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Directionally Dysfunctional: Which Way Should We Go?

Updated on May 2, 2014
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An Upstate WNYer,Paula shares her expertise in preparing for a season of Old Man Winter, while remaining, productive, happy, safe & warm.

North, south, east or west???
North, south, east or west???
Where are we now?
Where are we now?
I'll never get out of here.
I'll never get out of here.
Can I just follow someone?
Can I just follow someone?
What part of our brain controls our sense of direction?
What part of our brain controls our sense of direction?

Don't let her drive! We'll never get there!

That's not a very nice thing to say about someone, even if it's true. I hear this a lot. In fact, I hear it whenever friends and I are about to leave to go somewhere. They are referring to me. I've learned to laugh about it, even though I don't think it's all that funny. I surrender the car keys, good-naturedly, to someone else. Actually, anyone else would be a better choice than me. You see, I have a disability.

I don't especially relish admitting it, but I am directionally dysfunctional. It's OK, we can talk about it. I finally came to the realization that this is not something you can hide for any length of time. There's no sense in clinging to denial.

It's a blatantly obvious disability and you know how people talk. The word gets out and spreads like wild fire. Next thing you know, you're wearing a label and people raise their voice to you, as though you are also hard of hearing. You know what I mean.

Growing up, the old man next door to us, did not speak or understand English. He was straight off the boat from Italy.

Our Dad, being a friendly sort of neighbor, would talk to this poor man by screaming at the top of his lungs. Back in the house, our mother would calmly tell dear ole Dad, "Ed, Mr. Carmello doesn't understand English, no matter how loudly you speak."

That's sort of what I mean about how people act when you have a disability of some kind. I guess they figure there has to be some way around it.

I'm here to tell you.....I have yet to find a way around this. Truth is, that's my problem. I literally can't find my way around.

Do you have this disability or know someone who does? Sorry to say this, but I really hope someone out there can empathize with me. Unless you suffer with this, you simply can't feel the pain.

Yes, pain. It's frightening, discouraging and very frustrating. It's brain-related. That is to say, there is a specific section of our brain that controls our sense of direction, just as with all of our brain-directed functions.

Since the portion of our brain that controls our sense of humor is alive and active in this head of mine, I do understand why my ease in getting lost, is quite funny to my family and friends. I laugh right along with them.

No sense being sensitive and defensive as well as directionally dyfunctional.

I do not intend for this to be a lesson in anatomy or biology 101. See that diagram of the human brain divided into segments, to your right? We are not going there.

Should your curiosity get the best of you, you can google yourself silly, to learn just how the brain directs us to find our way, to and from various locations. You may go in search of our human GPS, nestled somewhere within our gigantic brain.

My GPS is broken. Of this much, I'm sure.


These work well....FOR MOST PEOPLE

Didn't I just come out of that store?  Which way is the shoe store?  Wait!  Are there 2 doors or 3?
Didn't I just come out of that store? Which way is the shoe store? Wait! Are there 2 doors or 3?
OK...this isn't funny
OK...this isn't funny

It happens everywhere.

This disability does not show itself only where there are many roads and turns and signs. I am also very talented at getting lost in Malls, hospitals, and pretty much anyplace that has hallways, lots of doors, different levels and where the scenery seems to all blend together.

I can't explain it and I try to remain calm when I feel the panic of realizing I'm lost. However, I have been known to sit down where ever I am and cry. In fact, more than once, I have pulled over to the side of a road and had to calm myself and stop hyperventilating. Silly, crazy, you say? Maybe it is, to you. For me and those who suffer from directional dysfunction, it's anything but silly and we know we're not crazy, thank you.

Try as I may, to conquer this beast of a disability, I've had little if any positive result. By the way, it seems the more I obsess about it, the more stressful it becomes. I suppose this is true of any issue. Best to accept, relax and deal with it as well as possible.

For instance, my husband bought me a GPS. Had he asked me if I wanted one, I'd have said, "No, don't waste your money." He didn't ask. I'm sure he was simply trying to help. I had never told him that I'd taken a test run, using my son's GPS......and got hopelessly lost.

I did try to analyze that fiasco because I was completely embarrassed. I think that trying to pay attention to my driving, focusing on the environment, all the traffic signs, as well as listen carefully to the instructions coming from the GPS, just made me a total nervous wreck. What I heard repeatedly was, "Recalculating"....... Oh NUTS! Damn it anyway. How on earth do I tell my son I got lost, despite using his GPS? Well, I did tell him and do you know what he said to his mother?? "Mom, c'mon, stop kidding. That's impossible." To which I quickly replied, "Aha! Haven't I always told you that your mother can accomplish the impossible?"

Yep.....I'm all these things....
Yep.....I'm all these things....
Accept and Tolerate
Accept and Tolerate
Thanks for listening
Thanks for listening
Love to hear from you.
Love to hear from you.

So, what's a directionally dysfunctional girl to do?

