Imposters Among Us

I have spent my life feeling different.  And not just a little different, but WAY OUT there different.

My recent catch phrase is “I see dead people, really.  But it’s no biggee.”

Really.

When someone wants to slap me high five I feel my arm stuck to the side of my body.  When everyone stands up for ovations at the end of a show I feel silly joining in unless I totally LOVED what I saw.  When watching a sporting event it would never occur to me to cheer or take a side, it seems ridiculous…and to wear a Jersey of a team?  I just really don’t understand that businesses?  What are you trying to say?

Alien

Alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to think I was an alien, not the non-American in America kind, but from some other way better planet, and I’m just here as an experiment…but they forgot to let me know what I was supposed to be looking for, or doing, or becoming. They forgot to tell me how to get home. I also thought I was stupid…since everyone else was getting this “fit in” experience, and my total inclination has always been to go the other way.

Then I tried to blame it being Aquarian mixed with Jewish (read:  Dawn of the new age mixed with Chosen People).  But that was a lot of expectation and responsibility, and while I like both, that was overkill.

But I also believe in luck and right timing, and I just met a man who is teaching me about his experience with dyslexia.  And in speaking with him he told me that he always feels like an imposter.  And I leaned into that.  I had never heard those words out of another person’s mouth before.

And I felt hope dawn.

Could it really be as easy as that I have a different learning style?  That I’m not from a magical planet where everyone loves everyone, and there is no senseless violence or war and everything you need for your beautiful existence is available at all times?  (Yes, I’m talking about doughnuts that don’t make you fat!)

I questioned him…a lot…and I got to trace this belief pattern in myself all the way back to  the beginnings of my learning experience.

You know that game for young kids where you put the wooden square shape block into the square cut-out on on a wooden board?  I could never do it.  I never understood why the square went into that shape, because it didn’t look like that to me.  And then when my mom showed me the “right way” I could see it…and repeat it.  But I could never figure it out on my own.

And I have always been a strange but voracious reader.  When I read, I see the book in my head like a full-on over produced movie…But the parts of the book-movie I pay attention to were never what the teachers thought were the most important parts to pull out.

For instance, the way the light highlights someone or something is far more interesting to me than plot.  Or the way that someone was thinking or feeling is way more engrossing than anything else, frankly.

They sent me to a special after school reading class when I was a kid because it seemed that I didn’t get comprehension.  They taught me to pick out the parts that were “important”, and reading stopped being fun, but my test scores improved.

In Math class I looked at jumbled messes of numbers and constantly raised my hand wanting more explanation, but the class size was too large and everyone else was fine…so my teacher patted me on the head and told me I was so good at reading that I should just focus on that.

math!

math! (Photo credit: MStewartPhotography)

And I bought that.  I stopped trying because the message was I could just move towards what was easy for me…but what I remember is wanting to understand.  I remember loving the numbers, they just confused me. But I put that away and moved towards what I knew, because that’s where I got the most validation…and I think I’m still living my life that way…in many respects.

So back to real time, speaking with this man who has spent his whole life finding a learning style that works for him…and then he mentions that intuition is something many dyslexic’s are great at because they usually see things happening far faster than the average person.

And I said, “I’m really great with intuition.  In fact, it’s kinda the only way I can tolerate getting information any more because my brain is lazy.”

And I heard myself say that out loud.  And I felt shame.  I didn’t immediately understand why…but I definitely felt shame.

And I thought about that.  My whole life I have assumed I was less than, that I was stupid, that I was a poor learner.  That I was lazy in the brain cell work out department.

But perhaps there is another explanation.

When I think about how hard I had to work to tap into my intuition, to be an open vessel, to learn to trust the images and messages…it is anything but lazy.

There was a time in my life while I was growing this skill when I had a constant Migraine for over a year.  It was described to me later that I was opening my third eye…all I know is, it was unpleasant.

But there are fun parts too.  My partner is a wine distributor.  That’s not the fun part…well, that’s kinda fun.  But the point is, he will have me taste a wine, and within a few moments I can tell you the price the wine should be, and more importantly I can tell you the intentions of the wine maker.

This image shows a red wine glass.

This image shows a red wine glass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know, rad huh?  I’m his party trick pony.

You wouldn’t believe how unpleasant some of the intentions are though.  I just spit that wine out.

But more than wine, my learning style is about understanding people.  About seeing where they are in life and where they want to go, and what’s in the way of that happening.  Sometimes the truth is hard to say because there is no tactful way…but I try the best I can.

Sometimes it’s unwanted…like strangers on a bus…or even patients that just want their back pain to go away, but there is a message in there that wants to be heard…weather they are ready for it or not.

And sometimes it’s hard on relationships when one person just wants to sit in what they are going through and pretend it’s not there, and I can see it…and I want to talk it out…but they don’t want a therapist…they just want to try to have a good time.

