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Re: Blanking – the forgotten symptom?

Re: Blanking – the forgotten symptom?2011-01-13T00:19:17+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Blanking – the forgotten symptom? Re: Blanking – the forgotten symptom?


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I’m so afraid of “blanking out” and forgetting things I spend extra time going over mental checklists and refuse to leave the house if I feel like I’m forgetting something, until I remember what it is. Over time I’ve learned somehow to recall pretty much everything “important” just in time to make it wherever I have to go on time or close enough to on time. In the past, this behavior used to make me late for almost everything. I think I’ve managed to start planning ahead far enough in advance to prevent being late most of the time, but man it still seems to take me a lot longer to prepare and execute plans than anyone else I know.

I have another form of “blanking out” though, that sometimes causes a different kind of problem. I don’t know if this is due to ADD or Asperger Syndrome or a little of both. I tend to blank out when asked to do something I wasn’t expecting and hadn’t planned to do, especially if the task requires thinking and putting information together for someone elses reference. In the past I would try to do this when asked, even though I hadn’t planned on it, and it has led to problems. Sometimes serious problems.

An example of this happened to me just a few days ago. I was at a local HHS agency, and the case manager we met with was a bit confused about the financial documentation we provided. I had no problem explaining it verbally, but she was still a little confused so she handed me a statement form and asked me to write down what I had just explained.

My mind went totally blank. I couldn’t remember exactly what I had just told her, and knew I couldn’t reconstruct it right at that moment, so I told her I would have to take the form home and do it later when I could think more clearly. I explained that I have ADD, and that sometimes I have these “moments” and can’t formulate my thoughts in writing “off the cuff.”

She looked at me suspiciously and said, “I’m just asking you to write what you just said.”

I replied, “I realize that, but I have ADD, and occasionally when I’m asked to write things down I have just said, I can’t remember what I just said, and what I write sometimes comes across as convoluted and doesn’t make sense. I really need to take this home and send it in to you later.”

She then asked, “is what you just told me not accurate?”

I said, “No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying I’m drawing a blank, and can’t do this right now.”

My wife even stepped in and explained that I have Asperger Syndrome as well and often have this kind of problem. It was clear from the woman’s expression that she didn’t believe a word of what we were telling her, but also clear that I was not about to fill out the statement right then and there.

I have had to learn not to let anyone intimidate me into pushing against my AS and ADD nature, even if they clearly don’t believe anything I’m telling them. It really is critical, I’ve learned, NOT to work against my nature, and better to work with it even if it seems inconvenient for others.

It does appear at first as though putting something like that off might take more time, but experience has taught me that the misunderstandings that can happen when I don’t take that time waste far more time and cause far more stress than putting things off I am simply NOT prepared to do “in the moment.”