A Manhatttanite makes a decision and thus can't complain; however....
By piaSavage on October 22, 2010
Oh the unexpected turns my life has taken in the past few years. I went from being an Upper West Sider with time off for Cambridge MA and abroad to being a denizon of a small coastal city in South Carolina. I was going to move to Santa Monica but it felt as if I would trade one pricey familiar life for another. There's something to be said for familiar I have learned
I'm a life long liberal, agnostic Jew who finds herself answering when people say "this is such a great place. Everybody's such a good Christian," "I'm Jewish." Person who made the first remark tries not to look startled, but invariably does.
Three years ago plus a few months I found out that the problems I had been suffering from all my life were connected and had a name--non verbal learning disorder (NLD). NLD had affected every area of my life. Essentially I'm spatially and organizationally retarded. And I say the word retarded with full cognizance of what it means.
Now I understood why crowds overwhelmed me. I had become fairly well known as a blogger and a lot of my posts were rants about, say, the nearest grocery store, Fairway, which is designed so that people almost have to bump into each other.
I had done well in my three and a half careers but always expected to be fired for mistakes that were usually in my imagination. Therapy? I had been in it on and off since I was nine. They were the first people I fought aside from my family. No therapist then believed I liked being adopted and my problems were considered a byproduct of adoption--it was the 60's and early 70's.
I developed an aversion to therapy as even later when nobody blamed adoption, nobody could put a name to my problems. Only the messes were addressed because the core wasn't known. I can't place blame, except on one psycholgist who tested me and told me I was incapable of doing anything productive. I had been living successfully in the world for 37 or 38 years but he knew every button to push and I became scared that I wasn't bright, wasn't good enough, couldn't do well. It didn't matter that I had so much evidence to the contrary.
Understand I'm not looking for pity--hate that or even sympathy. I have a neurological disorder that causes emotional and physical problems. I accept that and do everything possible to overcome what I can. My muscle memory is a joke so I'm the permanent worst at many exercises yet I do them.
In New York friendship came easily. I doubted many things about myself but I never doubted that I had something that made people want to know me. And as long as I believed that people found their way to my blog. They still do but my sitemeter died a violent and sudden death two years ago and I have never been able to put one in that actually works since then. I know. it's such an easy thing. Not for me.
Here I have to work at making friends. Maybe that's a good thing. But I'm writing a memoir that has an actual chance of making it. Except--I have to become good at social media and consider everything but hanging with friends on Facebook to be an intrusion--part of my disability.
I have made every excuse not to go to BlogHer. The truth is large gatherings, that didn't take place in my 20's or 30's, or I'm not in charge of, overwhelm me.
How will I think of conversation? What if nobody talks to me? Blogher is known for being cliquish. What if I can't break through? If a room is packed will I have a panic attack?
My blog was once a "technorati 'A' ranked blog." Now I'm just another bloger known by few. Can I deal with that?
Though I could submit an outline of my memoir, I'm incapable of writing a true one. So I hope to have a first draft finished by the end of fall. The county I live in has little industry. Most jobs call for more physical coordination than I have.
I don't drive. it's safer for humanity. There was a bus that went through here--but it was one of the first things to go in budget cuts. Luckily there's an affordable cab company. But still I feel that loss of independence very much.
I like most of the people. But it's so much easier when people don't expect everybody to be Christian. I see the irony in going from one of the most diverse places on earth to.....
Life overwhelms me. Writing, then blogging, used to be safe harbors. But it's no longer about the quality of the writing but about whatever can be discussed in metaphorical bullets.
Disabilty is safe and good as long as the disability is something known--Asperger's and bi-polar disorder are two that get a lot of play. And I'm not saying they shouldn't.
But make room for people like me because we deserve to sit in the front of the bus also. And I suspect that NLD will be diagnosed in more and more children as it becomes better known. I can't tell you how many emails and comments I have gotten thanking me for helping a parent understand her child, or an adult understand herself.
Don't write me off because my disorder isn't familiar. Me, and the other adults I have met through Facebook who have NLD might have much to teach you.
What has this to do with being a Jew in the Bible belt? Navigating a new area as I navigate blogging again as if for the first time, social media, and my book is so exhausting sometimes I want to give it all up.
But I can't. So I go on.
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