Thread subject: The Dyscalculia Forum :: not knowing how to get home ><
Posted by mathmustdie on June 28 2012 07:44 AM
Since I notice a lot of dyscalculics don't drive or have problems with driving... I thought I'd share my latest stress about not driving and having other people drive me home :(
I just got back from a downtown outing with some aquaintences. My mom took me took me to the place where we were meeting up and from there people carpooled. When we were leaving downtown at the end of the night I was like "I think I'll call for someone to pick me up" (at the place we originaly met up in the first place) and the person driving insisted they take me home. I tried to avoid it...but they said it was no problem etc. I've usually had success with people taking me home when they do not know where I live (at least lately) because they use navigation systems. Well...this person's navigation system broke...and I was faced with "So...how do you get to your house?"
I wanted to die. It is a sad sad fact that I do not know where I live >< Since I don't drive I really do not pay attention to street names or where to turn etc. I only know landmarks but this is such a "weird" thing to people. And of course I have to be asked why I don't drive during this process of trying to get me to my home. No story sounds good. I probably shouldn't even say what I usually say. If I say "I am not good at it" people don't think that its a good reason to not drive. I don't ever mention dyscalculia so I can't blame it and even if I did that would make things so complicated. So I say that I was traumatized in drivers ed by a mistake I made. Maybe that's an even WORSE thing to say. But I really don't know what to tell people. I feel like I can't win.
So this person expected me to have a MAP in my head of how to get to my house. I felt the horrible sinking feeling of being "stranded" and would not be able to get home!!! I also feared I was going to inconvenience this person and make them drive all over the place forever. I mentioned one landmark they knew that is near my house...a street name that I remembered...and thankfully I was in familiar surrounding and could guide the person in the end. Even though I got home alright...I felt so scared and put in an awkward position which questions like "you never drove to your house before?" etc.
I hope I am not the only one with this problem?? I feel so bad about it...and I am scared that this person is going to gossip and say things like "I can't believe she doesn't know where she lives...and she had no idea how to get to her house" when alone with the other people. Maybe I am over-thinking/over-exaggerating...
Part of me feels like people shouldn't expect non-drivers to be experts at directions since they never have to use directions...but I don't know ? I try to conceal dyscalculia and avoid explaining why I don't drive and just leave things to people's imagination but it can never STAY that way....
Posted by ardentauthor on June 28 2012 12:38 PM
I can really relate! I only have my learners permit, so my parent has to be beside me while I'm driving-thank goodness! I would be lost!
The other day some relatives visiting asked for directions to my school. I don't drive myself, of course, but seeing as I was a passenger there for over 100 consecutive days, they expected me to know how to get there. So, I said "Um...go straight, and then...you'll go through a stop light and pass a bank, and then you turn...and go straight." And I was incredibly proud for remembering all of that; in fact, I could almost see it in my mind, which is the closest I've ever gotten to visualizing a street. And then they said, "Go straight which way?" and since I wasn't standing in the direction the car would be going, I mixed up my lefts and rights and they laughed. :/
And you're right: If you don't drive, how can people expect you to know directions if you don't even need them? Sherlock Holmes said something about only needing information that was relevant to him and discarding what wasn't. If they ever tease you, just compare yourself to him.^^
Posted by RottieWoman on June 28 2012 12:47 PM
mathmustdie, I'm sorry you had this experience, I know how it is to try and explain to people when you are with someone and they want to get to your house for whatever reason <your situation, or if the car is in the shop and you have a courtesy driver from the shop take you home, etc....at least the latter has happened to me...or if a service person coming to your place to do a job needs some clarification on your location...again, happens to me..>
Now I do always tell people about dyscalculia, including the house workers I just mentioned, and the courtesy driver, and pretty much anyone. All of the people who I consider my friends treat me with kindness and accept me as I am, including my math LD or dyscalculia. If they would be hurtful, they wouldn't be my friends, for me it's that simple. For those who are acquaintances or people to do business with - I don't care what they think when I tell 'em.
I tell the person at the car wash when I go in and ask them to be patient with me <it has those tracks you're supposed to line up the wheel with that pull the car along and I have problems with oral instructions, left/right etc>.
So I tell - why? Because that way I'm explaining why I use landmarks and why I learned to drive late etc. If necessary my husband helps in terms of a business-related situation.
