This was a very strange week. I had my first hang over in three years last Sunday when I had to write the factoid for this article It was probably better as I have been doing the research for a
year really and my brain remained totally focused on what I was doing. Note to self: get drunk more so you can be hungover and more productive. Note to more rational self: bad bad plan and you never actually get drunk just hungover.
My personalized horoscope actually told me not to fly on Monday. I ignored that and suffered by listening to a very fat woman who didn’t shut up from the moment she sat down across the aisle from me until I literally ran off the plane two hours later. Somehow I don’t think that’s what the horoscope meant.
I have been published under other names a lot and this blog is almost four years old but I have never been so nervous about an article as I have never written something so personal, and so easily misunderstood.
I knew what time the article was supposed to be online but I forgot to look for an hour after it went online. I’m usually so obsessive and was being obsessive over my impending breakdown.
Then I wrote the post and had no idea what I was writing or doing.
Meanwhile all “my real life friends” were crying and sad. I had to tell them I’m the same person they have known for the past 25 years plus. This was the reaction I was scared of. They thought that I was being bitchy or JAPPY or both when I acted certain ways and I let them think that as until this past year I didn’t have the language to discuss the problems properly. And frankly it’s easier to have a reputation as a bitch than as a person with problems. Actually they thought me a great but selfish person. Now they understand why I have to be at times or seem it.
My sister sent me the most beautiful email.
So Sage I’m apologizing for the comment I left the other day. I was in the midst of losing my mind
As soon as the article was out and I actually got the courage to read it I was fine.
Tonight I went to fireworks on the beach with some neighbors. I like the people in the townhouse complex but for the first time I find myself not talking when politics is discussed.
The fireworks? Well fortunately my neighbors became scared just as I was realizing wind + whatever fireworks are made of these days + people drinking while doing the fireworks could be a lethal combination–I was trying to figure out what body part I would want to lose and couldn’t think of one when we left. The pre fireworks were lovely. It was wonderful to see the beach packed at night. Another part of me, not the expendable body part, wanted to jump up and down as I was doing something Southern though I wasn’t sure exactly what. I’m trying to avoid discussing the actual fireworks as I’m spoiled and used to New York fireworks which might not have the community feel except for fireworks after the symphony in Central Park and New Years Eve in Central Park. Not the big 42nd Street show; but one that seems made for “real” New Yorkers.
I have been feeling so unsettled for so long. I own an apartment I go to look at and feel more comfortable in a house that somebody else furnished–my taste but still. I have a small one bedroom in a prime building. Even The New York Times prime cheerleaders for real estate admits that studios and one bedrooms are staying on the market longer at lower prices. Mine’s been on the market since March. I have lowered the price. It’s more than fair. I’m not asking anywhere close to a million dollars for 600 square feet. I have always thought that absurd.
Problem is people read about prices lowering and want me to lower it even more. Had I got the apartment on the market just a month or so earlier….But I didn’t and will always have to live with the knowledge I allowed the contractor to walk all over me. Those were my stupid fears based on this disability at play and I knew it. I felt as if I couldn’t do anything right when in reality who is great at renovating?
I think with this disability unless you find a job you love that calls for your skills you always feel unsettled. I was great at the “higher functioning” parts of my jobs. It was the paperwork, even the Xeroxing that got to me. I’m much better when everything can be scanned into the computer, but then I have to develop files and the like….
Becoming a recluse is another option but I would lose my mind. I need to socialize on a regular basis. I do have many friends. Please don’t think this disability stops people from liking people or being liked. I don’t know many people with NLD but I know myself and “socialization skills” haven’t been a problem since sometime in high school.
Blogging was overwhelming for me in the beginning and middle. Email knows no nuances and I need nuances. While I have superior verbal skills I also need a face to look at.
I had myself convinced for awhile I was suffering from the first case of computer induced Asperger’s. That did spill into real life for awhile. It was horrible. Then I learned about NLD.
I don’t want it to be too late for me. If a doctor prematurely retires on me or stops accepting insurance (two real life examples) I become phobic about seeing new doctors. This new world of managed care isn’t user friendly for most people. For me it’s overwhelming.
I’m not making excuses for my behaviors or me. I take full responsibility for the anxiety and phobias that are secondary to NLD. The problem is that I know more than most therapists about these problems and don’t want to pay to educate. Think about it. Would you want to pay to be in a clinical trial? No you would want to be paid. In a sense my whole life has been a giant clinical trial and I get to pay.
I want to feel settled and good about myself. I did have more fun in my 20’s and 30’s than anybody has a right to have. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t operate a Xerox machine properly but I could always find somebody to do that for me. When I was a Claims Rep at SSI we would have to xerox hundreds of pages of individualized education plans for example ourselves. It was horrible. It was never the actual job that got to me but the paperwork or the feeling of immense responsibility. Make one little mistake and somebody could be kept out of pay for months. I didn’t have to make the mistake; somebody else did in inputting data etc. I was the one who the claimant dealt with–so any mistake from an input clerk to a service rep’s was my responsibility. I wish I could have taken a few claims per day and felt good about that. I knew people who took two claims a day and were fine with that. They retired after 30 years at 55 with a great pension. Oh to have that mentality.
I wish I had known about NLD earlier. It explains so much. I finally understand who I amm why I do the things I do and feel certain feelings. Most of the time I’m fine. Other times it feels like a traumatic brain injury I could benefit from rehab from. I understood that before I knew about NLD. But it took a long time to form the vocabulary necessary to think that.
I feel so weird about this article. It’s so revealing. While I did feel the shock of recognition when I read about it this past year the articles were so over the top I lost the recognition. Yet when I read what I wrote in this post….I apologize if this is too much. I can’t just journal my fears or put my blog in a site for baby boomers or “older people.”
I wanted to put a “real” voice to NLD.
I take the “somebody had to write it” defense.
I once wrote a post totally dissing Diana Ross and have been getting hundreds of hits from a Diana Ross fan site. It’s too weird. But I have always loved that post. Thanks Wombat for showing mehow to find it–and he has some incredible music–makes you feel all patriotic and sad at the same time. This has to be the year America becomes America again.