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conversation and speech greatly effecting relationships

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:20 pm
by arch

I am 27 a painter and in my 1st, long term, relationship with a writer.

I have severe difficulties with speech and conversation. It is wrapped up with a great deal of anxiety, but it frequently leads to silences and an inability to adequately and intelligently communicate to anyone most specifically my partner. I feel totally locked in a world of silence.

I am sure this has a connection to dyspraxia, I am able to visualise, things I have read/ listened to yet I cannot reiterate them in any way that makes sense. it is not that I have forgotten the statement, more like, I can describe around it, my interpretation of it. but the explanation is non linear, and apparently nonsensical, to all but myself, like a bulimic relationship to language. All the words and ideas fall out all at once and the words stumble over each other.

(typical conversation; me: I listened to Terrence mc Kenna talk about dmt yesterday, you would be sooo interested in it. he said how he used to read Satre, Camus etc, and then when he was 19 he smoked a pipe and he released it was all bull ****
he: what was bull ****?
me: all of his previous over intellectualisation of the world. he said he used to look down on people who stated that the universe was made up of levels and various other theories.
he: who were the people and what were their ideas why did he look down on them
me: I don't remember...I remember the way it sounded... he used a word beginning with h... but it wasn't hippies... it sounded like hierachy... but it also wasn't that...

To me my constant issue is not a lack of understanding of what I had heard, but rather my total inability to communicate it verbally to someone else... through tears of frustration, I took to drawing images of my interpretation of the documentary while I felt embarrassment in my silence in a pizza place on valentines night)

I notice that my communicative capacity greatly diminishes on days when I paint/draw, which if I have a big project on, will be every day. It is as though the linguistic side of my mind has totally shut down, and the visual side, takes over. The visual side, being incapable of dealing with consequential time, and instead, it can only make connections about each still moment, in a non linear capacity... am I making sense here?!

As my partner deals with language, at every waking moment he is connected to a computer or engaged in the world, it is putting a great strain on our relationship, to the point it seems that he doesn't want to talk to me at all, and indeed I don't appreciate having all my musings on the world being questioned for their linguistic sense.

The issue of communication has a great impact on my relationship with my partner, but what is of a wider concern is being able to communicate in a professional context with my peers and the wider world say curators, other writers, other artists. Im frequently too incapable of coherent speech to speak to friends I'm otherwise totally comfortable with, thus creating a perpetual low self esteem to self destructiveness cycle!

anyway I frequently feel totally lost and sad at my incapacity to verbally connect with my partner and others, and I wonder if anyone has found any way out of that imposed wall of silence. I.e therapies, activities, etc.?!

Re: conversation and speech greatly effecting relationships

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:01 pm
by Tom fod
Hi and welcome

Whilst I can't personally relate directly to what you've posted I can certainly sense the anxiety it's causing you. Dyspraxia can and does affect short term memory and cause us to forget and/or jumble up our words. This naturally heightens anxiety and we have a vicious circle to deal with. The low self esteem is a by product of this. Also while we might appear outwardly calm some tasks cause us to use all available concentration and as a result engaging in elaborate conversation may be difficult afterward.

Does that make any sense? Would you, your partner or others who know you be inclined to agree that you can be very hard on yourself for self perceived failures?

I hope you don't mind me saying, but I thought your post was beautifully written. I find that I too struggle to communicate verbally at times,especially so in emotionally charged situations.

Re: conversation and speech greatly effecting relationships

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:59 am
by arch
Hi Tom,

Yes I I wondered if the jumbling sentences was something frequently felt by dyspraxics.

I struggled to find scientific papers specifically about dyspraxia, as far as my research has taken me; dyspraxia is frequently paired with autism/dyslexia. Whilst I can appreciate the cross overs (and find the shared aspects, particularly with autism absolutely fascinating), I would strongly argue against myself being either autistic or dyslexic and so I'm after a more detailed study on dyspraxia, which I was diagnosed with as a child and again as an adult. Perhaps you could recommend any papers?

TBH I am also trying to convince my partner to believe in the grand myth of dyspraxia, as he frequently assumes my social awkwardness and incoherency to be a form of autism... which is frustrating...

I had a great deal of support as a child, but interestingly enough, all the cognitive therapies were designed for dyslexia, as the closest learning disability to dyspraxia, for which, there was very little understanding of its physical effects. Am I correct in this analysis? Have things changed today 20 years on?

"Also while we might appear outwardly calm some tasks cause us to use all available concentration and as a result engaging in elaborate conversation may be difficult afterward"

Its interesting that you say this; is that a personal experience you have had and shared with others?

"Would you, your partner or others who know you be inclined to agree that you can be very hard on yourself for self perceived failures?"

yes constantly, neurotically and so it perpetuates a low self esteem cycle.

