Today I promised myself that I was not going to go on the computer. So here I am! (I’ll give you a second to process that statement.)
I crave writing. When I find a healthy and stimulating venue to pour out my thoughts, I long to return to that place. This is nothing new; I’ve been processing through writing since I learned to hold a writing utensil. My favorites were the scented markers: writing and sweet surprising smells – now that was magical. Today, as an anxious-ridden adult (living in a fear-based society, I might add), I’d probably worry about the toxins in the ink. Go figure. I miss the innocence of my youth, when I truly believed, without an inkling (how funny; no pun intended!) of doubt, that the world was safe.
In committing to write everyday for a year, (and sometimes two times a day—God love me), I’ve found some added comfort in scanning through other blogs about Aspergers Syndrome. This morning, I came across the word dyspraxia on someone’s page. This word isn’t new to me. As a teacher and former advocate for children with special needs, I’ve come across the term a time or two. However, since I hadn’t been diagnosed myself, until recently, I never took the time to stop and understand what dyspraxia meant. I figured it was something to do with dyslexia or word order.
Now that I have done grueling detective work on the subject; just kidding I goggled Wikipedia, and the process took thirty seconds.
Okay, I have to stop here, because I can’t believe as a human species we now have a word called googled. I can imagine the futuristic race studying this word in the generations to come, much like scholars study Latin phrases now, like ab absurdo (absurd). And here I take a detour with my mind wondering if googled is in the dictionary, yet; when it will be in the dictionary, and who are these supreme beings that get to decide what is a word and what isn’t? Okay. What was I saying?
Oh yes. In examining the definition of dyspraxia, I scanned down to the Whole Body Movement, Coordination, and Body Image section. And I tell you, if you were a mind reader, you would have heard my young-sounding voice shout: “Oh Crap!”
Now, I’m not collecting labels to define myself—I did the label collecting years ago—and I don’t mean Box Tops for the schools. I’ve been known as a: victim of child abuse, codependent, woman who loves too much, Adult Child, etc. etc. While it is suffice to say, there was a time period in our history where to be understood and function in societal circles amongst women, having a bunch of self-created titles was useful in terms of cackling like the other hens; now, in retrospect, I wonder what the heck I was doing. Again, the brain is to blame. The mechanism that constantly needs to categorize and sort, to make claim to something that makes sense out of the ambiguousness of this illusion named life. (Oops, I digress.) I wonder who thought of the word life and who decided it got a stamp of approval for the dictionary. Who was that man?
Is there a song called: Rambling Woman? I can hear the lyrics in my head.
If anyone is still reading, I will attempt to backup, re-circle the driveway, and return to my starting point. In reading the description of dyspraxia, I’m forced to spill out, and spit out of my mind, the fact that yes indeed I do in fact appear to have dyspraxia. Pin the ribbon on me!
Without risking the act of plagiarizing Wikipedia, let me say in relation to dyspraxia markers that my timing sucks, my balance sucks—yes, I trip over my own feet, I suck at sequencing movements, spatial awareness….sucks, I drop things all the time, I knock into people, can’t tell the difference between left and right, and I have trouble determining the distance between objects. If you suck at these things, too, then congratulations, you have dyspraxia!
Oh, and in reading on, let me also point out the problems associated with short-term memory, increased propensity to lose things, difficulty following sequence, and sensory processing disorder. Oh boy!
I’m actually very happy at the moment. In my vivid imagination I’m dancing around on stage pushing my arms up and down with my palms facing the ceiling and doing a happy dance. (And I’m twenty pounds lighter) You know why? Because despite these challenges, I taught myself to write, I completed college with honors, and I continue to achieve my goals. I rock!
Now the funny thing is (in an odd, remarkable, and sad kind of way), I was cheerleader for over two years in high school. And I never could figure out how everyone picked up the moves for the cheer routines so quickly and effortlessly, while I had to practice for hours on end, and was still typically going the wrong direction. Cheerleading? You ask. Yes, as I’ve said before, I could perfect any role. Give me a role and I would become that role. When I was a cheerleader that was my identity. I memorized cheers over and over; I wrote cheers; Xeroxed cheers; taught cheers; read about cheers; it was my obsession—I loved touching my megaphone, organizing my trophies, fluffing my pom-poms, and practicing my high jumps and kicks. I just didn’t look up at the bleachers and pretended I was one of those spunky characters from a soap opera or afterschool special, while cheering. It was actually easier being a cheerleader, than being me. Heck, I didn’t know who me was.
I even became captain of the squad my third year—for or a very short while, until the other three girls of the team told lies about me and had me forced out of my position; and having not the tools of conversation or knowhow to defend myself, I quit and cried myself to sleep for a month. Identity lost. Deeper depression set in.
Luckily the meanies, (I didn’t know that was a word. Cool beans!), weren’t my friends to begin with, because I only kept one best girlfriend and one best boyfriend all through high school. I played my part during the schooldays, and then, later, in the safety of the front cab of my boyfriend’s truck, I’d retreat in fear, crying in his arms, terrified of the world and my existence. My sweet boyfriend’s response was always the same: “I love you but I don’t understand you.” I realize to the highest degree humanly and spiritually possible how fortunate I was to have this young lad for emotional support. Believe me. Still, the process of losing an identity and not understanding your own mind, with or without a boyfriend, was terrifying beyond belief.
I’m done. Processing complete. I like this post. Mainly because the writing is a valid example of how my mind streams off in different directions from the main river of thought. I like this post because the voice reflects me, this identity I’ve been uncovering for the entirety of my existence. I like this post.
(I had to write I like this post three times. I truly had to.)
Now I’m going to go sit in my far infrared sauna and purge out all the toxins in my body, while reading a book by Yalom on overcoming death anxiety, and contemplating the best avenue to pursue for my son with Aspergers, who is experiencing extreme anxiety about school, which his therapist calls a phobia, in which I differ in opinion and do not call a phobia, and… Isn’t my life Fabulous!