It didn’t come with an instruction manual.  Being human or an intuitive.

And then I trace this back to the fitting in part.  More then reading, how I learn is hearing something and seeing if it’s a truth in my gut.  If I’m certain this is true.  Then I learn it.  So the more opinions I hear, the clearer I can get to a truth.  And it’s always shifting, never stable, which is totally irritating to some people.

It’s why I never fit in with the popular kids…being fake or doing things just because others are doing them didn’t and doesn’t feel good in my body.  It’s a perfectly tuned sensor to balance.  And for some reason that balance has always been in my body.

But I will tell you, I have really been giving some thought to the idea that I’m not smart enough.  Who gets to really decide how someone learns anyhow?  I don’t remember anyone trying to figure out with me another way to do Math.  It was this way, or just go read.

I know that history was taught awfully in school. I’m sure those teachers always drew the short stick. But I could never keep the dates or timing right because I have a hard time remembering numbers. It was always my worst subject, even worse than math.  But in college, I took a history class that was taught entirely in story.  The professor stood at the front and told about the time through the eyes of a family.  And I remembered EVERYTHING.

How many kids are falling through the cracks?  How many are forced to feel like imposters?  How many are having their true talents wasted while a failing system throws them into a box and says, “Conform.”

How many people are 40 years old before they get their first glimmer of realization of their worth, their place?

If I hadn’t been talking with this man I still wouldn’t be able to go back in my memory banks and soothe all the memories to have a different outcome.  I still would be under the impression that I’m not smart enough.  That I don’t understand things like others…instead of thinking this emerging thought that others don’t see things like me!

This man said to me…”there is no Learning Disability– it’s that they haven’t found their learning style.”  And I feel deeply saddened for all those out there still searching.  Might you know anyone who fits this bill?  Might you be their champion…to help them discover the way their beautiful mind works?

There is even more diversity of thought out there than Democrat, Republican, Stupid Conservative Republican (sorry…that can’t be erased) White, Black, Red, Brown, Yellow, Gray, Old, Young, Vegetable, Animal, Rich, Poor, Middle Class….

There is another dimension…a rich dimension where we may just find this world’s true super heroes.  Where we may just un-tap potential we couldn’t even dream up!

So, who is really the imposter?

Super Hero 3

Super Hero 3 (Photo credit: Alice Bartlett)

 

Please note…If there is an AD below this…it’s not from me or my choice….I recommend ignoring it….Again, my post stops here!  Thank you so much for reading….

Stuff. Relationship Stuff.

Do arranged marriages work in India?  I mean do they work from my White Privilege New Age way of thinking?

Let me back up…

At what point did we decide we a need a mate that matches every breath with our breath.  That has every hobby the same.  That has to be able to read our thoughts and not just have  great sex, but give us mind-blowing out of body experiences every single time?

I look at the divorce rate in this country, hell, I look at how fast I have gone through partners and wonder why?

I swear the first answer that comes to me is, “I didn’t feel seen.”

Followed closely by, “I was bored.”

Then “we didn’t have anything to talk about” wants to slide right in there and be heard.

Hold the phones people.  I really have used these excuses more times than I am comfortable admitting.

Do you think that if I didn’t have so much time on my hands I could get rid of most of those conundrums?  It’s more than that of course.  I didn’t mean to trivialize and minimize my feelings.  I’m sorry self.   I am the product of divorce, and though both of my parents got it right the second time…all  3 of my siblings are on their second marriage…and though I’m not remarried, I have been divorced as well.

When did your first marriage become the practice run?

Let’s look at this step by step, shall we?

I didn’t feel seen.  Invisibility is a real issue in many couples.  What I notice is that I when I’m feeling un-seen what I need to do is look inside and find that part of me that thinks I’m not good enough, and give her a big hug and then go do something fun.  (There are a few steps missing here, like throwing myself a pity party, and crying my eyes out, and of course blaming everyone but myself until I get it…but for simplicity sake, let’s just stick with Big self hug and something fun to do!)

Once I start thinking that I’m worth being in the relationship, I can ask for things like love and hugs and attention from my partner..I can RECEIVE.

If we shut down the RECEIVING pathway…it’s like not watering a plant.  It dies.  That’s actually a great analogy. How many dead plants are in your house?

invisible cat #2 - splitcam

invisible cat #2 – splitcam (Photo credit: rachelcreative)

Moving on. Next, I was bored.

Someone far wiser than me once said, over and over….”Only boring people are bored.”

I do believe I cursed under my breath every time my mom said that to me, but sitting here with my tea and puppy I must agree.

