Friday I had an interesting conversation on Facebook about police in Austin, TX and jaywalkers. The subject is close to my heart and the participants were all civilized though divergent in views.
Then Saturday I tried to wish a woman luck which apparently was a bad thing in itself.
I was feeling old that day as I’m recovering from a “lung infection,” was in a “I can’t believe I moved from New York which might be pricey as hell, have horrible weather and more but I’m loved and find it easy to meet new people. Though I know so many I don’t need to play this high school game of am I good enough for you? that I seem to play here” mood.
I told the woman that she’s young, as on Saturday anybody under 49 was young to me–and I’m not that much older : ) That was a patronizing and horrible remark I found out.
I apologized. It was a sincere apology as my purpose wasn’t to hurt her but to compliment. Epic fail. Somehow I’m also ageist as I said academia is age-friendly.
Oh but I’m not an academician, I only have a Masters. True very true. But this woman doesn’t know my history in school nor does she know how many academicians——both tenured and sadly permanent adjuncts——I count as friends. And not as Facebook friends though I have them too.
She was so busy making assumptions about me and being nastier than hell that she failed to even begin to try to understand who I am. True, I have this blog and blog for Psychology Today. But neither present a complete picture of me.
Read this blog lately and you would think I’m an “up with people” person who should be wearing matching sweater sets with pearls and a permanent grin implanted on my mouth.
No, I’m only reacting to the rampant negativism I seem to encounter in my “Nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) journeys.”
Frankly I’m sick of whiners. What good does it do? I’m sick of thinking “oh but I have had such a great life, I must make excuses for them and bow down to their every negative thought.’
Truth is I’m older. I grew up in a time when “girls didn’t have learning disabilities. That was a fact everybody knew so it must have been me. I must have been lazy or been a bad person.”
Yes I was more than fortunate in having had parents who believed in me 1,000% but they didn’t shadow me during the day. They weren’t listened to in school. There weren’t IEP’s or 504’s.
Still I managed to make it to college and grad school and had many great things happen in my academic career. Once I actually stopped being “boy crazy” as one teacher called me; scared of my own shadow——if I missed one class I was literally too scared to go to the next one. I know, I know––that was stupid. That was also typical NLD behavior but I had no idea. I didn’t even know anything was really wrong with me.
I thought I was a horrible person though I hid that well. It took years of growing up and being in the world to disabuse me of that notion.
On Saturday I almost deleted all my social media accounts. Life would have been a lot easier without Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (which I have never finished filling out) and everything else.
But I live in the world of 2014 and I write. To destroy my accounts would have meant I destroyed my future. And I couldn’t do that.
So if I don’t wish you good luck or compliment you in anyway understand that it’s nothing personal. I just don’t know who it will set off or why.
And in the immortal words of Carly Simon:
You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you?