My blog makeover will be in a bit more than a month. When I comment on Blogger blogs, it doesn’t let my URL link. First noticed this on Bone’s blog. Thought it was revenge of the roast, but uh….Three Word Wednesday will be sometime later this week
In November I handed my first submission into a writing workshop. I had been working on that story, on and off, for a year. It meant a lot to me. I had several people read it, including some media pros. One actually edited it, a bit.
My workshop panned it. I won’t go into specifics as I would have to tell the story and it is not in here.
Wow did that bring me down to earth and a bit below it.
It precipitated a gigantic crisis of confidence in every area of my life, because words and story telling, are so important to me, and I thought that I had solved many problems.
But the truth, the real truth is that I perceive space differently than most people.
What am I saying?
Nobody has the exact spatial problems that I do. I don’t say this proudly.
It’s a neurobiological problem, and difficult to explain. I don’t see physical space the way you do. People have never understood that so I add that I see dead people too, to further confuse them, or lighten the mood.
It has both played havoc in my life and worked to my advantage. If I didn’t have many learning disabilities along with it, I probably would have spent my life laughing at my inability to cross a street properly. Love Santa Monica, in part, because major intersections have street lights that speak the number of seconds left.
Somehow many people have found my problems endearing. He-Who-Has-Known-Me-Forever said that I was the prettiest and most popular girl at our college. No way. But I could give that impression. People like girls who can laugh at themselves while tripping over something everybody else saw.
It’s not fun to have an amazing Imac, and know that I’m only using one millimeter of its potential. We have that in common.
I began handing in chapters that I knew were good, but really I wanted constructive feedback that could help me rework the ones that i was having trouble with. I had actually thought the chapter I handed in was decent but could have benefited from some more feedback.
Somehow when I have problems with a story, a computer, or life in general, nobody can help me. My set of problems are so rare that they’re just beginning to be studied.
It’s not frigging fair. If you subscribe to the two door theory of life, had I been able to walk through the other door, the one were was I exactly me but without the problems, I probably would have had the perfect life.
Nobodies life is perfect and I probably would have been the biggest bitch in America. Or I could have been a totally wonderful person who became a rock star. OK, that’s three doors and rearing into dangerous fantasy territory. Not that I ever day dream about being a rock star. Mine are and always have been about writing.
Except for my yearly Academy Award speech for Best Actress because I like writing the speech and thanking people. In the 80’s, my father was going to get thanked twice because everybody was thanking their accountant. I should have given the speech to him anyway
My father was hyper-critical, especially to me, because he couldn’t stand me not being perfect. I forgave him many years before he apologized as I knew how much he loved me, and I knew his mother. Compared to her….
Thing is I always liked myself, and basically felt a certain comfort level in life. In November I felt as if I were becoming paralyzed by phobias. Interesting because I had just finished seven oral surgeries and two years of every several weeks at the dentist. I do smile a lot.
When I talk about organizational problems I don’t mean organizing materials. While I’m horrible at that, I can compensate. And I can overlook. Wow can I overlook. I literally only see the space right in front of me. Yet I have peripheral vision.
People have always told me that if I just paid attention…I do too much. I pay so much attention to detail, that I become totally frazzled. When I pay less attention I tend to do better.
In the maze that is my life, I have had to be my own guide. That doesn’t make me happy. The whole, Electric Haired thing came because in college a psychologist who was treating many people I knew called me “space cadet with the electric hair.” Anybody who knows me at all knows me I’m far from spacey. He-Who is especially insulted by that label.
Obviously it hurt to be labeled but i didn’t let it rule my life. It’s just that I’m not eighteen anymore, or 20, or 35 and I wonder when seeming spacey at times stops being cute or acceptable and begins to be very eccentric. I could live with eccentric. I do already. But there are degrees.
I had always been very sociable but in the past decade found myself becoming less sociable. My Mom was becoming old and demanding, not of physical time, but of mental energy. Her anxiety was overwhelming. Then she died and I felt so guilty, as if I could have stopped her fall if I had only done certain things.
This year I have been emotionally exhausted but scared that my not wanting to be sociable would become a permanent exhibit at the Savage Museum for The Weirdly Neurological. I finally realized that the fear was its own answer.
Still working on a few big phobias. Obviously I have conquered dental phobias, big time.
Today I was trying to plug numbers onto a non computer form and couldn’t do it. I have done that my whole life, but now I need a computer, not paper. My Dad was a CPA. Pre-computers we all had to help him. There were no extensions then, and my sister and I would sometimes have to stay home from school. Then we graduated elementary school….
Once when I was doing volunteer work at a First Amendment org, all the people who said they could do data entry inputting couldn’t do it. I looked at the computer and said, “ha, that’s what data entry is?” I could do it in my sleep. Though only for forty minutes at a time.
So why can’t I do the fun Imac things? Lucia was watching a slide show of my photographs yesterday, and I told her that I’m happy I can upload photo’s and press the slide show arrow. Lucia’s new phone also has an MP3 player. Her sixteen year old daughter does everything. But if Lucia focused she could learn it, I on the other hand…someday.
The door I would have wanted to open was my generation being born with all these technological advances. Gmail is the most incredible personal organizer/assistant. It makes me feel organized and that is almost impossible.
Last week I decided to let go of need to see space the way you do since I can’t. The first couple of days were easy. Let me explain that while the problem hadn’t become worse, my perception of it did. I began to be scared for my old age. I’m too darn young to be so scared.
Our society is scaring people my age. No matter how many resources we have they’re never enough. I saw the worst of old age in the nursing home, and I saw people who had been beaten down by life and this was the best of it.
I could almost understand their want and need to be in a nursing home, but the people I related to were the people who would do anything to go home. Even if home was a fifth floor roach encrusted walk up.
Well, I relate to their need to be home without with what my mother called “keepers” more commonly known as aides. Though I don’t want my mother’s anxiety, I do want her independent streak, and don’t really think that I have to worry about that.
I am so tired of thinking about problems, future problems, phobias, money and the like. I needed to come out of mourning and guilt for my mother and the easiest way was this blog. Then came November, and I stopped feeling special and as if I had anything interesting to say. I also thought that I had never been coherent.
I’m beginning to believe in me again. I don’t have to put roadblocks in my way. They are almost literally there. Understanding that helps. It’s the first damn thing to help. I can finally say “I see space differently,” and really not care what people think. Someday, maybe not in my lifetime, but someday, people will understand.
I actually might see dead people, too.
I will be updating the photoblog soon, now that the thought of taking off gloves isn’t abhorrent. I will also get into how my spatial relation problems might be perceived as Aspergers but so aren’t, or maybe do cause a degree of it. For a quick example. To make up for my lack of perceiving exactly how far people stand from each other, I stand too far back so I won’t intrude on a person’s personal space. I have done this virtually all of my life naturally.
I am overwhelmed by crowds as I can’t measure the space. I do bump into people. But they bump into me also. Lucia always makes sure to point that out.
My impulse is to apologize for this post, but it’s important to me as I’m just coming to a real understanding and wow is it empowering. People always talk about their diagnosis explaining things to them, and how good they feel. I never understood that; I’m beginning to.
I wrote this between midnight and three AM which are good writing hours for me, but I really need to proof in the morning.