Friday, May 11, 2007

What are you saying?

One of John's most constant retorts is, "What are you saying?" And it always surprises me because I'm like, "I just said, what I said. Which part don't you understand?" What I too often forget is the distance between what's intended and what's received.

My daughter's a classic case in this regard. For years she would spew conversations back to us that we were sure we never had. Eventually, she went through some neurological testing and the psychologist said, "your daughter has issues surrounding her audio processing. It's not that she can't hear, it's about how she's processing what she's hearing. She's missing parts but doesn't realize it because her brain just fills in on her own. So in effect she just makes up what she's not hearing and thinks that's what being said." Which, duh, yeah that's exactly what it felt like to us. But to her, her imaginary construct was real.

It's something I forget and need to remember more often. Not only in the natural order of things - because as I age I find I often actually use the wrong words. "Mom, didn't you mean "knife" when you said "window?" That's on top of the normal disconnect. The real question is how to verify that what we've intended to be said, is actually heard with the same intention? How do we learn to do that?

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