Articles from 2016

One way that NVLD affects marriage

An argument today demonstrated vividly for Hubby and me both that NVLD can affect marital harmony.

But this time we experienced a breakthrough that shined light on a problem we didn’t realize was there.

Basically, without getting into boring personal detail, Hubby made a comment that he thought would give me all sorts of information which he did not actually say out loud.  In other words, “subtext.”

I totally missed the subtext because of, well, NVLD or some related disorder (such as Aspergers; I don’t have thousands of $$$$ to get formally diagnosed).

So I made a request which seemed perfectly normal and reasonable to me.  He infused it with all sorts of offensive motivations on my part, because he assumed I caught the subtext.

Fight ensues.  I feel like I’m living with a timebomb.  He thinks I keep saying things and using tones which, well, I’m not at all.  I’m not the kind of person who would.

Somehow during the course of discussion afterwards, he explained the subtext, and he learned that it went completely over my head.  Also that I do much better with literal speech.

I may be a writer, may understand idioms I’m familiar with, but as a child, I took idioms more literally.  Even now I’ll occasionally discover that some concept I take literally, is supposed to be metaphorical.

Education has made me familiar with the concept of metaphor, but unless you tell me a book has it, I’ll usually miss that there’s any metaphor in there at all.  I read the book plainly without inferring; I don’t guess how it will end; I would never have seen the eyeglasses in Great Gatsby as a metaphor for God if the teacher had not said they were.  I often have to back up movies and TV shows and play scenes again, because I have no idea how Sasha ended up dead in the kitchen, for example.

So now Hubby understands that he needs to speak more plainly, verbalize things he thinks can be inferred.  And I wonder how many past arguments are based on me totally missing his subtext, and him thinking I understood it.

I’ve also noted that he keeps putting far more into what I mean by my tone, than what I actually do.  Or being particular about the words I use.  I’ve also noted that people keep taking me seriously when I’m making a joke.

I explained that misunderstanding of, and trouble using, tone are NVLD problems as well.  And that I’m an introvert forced to speak on the fly, so I don’t have time to come up with the perfect words.

(Introverts have to think before they speak.  This makes it almost impossible for me to think of the perfect words.  And he discovered that I don’t see the difference between using one particular word or another, while he does.)

(This is why I prefer writing to discuss things with people.  In person I say the wrong thing and sound awkward and can’t get my meaning across, especially when interrupted.)

I explained that it’s a lot easier to understand expressions on actors on TV, because I can back up the tape, and stare at them fully, unlike in real life, where if you stare they’ll think you’re creepazoid.

(Unless you’re German.  Apparently Germans keep super-steady eye contact, unlike Americans, who flick our eyes every few seconds.)

It also doesn’t help to be uncomfortable with eye contact.  Even after 22 years, I don’t even feel comfortable having prolonged eye contact with the hubby.  Even when we were dating, the concept of “staring into each other’s eyes” made me uneasy.

And then I start wondering about past relationships and–I start wondering if it’s too much navel-gazing 20 years after those relationships ended, considering that I already explored those relationships in-depth here, and much of the necessary context is lost in the mist of memory.  And, well, those guys also ended up annoying other people or treating other girls the same, so maybe my NVLD wasn’t the only reason for arguments.

But in this case, it sure didn’t help.  Hopefully things will go more smoothly after this, more understanding on both sides.

 

 

 

Research first or write first?

I’ve occasionally come across this question online: Should you write your novel and then research (and have to go through and rip up parts of it and do them over), or research first and then write?

I can see the logic in researching first and then writing.  But there’s a little problem with that: Me itching to get the story down and dang the plausibility of it!  I can go back later and fix things.

That is, in fact, how my rewrite of Unwilling Time-Traveler has been going.  I write and research at the same time, then find something in the research that makes me go back and rip up everything, then write again, then stop to research for a while, then stop the research for a while to write again….

The thing is, until I get the story down, and know how I want it to go, how do I know what all I need to research, where to focus my efforts?