How come when we are single we are always finding things to do?  I know I used to have craft night when a girlfriend would come over and we would listen to my favorite radio show and just draw shit.  Drink Tea. Play with puddy.  Not be bored.  I would clean the house while listening to This American Life.  I would scour the local pap)er for authors doing book readings, for shows around town, for interesting Town Hall events.  I would invite friends or go alone.  I had dinner parties with themes.

English: Hand I'm bored Español: Mano I'm bored

English: Hand I’m bored Español: Mano I’m bored (Photo credit: Wikipedia

And then, in relationship….I kinda sit there and stare at a wall and he says, “What do you wanna do?” And I exhale and drop my shoulders and say, “I don’t care.”

Yeah…that’s me being FUCKING BORING.

Nobody did that to me.  I clearly did that to myself.  Relationship didn’t bring out the boring in me…I got Lazy.  That is clearly also not relationships fault.

It’s time to start looking at the local paper and finding things to do with and without my partner if that happens…right?

And lastly, we didn’t have anything to talk about.  As soon as you decide there is nothing to talk about, all you start talking about is how there is nothing to talk about.  You feel me right?  And then it gets decided in your mind that your partner who you used to talk on the phone with for hours every night at the beginning of your shindig… who you used to close down restaurants with because you were so engrossed in your conversation.  Who at one point was the most fascinating person you have ever met…has nothing to say?

Ahem.  (Sorry, I had to clear my throat so I can talk some science into me here.)

That is sheer crazy talk.

GREAT!  You are done rehashing your entire life to your partner.  And now we are here in the present.  Right where we should be.  And this takes us back to the Number 2 complaint.  Are you bored?  Have you stopped being fun?  Or back to number one?  Have you stopped sharing with your partner because you think you have nothing valuable to say and you are just a little invisible speck hanging out the house?

There is ALWAYS something to talk about.  Putting feelings aside, because my guy hates talking about those…there are dreams, passions, music, food, your day, the weather, politics (i don’t go there, but you may), your animals, your kids, the world, landscaping ideas, local shows, movies, books, the newest viral twerking video on facebook, space exploration, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Cooking, The theories behind any number of things, Gluten, raw, veganism, the world according to Garp…it goes on and on.

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ, grab a local paper and read an article and discuss it if you are totally at a road block. Each take a side, then switch…make it a mock debate…it’s actually fun!

And remember most of all….

Silence is golden.

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable sharing space with someone in peace.  In fact, it’s a blessing!

It seems in my grandparents time the only similarities in the relationship were matching track suits…they yelled at each other like it was their Oxygen…and I thought they hated each other…but let me tell you, when my grandfather laid in his hospital bed after his last stroke…the bed he would die in, every day though mostly unconscious, he would find my grandmothers hand on the bed and twirl her wedding ring around her finger.  A habit he did their entire life together.

And those people who I thought hated each other sat in silence for hours on end, a dimension of their 60+year relationship I had never witnessed, just being and loving and supporting and breathing.

And I’ll be damned if I let my new age thinking that tells me that I have to mind link with another person, that he has to do yoga and meditate with me, and eat gluten free and drink Kombucha when he wants to get high, and can give me fifteen mind blowing orgasms each time we have sex which obviously is every day no matter what is going on in our lives.

I’m going to see if we can be happy in stillness.  If we can be comfortable in silence.  If when it really matters he listens, and is there for me.

If when the going gets tough, he sticks around.

And when the going gets tough, will I learn to?

Invisibility Cloak

I want one.

Then I will know why I feel that even though I’m nearly 6′ tall with outlandishly loud glasses, and have no fear of expressing my opinions publicly, even though they change with the wind and I argue my next feeling with the same commitment to feeling the truth, my feet firmly planted…even though I am here…I feel see through.

I want one also because it was so helpful to Harry Potter.

English: Cloak of Conscience from the front

English: Cloak of Conscience from the front (Photo credit: Wikipedia)ry Potter.

I want one because in my home that always has music playing, and a dog generally barking, and a cat usually sleeping, eating, or hissing at the dog that’s always barking, and a man whose moods change with the movement of the second hand clock…I feel like I don’t exist.  Like I have nothing interesting to offer.  Like my words melt like ice as they leave my mouth, leaving only the impression there was something there, but, wait…no…nothing.

If I had one I could hide behind it…I would know that I wasn’t there, though I was.  I would know that I wasn’t taking up space, although I was.  I would know that I was being ignored because I didn’t exist, though I am here.

I feel like I keep climbing a beautiful tree that grows virtually under my feet and with each step upward my cells are infused with joy and clarity.  With peace and grace.  And every time I look up I’m rewarded with this sense of expansion, of creativity, of motion within stillness.

But my neck hurts from looking up so long.

I mean.  Even though no one can see me, I feel ridiculous walking around bumping into things, always looking up and never straight ahead.

If I had on my invisibility cloak….I wouldn’t feel so silly.  Maybe I wouldn’t even be able to see myself.