This woman is not my friend and will never be. Neither in the French meaning of it nor even in the American meaning of it (yes there is a difference).
I have made it clear to her several times because in the mormon culture in France that we try to pattern according to our understanding of American culture everybody is everybody’s friend and everybody loves ever and everybody should endure everybody to the point of insanity.
So this woman is not my friend, we have nothing in common, we have no taste in common, we have no point of view in common and I have no desire to make it change.
There is something that I appreciate about her it is that we are clear on the feelings we have for each other and it makes communication so much easier and so much clearer. I don’t mean that I don’t like her. I just don’t feel any duty toward her because she is LDS and me too (unlike the mormon culture expects us to have for each other, in France at least).
You need to know that this woman is really the kind of woman I did not want to become. She has 5 kids and wants more, she has no education and may say something smart and then the light will go off in her eyes and will become one of the stupidest creature on Earth.
About ten days ago at church she expressed how much she would like to graduate from high school and is planing on doing it with her children by studying with them. She then said that she thinks she has dyslexia and when she said this it “clicked” in my mind as very often over effective brain ARE indeed linked to some “dys” of any kind. Then she said how she feels when she reads something and this was soooooo not dyslexia and so much one of the symptoms of having a higher IQ. You need to know that she, like me, in our present times would have be considered children in danger and would be taken away from our parents. But when we were children, even if adults knew it was not right to be treated the way we were, people over looked it saying “what can we do?” although the structure existed people were reluctant about calling those services that were thought to be only for extreme situations.
Anyway I got beyond mad about what she described. She talked again about this thing she told me before of how one of her teacher broke her finger when she was 9 and her parents did…nothing.
Long story short she is definitely like me and will go see my therapist which I am thrilled about.
I told her tat I don’t “love her” but that what I was telling her was as a sister in an eternal sense not in a human way and we talked for a very long time about how she felt and reacted. I listen to her talk the following sunday and when I asked her some questions I knew the answers already.
What pisses me off beyond words is that I have been LUCKY to get a chance to have access to my abilities BEFORE I was told I was crazy and not normal and lazy and stupid. So the therapist is helping me reconnect with this but my bishop’s wife never got this chance. She has been crushed before getting a glimpse of what she could really do.
Before we went in deep conversation I talked to my bishop about the therapist. since the church is paying for it he wanted to know how I am doing and I explained to him how I have progressed and what this therapy is helping me with and how much.
I drew him a sketch of how “normal” brains work and how MY brain works (and his also by the way but I did not want to go into this right at this moment). He understood it very well so when I told him about the old allegory if the eagle who is raised believing he is a chicken and how when you tell the eagle to fly he automatically added “the eagle will lay an egg!”.
We laughed because we understood each other but it was more about relief than about humor.
Anyway after that I talked with his wife about being a “zebra” and I could tell her how she felt in this and that situation, we would take parts in sentences that would describe the different cognitive situations we encounter everyday. It is not like one would finish the sentence the other had started, it was more like a one character play that two actress would play.
I was happy I could help her a little. I mean the hardest part is yet to come and I won’t be able to do anything for her since the path for her is going to be longer and harder but at least she has a supportive husband which I guess makes us even.
I am happy that I could help someone without the emotional involvement that is often required in the French mormon culture. I don’t know how it is in the US but in France it can get very intrusive and overwhelming. It is something I don’t want to yield into ever again.
What is also interesting is that I now know why I feel comfortable in my ward. “zebras” are 2% of the population (or so specialists think) and I have realized that easily one third to half of my ward are zebras. I now understand why there is like a natural respect for individuality and each other’s need. Of course some people will voice the fact that those needs are out of the gospel rules and those people are listened to by my ward (but me, I can’t or else I’ll lose my temper) and then the leaders will listen to the spirit rather than some personal issues.
To me this is a very good image of what it means when in the scripture it is said that the glory of God is intelligence.