fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
So another problem with my brain that's possibly related to my partial face blindness is... well... if I binge-watch an anime series or other cartoon, and then try to imagine someone's face, all I can see is a cartoon. It takes up to several hours to fade, though I can make it fade faster by watching regular faces for a while.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
It happened again today. It doesn't happen often, but it happened again today. What happened? Well, that takes some explaining. See, I'm partially face blind. Only partially. Also I have a shitty memory. What this means, for me, is that I have trouble recognizing people unless I know them well enough, and it takes me varying amounts of time to memorize faces, anywhere from a few hours (or a few instances of seeing the person, with some reason to memorize their face), to weeks or months. Once I have a face memorized, I can usually recognize them later. Not always; context plays a big role, and someone being out of their usual context can make me a lot less likely to recognize them.

Also, if I don't have any reason to memorize a face, it's not likely to happen. Since I don't really care one way or another about most of my neighbors, and never have, there's still a number of neighbors at my apartment complex who know me by name, and I have no damned clue who they are still, even after living here for a couple years, and then once before for another year. I live in concern that one of these days, someone who lives here, someone I should be able to recognize, will need let into the building because their hands are full or something, and I'll accidentally piss them off by not letting them in because I have no clue who they are. But in this neighborhood, it's not a smart idea to let in people you don't know.

Anyway, what happened today was the occasional thing of being out and about (specifically I was walking from one place to another), and someone starts talking to me like they know me, saying my name and stuff, talking about how long it's been since they've seen me, and I'm just standing there nodding and making noncommittal sounds and words, because as far as my memory was concerned, I've never seen this person before in my life. And worse, I know I was letting that confusion into my face; I didn't intend to, but that's what happened. If she noticed, she didn't give any sign of having noticed. Of course, thinking back on it, the two most likely possibilities are either that she's a member of the pagan meetup who doesn't go very often, or she recognized me from when I used to go to the Unitarian Universalist church. Although, we were on Hawthorne, so it's also highly likely she knows me via Lily, and I just forgot, because to be honest Lily knows a lot of people, introduces me to a lot of people, and I doubt I could recognize more than a handful of them.

Until that happened, my big post for the day was going to be how I thought I recognized one of my pharmacists while waiting for the bus. It was probably him; same height and build, same bald spot, same race probably, and I think it was the same face, but he was out of his usual context; if it was him, he wasn't in his uniform, and thus was out of context.

At least, I think he's Asian or part Asian, but I'm not sure. My ability to discern race is one of those things my partial face blindness messes with. About the only way I have to be sure someone is Asian, due to the similarity in skin color of many of them, is the eyes. And his eyes don't match what I know of Asian eyes, but they look different from "Caucasian" eyes, too, so I don't know.

But yeah, race is a weird thing for me. I mean, black people are kind of obvious, usually. But there's enough overlap among whites, Latinx people, and Asian people that I sometimes get those three confused; there are whites I mistake for Latinx, vice versa, and so on. And trying to determine the subcategories of races is pretty much impossible for me. Unless someone is one of those Hassidic rabbis, I pretty much have to take people's word on whether or not someone is a Jew, for instance, because most of them look either white or middle eastern to me. And I might be able to tell the difference between a Greek and other middle eastern people if I viewed some side by side, but otherwise, I can't tell. Again, if it weren't for the eyes, there's a lot of Asian people I would classify as white because their skin tone looks identical to the average "white" skin tone, to me.

Though to be perfectly honest, given my feelings toward humans in general, and the way I was lost in my own world growing up, it's pretty impressive I can discern that much. If things had gone just a little different for me, my partial face blindness might have made it so the only thing I could tell about race was three categories: Black, white, and in-between. And given that I already make a fair number of mistakes vis-a-vis race, I would be making far more in that case.

And since I don't pay a lot of attention to strangers, I'd be kind of useless if I needed to describe some stranger for the cops, if I witnessed a crime (or was the victim of one, possibly). About all I'd be able to tell them, I think, would be whether or not they were black, and their presumed gender. Like, for instance, "Well he was probably white, and probably male, but I don't know for sure on either count." "What about his height?" "Um... average, I think?" "Weight?" "Average?" "Hair color?" "No idea." "Eye color?" "To be honest, officer, I wasn't really paying attention. He just looked like a possibly-white male. But he could have been Asian or Latin for all I know." (Secretly thinking: 'Partially just playing the odds here.')

