26 January 2010

question to the neuropsychologist:

"how do you cope if you're not smart and you're psychotic?"

the answer is that you acquire multiple opinions to help account for how vulnerable you've become.

privately, if i may say so: i hate when psych people push buttons, even though i know it's mostly mental status testing... unless they're the kind of person who is all about "compliance," from whom the neuropsychologist told me to always make a speedy getaway. what else? i can be bored into submission, i miss things and i had fun playing with blocks.


Mad Bird said...

You may say so. I hate those sorts of people, too. Not just psychs.

And blocks are lovely... so calming I think.

wrenna said...

who are those people? have you also been intelligence tested while someone checked for abnormalities of attention, concentration and working memory?

Mad Bird said...

'those people'... Were you asking me? Or were you saying a rhetorical question? It's hard on internet, can't hear voice tone/inflections...

Naw, no testings of any sort other than stupid medical crap.

My attention span is slightly whacked, but not enough to qualify for ADD (though I DID when I was much younger - kind of leveled out a teensy bit now). I've learned to do things to help. Like, if I'm in a lecture and I find it hard to concentrate, it definitely does a good thing to swing my arm or leg (as inconspicuously as possible, so I don't seem more of a freak than I am already). Or for notes, when it's hard to focus on what the professor's saying or what I'm writing, a red pen keeps my attention on the words I'm writing. So I do things like that.

But in social settings it's different. I don't know what to do or how to figure anything out. I have no clue how to figure out "tricks" like I can with listening to lectures, etc. Some days I'm not so bad, and I get along well, and I'm myself and quiet (I really am a quiet person - I know I'm going to have a hard day when I start getting talkative). I don't realize it when I start interrupting people, getting the last word, arguing, "being combative" as one person put it, getting wound up over little things and not letting them go - just going on about some subject that the other person is trying to leave the subject of.

Aaaannnnd it doesn't help that I'm the eldest of 5, with a big gap between me and the siblings; while they're all much closer in age. Meaning, I'm bossy. Plain & simple. I hate it, but I'm being honest, it's something I have got to work on. Controlling/always-have-to-be-right/taking-over/rigid/stubborn/etc. Whatever you want to call it, it's the basic personality flaw. Preoccupied with rules/lists/details/order/schedule/organizing/have-to-be-this-way... drives people insane, and I don't realize it most of the time. Apparently (I don't doubt it's true) I insist a lot that people do things my way or no way. That others should see that I'm right (even though I am very often wrong); or else I'm extremely reluctant to do things others' way.

See, if I DO realize, I apologize immediately and stop and try very hard to stay aware and quiet and keep control. But often I just forget and never realize how I come across.

Social cues, visual cues, and even verbal cues I seem not to get.

I wonder if part (and I mean just PART) of my problem is that I can't ever grasp or conceive the "big picture" or the whole of something. It's always details.

Like faces - I can't even conjure up an image of my own mother's face, or anyone else's. Never could. I know people by their characteristics. I can't see a "face" all at once. I either see the nose, OR the eyes, OR a mole, OR the ear, OR the hairline, etc. I can't focus on more than one thing at once.

Maybe extreme narrow-mindedness, or something of the sort? I really don't know.

There's also always been quite a bit of innate rebellion/defiance. Not to the point of acting out (or stereotypical "teenage rebellion"). Just that I don't like to be told what to do, so if someone tells me to do something, then naturally I'll do the opposite. And I get resentful of people who aren't my authorities who try to tell me what to do (even though - hello! What am I doing?).

But whatever it is, it's getting slowly worse in the past few years, and I'm worried it's going to get in the way of relationships I hold dear. Also, job opportunities (if I seem inappropriate to bosses). A lot of bad things can happen if I don't figure out how to just take the damn cues!

wrenna said...

i prefer it when people are direct.

if i find out anything about seeing only parts or details and not a lot of visual/working memory (i know what you mean about the faces!) next thursday i will fill you in.

Mad Bird said...

You and me both. I take everything literally, kind of frustrating and often confusing on both ends of the conversation.

Ha, and YET, I adore metaphors and analogies! It's just that my brain never alerts me to when they're being used... or something like that. Metaphors/analogies in literature and such is what I am drawn to. But I can never use them, and I can have them used around me (and know of it).

What a strange world it is! So many vastly different people, with such fascinatingly crazy-different things going on in their brains... wow.

Whenever I was younger, and I heard the phrase along the lines of, "you are unique," or "there are no two people alike," I always assumed they were referring to appearances (again, the literalism). But I guess it is more so the depths of "who" are, of "us", of our quirks and annoyances, and also the things loved about us and that attract certain people into our lives.

I wish you didn't live in Canada! It would be nicer to be able to see you in person. But such is life, I suppose.

Mad Bird said...

And thanks - I'm looking forward to Thursday... curious, at least. Dunno if there's anything to be easily found, but like I said, I'm curious! Thanks for the research.

Maybe some of what you find, I can use as a springboard to start researching further, too. I'm just very unsure of how or where to even begin.

Mad Bird said...

One thing I want to mention/clarify is that I can recognize characteristcs, just not process multiple informations.

I mean, I know there IS a brain/sensory disorder where people really can't remember faces AT ALL. But that is very severe. If I'm not mistaken, those with that disorder, I believe can only remember the most basic characteristics. Like curly red hair. Or blue glasses.

I can definitely recognize more than that. It's not so much recognizing for me, as it is comprehending more than one "pieces" of information at once. I can recognize my mother's specific nose, and if you isolated and lined up all the noses or all the feet or all the eyebrows of the people I see often or am close to, then I could easily identify each person. Easily. Also, I recognize people by their walk/gait/posture/how they hold themselves. It's just I have to process one thing at a time.

wrenna said...

i think i knew what you meant.

in the meantime i have a music recommendation for you. i have seen rufus wainwright in person. you might like his sister martha's stuff. their parents were the musicians loudon wainwright iii and the folk singer kate mcgarrigle

Mad Bird said...

Thank you for the songs. I saved the sites on my desktop for tomorrow or saturday. Going to have a music fest then, while furiously studying for 3 exams in one week... Ah, the joy of overwhelmed-ness.

And I don't even get to volunteer tomorrow like I do normally on Fridays, because my car is in the shop (window's stuck down, and it's RAINING), and the parents are taking the van to my mom's mri appointment out of town...