Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm Me, and that's All I Can Be.

School and socialization has always been a tough thing for me, as well as other things. Kids would make fun of me a lot when I was little, or just ignore me. I am extremely clumsy, and am always stumbling over things. I’m not good at judging distances and measuring things visually. My language and writing skills are high up above my head, yet my math skills pool into a horrible mess at my feet.

I am highly sensitive. I do not like touching those cup holder things from Mc Donald’s. I don’t like eating big chunks of broccoli. If I run into something, it hurts more than it does for the average person.

My hands aren’t that great. When I was young, it took me longer than the other kids to learn cursive and to tie my shoes.

It’s other things, such as being one of the last people out of the classroom trying to get my stuff together. It’s also having trouble picking up on sarcasm sometimes (I have, however, gotten better with this-people around me use it a lot).

The big things and the little things all added up to my life, and something called Non-Verbal Learning Disorder (NLD, or NLVD). Up until last year, I hadn’t even heard of it. It has some similarities to Asperger’s Syndrome, with some differences.

I think one of the most difficult things has to be my social issues. I have a difficult time with eye contact, and I have a hard time understanding body language and tone of voice.

For many years, I had done so many stupid things socially, that I kind of just closed in on myself. I didn’t reach out much because I couldn’t trust myself in situations where I had to interact with people. I would play it as safe as possible. And, at times where I was interacting with others, while they may not have noticed, I was extremely anxious the entire time.

At this point after being diagnosed, I am seeing a counselor who helps me with almost every aspect of my life-such as socialization, organization, staying focused, being confident in myself, and even becoming healthier. She has been such a help to me so far. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from her is that the only way I can get better at things is to just do them.

I have to constantly remind myself that things aren’t as bad as they seem. Then, I have to hold my breath and just jump in-no matter how terrified I am. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes and do stupid things, but you can’t stop living!

For the longest time, I did do that, unfortunately. I became a whisp of dandelion that was just floating along for no good reason. Yet, maybe the floating along was just what I needed for a while. The floating eventually led me to a place where I could plant my roots and grow. The only way to grow is to take risks and learn.

I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. Some people are going to misjudge me. That is just the way it is.

Yet, it’s such a comfort to me to know that God has been there with me every step of the way. I don’t know where I’d be without Him. He has blessed me with an amazing family and friends. He’s given me hope and strength where others can’t. He’s also given me the ability to reach out to others to help them.

While life isn’t easy for me, (or anyone for that matter) it’s important to realize the good that you can do for others from your experiences. It’s my prayer that maybe, just maybe, my words and experience can be an inspiration or help for someone else. That’s what God put us here for-to help others and spread His word.


  1. Enjoyed your post above. We know a guy who was diagnosed with Asperger's. He had some of the same problems with socialization as you have described. He was a whiz at technical things, a great pianist. And then one day he decided he would not play the piano anymore. Don't know if he has yet or not. His parents had gotten him a baby grand! They moved to another city and he later joined the Army and loves it. He is married now. I admire any young person who can face their problems and over come them and you are on the way. Tell Richard I wrote this. I'll put your blog in my favorites and read it now every time you write something.
    Barbara Galloway

  2. Chelsea, I am so very proud of you and can truly say you are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing this because it will help others understand not only your struggle but maybe others they come in contact with! I love you sweetie! <3 Aunt Jennifer