There are probably solutions to this problem. Maybe some sort of therapuetic program or exercise I should do. There must be books I can read, tapes I should listen to, meditation, accu-puncture, hypnosis? I don't know. I'm just grasping.

The reality is, I would basically be best off just accepting my disability, living with it gracefully and focus on the things that are really great in my life. Yes, that's it. That's what I should do.

Acceptance and tolerance are virtues. However, I am always open to advice and suggestion. If you've been able to conquer a disability that haunted you for years, I am all ears, my friend. Heaven knows I will welcome your comments with open arms if you suffered with this particular dysfunction!

Just a few more words before I close......and please don't worry, I do know how to get out of this article. Before I leave, I want to say how comforting it is to have all of you, with whom I can have these chats. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling, being able to just be yourself and know that you're not being judged or teased because you're not exactly perfect. You don't judge me, do you? I'm well aware you'll never ask me to drive you somewhere, but that's fine.

Thanks for letting me be myself and share some insecurities that annoy me, now and then. Until the next hub, I'll be doing things and going places. It will simply take me a little while to find those places. Don't panic much before a week or two. I'll get there.....even if accompanied by Police.


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  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Oh Dzy.....you can laugh~~at me or with me. I'm so used to being teased about this, it doesn't bother me at all. My youngest son, who lives nearby and sees me often, keeps telling me I'll "outgrow" this! Is he kidding?? or just using words I used when my sons were kids? At our age, it's just not possible to simply outgrow anything, am I right?? LOL It's kind of nice I guess that he's trying to give me some hope. Oh brother, I know what your mother went through. Thanks for the visit Dzy!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 8 months ago from Oakley, CA

    LOL! Very humorously written! I'm not laughing at you, even though I don't suffer from this issue. But my mother did. For unrelated reasons, she never learned to drive, so I was her chauffeur after my dad passed.

    She would get disoriented in malls; confused about which way we were driving, and in general, had your exact issue. She could get around fine on the city's buses, but that was about it.

    Naturally, we teased her. I used to say, "Mom, you could get lost in a teacup!" She readily agreed. I offered to buy her a compass. Her response? "I'd think it was wrong."

    Luckily, I inherited my dad's good sense of direction, compass points and all. Sure, sometimes I make a wrong turn, or follow a GPS direction that is soaking wet...(and yes, that does happen)...but when that occurs, I just joke, "Oh, well; scenic tour!"

    Sorry to say that I have no solution for this particular disability. All the best to you!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Nemesispen.....Hello and welcome to my site. (I'm sure you just "happened upon it" rather than followed directions!!) LOL.....Thanks so much for coming by.

    This has become a special day for me. Thanks to you, I find out that I not only have my own issues......I have yours too! Trust me, my new friend, if there's a way that people get confused, lost, misdirected and hopelessly go round in circles, I've mastered it!

    We both know one thing now don't we? NEVER shall we attempt to travel together!!.......Have a great day. Peace, Paula

  • Nemesispen profile image

    Nemesis 8 months ago from Greece

    Love this post. Thanks for making it. I also have an issue with directions but not exactly the same as you. I recognize and can navigate easily through familiar places BUT..1) I have a huge issue with those cardinal points (east, west,north, south)..I mean..people keep explaining them to me and even show me with their bodies and I can literally not get a single thing about them..it's as if they talk to me in Chinese. 2) Maps..I hate them. I don't know Chinese so why do they give me some paper with images and Chinese symbols on it? Am I supposed to actually be helped with them???? 3) Going to a new place to stay for a while (ex. when I moved to the city of my university), or for long lasting holidays..well everyone will learn the place around the house very quickly except for me. My mother learned the neighborhood where my rented house was when I moved out to study, from the first few days...me?? I found my way around after 2 and a half weeks!!!! We may not have the same exactly issue but I totally feel you!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Joy.....It's so comforting to be understood! LOL.

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    Joy 3 years ago

    I'm with you. My mom is more so. I inherited my father's adventurous spirit and my mother's sense of direction. Turn me around 3 times in the back yard and I'll never find the house. But so far I always have. it takes a while, but I'll get there.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

    And those crumbs were soooo yummy!! :)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    GF...you slay me. You are not at all serious! No way you got lost in your own neighborhood of 12 years! Just an excuse to get your neighbor to drop chocolate chip cookie crumbs!! But you ARE funny! LOL..

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I went for a walk around the block today. I got lost. Again. You think I'd know my way after 12 years of living in my neighborhood. Nope. Luckily my neighbor spotted me looking lost. She dropped some bread crumbs for me to find my way. Yay for nice neighbors :)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Vellur....Thanks for stopping by.....always good to meet a fellow-hubber. You would be amazed how common this issue is. Most people don't divulge that they must deal with this frustration except with others who also suffer with it.........

  • Vellur profile image

    Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

    I never knew about this condition, you are doing a brilliant job of handling it, hats off to you. Great hub.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    lady.....I thank you for the useful comment! I know there's another crazy term...."Developmental Topographical Disorder!!" Please....that's a mouthful. I'll stick with....."Hi, I'm Paula, I get lost a lot." LOL

    Interesting....."often runs in families.."..? Great...."Thanks Mom, for yet another lovely gift!!"........Peace, ladydeonne!!