Bleh. Make this one more in a long list of things that make me feel like an alien from another planet stranded on this backwater rock with a whole species of crazy people.
fayanora: doughnut (doughnut)
I was trying to think of non-judgmental terms to describe a couple of feelings I have as a person with chronic depression, feelings that were attributed to laziness growing up because my Mom - despite having chronic depression herself even then - apparently was not aware that kids can have chronic depression, too.

Anyway, so here are the terms I came up with:

Critical power conservation: When you know your energy level is shot, or will be shot if you do a task, resulting in exhaustion, and therefore you choose to not do the thing, no matter how much you may need to. (Alternatively, "low battery alert.")

Non-critical power conservation: There's a chance doing the thing may cause exhaustion, but not a huge chance. And yet you choose to not do the thing anyway, not wanting to take the risk for whatever reason. (Alternatively, "battery at 45%" or "strategic resource allocation.")
fayanora: weirderons (weirderons)
The other day, when I was at an appointment with my shrink to have her sign a gender designation change form for the DMV, I told her about the anxiety knot in my belly I've had for years, that has been acting up the last year. So now I am on a new med, an anti-anxiety med called Buspirone. One of the side effects is dizziness, and boy am I feeling that! Even sitting down, I still feel dizzy. Not like, "gonna puke" or even "gonna fall down" levels of dizziness, but still dizziness.

Got the new med before going out today, but didn't take it til 5:15. I'm to take it 3 times a day, which works out to every 8 hours, which is going to make this one super easy to plan for. I already have all the right things in my calendar to beep at me to get me to take it, something I haven't been able to do for my anti-depressant because that one's instructions are "take one in the morning," and since I don't wake up at the same time each day, it's kind of hard to make a set time to take it.

Anyway, went to the DMV after picking up my new med, to try to renew my ID. Silly DMV changed their laws slightly, I now have to get a birth certificate copy to them again, because they didn't used to keep those on file this long. By the sound of it, though, once I get it to them, next time I renew I shouldn't need to do it again. (Unless the laws change again, of course.) But the lady at the desk said that the gender change form is in order, so the trip was not a waste.

From the DMV, I went to TriMet's office and renewed my Honored Citizen card (TriMet speak for "old people and/or disabled people discount priced fare ID"). It was pretty simple. First time I got one, I had to have them copy my SSDI award letter, but this time all I had to do was have them copy my Medicare card, which I always have on me when I go out. I also thought there'd be a $5 fee, as the form said there would be, but apparently my disability being permanent means they waive that fee. Trip to the TriMet office was a pain, though; the MAX train was being so slow, and stopping so much, that what should have been a 30 minute trip at most was just shy of an hour. Didn't risk that BS coming back; took the 12 bus back, then the 71, skipping MAX altogether.

One weird thing... because the Social Security place checks for things that could be considered weapons in a very TSA sort of way, I left my pepper spray and multi-tool knife thing at home figuring the DMV would be the same way, but it turned out to not be necessary, as there was no apparent security. Which I find to be odd; I would think that if any place was going to attract violence, it would be the DMV. Of course, I also thought I'd be waiting there an hour or more in line, but the line moved so fast I was still working on the ID renewal form when my number came up, and it's only one page! Efficient bureaucracy, whod'a thunk it?

"I dunno"

Jun. 9th, 2015 04:26 am
fayanora: Processing (Processing)
You know that feeling where someone asks you a question, and you can't think of anything to say in response? I just now realized why I get that feeling all the damn time: my sluggish cognitive tempo, possibly comorbid with something else, makes it so I get stuck in a loop of "a question has been asked, I should answer it. But what's the answer?" and can't seem to get around to actually thinking about an answer until the pressure to answer eases up.

