At best without obvious symptoms, I have mind blindness: I can’t communicate effectively the mentalization of people’s thoughts and body language. I can skip along without too much worry from the loosening of associative words that develop midway disabling my speech. I’m bilingual and the disorder throws words around in my mind that slow down my reaction time; my code switching is mixed with the disorder’s involuntary code switching.

The tardive dyskinesia, the involuntary muscle movements, can be ignored in public settings but make close-up conversations feel like I suffer from early onset Parkinson’s Disease, a central nervous disorder. Saying Parkinsonism sounds like I’m on the religion of Parkinson, but you can’t make jokes like that during a job interview or waiting in line for groceries. I feel aged as a result. It makes me absorb my surroundings with greater detail, something I never did before, and that’s a blessing I can’t get mad at. It does slow me down, my intuition is at best mechanical and predictable. There’s people that go “hmm” in how I behave and at least they’re openly understanding. When I speak I may have grammar without semantics interfere with how I communicate. Discussing all this to the bank teller is a bit much so I may just sound foreign to the English language.

As I discover more about my disability, science is working on next generation medication that can reduce these symptoms.

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