Downsides to Being Danni

Yesterday I wrote a blog post, but forgot to publish it before sleeping. Fixed now, but I was a silly sausage.

I’m normally a very happy Danni. Penguins, friends, family, technology, purple, all awesome things that make me happy. There are some things that I don’t like about being me, some coming from being ill, others from being Autistic and Dyspraxic, and some combined to make smaller issues bigger.

One of the main ones is struggling to communicate with friends and family. There are several things that cause this to be an issue. The first is unless prompted, I forget people (and things) exist. Luckily these days there’s friend lists on Facebook and similar, but I’m unable to name all my friends and family without some form of prompt. I love them all dearly, it’s a quirk of my memory that’s been made much worse by being ill. I have to keep reminders around so I never forget who Sammie (my daughter) is. I imagine most people don’t forget their own immediate family, but I do. I find frequent Facebook statuses, tweets and stuff really helpful to remember who people are 🙂

I’m also pretty face blind. I don’t recognise myself in the mirror, and remember other people by hair, clothing style, voice and movement. I do better with photographs, but have thought pictures of my sister were me before. If someone drastically changes their hair style, especially without warning, it can take me a while to get used to their new one. This is less of a problem now I rarely see people face to face but it’s still frustrating.

I struggle to initiate conversation, even with people I really like and know well. Not because I don’t care about them, but because I don’t know what to say. I was getting better at this but then I got ill and it’s bad again. I really appreciate when others start a conversation with me because replying is much easier. Unfortunately since I became really ill I’m not always up to long conversations, but I’m hoping that will improve soon.

I’ve got a type of hearing problem where I can’t hear speech properly when there’s background noise. My actual hearing is better than average (I can hear things most other people can’t) but I can’t filter what I hear so have everything coming through, which is exhausting. I lip read to some extent which helps a bit but in a noisy room I simply can’t hear someone speaking. This is also a major part of why I can’t use the phone – I have no visual clues to help me and the line or background noise makes it nearly impossible to understand what’s being said. When I try it takes so much energy I’m completely exhausted afterwards and have relapsed because of it.

I’m tired now so I’ll leave it there, but understanding these are difficulties I have due to disability rather than being lazy or weak makes it much easier to deal with and means I can concentrate on workarounds to these issues. I’m still awesome, despite my problems 🙂

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