Archive for May, 2010

Feelings are contagious

May 25, 2010

Anxiety is a great example of a contagious feeling. I’m sure that my NLD anxiety sometimes drives people away. I also withdraw into myself, as though I’m a natural wallflower. I’m most comfortable reading or writing alone, in quiet spaces, and caring for my dog. I suppose there is a great opportunity in the synergy of comfort with one’s own thoughts, and a direct line to evaluating truth. NLD, in its left-hemisphere strengths, can result in logical aptitude. It’s even possible to succeed in math, but it must be the right learning environment. And there must be ties into the student’s interests, plus proper support based on the student’s individual needs. Social situations cause me to feel, to use a very overused cliche, like a fish out of water. Even with my own family I feel this.

My own parents, who gave me life and some of my most significant long-term relationships, are socially awkward to a great degree. As a teen, I found their social troubles to be very distressing. And since that time, I’ve sought out other adults to provide the guidance that my parents could or would not. The first person I found turned out to be abusive. Social comprehension troubles made me more susceptible to that abuse, and the conditions that allowed it.

Going back to the post topic, though, I have a very anxious elderly relative. I feel so anxious around this person that I struggle to even be in the same room. It doesn’t help that other relatives also avoid this person. Or that disease symptoms (relative has nursing home needs) cause barriers to effective communication. It also doesn’t help that relatives pressure me to come to the person’s aid. But I can’t. I have enough to deal with managing my own life. I get accused of being selfish for this, but caring for myself is really a responsibility I have, and a big one at that.

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Incongruence of Facial Expressions

May 25, 2010

I’ve meant to write about this for awhile. My facial expressions do not always match my emotions, or what I want to convey. For instance:

-sometimes I smile without meaning to smile, at inappropriate times, and I can’t do anything about it (kind of like when people have “tic” disorders, but not exactly)
-sometimes my face is fixed in a serious position (I used to be a chronic frowner, and had to train myself to have a more neutral expression, but sometimes I revert back to my old frowns)
-sometimes my face looks much more still than all I’m actually thinking about
-sometimes the inappropriate smiles will happen on-the-spot, when someone says something that is really serious and/or controversial

In my family some people smile when they’re anxious. I didn’t have social role models until I was an adult. I am ill-at-ease with my facial expressions. They don’t match my complex feelings. And they, until I know someone well, reduce in some ways the joy of relationships. I wish there was a way around this. We with NLD must not be judged by our different ways of communicating. I hope to work towards a society where different styles of communication are accepted as the norm. I can’t help that I prefer writing. It evens out the challenges of social relating. I do enjoy my offline relationships, but they are also exhausting. I won’t apologize for loving alone time. I can most easily organize my thoughts when alone, and don’t have to worry about the scrutiny of other people. Plus things like facial expressions are pretty much a non-issue when I’m alone. Thus, it’s must easier to get my thoughts together. We with NLD have the potential to think in very useful ways, that could benefit a variety of professions and/or areas of study, but until rigid social constructs adjust to the reality of NLD, I worry that our potential to contribute to society will not be what it can or should.

Love Lady Gaga

May 17, 2010

I’ve never been a fan of pop music while it’s popular, but I’ve loved listening to Lady Gaga ever since I first listened to her in November 2009. I love her music. I’ll have to write more about what a positive listening experience it is.

Good point on show “The View”

May 6, 2010

I was very happy when Whoopi Goldberg wisely said the following: “When someone tells you to do something, they’re not the person doing it.” If I’d reflected on what this means earlier, I could have avoided lots of people’s attempts to take advantage of me. It’s a lot harder to see the signs when you have NLD. I’m making a note to myself: research signs that someone might be manipulative and will report back.