Friday, August 29, 2014

differently abled

It's funny the way how we learn to frame things as children can stay with us.

When I was a little kid, adults seemed impressed with me.  Instead of normal elementary school, on Tuesdays, I'd ride the bus to a different school, for "gifted and talented" children.

We were taught more interesting nuanced subjects.  Economics or archaeology, instead of "social studies" where I mostly just remember learning American history over and over.

I was a sensitive little kid, though.  Much younger looking than other kids my age, and the older we got, the more they seemed to notice.  As I got older, school became less about any of what we were learning, and more about just feeling anxious.  Not the cortisol driven kind that gives people panic attacks, no, more of a decidedly lethargic sort.  I just wanted a safe place to go sleep.  I was doing worse and worse in school, when I could even get myself there at all.

I wasn't really gifted anymore, so much as broken.  I tried not to think about how unfair it was that I couldn't have a normal childhood.  I kept trying to think of my differences as being something special, not something that was ruining my chances of having a healthy social life.

It wasn't until I was much older, that I came to doubt the accuracy itself, of that interpretation.  That maybe I'd even exaggerated my own problems, because I was so neurotic.  It wasn't until very recently that I learned about these different hormones the pituitary controls.  Not just spits out, creating a simple baseline, but regulates, producing more or less, as circumstances call for.  I might have been wrong about exactly what was going on, but that doesn't mean the situation could have been in any more control than it was.  Knowing that wouldn't have made the difference.

What that does change is the romanticization of those experiences.  Or humanization, depending on how you're inclined to look at it.  The attribution of fuzzier, more creative interpretations instead of depressing clinical terms.  A tendency to fall back on childlike framing of situations we don't really understand.

This makes life very confusing.  Everyone's got their own little stories they like to tell themselves, while facts hang precariously at the edge of becoming completely irrelevant.  So, is that why I don't trust people, or does is my brain just getting a wrong dose of oxytocin?

I don't even trust doctors.  They'll treat me one way or another, depending on whether they've read about some of the latest studies on this rare condition they may never have seen anyone else for.  When I was little, I had a pediatrician who would have preferred to ignore my levelled growth chart, not even bothering to get me tested, because the condition was too rare to be a realistic possibility.  I'm very lucky to have had a mother who wouldn't stand for that.

I have a new doctor's appointment now, though.  Just a GP, who I'll have to explain my need of an endocrinologist to.  She'll have to assess whether or not I'm just a crazy person or what.  I'm probably supposed to supply some sort of medical history, but I haven't kept track.  I don't even remember the names of any of the hospitals I've been through.  I don't understand how I'm supposed to deal with any of it.  I'm just winging it.  I'm afraid that maybe I am just a crazy person.

I desperately want to think of all this less clinically, so that I can go back to this is who I am, and it has its upsides, or benefits, or might turn out to be great, with just the right concoction of fanciful theories and conjecture.  I want to just be myself, and be fine with that, and not deal with any of this.

It is more difficult to romanticize something, the more it encroaches on my very survival, though.  I can't take care of myself.  I am extremely low-functioning for a perfectly competent person.  People seem to think I'm doing ok, despite doing nothing for over twenty years.  The closest I've come to independence was living alone in apartments procured for me by someone else, using my entire disability check to pay the rent.  I've never taken care of myself properly in all my life, so it's a bit of leap to count on me suddenly being able to do so now.

I have no idea what I'm going to do.  I need to do deal with these doctors and everything, but I also need it to be a sort of miraculous that I'm extremely wary of.  Nothing ever works like that.

Putting myself through all this is predicated on it, anyhow.  Have to at least give it a try.  If I can.  If doctors and insurance companies cooperate and everything.  It's not like I have my mother with me, to set them straight, otherwise.  I have to do it myself, when the problem is, that's just not who I am.  Emotive interpretations or more biochemically speaking, I'm all too likely to just keep hiding away in my room, scribbling away at my journal.

I don't know why I do this.  Or why I do or don't do anything.

No comments: