wispfox: (Default)
My brains, they are perplexing and sometimes problematic.

I am writing this post as much to try to figure things out as to get anyone else's thoughts, BTW. I do intend to talk to my therapist about this (again), and have sent him mail saying so.

cut for length )
wispfox: (Default)
For me, expressing sympathy is almost entirely non-verbal.

It's in (hard-learned) body positioning, facial expression, _listening_. Touch, if appreciated, hugs, if appreciated.

Yes, there are listening noises made (yes, there's a word for them that I never, ever remember). But translating them to text makes it very hard (for me! Perhaps for the other person as well, but if I can't tell, it's problematic) to tell if they are 'actively listening' or 'distracted but not completely gone', especially in semi-real-time interactions. Especially if I _am_ distracted!

I have trouble with verbal sentiments of sympathy, although I reluctantly do them if social etiquette requires (presuming I know that it does).

I also lose the signals that I clearly _do_ sometimes pick up on in-person that something is about sympathy and not about solutions.

I very much suffer from Geek Answer Symdrome, and I've very much trained myself away from that as much as I can. But if I'm distracted? Or in a text interaction? Or at a job which _is_ mostly solutions and not sympathy? Far more likely to try to fix than to listen, partly because there's not enough to listen _to_ in text.

I wonder if this is part of why being on call for a hotline was so hard on me; I did not _have_ in-person signals to give or receive, in addition to having trouble effectively always having to be able to answer a phone at any time for multiple hours at a time. I could _do_ it... but it by no means played to my strengths. I did at least have tone of voice and such, and used them, but... it was hard.

*shakes head* Brains. They confuse me. Also, mine is being eaten by moving and also by needing to interview someone tomorrow. Nervous!!!!
wispfox: (Default)
For me, expressing sympathy is almost entirely non-verbal.

It's in (hard-learned) body positioning, facial expression, _listening_. Touch, if appreciated, hugs, if appreciated.

Yes, there are listening noises made (yes, there's a word for them that I never, ever remember). But translating them to text makes it very hard (for me! Perhaps for the other person as well, but if I can't tell, it's problematic) to tell if they are 'actively listening' or 'distracted but not completely gone', especially in semi-real-time interactions. Especially if I _am_ distracted!

I have trouble with verbal sentiments of sympathy, although I reluctantly do them if social etiquette requires (presuming I know that it does).

I also lose the signals that I clearly _do_ sometimes pick up on in-person that something is about sympathy and not about solutions.

I very much suffer from Geek Answer Symdrome, and I've very much trained myself away from that as much as I can. But if I'm distracted? Or in a text interaction? Or at a job which _is_ mostly solutions and not sympathy? Far more likely to try to fix than to listen, partly because there's not enough to listen _to_ in text.

I wonder if this is part of why being on call for a hotline was so hard on me; I did not _have_ in-person signals to give or receive, in addition to having trouble effectively always having to be able to answer a phone at any time for multiple hours at a time. I could _do_ it... but it by no means played to my strengths. I did at least have tone of voice and such, and used them, but... it was hard.

*shakes head* Brains. They confuse me. Also, mine is being eaten by moving and also by needing to interview someone tomorrow. Nervous!!!!
wispfox: (Default)
Unintentional childhood lessons on not talking about things important to me have turned up in new and interesting ways relating to my difficulty with letting out negative emotions.

I do, now, reasonably with speaking up when things are being problematic for me, and not letting them fester in that particular way.

OK, I suppose the 'speaking up' previously mentioned is actually more frequently emailing. At least it's not always emailing anymore! I think it's usually due to processing delays. I'm not sure if it's also because it's easier to keep typing when crying (as I do when frustrated, as well as upset/sad/hurt), because it's another form of distance, or... dunno. Not clear if it has a direct effect on either my distancing.

I do _not_, however, do a very good job at actually letting myself experience the emotions, nor - as I've come to realize - getting past the workaround I set up so that I _could_ successfully communicate problems aloud, where so as to not cry I distance myself from it enough to stay able to talk (note: only recently a thing I was consciously aware of doing).

