Personal Blog/Diary

Here I write about anything and everything.

This is me–This is my life–NVLD

I’m listening to this podcast: Is it You, Me, or NVLD? by Linda Karanzalis, MS, BCCS.

I’ve read a lot about NVLD over the past 20 years, but just hearing it all in one place is tremendously validating, because–as the person doing the podcast says–it’s ignored by the DSM and doesn’t get proper research or help for people suffering from NVLD.  She also has NVLD herself, and knows from personal experience what it’s really like, not the detached view of a researcher.

Because it’s not in the DSM, despite being different from other “official” disabilities like autism or dyslexia, people don’t recognize it or excuse behaviors.  How many of you have heard of autism?  How many of you have heard of NVLD?

The best way I can describe it is “It’s sort of like autism” because people know what that is.  But that brings up images that don’t fit what we’re dealing with.  We’re not, for example, the kid so overwhelmed by sensory input that he has to sit and rock.  Because we don’t have obvious problems, people don’t understand, and we get terribly misjudged and rejected continuously.

I’m now going to vent a bit, including bad language.  People with NVLD, or who know somebody with it, might find this part validating.  People who just wonder what NVLD is, may want to skip this part.  If not, be warned.

But when you read my blog again, Richard and Tracy, because I know you will, it’s also for you.  And for anybody else who’s ever bullied me over the years.  No, I wasn’t making any of it up, I wasn’t able to “change” to suit you, so FUCK YOU Richard and Tracy.

Everything I’m hearing in that podcast is me.  For example (and all these examples are taken from ones given by the podcaster) :

Yes, I identify with a lot of the same challenges faced by people with autism/Asperger’s, but I’m not content to just be by myself all the time.  I do engage socially but keep getting rejected ALL MY FRICKIN’ LIFE.

Yes, people say bad things about me when none of them are true.

Yes, people treat me like I’m just being defiant, or rude, or mean, or get upset when I ask questions, or I get upset because somebody said something but later say they didn’t say that or mean that.

Yes, I have trouble with someone getting upset with me because my thinking tends to be literal.

To this day I feel weird watching a pot because I know it won’t boil until I look away.

Yes, people have tried to manipulate me, and I tend to stay in relationships (of any type) for too long because of either needing help (since I have these issues that make me dependent), or the desperate need by NVLDers for friendships.

I’m not sure, but wonder if certain times in my life where people got mad at me were because I missed that their words did not match up with their nonverbal cues.

FUCK YOU Shawn, who said all sorts of horrible things about me and my character after seducing me, and refused to date me because I wasn’t extroverted.

Yes, I have trouble changing plans even when it’s for something fun, or at least I did when I was younger.  (I’m more flexible now.)  Boyfriends actually chided me for this.  One called me a party pooper.

FUCK YOU Phil’s flying monkey friend who scolded me for not being extroverted and participated in Phil’s attempts to isolate and control me.

So many people have treated me like a baby or I’m irresponsible because I’m afraid to drive.  But when I did drive, my fears were reinforced because my learning challenges caused all sorts of near-accidents and getting terribly lost and other problems.  The podcaster says that most kids with NVLD are scared to learn to drive, unlike their peers.  So FUCK YOU Phil, who endlessly bullied me because I wouldn’t drive, and refused to take me places, so I couldn’t go but still needed to.

Yes, I’ve been suicidal.

Yes, I still get bullied, still hear people laugh at me or make snide comments.  Some I can’t ditch, some I’ve distanced myself from or dropped, some are people in situations where you can’t really do much about it.

Yes, I have trauma from this, and PTSD from all the bullying I’ve gotten over the years.  Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria sounds familiar, though I’m not sure it’s that extreme.  I can get very angry, and sometimes I express it and get punished, so other times I bottle it up and writing becomes my only outlet.  This is why I post things here, online.  It’s also why I occasionally use cuss words here online, because I never do that in real life speech.  It’s release but violates social rules.

Yes, COVID has been easier for me because I’m already used to only limited social contact.

Most of my teachers were great, but some of them talked down to me, called me babyish, said things like “You’re the only person who never makes noise when someone is talking to you,” said I was behaving wrong or didn’t put my hand up or participate enough or apply myself enough.  One put red marks all over my papers saying I was doing it wrong, even though not only did I have NVLD to deal with, but I was also trying to understand directions in French.

Then there was the supervisor who told me I had to be more sociable because people were “scared” of me.  I’m a kind, gentle person with strict rules on how to treat people, so this was ridiculous.  Executive functioning combined with a long drive and one shared bathroom left me with little time to socialize before work.  I got validated, however, when the owner of the company said people were socializing too much and were supposed to be there to work.

