I wish more people understood what it’s like to have our visual-spatial struggles. We get confused about specific things, despite having continuity in our thoughts. I am so confident as a writer, but when I talk to people, I feel like a car in traffic.
I feel awkward, my speech stumbles, I don’t know what to say, or can’t say what I want to, and my speech starts and stops.
My facial expressions only convey 10% of the emotions I feel. I watch people on TV with animated expressions and wish I could be them. But instead, my voice struggles to sound semi-normal, in good situations. And my face only lights up when I’m laughing. Try as I might, my eyes don’t sparkle. Subtle gestures hardly happen.
Even worse, perhaps, are times when my expressions don’t match my emotions. Sometimes, for instance, when someone says something shocking, an involuntary smile ends up on my face. I might laugh at inappropriate times by accident, or I may interrupt without meaning to.
For these (and other) reasons, I don’t accomplish all of the social goals I have. I’m a wallflower. I don’t have weekend engagements outside of an occasional meet-ups with long-known family and friends, whose company I sometimes appreciate, but I also don’t get much emotional support or validation from them. Thus, my social company is the same people over and over. The calls or emails I hope for rarely happen, meaning the people I really want to hear from don’t contact me, or hold back from being close, or drift away.
In other posts I talk about being dumped by friends. Because I, and many other people with NLD, are kind, caring, and sensitive–all awesome qualities in friends–I feel very disappointed and anguished by the lack of social recognition I get.
Plus females are expected to be vivacious, sparkling social connectors. These things just aren’t me. The ways I express myself are different, and so is how I learn.
A related problem is when people do pay attention to us, but it’s the wrong kind. I’ve had so many people regard me in insulting, patronizing ways. They’ve treated me like I have less intelligence than I really do.
Lending the benefit of the doubt, I could say maybe NLD causes them to feel awkward and not know what to do, which I get, but I ask people to give us a chance, see what we know and can do, and get to know us.
We can be loyal, helpful, insightful friends, and many times we really want to relate and be included. However, if people don’t include us, they’ll never know how wonderful we are, and we might struggle to believe in ourselves and our relationships. Such a state doesn’t bode well for anyone. So, please look within. Thanks.