So friends and acquaintances: if you ever ask me a question, and I say something like "I dunno," that's code for "I can't answer right now; I need time to process this, even if only for a few seconds/minutes while you look away and do something else to get the pressure off me."
fayanora: Processing (Processing)
When I'm in "the zone," where the words flow so fast my hands can barely keep up with my mind, I can type so fast that my computer sometimes has trouble keeping up. But I have some issues that prevent me from getting an accurate typing speed:

1. It only works when I'm "in the zone," which I cannot call up at random, and does not apply to anything pre-written.

2. Tests that test how fast you can type pre-written text is worse than useless to test me because by default I actually read what's on the screen, and my reading speed is ridiculously slow, because my sluggish cognition slows down the process of translating written words into spoken in my head, and then those words into images. Add to this the fact that I have issues translating words into images, and it's very frustrating. And no, I do not know how to just type the letters I see on the screen; my mind cannot contort itself that way.

TLDR = I'm great at translating my thoughts into words, but words into thoughts is fucking HARD.

3. One typing test I took a bit ago showed me that if the test is just a bunch of random words in a line, that's even worse, because my brain still tries to read it and keeps tripping up with the constant "WTF???" moments.

4. I make corrections as I type. I misspell about every third or fourth word when I'm going fast, but my corrections only take a second or less. Even with that in mind, I can get unbelievably fast, but most typing tests count not only my mistakes as mistakes, but also my corrections as mistakes.

5. Every now and then, I have random stalls. I don't mean moments where I pause to think about something (though that happens a lot too), I mean moments where my brain just... stops, goes on pause for anywhere from several seconds to several minutes, thinking of nothing at all. This can happen at any time, for any task. It's been known to cause me to have people repeat things, because my brain was just active enough in those stall moments to realize I was being spoken to, but it didn't process what was being said. These stall moments happen very rarely when I'm in "the zone," but with other forms of writing they are common.

6. I can't even use typing tests I made myself, because my brain still treats it like regular text and defaults to actually reading it, slowing down my potential typing speed.

7. Not sure, but my brain does not seem to be able to process text as anything but words, without sitting there a couple seconds or so to switch gears. Which makes math a right pain, let me tell you, but also probably explains why I can't just type the letters I see on the screen, since my brain doesn't see them as letters, but as words.

8. Needing to switch gears increases the odds of a stall, and lengthens the stall time when they do occur.

9. Sometimes my brain does this thing where it's reading the words but forgetting to process them. For however long these moments last, my brain is essentially looking at the words like they're pretty drawings, and not treating them like words, meaning I have to go back and try again.

So yeah, I have no fucking idea how I'm ever going to get an accurate top typing speed for myself.
fayanora: Hit Girl (Hit Girl)
The other night, I was out returning home from meeting a friend. I was not taking my usual route because it was later than I usually leave, and thus the route I took put me into a neighborhood that I consider dodgy. (Part of the place along Killingsworth.) Now in Portland, dodgy areas are mixed in with better areas like those dry lumps you sometimes get in pancake batter, so no matter how dodgy, you're always no farther than 10 blocks from a decent neighborhood, but still, late at night in an untrustworthy neighborhood I know is riddled with crime despite (or because) it crawling with more pigs than a factory pork farm, so naturally I'm on guard.

This woman (white, skinny, smoker, looked to be in her late 20's physically but her eyes said late 40's at least, comes up to the stop and asks when the bus will be there, as I was just then putting my phone down from checking. Fine, I don't mind simple queries from strangers, so I told her. Then she was like "Can I borrow your phone to make a phone call." Internally I'm derisively laughing, but externally I'm just like "No."

She offers to pay me 50 cents (oooooh, big fucking money!). I again say "No." At this point, the conversation is making me uncomfortable enough that words are getting difficult; thinking in words is getting difficult.

The woman then says "It'd be 50 cents more than you had before." Still, I said, "No." If I were more able to process words at that point, I would have explained why, but I couldn't.

