I have been trying to write a book forever. My problem is easy. The more I learn about nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) the less confident I feel in who I was and who I am.

 There weren't any books on adult NLD. No I'm wrong there's one but it's for young adults, and doesn't describe who I, in particular, was in my late teens and 20's.

 The one study was a trainwreck that made me feel as if I should have killed myself because adults with undiagnosed/untreated NLD aren't functional, insightful human beings. All of us. Yes. I. Know. I wasn't looking at the big picture. All my life I have turned to books and professionals for answers. And there weren't any books or professionals to help me. 

 I thought I was insightful. All my life I have been told that I am. According to the literature and experts in NLD I couldn't be insightful. I am too mired in the individual pieces to see the completed puzzle. And if you can't see the big picture how can you be insightful?

 You can be. The big picture in my case is a completed book. The pieces are essays. I realized that this week; more than seven years after I first learned about NLD. Unfortunately I don't think the essays lend themselves to a successful book and my book is going to sell! I also give away too many of my insights on Facebook, but I learn equally as much or more. I wish that even the "experts" will admit nobody is a true expert in NLD and through social media we have a unique opportunity to learn from one another.

This past week somebody in a Facebook NLD group mentioned being too "suspicious" and too "trusting" at the same time.

 It was a lightbulb moment. A lightbulb moment that should have happened forty years ago or at least when I went for testing in 1987 and was told that I can't do anything right and not given the name of a disorder. That wasn't helpful. Being too suspicious and too trusting at the same time. Wow!

 In June 2007 my friend learned about NLD. He shared his new found knowledge with me as the person he spoke to sounded very much like me. I went to my old pharmapsychiatrist who was well known for his amazing diagnostic abilities and asked why he never told me I have NLD. He didn't disagree. He didn't say he hadn't known about it back in 1987 or in the many years I knew him afterward. He gave me some BS reason. I was doing so well; why rock the boat?

 Because with NLD unless you know about it and are prepared for all obstacles some new problem will always happen. And because I hadn't been doing really well for awhile. In my case my first new problem was my mother's sudden death a month after 9/11. I lived in Manhattan. Enough said.

 Just as it was safe to come out of the water I learned about NLD. "Too suspicious yet too trusting." Oh wow does that describe everything that came next.

 I had been planning to leave New York. I put my apartment on the market, and left New York so that my apartment could sell without me as an obstacle. I was paying a hefty monthly fee plus assessment on my apartment plus rent. There were days, weeks even, when I wanted to call the brokers and say "take my apartment off the market."

 But when I make a decision even I can't talk myself out of it. I should explain that it could take me years, maybe even a decade to make a decision. I weigh everything; overthink even more. But not all decisions are the right decisions and once I make one...I am working on that.

And more importantly, it seemed, I couldn't disappoint the brokers (who were selling apartments like cotton candy as my apartment languished.)

 When it sold I had to spend several thousand dollars to demolish a built in bookshelf that included a desk and TV stand that I had built and loved, and paint the living room white in order to close. I never should have agreed to that. It left me feeling horrible. But again this obstinate bull who can talk anybody to death had to make everybody else happy. I never thought I was a black and white thinker. I always believed I thought in too many shades of gray. Yet can I trust my own thinking?

 There are days, even now, I think of that little gem of an apartment and want to cry. I lived ten blocks from Fordham my graduate school alma mater. I could have introduced them to NLD. There's so much I could have done. But I couldn't see the big picture until later. Things that automatically come to others don't come easily to me. Yet most people think I'm a great decision maker because I seem so sure of myself when I make one. Uh vey!

 For those who are into recession history: I put my apartment on the market on the day Bear Stearns was acquired by Chase and closed on the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Always found this sadly significant.

 

About the Author

Pia Savage

Pia Savage is a writer, journalist, and former social worker diagnosed with Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

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