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    Explanations, trying to put stuff into words
    [Originally posted on 9 Sep. 2008, when my blog was still at weblog.nl]
     
    So, recently I've had to face the fact that I wasn't able to keep up doing my job in the same way as before.

    Recognised the signs of major breakdown/shutdown just in time (as opposed to the usual 'way too late'), and had my BF call up my job coach. I dragged myself through a rough couple of weeks (with help); stuff has been arranged, and now I'm working from home for the remainder of my contract. (Note: the job was fun and so were the co-workers, not to make anyone think something negative happened. Will try to explain all about the job situation in a follow-up post).

    What this made me think of, was the way I used to (and still) get so frustrated/angry when someone asked me a question about my day or some such, or asked me to explain about a situation I was in. I'd slide right into meltdown, unless I could get myself to just walk away, or half-yell just the word "no", or something like 'don't ask me questions.'

    I have finally figured out what happens. Here it is:

    It's one of two things: either the question is too vague/unspecific or whatever for me to answer (too many things they might mean, or can't figure out what they mean, like "How was your day" or "How are you"), or people ask me to put something into words that I am unable to put into words, but they expect me to be able to. The realisation that they might think I'm deliberately not answering for some other reason just makes it worse, adds anguish to the mix. That they think I'm unwilling to answer instead of unable is not far-fetched: I am verbal and usually 'good with language'. Equally frustrating is the thought that they might think I'm not answering because I don't really know what's going on myself - I do know, I just can't frame words around it.

    Being verbal, even being good with language in general (picking up new languages, my own language), does not mean you don't have problems with both language expression and language comprehension (both in speech and in writing, by the way). Many of these blog posts may therefore look messy and might be hard to understand, while I was capable of getting A's for essays and fictional pieces when I was still in university. This is because here, I try to explain things I wouldn't be able to say to someone face to face at all, but still have problems in writing too, even if it's easier.

    So maybe now I can come up with two stock phrases/scripts for when someone asks me a question that's unanswerable for either of the above reasons and prevent the frustration, since that's as unpleasant for me as it is for the recipient (really, it is).

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