While yes, this is a useful workaround so as to prevent not talking about things at all and allow me to explain things, I am still missing the step past that one, where the issues are known to be understood and thus I stop distancing myself from the emotional reaction to them while trying to discuss/comprehend/work through/with them. Because even if the problems are explained and understood, whether or not they are things which can be prevented (some can, some cannot), there is still going to be a pile of emotional reaction there that I will need to let myself feel and work through. Both on my own, and with anyone else involved who is trying to work through it with me.

Distancing in that case? No longer helpful. Hurtful, because it can easily parse as distancing from anyone trying to talk with you about it, apologize for any part in it, and/or help heal the wound (in you, in them, in any relevent relationship(s)).

So clearly I have a new Thing to Work On. On the plus side, I have enough brain to see that it's there to work on, and am likely to be able to do so. Slowly. With help.
wispfox: (Default)
Unintentional childhood lessons on not talking about things important to me have turned up in new and interesting ways relating to my difficulty with letting out negative emotions.

I do, now, reasonably with speaking up when things are being problematic for me, and not letting them fester in that particular way.

OK, I suppose the 'speaking up' previously mentioned is actually more frequently emailing. At least it's not always emailing anymore! I think it's usually due to processing delays. I'm not sure if it's also because it's easier to keep typing when crying (as I do when frustrated, as well as upset/sad/hurt), because it's another form of distance, or... dunno. Not clear if it has a direct effect on either my distancing.

I do _not_, however, do a very good job at actually letting myself experience the emotions, nor - as I've come to realize - getting past the workaround I set up so that I _could_ successfully communicate problems aloud, where so as to not cry I distance myself from it enough to stay able to talk (note: only recently a thing I was consciously aware of doing).

While yes, this is a useful workaround so as to prevent not talking about things at all and allow me to explain things, I am still missing the step past that one, where the issues are known to be understood and thus I stop distancing myself from the emotional reaction to them while trying to discuss/comprehend/work through/with them. Because even if the problems are explained and understood, whether or not they are things which can be prevented (some can, some cannot), there is still going to be a pile of emotional reaction there that I will need to let myself feel and work through. Both on my own, and with anyone else involved who is trying to work through it with me.

Distancing in that case? No longer helpful. Hurtful, because it can easily parse as distancing from anyone trying to talk with you about it, apologize for any part in it, and/or help heal the wound (in you, in them, in any relevent relationship(s)).

So clearly I have a new Thing to Work On. On the plus side, I have enough brain to see that it's there to work on, and am likely to be able to do so. Slowly. With help.
wispfox: (calm)
Self, if you spend a weekend during which large portion involve you needing to interpret spoken communication which is often confusing or complex, you _will_ be very drained by the end. Especially if you're not getting enough sleep.

Sometimes I think you forget that conversation, especially if spoken conversation, is _already_ effort for you. Worse yet if you have to actively translate what is being said.

That said, it _was_ a good game. Just... draining past the point of being sufficiently aware of just _how_ draining.

Next time? Good plan to have your character speak the common language, as that would have been worse. But be _really_ careful with the ability to speak with animals. It's right for your character, but your player cannot necesarily cope with that, plus a party member whose spoken language isn't quite fluent, plus general high levels of attention required by gaming.

Buh. Brain still hurts.
wispfox: (calm)
Self, if you spend a weekend during which large portion involve you needing to interpret spoken communication which is often confusing or complex, you _will_ be very drained by the end. Especially if you're not getting enough sleep.

Sometimes I think you forget that conversation, especially if spoken conversation, is _already_ effort for you. Worse yet if you have to actively translate what is being said.

That said, it _was_ a good game. Just... draining past the point of being sufficiently aware of just _how_ draining.