I wonder if this has its routes in dyspraxia; I know my potential, I find it sooo important, too important, to not appear to fall short. Only inevitably this pressure leads to a great deal of social anxiety and frequent failure through a distress caused by being unable to effectively communicate ideas to others, or engage in a group conversation effectively. Which I sooo DREAM of.

Wouldn't it be a beautiful moment for a dyspraxic who has difficulties and a whole set of anxieties surrounding spoken communication to be able to hold a powerful and consise debate about, I dunno, politics, the potential for other dimensions, or magical theses from the 1600s and their relevance to society today?!

PS. thanks Tom :). I'm not always so concise, but I like to think I am a better writer than speaker!

Re: conversation and speech greatly effecting relationships

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:24 pm
by Tom fod
Hi again Arch

Apologies for delay the in my responding. My understanding is that there is at least some crossover between Dyslexia, and Dyspraxia (and with other cognitive difference conditions too) in terms or organisation of thought, concentration and short term memory. Jumbling words is something that is quite often associated with dyspraxia though not everyone is affected the same and some are successful with finding coping strategies/staying under the radar. I think if specialists rule out other conditions dyspraxia is the last label left in the box. To me personally, it's intensely annoying that some people are inclined to dismiss us or assign us a label based on a snap judgement of what they think they know.

If you use the search term Dyspraxia I find you don't get very many useful results neither do you get all that many more if you try "Developmental Coordination Disorder" Most of the studies seem to focus on children and to me are written in a patronising manner so I have been disinclined to bother reading any papers. The Dyspraxia Foundation could possibly point you in the right direction but they're probably written in OT / Physiotherapist / Ed Psych speak. ... ia_1.0.pdf is interesting/useful though. The condition was identified in me circa 1988 but was 'forgotten' until it was highlighted to me again in 2010.

"Also while we might appear outwardly calm some tasks cause us to use all available concentration and as a result engaging in elaborate conversation may be difficult afterward"

Its interesting that you say this; is that a personal experience you have had and shared with others?
I'd be inclined to say it is more observational of myself and others I've/as a product of my attempting to rationalise why I/others might struggle. I think we often have sharp minds but are let down in our struggle to appear competent to others and that has a understandably detrimental effect on our confidence and self esteem. Caring what others' think is human but it can badly inhibit us too.

Politics is a difficult debate as it's am emotive subject and people can get combative where points of view diverge. I must admit while tempting I tend not to bother to try and change peoples unpalatable believes online as fun as troll baiting is. That said pretty much everyone here is supportive, respectful and polite and will generally have thought before 'opening their mouth', (or they will get a friendly warning in the first instance). We/I wish to encourage debate here and we have The Lounge if you want to raise things that aren't directly Dyspraxia related.

Re: conversation and speech greatly effecting relationships

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:18 pm
by allesandro
I find these posts about verbal communication to be fascinating. As a therapist, I talk to people for a living and am quite good at it. But it's quite different in social situations and in situations where my self esteem is being challenged by a critical authority figure. I'm guessing self esteem is at stake in both the former and latter category because in social situations one's self esteem is on the line because we either make a good impression and hence a social connectionon, or if we do not ,then there is a tone of awkwardness and strain for both persons; it's uncomfortable and if it happens frequently, our ego strength is dealt a blow too challenging to overcome. In the latter category, for me anyway, being criticized by an authority figure such as a supervisor reactivates all of my memories of being criticized by teachers as a child. Inextricable from these memories are all of the negative self-cognitions that accompanied them. Cognitions of inadequacy and inferiority come flooding back with all of those memories and my ability to communicate eloquently becomes challenged to say the least. It's like all of the feelings are so overwhelming that I'm struggling with all of my might to make connections between what the person is saying, and evaluating the validity of their perceptions. So even if I know that what they are saying is total b------t, my brain can't make connections to memories of evidence that could easily disprove the validity of their b---t,and I can't connect language to the feelings or the sketchy memories. Everything gets all jumbled up and so I pretend that I am simply choosing to not engage them, when in fact this is simply my defense for not being able to engage them in verbal volley ball. So sometimes when I know a negative interaction is imminent I imagine what the person might say and what my response to that will be. It's sometimes helpful, to varying degrees depending on what I am prepared to address. Obviously, this is ineffective in surprise attacks; ever get trapped into an unplanned conversation with a therapist who is your boss and bullying you ? It's not pretty.
I know that anxiety and self esteem are chief stressors, and just having to juggle to many balls is also a contributing factor; it feels like sensory overload which results in a ' deer in the head lights, sensory paper jam' situation for me.I'm still trying to figure all of this out, and I am making progress; will keep you guys posted as always.