Dear mom in the supermarket isle,
I see, and hear, you there with your child on the floor, who is having a meltdown.
You catch me staring at you with a very frustrated look in my eyes. You look back with a look on your face as if wanting to say: "What? Stop judging me. You have no idea what our story is. Try it for yourself for a day..."
But I do understand. I really do. Because you see... That look of mine wasn't meant for you, or your child. It wasn't a stare of disapproval, even though my highly annoyed face clearly looked like it.
You see... You don't know my story either. Don't worry I'm not angry at you for it. In fact, I sympathise. Of course you'd think I was judging from my stare.
But I have autism. And your child is causing a high sensory overload.
Maybe your child has autism too, and the sensory problems the supermarket causes is what caused the meltdown.
I understand. I really do. I had a meltdown in a supermarket last year too, and I'm an adult. Other times I know how to keep it in 'till later, but I do understand how your child is feeling. It's all so overwhelming.
But I can't stop looking so frustrated. You see, my sensory overload that your cjild is causing me is pushing me to the point where there's only so much that I can do to not start having my own little meltdown right next to your child. And then you'd have two people to take care of.
I can't keep my frustrated look away, because from the inside I'm exploding. That frustrated look is already me holding back.
At this moment I have to stop shopping, wether or not I have everything I need, pay for my groceries, and get to the car as soon as possible. In the car I'll have my own meltdown, all by myself. I won't be able to drive home until all of that is processed.
Mom in the supermarket isle... You don't have to worry about me. I'll be fine. Tend to your child.
All I wish to accomplish is to say sorry for making you feel judged all the time, and I hope that you read this and the next time you see me staring, you'll consider the posibility that I might simply be sensory overloaded, instead of judging you. Maybe then you'll feel less judged. Maybe.
Mom in the supermarket isle, I'm sorry for making you feel this way every time. I hope this letter can make a difference.
Your autistic friend who really does understand and care, even though it doesn't always look like it.