But I could put together a bunch of "what will they think of me" stuff but whatever their response - it's all THEIRS. I don't have friends who gossip, but if I'm wrong and someone talks about me to someone else - so what? That's all their stuff they're messing with, more reflective of them than anything to do with me.
People will do and imagine anything anyway, the only thing I have control over is what I -me- do with my own fears and memories and thoughts.
Posted by mathmustdie on June 28 2012 03:45 PM
thanks for the replies, it feels better to not be alone with these upsetting LD induced situations. I really want to avoid people taking me home from now on at all costs...but I don't know if this is entirely avoidable.
With some acquaintances I really don't care what they think...but with others I feel the wrong impression can lead to "blacklisting" so I feel pressure.
I really like that Sherlock Holmes quote...it makes a lot of sense!!
Edited by mathmustdie on June 28 2012 03:45 PM
Posted by Riggs on July 26 2012 02:29 AM
I struggle with my math disability also and have been called slow because of my poor sense of direction. I can remember how to get home either and it was a real problem when I had missed the school bus and had to be taken home by one of the teachers. I couldn't tell them directions tob my house.
Posted by justfoundout on July 26 2012 02:49 AM
I'm pleased that you've found us here and that you felt that we would 'relate'. I am now able to navigate in the huge metroplex where I live. But I can definitely say that before I 'drove', I could not have told you how to get from my house to my school. I would have told you how to get out to the main country road, and which way to go from there, but once we would have gotten to the edge of town, anything could have happened. Once, when I was in High School, the teacher told us that there was a good place to buy art supplies. She gave us the name of the store, and the name of the street where it was (a 'main drag'). Besides telling us that it was on that street, she said that it was 'just north' of where we were on our street. Seeing that everybody in my class knew where she was talking about, I asked, "But where is that street?" Someone nearby told me, "It's the next big street over from ours." I was still drawing a blank. Eventually, one of my neighbors took me to the store when I needed to go there. But I never had any concept of where my school lay in relation to where the store was located. I do 'now'. Learning to read a map,... to lay it out and figure out where I was and where I wanted to go,... opened a new world for me. But I think that I must have had a much harder time of doing this than other people.
Texas doesn't have any public trasportation to speak of. Yes, within Dallas, there is bus and rail service. And there is limited service to neighboring cities. But honestly, so much crime, such a risk that the bus will pass you by in a rain storm (happened to me once. I looked like a little wet mouse.), and the ridgedness that you can't change your plan on where you want to go and what else you want to take care of,... these disadvantages mean that Texans just have to be able to drive. But even now, unless I know the area, if I'm not driving, I can't remember how we got where we went.
Welcome Riggs. I hope that you will find 'kindred spirits' here. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on July 26 2012 02:52 AM
Posted by Riggs on July 26 2012 03:02 AM
I am still pretty bad at direction and now with living in the city it becomes a problem. When I start driving I am just going to get a gps and that would make everything much easier.
Posted by RottieWoman on July 26 2012 06:53 PM
Hi Riggs, I just greeted you:) I learned to drive late as requirement for my job as a case manager. I worked with people with cognitive disabilities and on the severe end of the autism spectrum and had to often take them places and go to their apartments and check on things with them.
I don't know how to use a GPS though my hubby loves it - he has a terrible sense of direction and is often lost at or around a place he's gone to many times before; I suspect he has a mild non-verbal LD based on that and other things.
I always have used landmarks to get around and really couldn't tell anyone <using traditional directionals> how to get to our place - I usually just say what major street it's by and the various landmarks around it.
Edited by RottieWoman on July 26 2012 07:17 PM
Posted by Miss Dixie on August 06 2012 12:26 AM
I am so glad I read this post. I too learned to drive late I was 20 just something inseide me kept telling me not to.
I don't take highways, or expressways not because I am afraid of driving fast, but because I can't remember the sequence of exits that I would need to get off on to the off roads to where I am going.
My friend couldn't believe I had never driven the 401 Canada's major highway that pretty much runs through the whole country. I've been driving for 20 odd years and never drove it.
I would also joke with people that if I had to get to Toronto I woudl pay someone to do the driving or take the bus or train. I've never driven to Toronto in my life. I tell people I have a fear that I'll be in an accident but mostly it's because I don't know where to get off to get downtown or to the airport, with constant construction landmark driving make it very hard the landscape and lanes keep changing.