She launches into some rambling thing about having had her phone stolen 17 times since Christmas, so I respond "Then you should understand better than anyone why I don't want to let you use my phone." She immediately starts backtracking by saying "Well some of them were just lost, not stolen." But this was the point where I decided to leave. I had been considering it anyway, since it would be 23 minutes til the bus came, so I just left without a word. I could hear her shouting undoubtably rude things to me, but if I was able to hear any of it, my brain was no longer processing the words, so it all sounded like Charlie Brown-esque "Wah wah wah" to me. I walked two or three stops down, a distance of maybe 10 or 15 blocks, before stopping, expecting to see her on the bus.

No, she wasn't on the bus when I got on. But she somehow had made it two more stops ahead of me, getting on there. I am certain it was the same worman; I may have partial face blindness but if my brain has reason to pay attention, it remembers faces at least for a few weeks after a single encounter. She didn't look at me, thankfully, or try to talk to me. Still, I wonder how she got so far ahead of me without me seeing her pass me. Unless she went down a side street and ran flat-out. But why?

Anyway, if I'd been able to gather my thoughts enough to be more verbal before leaving, I would have told her the following:

"First of all, lady, my general rule wherever I go is that if I don't know you, I don't trust you. Except for obvious exceptions, like employees of places, and even then it's only so far. If some random employee at Target wanted to borrow my phone, I'd still say No.

"Secondly, not only are you a stranger, you're a stranger on a dark night in a dodgy neighborhood, so even if you were offering $1000, I STILL wouldn't let you use my phone. If you had an emergency, *I* would call 911 for you. My phone stays on my person at all times except when I'm at home.

"Third, even if you were a close friend and wanted to borrow my phone, I would expect more than 50 piddling cents. Even my would-still-be-homeless-if-not-for-my-charity roommate offers more than that to make calls on my phone. But it's irrelevant because I don't trust anyone I don't know, and even less in dodgy neighborhoods, so you have about as much chance of me letting you use my phone as the moon has of spontaneously popping like a balloon and getting stuck in a tree.

"So basically, lady, if you need to make a phone call so badly, either find a payphone in the area or find one somewhere else, or find someone else gullible enough to fall for your obvious attempt at thievery. And anyway, even if I did give you my phone to use and you stole it, the joke would be on you because it's one of those free Assurance phones and is a barely-functional pile of rabbit pellets held together with yarn and faith."

*growls and shakes* Honestly, I have fucking trust issues and don't even fully trust my closest friends. I trust Amy, but when I let Amy use my phone, I hover over her waiting for it back.

Incidents like that make me wish I could fully switch to Alex without The Filter so he could sass her. I think if we could do that, there are interesting possibilities for the way the convo could have gone...

Scenarios, long. )

Seriously... this is just one example of the many reasons I don't like people I don't know trying to chat me up outside of certain contexts. Basically, if I'm out and about, and I don't know you, I don't want to talk to you at all. I will grudgingly answer simple, inoffensive queries like the time or directions somewhere or when the bus will get to the stop, but beyond that I generally want you to shut your fucking trap because unless you genuinely compliment me on something I'm wearing, especially something unusual like my cloak or my pentacle, I pretty much have no reason to think you're anything other than just another boring, annoying mundane/non-geek.

Now, IF something you say reveals to me that you are a geek, a pagan/satanist/new ager/etc, a pagan, etc-friendly person, and/or a fellow weirdo in some way, or have useful advice for me regarding things to help ease my burden of being so poor, THEN I will at least listen, and MAY even contribute. I have been known to make new friends that way. But otherwise, I will assume you are another boring Normal and passively ignore you.

And obviously in some contexts it is reasonably safe for me to assume that you are safe to speak with, like if you show up to the pagan meetup, and/or are wearing a pentacle or somesuch yourself.

Yet if your behavior towards me is annoying, like the woman above or like that one idiotic extroverted Oedipus that one time months ago, and I have nothing else to judge you by, then I will file you under either "actively ignore the annoyance" or "worthy of naught but contempt."

I have had enough experiences with horrible people in my lifetime to give everyone in the world at least one, so I don't need any more. Understandably, I am very picky about who I give my time and attention to.

Man, my life would be very different if Alex could take over at times like that, unencumbered by The Filter. And my life would have been very different if Alex had existed when I was a child, before The Filter even developed. *wistful sigh*

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