Yes, the podcaster says you can diagnose yourself, pointing to the fact that it is very expensive to get it professionally done and it isn’t officially recognized.  She sees that we’re not making ourselves into victims with the label (FUCK YOU again Richard), because she says it’s a relief to find this out.  It helps you move forward.

She says to get rid of “friends” who don’t support you or believe that you have NVLD, because they are toxic to you (once again, FUCK YOU Richard and Tracy).

Oh yeah, and on her website I see she got stomach ulcers from the stress of school.  So did I!

She described the difficulty in NVLDers finding and keeping friends.  This drives us, she says, to hold onto relationships that are bad for us.

This is also, by the way, one of the biggest reasons why I am so against people who say opposite-sex friendships for married people are VERBOTEN.  If I believed that, I’d have very few friends at all.  I don’t usually befriend males who are, like, captain of the soccer team or a model or anything like that.  They are the geeks, the nerds, the ones who go to the comic book stores at age 35.  They are ones who already understand what it’s like to be an outcast.  Or maybe they’re just an introvert, but that has its own social challenges in Western society.  They “get” me instead of making fun of me.  They’re happy that I “get” them.

And when that happens, when we have things in common and get along, I don’t care if you’re 15 or 20 years younger than I am (that age group is now pushing 30), or if you’re 10 years older than me, or if you’re male or female.  Friends are rare and must be valued no matter where they come from.  So I will fight you to the (non-literal) death if you tell me I have to give up my friend just because he happens to be a guy and I happen to be married.

So that’s how I identify with the traits and observations put forward in the podcast.  I recommend giving it a listen.

An “incident” with a friend that turned out very differently than Richard and Tracy

As I sit here getting ready to routinely look over and update a post from 2010 about the blowup with Richard and Tracy, I’m thinking of a very similar “incident” that just happened between me and a male friend who will remain nameless.

We’ve been friends for about 5 and a half years now.  He said something about me a couple of weeks ago in front of his significant other that made us both wonder what exactly his feelings and intentions were towards me.  Caused some issues with his SO.  Considering that he and I had been friends before she came along, while I’d been married the whole time, it was reasonable to wonder if he had some feelings he’d never expressed.

Turned out it was just the friend trying to express how dear a friend I am, running his mouth a bit much and making a faux pas, a gaffe.  Just like I did with Richard.

There’s a huge difference, though: people’s reactions.  People talked and it all got sorted out.  I don’t know what the SO said to my friend, but I know she’s a good, sweet person, so I doubt she said anything unforgivable or that wasn’t understandable.  I do know that nobody said nasty things to me or cussed at me or started dragging up all their baggage and false accusations they wanted to throw at me and blame me for.  Nobody was being abusive.

And now we’re all friends again and things are back to normal.

Amazing how that works.

Anti-Mask and Vaccine Madness comes to my son’s school

My son is back in school after a year and a half, and parents have gone mad.  I’m reading articles in the local paper about our and nearby communities having heated debates over mask mandates.  Just now I read about school board resignations and threats from parents.  Superintendents are scared to do what must be done.

I’m just glad my entire household is vaccinated, including my son.  We’re highly unlikely to experience anything worse than a bad cold or flu.  But Delta’s viral load is said to be strong even in the vaccinated, so we could still spread it if we catch it.

It’s scary to see in my own country, my own town, the danger of mass delusion.  Before now, I just read about it happening in other countries, such as Nazi Germany, the charismatic leaders spreading lies that too many people believe, until it causes real harm and damage to others.

The science is clear, and so are the news reports, but too many people refuse to believe the truth.  Many people are dying.  This is, unfortunately, Darwinism at work.  Will the survivors be smarter after this?  Who knows?  Or will they find some way to, say, blame Biden for a pandemic raging even though–because of him–vaccines are plentiful, and even though people refuse to take them?

After being inside for so long, the past several months I’ve finally been venturing back out again–but what I find disturbs me.  I can’t even go to a frickin’ barbecue without people yelling about CRT and complaining about being called racist (after they’ve just said things that are in fact racist).

The pod people are in my own family, very close to me.  The pod people are among my friends, “laugh emojiing” at my Facebook posts and harassing me in the comment section.  They’re at writer’s club.  They’re in church (the new person who keeps saying things like “masks in church are clown masks” and “don’t be driven by fear”).

I go out to an appointment and pass a house with a “STOP VACCINE MANDATES” sign.  On the way to church, the doctor, pretty much anywhere, I pass a house with so many disturbing signs on the lawn that I fear a future mass shooter is lurking there.