Next time? Good plan to have your character speak the common language, as that would have been worse. But be _really_ careful with the ability to speak with animals. It's right for your character, but your player cannot necesarily cope with that, plus a party member whose spoken language isn't quite fluent, plus general high levels of attention required by gaming.

Buh. Brain still hurts.
wispfox: (curious)
(not aware of anything specific triggering this)

I tend strongly toward not expecting people to know/remember/think of things, and thus toward (over-)explaining things that anyone else might feel safe in assuming is known.
But not only does such an assumption start on a dangerous path, I do not necessarily remember who I have told what, how well I felt like it was explained at the time, my mood of the time, nor if I'd thought to keep them appraised of any new/additional developments/thoughts/interpretations. With all of that, how _can_ I assume anyone knows anything that I know? I don't even know what I know, let alone knowing/remembering as appropriate what others have told me.

The aforementioned dangerous path is such: if I am willing to presume that someone knows a thing, it is not a huge jump (but still a faulty assumption) to presume that it would occur to said person at a related-to-me-appropriate (but not necessarily so strongly tied for another person) time. If _that_ assumption is made, not far at all to being upset because _clearly_ they knew better, so clearly it was done to hurt you, or they are clearly thoughtless of your feelings or whatever.

Of course, regardless of if I am willing to presume that anyone knows any particular thing about me (would much rather make clear my point of view than start on a path that too easily leads to telling myself stories!), it is certainly also the case that if I cannot make basic assumptions about people & how they will behave, I cannot be comfortable with, and thus cannot be close to, those people. And someone repeatedly not knowing/understanding a thing vital to my basic self will mean, no matter how forgving and tending towards explaining myself I am, it will be too much, too costly, to try to be close to them.

A certain amount of predictability is _necessary_, I think, just as much as continuing to grow and change. And, if it's me you deal with, a certain amount of ability to appreciate my tendency to over-explain things. Preferably, an ability to work with it, and help me dig out bits of uncertainty & investigation & hold them up to the light.

[written last night, late; phone would not let me post, however!]
wispfox: (curious)
(not aware of anything specific triggering this)

I tend strongly toward not expecting people to know/remember/think of things, and thus toward (over-)explaining things that anyone else might feel safe in assuming is known.
But not only does such an assumption start on a dangerous path, I do not necessarily remember who I have told what, how well I felt like it was explained at the time, my mood of the time, nor if I'd thought to keep them appraised of any new/additional developments/thoughts/interpretations. With all of that, how _can_ I assume anyone knows anything that I know? I don't even know what I know, let alone knowing/remembering as appropriate what others have told me.

The aforementioned dangerous path is such: if I am willing to presume that someone knows a thing, it is not a huge jump (but still a faulty assumption) to presume that it would occur to said person at a related-to-me-appropriate (but not necessarily so strongly tied for another person) time. If _that_ assumption is made, not far at all to being upset because _clearly_ they knew better, so clearly it was done to hurt you, or they are clearly thoughtless of your feelings or whatever.

Of course, regardless of if I am willing to presume that anyone knows any particular thing about me (would much rather make clear my point of view than start on a path that too easily leads to telling myself stories!), it is certainly also the case that if I cannot make basic assumptions about people & how they will behave, I cannot be comfortable with, and thus cannot be close to, those people. And someone repeatedly not knowing/understanding a thing vital to my basic self will mean, no matter how forgving and tending towards explaining myself I am, it will be too much, too costly, to try to be close to them.

A certain amount of predictability is _necessary_, I think, just as much as continuing to grow and change. And, if it's me you deal with, a certain amount of ability to appreciate my tendency to over-explain things. Preferably, an ability to work with it, and help me dig out bits of uncertainty & investigation & hold them up to the light.

[written last night, late; phone would not let me post, however!]
wispfox: (Default)
Any time I am told to do something, without a reason why, I'm nearly certain to decide to _not_ do that thing. (exception being if I can figure out why it's a good idea, but that's rare. Most of what I think are good ideas come from people who tell me why - even if I may not need the explanation - or from the inside of my own head)

This means that most LJ memes (I really do want a word which _isn't_ a perversion of the original meaning...) and email forwards with that wording - even if I might otherwise have considered doing them/passing them along - will instantly be something I refuse to do.