And the other thing is that the Muse is there, alive and yelling at me to get to it.  If I ignore her, she might leave me, leave my mind a dry and barren land, with no ideas to turn all those research facts into an entertaining story.

I’ll make up my mind to stop the writing and just research, research, research for a while, because I have story difficulties that can only be resolved by knowing historical facts.  But then after doing some research, I start to feel like a ripe grape, ready to burst with all those creative juices and ideas.

I suppose this is a good thing: If, after more than a year, you’re still itching to write your story, it must at least be readable when it’s done, I hope?  😀

Hypnosis and Trump

Today (or, rather, yesterday now), I read several blog posts which claim that Trump has been using hypnosis to win the Presidency.  For those of us watching from outside the Trump rallies, his strange rise and win has been baffling because we can see he’s a showman, a con-man, a braggart–and nowhere near qualified to be President.

(We also wonder how the Electoral College became so ineffective, because it was supposed to prevent this kind of travesty from happening, but has turned into a rubberstamp instead.  Since nobody else elects leaders like this, we might as well abolish it.)

Now, him using hypnosis is not all that surprising to those of us who recognize the techniques of narcissists and of salesmen.  Hypnosis is not some mystical myth that belongs in fantasy movies, but actual psychological manipulation.  But the following posts have been enlightening:

Adams explains the hypnosis and persuasion methods he believes Trump has used, and since Adams is a trained hypnotist, Scott has plenty of research and background knowledge to pull from. The writer uses the terms persuasion, hypnosis, and negotiating as part of a three-legged branch all belonging to the same stool. –Paula Mooney, Donald Trump Uses Hypnotism And Persuasion, Says ‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams

 

Would Trump use his negotiation and persuasion skills in the campaign? Of course he would. And we expect him to do just that.

But where is the smoking gun of his persuasion? Where is his technique laid out for us to see.

Everywhere.

As I said in my How to Fail book, if you are not familiar with the dozens of methods of persuasion that are science-tested, there’s a good chance someone is using those techniques against you. —“Clown Genius” by Scott Adams, not just a cartoonist, but also a trained hypnotist

 

“I teach hypnosis, and if you want to learn hypnosis, look at the way Trump’s doing it,” says Barker, author of the book “Selling Hypnotically: The Art of Suggestion.” –Judy Kurtz, Hypnotist: Trump winning with ‘Trumpnosis’

I also became fascinated with these posts because one of the main characters of my novel uses hypnosis.  These posts help me flesh out how the character persuades the heroine to trust and help him.

Another interesting post I found, somewhat related, and certainly of interest to victims of narcissists:

To be clear, at no time did Navarro diagnose Trump as having a narcissistic or predator personality. He says we should leave formal diagnoses to professionals — but that each of us still needs to be able to identify and protect ourselves from harmful people in our lives. And so he created behavior checklists and published them in his book to let you do just that.

Navarro’s book warns that if a “person has a preponderance of the major features of a narcissistic personality,” then he “is an emotional, psychological, financial, or physical danger to you or others.” As the book The Narcissism Epidemic explained, “A recent psychiatric study found that the biggest consequences of narcissism—especially when other psychiatric symptoms were held constant—was suffering by people close to them.” –Joe Romm, What a Top FBI Profiler Taught Me About Extreme Narcissists Like Donald Trump

 

Reblog: Vets beg forgiveness for war crimes against tribal nations

From Daily Kos:

Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The veterans gathered to join the Dakota Pipeline protest stunned the gathered tribal members when they took a knee and asked for forgiveness:

“I witnessed something powerful and profound today. Wes Clark Jr and the assembled veterans took a knee and collectively asked for forgiveness for the genocide and war crimes committed by the United States Military against tribal nations in this country.”

Read more of Jen Hayden’s post here: Veterans at Standing Rock shock tribe members, beg forgiveness for war crimes against tribal nations

I hope this awesome moment will help bring healing to this country over long-standing resentments.

 

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