The hardest part about having an invisible disability is connecting with someone. Usually they don’t have the patience or understanding to get to know you. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but I was fortunate enough not only to find someone who not only accepted me as a person but also embraced me as a spouse.
Anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to have NVLD I can only relay my experience having it. Imagine having an ability to converse with anyone with utmost confidence and stride only to find out much later what you did, or said was extremely offensive, insulting, or strange. Typically I wouldn’t know what I did or said that would have a lasting impact with an individual or group but I would always feel the after effects. This wasn’t more apparent then in my dating life.
Prior to being diagnosed, I would go on dates and things would go perfectly find until a certain point in which some of the individuals decided the date was over. I never exactly knew what it was that I said but I knew it was something. This perpetual sense of putting my foot in my mouth was apparent with my father, he suggested potential diagnoses for my mental state but these were all unofficial. I recall going on a date and I attempted to relay these diagnoses, this bought me time and we did eventually continue dating until communication break downs came to a head and ultimately severed our relationship. She no longer took my father’s unofficial diagnosis; she thought I was intentionally this way. I felt like I was destined to live with my parents for the rest of my life, my father felt the same way.
Eventually I found another girlfriend who looked past my shortcomings, and despite living at home we got engaged. Shortly after we got married, my father was thrilled and shortly after, I enrolled in college. Everything was going fine until math came about and my father told me there was no way I would succeed without assistance. The college set me up to get me diagnosed to aid with my math and get it substituted if necessary. This is when I got officially diagnosed with NVLD and my wife was very supportive and understanding. She’s been more understanding then any other peer previously in my life. She knows that I say and do odd things and I manage to put my foot in my mouth more often then not, however she’s been with me going on 5 years now.
In closing, even if you feel different and odd there’s someone understanding for everyone out there it just takes time. Just be patient because true love waits.
Myk is a Project Social Ambassador from Florida, where he promotes events and makes movies.