Being asked to do something is unlikely to get that reaction. People assuming that I will be do something will probably also get that reaction (although if it's someone who knows me well, I am likely to try to think about it first, rather than immediately be annoyed by the assumption. Because, well, assumptions can be accurate!). It's especially bad if there is an assumption made and not stated.

I _need_ to know why. It helps me remember things, it helps me want to do things (which in turn makes it likely they will occur, because I am more likely to think of said things), it helps me understand the reason behind things which might otherwise seem senseless. Even 'because I want you to' is better than nothing, although it may not actually help your cause if that's the only reason given. Depends on how much I trust a person, really, and that comes from a combination of how well understood I feel, how well I can read/understand them, and amount of interaction.

And... it helps protect me from the fact that I'm overly credulous, even after lots and lots of effort put into being less so. (my bullshit meter is better than none at all. And I can tailor it for specific people, which also helps. Similar to how I get accustomed to people's way of speaking, so I will spend less time with parser errors, and may unconsciously modify my speech patterns more toward theirs when talking to them)

For most/all of my youth (and still a fair amount now, but certainly less), I _had_ to be told what to do for most things which seemed obvious to most people (there's a reason I like to say that nothing is obvious). Because the people who tended to be the ones to tell me what to do did not take unfair advantage of this and understood the reasons behind it, I am still perfectly willing to take and seek out other people's advice, especially if they have proven themselves to be good at interpreting me. But enough interaction with people who _did_ try to take advantage of this means that without knowing that a person can be trusted, my first instinct _will_ be to refuse.

[why the hell does LJ's spellcheck not know 'proven'?]
wispfox: (Default)
Any time I am told to do something, without a reason why, I'm nearly certain to decide to _not_ do that thing. (exception being if I can figure out why it's a good idea, but that's rare. Most of what I think are good ideas come from people who tell me why - even if I may not need the explanation - or from the inside of my own head)

This means that most LJ memes (I really do want a word which _isn't_ a perversion of the original meaning...) and email forwards with that wording - even if I might otherwise have considered doing them/passing them along - will instantly be something I refuse to do.

Being asked to do something is unlikely to get that reaction. People assuming that I will be do something will probably also get that reaction (although if it's someone who knows me well, I am likely to try to think about it first, rather than immediately be annoyed by the assumption. Because, well, assumptions can be accurate!). It's especially bad if there is an assumption made and not stated.

I _need_ to know why. It helps me remember things, it helps me want to do things (which in turn makes it likely they will occur, because I am more likely to think of said things), it helps me understand the reason behind things which might otherwise seem senseless. Even 'because I want you to' is better than nothing, although it may not actually help your cause if that's the only reason given. Depends on how much I trust a person, really, and that comes from a combination of how well understood I feel, how well I can read/understand them, and amount of interaction.

And... it helps protect me from the fact that I'm overly credulous, even after lots and lots of effort put into being less so. (my bullshit meter is better than none at all. And I can tailor it for specific people, which also helps. Similar to how I get accustomed to people's way of speaking, so I will spend less time with parser errors, and may unconsciously modify my speech patterns more toward theirs when talking to them)

For most/all of my youth (and still a fair amount now, but certainly less), I _had_ to be told what to do for most things which seemed obvious to most people (there's a reason I like to say that nothing is obvious). Because the people who tended to be the ones to tell me what to do did not take unfair advantage of this and understood the reasons behind it, I am still perfectly willing to take and seek out other people's advice, especially if they have proven themselves to be good at interpreting me. But enough interaction with people who _did_ try to take advantage of this means that without knowing that a person can be trusted, my first instinct _will_ be to refuse.

