Sunday, June 2, 2013

I don't understand.

Sometimes I say I understand when I don't.

Nothing in the world makes me feel more like a weak little girl than when I'm frustrated with math.  Nothing in the world makes that feeling worse then when someone is trying to explain something perfectly obvious but I still don't get it for some reason.  Oh, there's the logic and the backfill and the explanations and this and that and the other thing and WHY DON"T YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH but the truth is, I don't get it.  And your talking is making it worse and I get tell you're getting frustrated and so that's stopping the process alltogether.

At that point, I know I'll never understand.  So I say I do.  Because I just want it all to stop.

Because I won't get it at that point.  Ever.

But you explain more.  And all I want to hear is what the right goddammed answer is.  Just say This is That.  Not if you do this, and then something else happens then you could get that but if you don't get that then this never happened unless you waited for something else first.  I know you get that.  I know it is perfectly clear to you.  I know that it as simple as breathing air that this answer is staring me right in the face but the universally brutal truth, the unshakable truth, the iron-clad and irrepressible truth of it all is that all of those words go into my ears and jumble around and all I hear is "you're stupid blah blah blah, you're stupid you're stupid you're stupid, blah blah blah numbers numbers blah blah don't be so stupid."

And then you get mad.  And I can see why.

It's obvious why you're mad.  I'm mad too.  But, I still don't get it.

Stop giving me the backfill.  Stop spelling it out for me and stop demonstrating and stop exampling and stop everything.

Just say "do this". or "this is the answer."

Because I won't get it if you do anything else.

If I know the answer, I will likely be able to fill in the back story myself.  I'll get it then.

But otherwise, I won't.
Because, by my very nature, I don't.
Which is why I asked for help.
And that's why I feel so weak and broken and stupid.
All. The. Time.

People spend a lot of time telling me how smart I am.
This is why I never take those genuine, very sweet, and wonderful compliments seriously.

Because how smart can I be if I just don't get math?  Frankly there's a lot of logic I can understand.  I can grok a situation's logic quite blissfully, but when it comes down to the numbers, I'm like a spaghetti cook trying to serve you with a single chopstick.  The actual numbers, the sevens and the threes and the ninehundred and twenties, that's a foreign language I'll never understand.  Ever.  Logic yes.  Amounts?  Never.

And that padded little cottony sponge in my head, the one that resists all input...  that's the one I feel most intensely.  It's a big part of my strangeness and my social awkwardness.  Everyone around me feels and breathes and speaks this mystical language of "I'll give you a dollar, two nickels and a penny, and you can just give me a quarter in change."  And I'm a scared little rabbit sitting there and wondering what the hell just happened.

It's why no matter what I do, or where I go, I'll never feel as smart as people tell me I am.
And in my family, you could have teeth for hands and a leg growing out of your neck because as long as you're smart you're beautiful and meaningful.  Chez moi, nothing is so important as smarts.  Smarts = strength.  Strength = quality.  Quality is pure beauty with a cherry on top.

And I'll always know that I don't have that.
And every time I argue with someone (or get argued at while they try to explain long division to me) about math, real numbery math...  I'll always remember my weakness and my stupidness.

Every time.  I will feel stupid.  And only most of the time will I be able to laugh it off.

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