yeah, I sound harsh but my point is, there is no shame in what happened. Supermarkets have bright lights, wide open spaces, and horrible flourescent lights. So, it is understandable that you might feel overwhelmed.


I began practicing going into big box stores and walking around without buying anything just to get used to places like that. It worked.


There is no shame in feeling overwhelmed and needing to leave a space.


It's not bright lights that overwhelm me. It seems to be mainly small children that make me feel anxious; their energy, their erraticness, their lack of motor skills, their noise... I just find them difficult to filter out when they are too close to me. Today I went into a pet store, and where I was looking for new toys for my pet rats there was this woman with about 5 little kids down the same aisle I was, and the kids kept overcrowding me and I felt so irritated, so I walked away and looked elsewhere until they were gone (I didn't show that I was angry). Also there was this 2-year-old that kept screeching and hurting my ears, and I'm sure it was hurting the ears of all the rabbits and other small animals in the store too.

Take all kiddies under 8-9 years out of the store and I can relax. Although I am aware that that is impossible.


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FletcherArrow
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27 Oct 2019, 11:52 am

Joe90 wrote:
FletcherArrow wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Me and my boyfriend went into a supermarket that we don't normally go to, so we didn't know where everything was. We only had about 4 items we needed, but my boyfriend kept stopping and looking at other things (he gets distracted by deals and compulsively buys things he can get cheap). The supermarket was badly planned out, with lots of people all gathering with big trolleys and blocking the narrow aisles, and I felt that everywhere I stood I was in somebody's way. I lacked patience because I was hungry and had a headache, and there was a baby screaming wherever I went, and children being silly and running about. I said to my boyfriend that I am getting stressed, so he gave me his car keys and I waited in the car. It felt good to get out of there.

Just thought I'd share this because it's probably familiar to a lot of Aspies here. Luckily I'm not the sort of Aspie to have public meltdowns, but my face started to look stressed and angry.


Big deal. So you got overwhelmed and left the supermarket.

Yeah, I sound harsh but my point is, there is no shame in what happened. Supermarkets have bright lights, wide open spaces, and horrible flourescent lights. So, it is understandable that you might feel overwhelmed.


I began practicing going into big box stores and walking around without buying anything just to get used to places like that. It worked.


There is no shame in feeling overwhelmed and needing to leave a space.


It's not bright lights that overwhelm me. It seems to be mainly small children that make me feel anxious; their energy, their erraticness, their lack of motor skills, their noise... I just find them difficult to filter out when they are too close to me. Today I went into a pet store, and where I was looking for new toys for my pet rats there was this woman with about 5 little kids down the same aisle I was, and the kids kept overcrowding me and I felt so irritated, so I walked away and looked elsewhere until they were gone (I didn't show that I was angry). Also there was this 2-year-old that kept screeching and hurting my ears, and I'm sure it was hurting the ears of all the rabbits and other small animals in the store too.

Take all kiddies under 8-9 years out of the store and I can relax. Although I am aware that that is impossible.


Children are just larger hairless rats.



Mountain Goat
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27 Oct 2019, 2:05 pm

I get the same these days where certain supermarkets I find it difficult to be in.


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03 Nov 2019, 6:46 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Me and my boyfriend went into a supermarket that we don't normally go to, so we didn't know where everything was. We only had about 4 items we needed, but my boyfriend kept stopping and looking at other things (he gets distracted by deals and compulsively buys things he can get cheap). The supermarket was badly planned out, with lots of people all gathering with big trolleys and blocking the narrow aisles, and I felt that everywhere I stood I was in somebody's way. I lacked patience because I was hungry and had a headache, and there was a baby screaming wherever I went, and children being silly and running about. I said to my boyfriend that I am getting stressed, so he gave me his car keys and I waited in the car. It felt good to get out of there.

Just thought I'd share this because it's probably familiar to a lot of Aspies here. Luckily I'm not the sort of Aspie to have public meltdowns, but my face started to look stressed and angry.



Lol, wow thanks for sharing this. One time I went to a park and someone made eye contact with me and started walking towards me. It freaked me out, so I pivoted and completely left the park.