[why the hell does LJ's spellcheck not know 'proven'?]
wispfox: (Default)
So, I apparently have a thing in my head where, if conversing about an emotionally charged topic with someone whose opinion I care about, and they appear to have an opinion but don't share it, I will think it's a topic to avoid and be hyper-aware of any future reactions to that topic. This combines interestingly with the fact that, if I'm emotionally distressed, I am unlikely to remember information that is shared with me, nor what my reaction to said information was. And, generally, emotionally charged topics have a higher than normal likelihood of my being emotionally distressed.

This results in me being uncertain about what's surrounding a particular topic which is apparently to be avoided, unconsciously avoiding talking about it but being highly paranoid about possible reactions when I do bring it up, and not generally consciously aware enough to just _ask_ about it. This is true even if the opnion was shared, if it was shared when I wasn't able to process it due to my own distress. The fact that I have stuff in my head causing me to be especially aware of avoiding topics is why I noticed this happening (and mentioned it), and why I'm aware that I do it, now. Theoretically, being aware of it will make it less likely to happen again.

I wonder, though, if sharing one's opinion via a written format (eg, email) - if it appeared that I may not have been able to parse what was said to me - might counteract the tendency for me to not remember things shared with me when emotionally distressed, because then I can go _back_ to it later (and am likely to; I tend to return to informational sources if I can, if I realize that parsing wasn't working). Of course, the problem there is that I don't get any of the remaining lines of communication, so it'd be more difficult to interpret if said communication isn't very clear. On the plus side, asking me if I'm able to parse new information _does_ work, presuming one can interpret (potentially verbal) hand-wavy. And presuming one will remember to mention it again when things aren't so fraught, because it's almost certain that if I wasn't able to process new information, I won't remember to bring it up.

Bah. Sometimes my brain annoys me. This would be an example!
wispfox: (Default)
So, I apparently have a thing in my head where, if conversing about an emotionally charged topic with someone whose opinion I care about, and they appear to have an opinion but don't share it, I will think it's a topic to avoid and be hyper-aware of any future reactions to that topic. This combines interestingly with the fact that, if I'm emotionally distressed, I am unlikely to remember information that is shared with me, nor what my reaction to said information was. And, generally, emotionally charged topics have a higher than normal likelihood of my being emotionally distressed.

This results in me being uncertain about what's surrounding a particular topic which is apparently to be avoided, unconsciously avoiding talking about it but being highly paranoid about possible reactions when I do bring it up, and not generally consciously aware enough to just _ask_ about it. This is true even if the opnion was shared, if it was shared when I wasn't able to process it due to my own distress. The fact that I have stuff in my head causing me to be especially aware of avoiding topics is why I noticed this happening (and mentioned it), and why I'm aware that I do it, now. Theoretically, being aware of it will make it less likely to happen again.

I wonder, though, if sharing one's opinion via a written format (eg, email) - if it appeared that I may not have been able to parse what was said to me - might counteract the tendency for me to not remember things shared with me when emotionally distressed, because then I can go _back_ to it later (and am likely to; I tend to return to informational sources if I can, if I realize that parsing wasn't working). Of course, the problem there is that I don't get any of the remaining lines of communication, so it'd be more difficult to interpret if said communication isn't very clear. On the plus side, asking me if I'm able to parse new information _does_ work, presuming one can interpret (potentially verbal) hand-wavy. And presuming one will remember to mention it again when things aren't so fraught, because it's almost certain that if I wasn't able to process new information, I won't remember to bring it up.

Bah. Sometimes my brain annoys me. This would be an example!

[whyyyyy?]

Mar. 22nd, 2005 12:19 am
wispfox: (Default)
"Why is no one making any seeeense?!"

That's my current mental state. Imagine me looking very ernest, confused, and distressed while shaking both fists in the air and saying that.

A ridiculously high number of (non-work, thankfully) conversations today have gone very strange, very quickly. Pretty much all got redirected back on track or defused, as necessary, but I think I spent more energy on interpersonal interactions today than I normally do in a month. Rather makes me want to avoid all (I do mean literally all) conversations for the next couple of weeks in the hopes that people start making sense again (or, alternatively, that _I_ start making sense again).