I go to the doctor, and the next day, read an article saying that a bunch of staffers there protested the vaccine mandate.  If someone is involved in some way with my health care, I want them vaccinated!!!!!!!

Over a decade ago, my narcissist ex-friend Richard made these same crazy comments about the swine flu and swine flu vaccine.  He said if there were a mandate, he would refuse, even if one of his kids died.  He sounded so heartless and asinine.  And now there are thousands of Richards all over the country!  I had thought when I cut off relations with him, that I wouldn’t hear any more of this kind of idiotic rhetoric.  But then the TEA Party took over the Republican Party, and they all went crazy.  Richard’s friend Chris is even crazier than he is about vaccines etc., seeing alien nanite overlords everywhere, and now there are Chrises all over the country!

I fear for this country and its future.  We have little dictators convincing people that God wants them in office.  We have mass hypnotism.  We have raging climate change that people still deny.  We have idiocy forcing its will over everyone else.

This is why some of us ex-Evangelicals can’t help wondering if the End Times prophecies were for real after all.

 

Friendship, lust, doubt, Evangelicalism: response to Wondering Eagle

My friend Wondering Eagle just put up a blog post that covers a wide range of topics based on Evangelical culture, regarding friendship and loneliness and doubt and lust etc. etc.  I posted this in reply:

1) Years ago, songs like this one probably would have struck me as blasphemous, because of how Evangelicalism “trained” me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ijwj1xOLYY  Nowadays, after almost two decades of doubt and disillusion combined with stubborn refusal to give up on God, I can truly appreciate that Gary Numan is the Gothic Job.  (He’s an atheist, BTW.)  Every now and then, I get obsessed with this song; here we go again. 🙂  It helps a lot that Orthodoxy and Catholicism actually let you have doubts and the dark night of the soul.  In Evangelicalism, I felt like I wasn’t supposed to have doubts (“ye of little faith”) or question the moral values the elders passed down (“you just want to sin”).  And that made me harder on others than I should’ve been.

2) My church has usually been a fairly safe place, with both Republicans and Democrats.  I come back to church after getting vaccinated, and after church a newcomer is yelling at the church president and a couple others because everybody’s wearing “carnival masks.”  A few weeks ago, she wondered about a necklace I was wearing (I wear Gothy jewelry; this piece was based on Poe’s “Raven”) and said, “I thought, it couldn’t be Harry Potter!”  It’s put my spidey senses on alert: Is it a Trumper? Is she like the Evangelicals I used to go to church with?  Around that time, we’re told that TWO members of the board have submitted resignations, and I wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.

3) My narcissist ex-friend, at least according to the stories he told me and others, was once a promising up-and-coming preacher in Foursquare, packing churches.  Some TV celeb wanted to get him on TV.  Yet he told me that secretly, he didn’t believe any of it, and whenever he spoke in “tongues,” it was just a bunch of gibberish he made up.  Unlike the other preacher celebs, though, he finally got disgusted and walked away.

4) The messaging on lust doesn’t just destroy young men.  In college, I was in a friends-with-benefits “relationship” that never actually went “all the way.”  It was with an Evangelical; I was Fundie, influenced by Evangelicals.  For that reason, it was full of so much lust and guilt and blame that it almost destroyed me.  I had normal feelings and desires, which he did his best to stir up, but he made me feel like a slut who was driving him away from God.  And I thought demons were tempting me, and poured it out to my prayer partner.  I told the guy what was going on, hoping for his help–and he turned around and treated me like an evil temptress he had to avoid like the plague.

5) I was raised in the 80s, when nobody around me said opposite-sex friendships were somehow bad.  Both in the church and out, it was expected and normal that people, both single and married, would have whatever friends they like.  I didn’t encounter this part of purity culture until my friendship with that narc ex-friend in #3, during the naughts.  The wife was very controlling and believed it was her prerogative to tell him who to be friends with, whether male or female.  She decided I was a threat.

Apparently the purity culture affected Orthodoxy through converts, because I confided in some converts online and they treated me like *I* was the problem for wanting to have a close friendship with a man!  It shocked me.  For years I wrote about it on my website/blog, seeking out articles proving that I wasn’t some kind of deviant and that it isn’t right to tell your spouse who to be friends with.  And yes, I still maintain various friendships with men!  One is in my own church, which is mostly “cradle” Orthodox, and nobody has ever so much as given me a side-eye for being close friends with him.

In recent years I finally found out this attitude was coming from Evangelical purity culture.  Samantha Field, who is bisexual, would hear this and think, “Samantha, you can’t have any friends.”

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