Words don’t come easy


Left and Right Differentiation

Wife: Go left at the next corner.
Husband: Okay.
Their car approaches corner and the husband indicates left and goes to turn left.
Wife: (in a panicked voice) I said right!
Husband: No you didn’t. You said left…..
Wife: Well I meant right. Go right now….
Husband: I can’t now. There’s a car behind me and we’re in the wrong lane. We’ll have to go around the block.
Wife: I’m sure I said right.
Husband: Mm.

I have had many a discussion with my husband about the glorious words left and right. Nothing to do with politics here just the plain old fashioned meaning of direction. I have always thought that I am clear with my directions but apparently I say left when I mean right. I admit that this may be the case but it is not until you observe yourself closely that you realise that you may not be so perfect after all! I began these observations in earnest after self diagnosing myself with Aspergers. The excitement of Aspergers has worn off. I have known for over three months now. Life is back to normal. 🙂 So back to the left/right issue. There was a question that asks whether you have difficulty with direction, in particular left and right. I do believe at the time I wrote no. But on reflection that is not true. My sense of direction is truly amazing. I can find my way anywhere. I can also read and navigate with a map well. But I have noticed that when there is another person involved then driving and having to describe where to go at the same time, well the words don’t seem to come out perfectly. I think that maybe why I prefer to drive. I can just show you rather than explain to you where we are going. I am a terrible passenger. I get bored and fidgety and make the driver nervous, or I start adding suggestions which don’t go down well. You get the idea.

Mild Aphasia
Why is it that we say one thing but mean another? My husband knows what I am talking about. He can follow the code. I find with speech I either cannot use the correct word such as the case just stated or I simply cannot say the word that I want to say at all. I can see the object even and the word doesn’t appear formed in speech. It gets lost onto the way to my voice, I can draw what I want to say, it is usually an object or a thing. It is completely frustrating to forget simple words. Instead of saying the object, which I obviously cannot for unknown reasons, I describe what I want to say. In my mother tongue it may sound ridiculous but in another language it can be disguised as forgetting vocabulary. For some reason I only have this problem with speech. Or it appears more obvious with speech. I do not recall this problem with writing. I have had this forgetting of words since early times. I had hoped that I would grow out of it but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I only hope that it doesn’t get worse as I get older! This is not a daily occurrence but it happens quite regularly. I haven’t noted anything in particular today that frustrated me. No wait,… we were filling the dishwasher and I needed to really concentrate to ask my husband to help with various tasks clearing the benchtop. For this case call it delayed speech. The words eventually arrived. I’m feeling a little tired now as I write this so perhaps my memory is deceiving me.

Wife: Go and have a look at the moon! It’s a full moon. It’s beautiful.
Husband: Where is it?
Wife: Go down the steps to the master bedroom. (pointing down the hall.)
Husband interprets this to mean go down the hall. (There are no steps.) He goes down the hall to the master bedroom and looks out the window up at the moon.
Husband: Wow. I need to get my camera. It’s so clear.

Wife: Can you get me a ….., I want to soak up the water off the bathroom floor.
Husband: A towel?
Wife: Yes. A towel.

Where do the words go? Why do they get stuck on the way from the brain to the mouth? Does this happen when I am tired? Or nervous? Anxious? As I get older will it happen more often? Cynthia at Musings of an Aspie wrote a great post on this topic. I had never heard of the word aphasia before until she mentioned it in one of her surveys here. Aphasia, it’s a rather frightening word usually associated with strokes, brain cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Is it common with Aspergers?

Slow Cognitive Processing
Are you ever in a conversation and someone has asked you a question and you think about it and then reply and you take the person by surprise because they weren’t expecting any reply. They either thought that you weren’t listening or that weren’t interested. Even my husband after so many years is still thrown by my delay in replying at times. Yet the more I read the faster my cognitive processing becomes. It seems to be speeding up of late. This is an interesting development. However my listening skills seem to be waning. Which is more important? Getting your thoughts or idea across or listening to the other person? Both are important. I just have to remember that if I ask a question I need to let the person reply until they have finished not rush off on a tangent partway through the reply. Patience.

F R David – Words Don’t Come Easy

3 thoughts on “Words don’t come easy

  1. You may be missing something: Are you a visual thinker? Many Aspies are and don’t realize it. This means that you think in pictures, not words. So expressing yourself in words is like speaking a foreign language, but not well. Words are “missing” – used awkwardly, etc. Read my posts on visual thinkers; it might explain the “word gaps” and complete blanks. There are acquaintances I’ve been around for 20 years and I haven’t a clue “wordwise” who they are: name, children’s or spouse’s names, or any verbal description. I know them by faces and locations where I’m likely to “bump into” them.
    Gina – Asperger: Hyposocial Human

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