I Don’t Like Halloween

I’ve written before about how Halloween is a sad day for me. It just is. I suppose I have PTSD from all the years when my children on the spectrum struggled mightily to both embrace and tolerate the excitement and sensory overload of this particular holiday.

I don’t like the way it makes my kids into overwrought child-shaped tornadoes. Too much candy. Too much freaking out over costumes. Too much noise and expectation and frenzy. Autism plus Halloween equals the worst, don’t ask me.

Well, this Halloween has been no exception to this stupid personal tradition.

Truman opted out of the party/parade/chaos of the elementary school. Charlie soaked it up, meanwhile, in his truly hideous creepy clown costume, but also flipped out over just about everything. Henry and pals dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was the one with the orange mask. I forget which one that is.

And I finished prepping my Thursday lesson and cleaned the kitchen. Raise your hand if you cry while doing the dishes.

I feel old.

I feel wrinkly.

I feel out of shape and my shoulder hurts since I’ve been sick and haven’t exercised in quite some time.

I feel incapable of fully managing Truman’s neuroses and sensory integration issues.

I feel tired of the sensory explosion that is Halloween.

I feel sad remembering my dad dying at this time last year.

I feel like I want to be a hermit and never leave my house.

I feel like taking a nap. Or reading. But definitely escaping my own thoughts.


I’m writing this addendum after Halloween.

When evening rolled around, I put on my happy face and handed out candy with a smile. The boys went trick-or-treating with their friends and loved it.

I put Jeff on door duty at 8 pm and I cleaned up all the Halloween decorations. After boxing up the vestiges of the holiday which wears me out like nothing else can, I got in the shower and let the day die.

November 1 dawned cloudy and drizzly. I listened to Christmas music on my way to campus because it’s my car and I do what I want.

It was a new day, and it felt like a clean start.

  1 comment for “I Don’t Like Halloween

  1. allysha
    November 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Kindred Spirit! Any enjoyment I had of Halloween was slowly sucked out of me, esp. as I began to realize that my child most effected by her environment, (the feel of clothes, sugar, preservatives, food dye), and who hated to feel left out of anything, was having all these treats thrown at her that she wanted to eat, but if she did she would have little control over her anxiety and anger. And I would bear the brunt of it. And it was exhausting.

    I dread Halloween to this day. My kids often request that I put up decorations, and I do for the shortest amount of time possible (last year for 1 day, this year, oops! I forgot. For reals spaced it.) I always take them down and put them away THAT NIGHT. I have implemented rules for how much candy my kids get to keep. (My kids do not like me for this, but they deal with it.) I throw out all the candy with artificial dye (motto: chocolate is our friend). I tolerate putting costumes together. I have tried to lighten up as everyone has gotten older and more manageable. But I do not love this holiday. Also, because it has become so gruesome. Seriously, if there was a Scrooge for Halloween, I would be it.

    I was thrilled with the rainy, moody November 1st. I’m glad you listened to Christmas music. I don’t listen to it until after Thanksgiving, but my Christmas planning is in full swing.

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