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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Geographical/directional Dyslexia

I have it!! HA! I finally have a name for this annoying thing I have. The inability to find my way around. Some people have a bad sense of direction. Mine is really bad!!

I am 32 years old, from a small enough area, yet I cannot figure out how to get someplace I've been hundreds of times if I try and drive there myself. I get all panicky. This is not a big city, but I cannot visualize how to get somewhere. I know in my head what the building looks like but have no idea which roads to go down to get there. I will spend 10-15 extra minutes navigating streets (some of them one way streets so I have to be careful), frantically searching for my destination. Many times, I will have driven past a place and then I always have to backtrack. Maps don't help, nor do directions. I have spent many sweaty minutes in my car, panicking over getting from point A to point B.

I can also be in the basement of my house I've lived in 7 years now and I don't know which rooms are above me. Whenever I leave the office at a clinic appointment, I stop outside the room and don't know how to get to the waiting area. I have constant dreams of being lost. In fact, I got lost during the first week of school in 7th grade, searching for my math classroom for 15 minutes before having to go to the office, and the secretary had to take me to class. I was 20 minutes late. It was a small school and only had one floor! My dreams, which are recurring, have the common topic of getting lost in school and not being able to find my locker, going on a trip and not being able to find the hotel room, or being lost on a cruise ship and unable to locate my family or our cabin. I wish I knew when someone said "go North", which direction that actually was. I do not "get" this concept and it doesn't come naturally to me. I have an amazing memory otherwise and can memorize things by sight and associate birthdays and dates with peoples' faces, and I'm an awesome speller and consider myself to have an above average reading level/intelligence, but directions = terrible. My mom is the same way but probably a little better at me at navigating.

P.S., don't mind me if I stop you and ask for directions. I honestly cannot help the way I am!! I have tried to get myself to "know" my way and it just doesn't work. Bah!


forestlady@cableone.net said...

I too have geographic dyslexia. gave me an anxiety attack just reading Hippie Mama's description of it. So glad to know
I"m not the only one who's like this. It makes a person feel totally stupid and even helpless at times. I too can get lost in someone's normal-sized house, not be able to find front door; or get off elevator in familiar building and not know which way to turn. Worst thing ever is being on a freeway in unfamiliar city, even with aid of telephone voice giving directions--thank God for that invention!

Sarah said...

You are not alone, my dear!! :) It just happened to me again this weekend. I was at the Alzheimer's Walk (in honor of my grandma) and there was a park shelter set up and when I went back in, I couldn't find my family. Mind you, this is a tiny park shelter, but I thought I had come out the other side, so it was momentary panic where I lost my sense of direction.