Q&A provided

Yesterday, I took three hours of my day to find out what was wrong with me. It started with a puzzle I had to do and several math and vocabulary tests, which all made me think what the hell am I doing here. Even the questions he asked me were aggravating.

Neuropsychologist: Who was the President during the Civil War?

Me: Abraham Lincoln.

Neuro: Who is the person related to the Theory of Relativity?

Me: Albert Einstein.

Neuro: Who was Martin Luther King?

Me: He gave the I Have a Dream speech and took part in the Civil Rights Movement to end segregation and ensure equality for African Americans.

Neuro: What are the three names of blood vessels in the body?

Me: Uh…

My dad answered that question for me in an email I wrote to my parents. He replied: arteries, capillaries and veins. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know that one. Everyone knows this stuff!

The math word problems spoken to me were difficult to answer as I couldn’t get a sheet of paper to work them out. I couldn’t possibly do them all in my head. Then he continued to show me pictures of puzzles and which ones would go in the right order and which words would fit in a sentence. I kept on saying this nonsense is never going to end! When can I eat? Can I use the bathroom during this nonsense?

Three hours and twenty minutes later, I walked out of the room wanting some peace to myself. There was even a long packet with about 300 personal questions on it I had to answer either false, slightly true, mainly true, or very true before leaving.

“My relationship with my partner/ spouse is terrible” I have no husband or boyfriend. I’m eternally single forever.

“I have no trouble making new friends” Have you seen anybody who would want to be friends with me on the streets of Parkville? What about Towson? There are thousands of college girls from New Jersey at Towson University who all they want to do is get drunk at nightclubs and change into a different item of clothing every thirty minutes to an hour. There are no more nerds out there that I can find outside of WTC and karaoke. And people on the MTA bus are creepy or homeless, believe me.

“My thoughts change all the time that I can’t concentrate” Yes, this kind of happens to me only when I’m bored or when I get up in the morning and I have nothing planned for the day. But that’s because I have bipolar disorder. I can almost control it now, rapid cycling aside.

“I don’t know how to be careful with spending money- I spend too much” Not me. My mom taught me how to window shop at the mall and stick to the clearance rack at Rugged Wearhouse and Ross. But I do get carried away with the craft store, if I had a vice.

“I have a severe alcohol/ drug problem that interferes with my relationships” Definitely not me.

“I like to drive too fast” Have you even met me? I don’t drive at all! No license.

“I hear voices that won’t go away” Excuse me, what?

The questions only went on and on for what felt like forever. I wasn’t allowed to skip a page and I couldn’t even leave a good half or quarter of a page alone. I had to answer almost all of them.

The doctor didn’t even ask me some personal questions face to face, like, “What was your childhood like?” “What is it like with your parents? Are you close with your mother?” He just stuck to his forms and papers and he was hoping to use the 300 question paper to stick into a machine that would spit out an answer or summary of me.

The whole time, I kept thinking, what is the point of this whole scenario? If everyone in the world had to take this test, then we’d all be autistic, right? Everyone has a disability and it’s not just me. Everyone’s autistic somehow.

About two hours later, as I sat in the library of my alma mater, Towson University, I saw the sun creeping in through the awfully big windows. There were blue skies and sunshine. That put a smile on my face and made me think of my favorite Jeff Lynne song-

So I decided to put all my writing aside for the day and take a walk outside. I needed to enjoy the sunshine since we’ve had nothing but rain for almost two weeks, which makes this the rainiest May we’ve had in Maryland. All the rain was supposed to be gone by the end of April, but it came in May and made it colder instead.

I was really glad that the sun was on my side.

The sun was out for most of the day today until the clouds came in and ruined the day with more rain, but I’ll look past it for now. All I really need is a cup of peppermint tea and my laptop to finish writing my novels. I’m working on two of them in fact: the second draft of my steampunk Jane Austen story Nightmare in Northanger, and the second one a YA science fiction novel about a teenage girl who gets kicked out of a high school for superheroes for having no powers… until she freezes her history teacher during class.

Slightly inspired by the Marvel comics and one of my favorite Disney movies about superhero teens, this work is called Super Frost.

All I can do as far as my brain is concerned is to wait and hope that I’m not on the “spectrum”. That I am what passes for “mentally normal” in the United States. I don’t want anything more to be wrong with me. The results come back in 2-3 weeks.

Only two weeks before Balticon 50. It can’t come sooner.

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