Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Struggle with Orthodoxy, the Black and White and the Grey... Rigid Thinking...

I would wax eloquent; I would speak on the difficulty of grey in my life...

Many of us without the Corpus Callosum have this difficulty and other DDs like ASD have this in common.  While it is classified as "rigid thinking" this does not (necessarily) denote stubbornness (it can, though.)   I have a great deal of difficulty with executive function, decision making, planning and execution, flexibility to change or interrupt routines.  Largely however I have no say in this.  I have always been told I needed to "try harder" when at 51, I am promise you that I have done this all of my life and it has gotten me mixed results at best.  I can rehearse and know the steps to do something, but left to my own devices without external prompting there is little consistency in these important areas of function.

I have a seeming encyclopedia locked up inside my head, but using it in any "common 'ordinary' daily task" requiring planning execution and contingency... 'fagetaboutit'  I can go through a training and ace the studies (and have done this is several vocational areas) but when it came to the social interaction and my ability to cope with the "administrative and executive mental tasks" especially planning and memory, execution.  At 51 I'm still inconsistent with my ADLs without prompting from without.  I would just "be in my mind" all day long lost in a train of thoughts from one to the next; right brain dominant in almost all matters.  

The inability to change the mental "track" we are on is something noted in people along the spectrum, and with ACC and other DDs.  I have mentioned this before, but it is the question of not seeing the trees through the forest.  I see the entire picture and have trouble breaking things down or "chunking them down" in any way that I can understand.  I see the whole forest and the the individuals trees are entirely out of focus. They don't even exist.

All of this, and I find myself in the most difficult and trying time of my life.  It has only been 6 months since my best friend passed from cancer.  In so many subtle and some no so subtle ways I was dependent upon her, and now that she is gone I am in the untenable position of caring for myself without the needed skills or resources.  I have lots of people offering lots of suggestions, but most of them boil down to my selling off, or tearing up my life, "getting rid of" my children Boris and Natasha (my dogs.)

Inflexibility and rigidness can also impairs my ability to adapt to a changes in routine. I can work hard to establish a habit or pattern, say that has steps "A,B,C, and D" in them.  You come along, and insist I use step "W" because it is "correct" or works better or whatever, and in doing so, you have completely unraveled all the hard work I put into creating the habit in the first place.  I will be luck to ever establish that pattern again.  People see this behavior and they chalk it up to stubbornness, but for me it's not, it is just the way things are.  

This situation becomes all the more painful when those around you start pointing fingers of blame and pronouncements of responsibility where in fact none lie.  Many like myself beat ourselves up emotionally much of our lives because we believe the maxim "you just need to try hard enough," and we are always looking for the magic bullet (that does not exist) to "cure" us of this.
I have such difficulty with executive function, i.e., planning and execution of, and interruption and regulation of tasks that I often cannot even remember that I started a task, so that task does never get finished.  I am weary, exhausted, fatigued at having to (or feeling I need to) explain myself to others, especially in light of the fact that they just do not get me. It's like asking someone who speaks German to listen to an essay in Japanese on Nuclear physics and they are just in 5th grade to boot~ :(

This post is ending, short and frustrated, because that is where I am at today.  Sorry I can't be my "chipper self" (whatever that is) for all of you.

Regards,

~j

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