Imagine if you were diagnosed with a disease. It’s not fatal, but it impacts every facet of your life. This disease is extremely rare. Everybody knows about it though, and everybody seems to have an opinion about the disease despite the fact that they have no real information about it. It hurts to have people tell you that it’s good you have this disease, to have to defend the fact that you’re not completely happy about it or grateful for it like you’re expected to be, so you are very cautious about who you allow into your confidence. Right after you were diagnosed you were incredulous and frightened and assumed that everyone would at least be basically supportive if not sympathetic. But you’ve learned better by now. And really, there have been a lot of good things that have come from having the disease. Maybe even the majority of the impact has been positive. But there are days, many days, when negative forces take hold and you find yourself sobbing for no apparent reason, unable to even find the sounding board that other types of disease sufferers can find to help them navigate the frightening times. Except for other sufferers of the same disease. But you mustn’t focus too much attention on them, lest you be judged harshly for that.
That is what being an LDA feels like to me. It affects me on a deep level, and at the same time I am ashamed to admit that it does. My ability to focus. My ability to trust. My essential perspective on the world is going through a seismic shift, invisible to everyone but myself. It’s like I was standing in the middle of a hurricane that only affected me, and only a very few people who have been hit by the same hurricane or were particularly sensitive could even sympathize. The rest of the world was befuddled or downright angrily insisting that I wasn’t standing in the middle of a hurricane. And now the storm has passed and I am sorting through what it left behind, standing in the wreckage and trying to salvage the best of what was and what is and what will be, hiding from those who insist I am still standing in a perfectly sound structure that now has a nifty new addition on it!