From my work it is a quick 10 drive on the 401 to my local college where I am taking courses, I was encouraged by my friend to try it, they said I could follow them that worked out well and I did it! I was very proud of myself despite I was a nervous wreck.
The next week we did the same thing only this time someone cut inbetween us, and I lost track of them and missed seeing them turn off, I was terrified until I could get to a next exit and text them to tell me slowly how to get back.
They showed me a trick with the big college sign on the hill, so now I know to turn off there. Otherwise who knows where I'd end up.
People without this have no idea of frustrating it can be on so many different levels.
Posted by justfoundout on August 06 2012 03:32 PM
That was such a good point about not being able to remember the 'sequence of the exits', Miss Dixie. I have that same problem. I have to make a conscious effort (just as you described) to be able to remember 'what's next' and where to get off. And, just like you implied, it seems that without that conscious effort, no matter how many times I re-trace the same route (but without thinking about it), it just doesn't 'stick' with me to be able to do the same thing the next time.
In a similar scenario, Dallas and Fort Worth are two cities that sit about 20 miles apart and are 'parallel' to each other. Hence, there are principle streets and highways that run from one to another, but that change names somewhere 'in between'. It's so difficult for me to remember 'sequence' that, for me, it's easier to think of the sequence of the streets in the city with which I'm most familiar, and then 'translate' those names, one by one, to their names in the other city, rather than try to learn the sequence of the streets (by their other names) in that adjoining city. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on August 06 2012 03:32 PM
Posted by RottieWoman on August 07 2012 02:18 PM
<a bit of a story here...>
The conversation here about the sequence reminded me of something - while not as important in the scheme of things as the driving - it just reminded me of something because I can understand this difficulty too....I have dogs as many here may or may not know and I do a lot of things with them in terms of training and dog sports. We don't yet compete in anything but I'd like to. One of the things I'd like to do is a dog sport called agility, which is an obstacle course for dogs involving jumps and other things the dogs must run through and over. Much of this requires the handler to remember the sequence the obstacles are in and also how the handler will personally set up dog and self for taking the obstacles. This is a challenge for me in terms of the sequence and also the spatial orientation of learning the patterns. There have been a few times where my husband has come with me to agility class and when it's my turn to run the dog he reviews with me what the obstacle sequence is and points where I'm supposed to be running while I'm on the class course- not allowed in actual competition. In run-through <mocks, with rules in place, but no points earned> and in competition, handlers have the chance before-hand to walk the course sans dog - but they may have to wait an hour or more before they're even up on deck for their eventual turn.
Miss Dixie, I learned to drive late too and have not yet learned to drive on the freeway.
Posted by justfoundout on August 08 2012 09:25 PM
Good story, RW. I ask forgiveness in advance of this post of mine,... again,... as I had one of those strong 'visual' jokes flash before my eyes, and now, I'm wanting to share it.
At first, as I was reading your story, I tried to think of some 'half way' method that might help you. This was before you got down to the part about your husband 'reviewing' the course with you. What I'd thought (before that) was that you might be glad for your dog to compete, even if it meant asking a friend to be the handler for the event. But then, I thought more about how to help you remember the course and the obstacles, and <so funny, sorry> the only thing I could think of was 'you', running the course yourself, jumping over the fences, etc. Honestly, this might be the only way that I would be able to learn it myself. - jus'
Posted by argentnox on October 12 2012 02:44 AM
I am terrible at directions. I had someone drop me off recently, and I went right past my turn without even realizing it. To this day, if I have to drive, I have my GPS on and ready to rescue me. >_<
Now that I am in a college down, I just take the bus everywhere. It's so much easier!
Posted by RottieWoman on October 12 2012 01:17 PM
My husband -who I suspect may have a NVLD - has a terrible sense of direction and easily gets turned around or lost either driving or using other transportation. I often end up helping him navigate a parking lot or finding where a store is in a strip mall. I tend to have a good sense of direction by feel and once I get a picture in my mind, I'm good. He can easily navigate using numbers and distance which makes no sense to me. He also makes great use of maps and GPS on the cell phone; I can have lots of trouble with maps and am not techy-savvy at all.