Pia Savage

Odd Girl In

I'm not everybody

My lack of organization and spatial awareness makes me different.

Posted Apr 20, 2014

I write for adults with NLD. If you're a parent who has a child with NLD understand that I never knew I had a disability. Understand that I had to compete and live in the world without any system supports. But I had incredibly supportive parents and have supportive family and friends.

I know. I know. I haven't finished my book. What good am I? Everybody knows that it's not the quality but the fact that you began and finished a project that counts.

 I write and re-write. Change the focus. I'm not expecting perfection but if I write one book that's published I want it to be a good one. It's not a self-help book nor is it a collection of essays but a memoir that shows how my problems never stopped me from living. (Not that there's anything wrong with self—help or essays; I chose a third form.)

 As my father said, way too many times, I am not "everybody" yet there are times I would like to be. My father meant it as a compliment. Now my intelligence would be analyzed and categorized. Then people just thought I was super-smart but lazy. Damn I had to be super—smart and not lazy at all to make it this far. Thanks daddy for believing in me and for everything you did for me—your amazing wife too!

 Everybody knows so many things thanks to this wonderful invention called the Internet. I do mean it's wonderful. Yet....

 I'm a reader and I find myself reading way too many blogs that basically tell me how to live. Everybody but I seems to know the meaning of life.

 Everybody but I knows that most people writing blog posts that list how and what to do aren't usually experts. And if they are experts the "facts" that they are expounding are only their opinions.

 OK, I do know all that. Not the meaning of life—I'm still waiting for the perfect song lyric to explain it all to me. I have been waiting since I was nine.

 I have never been the type of NLD'er to take things literally. I would have known at four that "go to your room" didn't mean walking home to my house but going to my room in the house I was staying at. (One of the many reasons I can't stand Inside Out Girl. )Though I like Tish Cohen's writing.

 But suppose there are more sophisticated versions of being literal? Suppose being literal also means black & white thinking at its finest? Not really taking things I read at face value yet somehow believing that much I read is the only way to do things? Or the ten thousand only ways?

I who could read five versions of a Social Security ruling and decide in a flash which helped the most can't read blogs objectively? Makes no sense yet...

Or reading about organization, and thinking I can accomplish what the author accomplished so easily?

 I can't organize my way out of a paper bag. I love having company. Love it. Yet when people say they're coming I have a panic attack. If they stay over they're going to open a closet or a chest of drawers and I'm going to die. 

 Around here people don't obey the 15 or 30 minute, I'm stopping by, rule. They ring your bell––and really, everybody has a phone––and sometimes just walk in. I don't get it. Is everybody here always company ready? 

 In New York if you're going to your best friend of too many years apartment you give her 30 minutes notice.

 My apartment was small and I got rid of the sleeper sofa which took up too much visceral space and bought what Jensen-Lewis called a "city sofa/love seat" which describes it perfectly. In one easy step I got rid of sleepover company. Of course my apartment was incredibly easy to clean and I had the

fabulous Zobedia to clean. She helped me keep my one closet immaculate.

 All I want out of life is to be healthy, happy, organized and have a book published not by me. Is that too much to ask?

 Apparently it's too little. I'm long—term divorced and have no kids. Most personal blogs aren't called "mommy blogs" because they're by older women who have never had a child.

 In New York that's acceptable or was. I was edgy. I was Parker Posey not Jennifer Lawerence or Meryl Streep. Parker Posey isn't a good person to be in blogland. 

Here I'm finally meeting people who don't count it against me. I like to go out at night and not usually by myself. Because I don't have a man, people who have become good friends (and I mean that) won't invite me out at night. That hurts.

 Nine tenths of all blog posts seem to mention the importance of having a spouse and/or children. I can understand how if I didn't grow up in New York or another "liberal" big city I would truly think of myself as one of life's biggest failures.

 Yet I can't help thinking that if I could only learn how to truly organize myself I would be incredibly happy and able to accomplish much more. I know how it's done––what I don't understand is how to make things neat (my lack of anything resembling spatial awareness—yes I'm really trying even if it doesn't look it)——and that one lack brings on so many problems.

 I realize that many people suffer from the feeling of inadequacy because of not being able to organize perfectly or even slightly. But I think it's worse for people with NLD because of our all or nothing thinking, wonderful ability to turn everything into a catastrophe, and general ability to panic over everything. I'm not excusing myself. It's just so damn hard.



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