Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mocking the Learning Disabled


Several times, I've seen a video on Facebook making fun of a female driver who repeatedly parks with the wrong side of her vehicle facing the gas pump until she finally gets it right. On YouTube, the video is titled "Stupid woman at gas station," and many comments on both YouTube and Facebook derisively echo the YouTube title.

But I don't feel like laughing. To me, the video appears to be a textbook depiction of nonverbal learning disorder, and this is a problem with which I have a frustrating lifetime of firsthand experience. Here is the comment I posted to Facebook and YouTube about it, and I hope some people take it to head and heart:
I don't laugh at videos like this, because I empathize with the driver. Like me, she probably has NLD--nonverbal learning disability--and, consequently, great difficulty seeing in her mind's eye how to get the proper side of her vehicle to face the gas pump. And the frustration she undoubtedly feels over her mistakes coupled with anxiety that people might be watching her struggle and laughing at her might well inhibit her reasoning faculties to the extent that she keeps impulsively repeating her mistakes instead of finding some way or other of collecting herself so that she can figure out how to do what she needs to do. She could be very intelligent in other ways. And even if she's not, I wish we would have more empathy and compassion for people who struggle to do things that we are fortunate not to struggle with.

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Friend is Married to the Shrew From Hell



A friend of mine has been living in a loveless marriage for years. But it's gotten even worse recently. His wife has long insisted that things be done her way with precise exactitude and that my friend jump to her every imperious command. But over the past couple of years, she's become the shrew from hell who not only stomps and yells like an insane person when she doesn't immediately get her way, but she even makes thinly veiled threats that if my friend doesn't do what she says, she'll kick him out of the house, and if he refuses to leave right then and there, she'll call the police and falsely accuse him of a serious crime, like the wife of someone I know may have done years ago when she accused him of molesting their young daughter, and he ended up going to prison and then being deported after he served his time.

I find it close to unfathomable that someone could treat her spouse or anyone else this way, no matter what the provocation. I find it even more so that my friend's wife could treat HIM that way. I've known my friend a long, long time, and he is the most mild-mannered and accommodating person I think I've ever known. He also doesn't lie and isn't prone to exaggeration, so I have no trace of belief that he's lying or exaggerating about his wife's behavior. If anything, he's probably understating just how bad it is!

I don't know how I would feel or what I would do if my wife treated me this way. I know that I'd get the hell away from her as soon as I could possibly manage it, because my vow to stay married "for better or worse" never extended THAT far. But I don't know how well I'd be able to hold my temper if she came at me with a hissy fit or with serious threats like my friend's wife does him. I'm not nearly as mild mannered or accommodating as he is. 

Thank God my wife is nothing like my friend's!