I Wish Everything Ran on Manuals
I'm a technical writer, by training and experience. Most of my career has been centered around writing and publishing "how To" documentation on the company intranet, creating training for products and services, and the like.
I have no problem creating a forum post or a blog that says, in written word, exactly how I am feeling. The problem is, that seems to be the only way I can communicate my emotions and have them understood.
When speaking, words fail me. I don't have virtual dictionaries at my fingertips, like I do when I work on an article. There is no bolding, italicizing or underlining spoke words for emphasis. Voice inflection seems to be something I am now lacking. I can paint a picture in words of any emotion in the living phyche. But when I try to express that feeling in spoken words, and even body language, the meanings get all crossed, or don't come out at all.
Rachel (I think it was) suggested that I copy and past one of my forum posts about expressing emotions into a word document and print it out for my friends and family to read. It's a pretty good idea. I've even though of compiling everything I have written on this site into a sort of manual on dealing with the post-stroke Lydi.
The problem is that, at some point, Lydi is going to have to actually talk to some one. That is where things go off.
Writing (typing), I cna take time to get the words I want out, or change words to better explain a meaning. I can come back to an idea later if I totally lose it. When speaking, things move too fast and are too fluid to be able to do that. Worse yet if speaking on the phone, where the other person can't see me stop and try to get a word or idea out. They think I hung up on them, instead.
It's gotten to the point where, unless I am absolutely comfortable around the people with whom we are speaking, like family and close friends, I will defer conversation to Sam. I just simply won't say anything at all, or only nod my head in agreement. Even when some one asks me a direct question, the minute I get stuck trying to speak, I look at Sam and silently pleasd for him to take over and get me out of this. God love him, he does it every time, without missing a beat.
If everything ran according to a manual, life would be easy. People could just look up their conversations on whatever page were listed in the table of contents. Unfortunately, hte world doesn't work like that.