Philosopher Francis Bacon is credited with developing the scientific method. The method where theories are either proven or debunked. He said, “age appears to be best in four things; old wood best burn, old wine to drink, old friends trust, and old authors to read.”
I begin my story with these words because it was the philosopher, Aristotle, who brought me to much of my understanding of the world that I have today. In 2006, I was drawn to Freemasonry for the simple reason that I knew that I could find friends. I figured that it was the perfect opportunity to find like-minded people. I can also remember saying to myself that if this didn’t work - nothing would. Fast forward to 2011 and my only relationships were with my large suffering but also the church where I had been for many years. I perceived at the time it was obviously me that was doing something wrong, because the same pattern reared its head over the previous 20 years of my life. I didn’t understand it and when I had a falling out with brothers in my Lodge, they came to my house and try to reason with me. At the time I felt like I was really losing my mind, I’ve never been so low in my life and never been so close to death. Nothing has worked. That’s all I could think of.
Shortly after that I had an attraction to Hillsdale College, rather the president of Hillsdale College, Larry Arnn. Specifically, I had an attraction to the way he spoke and more importantly what he spoke of. Aristotle was one of those he taught me something about. The next thing I did was find a copy of “ Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics” translation, glossary and introductory essay, by Joe Sachs of St. John’s College, Annapolis.
Aristotle on friendship is something that I studied for a long time and still refer to it today. Hopefully on the other side of this study I would be better, and understand people better enough so that I can manage a friendship. It never worked, although I learned a lot about people. That is a double-edged sword but I digress. The fact was that I was nowhere closer to maintaining a friendship that I was before I started all of this.
Fast forward to 2015 and still oblivious. I quit my job where I had cleared $44,000 a year. I said to myself, that I was able to find myself being a Master Mason, and a Director of the Corporation at my Lodge, in addition to the Chaplain of the Lodge. At this point someone from the LDS Church might say, I was at 12 O’Clock in the pride cycle. I registered for The city college and I was going to be a mortician. From my first day I hit head winds, and they just happened to be in Math. I was not doing well at all and was very overwhelmed with the light load that I was taking. I had to figure this out, but at the same time my thought of being in special ed classes through jr. High and High School revealed itself. I was ready to fight but at the same time I had enough frustration that given the chance, I was going to let a truck run over me!
I sought out, and made my way through cognitive testing by way of the therapist on campus to find out what was wrong with me. One of the first things that I was told in the results was that I have very poor coordination. I thought to myself, that’s funny, when I was in high school I had a coordination test and it turned out the same way. I was told that I have very slow visual processing. I demonstrated very poor ability of being able to look at a bit of information and copy it to a different page. I can still remember doing the test and thinking that I did really well. When the tester revealed to me that most people get through what I had done plus a whole lot more, it broke me. “I had slow processing.” That comment really stuck with me. I had all of these other problems, but I had a super strength too. I asked the tester what can I do with this. He replied after thinking about it for a moment, and said ‘have a good conversation.’ I’ll never forget that. I can honestly say that my testing results turned my world upside down and it was about to get worse!
The very next thing I did was look up slow processing, I found the acronym ‘FASD’ and I wondered what that was. This was my journey to understand what was really wrong. In those moments, understanding she is a recovered alcoholic, I made a phone call and asked if she had consumed alcohol while being pregnant with me. The unfortunate truth was she was at her worst drinking when she was pregnant with me. I learned about stories of how she could drink with men under the table at the bar. Her drinking stemmed from an abusive relationship from her first husband and then my father as well. She said, when she drank she suddenly felt like a normal person again. So when she wasn’t working, she was drinking. Later I learned about miscarriages.
That was about four years ago. Was it really that long ago? Peter, my husband, is always reminding me that I have no concept of time. Turns out after learning about FASD, that I must suffer from that. It all makes sense to him. I don’t how many times he had said it to me before I even knew about all of this. It also explains a lot of my problems throughout my life in the past.
Plato’s cave analogy is a good explanation for how I feel what has happened. Except, like a vampire the sun burns me, so I find myself running in and out of the cave. And when I want to isolate myself from the truth the sun has a way of finding its way through the cracks. Ignorance is bliss or is it? I was miserable before I knew all of this, and maybe I’m more miserable with the knowledge of this. I still have a goal of becoming a mortician, I am still fighting intermediate algebra. I have attended the workshops for the mortuary science program. I know the warnings. I have made my way from basic math to intermediate Algebra and I am very proud of that. Through thousands of hours of working, I passed biology. I passed Anatomy and Physiology. I passed Psychology. I passed all my requirements for English all the way to English literature. I managed my way through an art class. Ironically, I love taking photographs, even though visual processing is my weakest link. If I could only get through this math I can get to the mortuary science program to discover that I’m too late and that my Anatomy and Physiology class is too old. At least that’s what I’m expecting!
When I started writing this wasn’t my intention to end on a sour note. I also understand that some of this is rambling on, but I don’t have the energy to fix it right and I figure that I’ve wanted to submit my story now for weeks. School is starting tomorrow, so if I don’t get it out now I never will. I have all of this knowledge in my head about different subjects of science and English and on and on, and I can’t seem to figure out how to make it work for me. I think this the other IQ that nobody talks about. The schools don’t understand, the pastor doesn’t understand, the mother doesn’t understand. The emotions that blow me over. The persecution that sticks with me. The anxiety, the hands that go out of control and I get nervous or anxious. The pain in my body. My kidneys that are starting to fail. The heart damage that I have that was revealed in a recent test. Looks like I’ve had a heart attack. Was that damage from when I was in utero? My regulation problems, the kind that put me in the hospital from lactic acid poisoning because I exercised too hard and nobody stopped me, and the conversations that I have with so many young people going to college and succeeding at their dreams. I have dreams, too.
I do have a very big blessing in my life, my husband loves me very much and my Reggie dog.