My cat may have decided that pills crushed and mixed with his wet food isn't tolerable (at least based on [livejournal.com profile] ayalanya's attempts earlier today), which is really _frustrating_. If he won't cooperate, how the _hell_ am I going to leave his care to someone else while I travel? I hope it was some fluke, and not that I have to try yet another method already.

I note that I kept wanting to rant today. Considering how rarely I rant, this made for a very strange day. (rant about white on light grey being evil to look at, rant about my cat, rant rant rant!)


Why the hell can't I sleep? Melatonin, why do you hate me?

[whyyyyy?]

Mar. 22nd, 2005 12:19 am
wispfox: (Default)
"Why is no one making any seeeense?!"

That's my current mental state. Imagine me looking very ernest, confused, and distressed while shaking both fists in the air and saying that.

A ridiculously high number of (non-work, thankfully) conversations today have gone very strange, very quickly. Pretty much all got redirected back on track or defused, as necessary, but I think I spent more energy on interpersonal interactions today than I normally do in a month. Rather makes me want to avoid all (I do mean literally all) conversations for the next couple of weeks in the hopes that people start making sense again (or, alternatively, that _I_ start making sense again).


My cat may have decided that pills crushed and mixed with his wet food isn't tolerable (at least based on [livejournal.com profile] ayalanya's attempts earlier today), which is really _frustrating_. If he won't cooperate, how the _hell_ am I going to leave his care to someone else while I travel? I hope it was some fluke, and not that I have to try yet another method already.

I note that I kept wanting to rant today. Considering how rarely I rant, this made for a very strange day. (rant about white on light grey being evil to look at, rant about my cat, rant rant rant!)


Why the hell can't I sleep? Melatonin, why do you hate me?
wispfox: (Default)
1) I'm bad with internalizing lists, although lists of two or three things is at least possible for me to retain for a short time (long enough to write down or use the information). I suspect this is why I prefer to write things down in lists, because lists _are_ a useful organizational technique, and I can't _remember_ (or come up with) lists. This is especially difficult for me with ordered lists. (This is also why I just spent the 45 minutes while driving home putting all my available mental energy into remembering the three things listed in this post. :)

2) I'm bad with braindumps. My default method (ie, easiest, not in terms of most often used) of externalizing information is to braindump at people (which is what you people _don't_ usually see me doing, as I tend to expect that if I have such trouble with it, it's not kind to inflict it on other people), which makes this fact interesting, and probably explains why I tend to put so much effort into processing, organizing, and condensing things in my head before trying to express them.

This is probably also why it's so difficult for me to accept that certain people do, in fact, find it _easier_ to understand me when I'm least able to get things beyond brain dump state, much as it's also easier on me that this is possible. I generally want to default to information externalization via writing as braindump, which is interesting when my default for spoken is to hope people figure out what I'm saying with very few words and lots of gesture.

Summaries - when concise - are very useful, as I tend to be poor at getting to generalizations from specifics.

3) I have auditory processing problems, in that I have to semi-consciously process spoken words (which is apparently not typical), which means that it's generally bad to try to convey large amounts of information to me in a spoken manner.


Having someone attempt to convey information to me via spoken, ordered list braindump is... um... less than effective.

Means I am stuck with a spoken word processor which is struggling with too much information too fast, even before we get to the potential state where I have to try to pick out important info from the noise which is how braindumps come across to me, and even before the problem of me trying to retain what order there might be for the list or what the components are.

Best method? Go ahead with the list, but give me a single element at a time, let me ask for more information as desired (and as I have time to process). If you _must_ do a brain dump, do it in a written form, not a spoken one.

Sleep now. Late. At least this was brief enough to be able to write before I sleep, unlike the last topic which I _still_ haven't gotten around to processing enough to post.

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