  • ladydeonne profile image

    Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

    Very interesting hub! I love your sense of humor and wit. As a Mental Health Therapist, I have worked with many individuals with what's called Directional Dyslexia, a learning disability that is on the same spectrum as ADHD and Dyslexia. Not having a sense of directions, getting lost, even in familiar places, and the inability to reverse directions are common symptoms. The disorder often runs in families. To communicate with some kindred spirits see this blog:

    http://www.drmetablog.com/2006/09/geographical_dy....

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Wayne......LOL! (milk carton!).....Thanks for stopping by. You've given me quite a chuckle, from your humorous comment......Hate to say it, Wayne, but I have been "hopelessly lost," and I was scared as hell, because it was getting dark. I saw a Police car and I walked up to him, bawling my eyes out about being lost.....(poor little girl lost her Mommy?) and I asked him to literally LEAD me to the entrance to the correct highway that would take me HOME. I could see him holding back laughter.....but he did take pity and told me to follow him.

    Nah.....I'm afraid at this stage of the game, I've accepted there is no cure. I try not to be the driver. That works best. and I've learned to brace myself for all the wise cracks......they really ARE funny.

    Navigator?? WoW.....You can probably travel with a blind fold on!!

    Oh, I feel for your poor Sisters-in-law! (but I laughed anyway)

    I DO tell people when I'm leaving and where I'm going......but no one worries about me until Day 3........

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

    Wow....you got a regular AA program going here according to the comments! LOL! Confessions, confessions. Having been a "navigator" of airplanes in the Air Force for many years, I can speak to the skill and tell you truthfully that "there is no medication for your condition". The most likely cure is that one day you will become so hopelessly lost that it will scare the living hell right out of you and in that sobering moment, you will see the light and grab the rope! My wife has two younger sisters. One cannot read a map and the other has no understanding of terms like "turn left" or "turn right". When you are riding with her, you have to say, "turn left" while making large motions with your arm and hand. She's about one click away from being a "shut-in"! LOL! My mom asked me once how I went to all the cities around America and never got lost...her biggest fear. I told her that it was not a problem as that was the first thing that I always did when I arrived...went out and got lost. Then I found myself and everything was okay until I hit the next town but those are stories for another day. Just a word of advice on the way out the door....always tell people where you are going and when to expect you back otherwise we just might see you on a milk carton! LOL! ~WB

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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Kathryn....Thank you so much. I can FEEL for you, that's for sure. Yes, it CAN take a little longer, which is (unfairly) why I also have a reputation for being "late!".....LOL

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    I can identify with this completely! And I have also gotten lost, despite using a GPS (so I know, like you, it is definitely possible)! It wouldn't be so easy to do if the machine would just knock off the whole "recalculating" deal! I have even managed to get lost going to someplace I have already been. I think what happens is that I forget where I went wrong the first time and duplicate the mistake. Once in a while I will get it right, and the next time I will feel confident that I won't have any problems, and I make a wrong turn... lol. I eventually do find my destination, it just takes a little while longer.

    I really got a kick out of this article! Thanks for sharing this with us. Voted up.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Kevin.....Thanks for stopping by...(Glad you "found your way" to my hub!..LOL)

    With a well-known reputation, Kevin.....I have to be frank, as well as good-natured about this. It's not as though I can fake my way out of it! There probably are a lot of people with this issue.....but not many who will admit it! LOL..........

  • Kevin Peter profile image

    Kevin Peter 4 years ago from Global Citizen

    The disability mentioned in the hub is suffered by many people around us. You were so frank to admit it and I loved the way you described it. The solutions mentioned in the hub for directionally dysfunctional people are also very interesting. Great hub!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Anne.....You poor lady...how I feel for you! Your hug did find it's way to me...and I thank you & send one right back to you.

    Oh, I have been there. People do sort of stare blankly at me, when I ask for directions. I think it's because they find it incredible, that the place or Town I'm trying to get to......is nearly 50 miles away, in every direction, but the one in which I'm going. I lost count at how many times someone has laughed at me and said, "Well, honey, you'll never get there from here!"........ARGHHHH! I KNOW. THAT'S WHY I'M STANDING HERE, LIKE AN ORPHAN, ASKING YOU FOR DIRECTIONS......AND BY THE WAY....I'M NOT AS STUPID AS I LOOK!! Thank you!

  • bac2basics profile image

    Anne 4 years ago from Spain

    My name is Anne and I am directionally dysfunctional :)

    Oh my dear Effer, you are most certainly not alone, even a visit to the local supermarket with me can end up like a magical mystery tour if a diversion has been put in place.

    Whilst living in the UK I had a yearning to go and visit Wales, I had´nt been driving very long and this was my first solo drive of any distance to somewhere I didn´t know. I have written a hub about it ( Criccieth and the Llyn peninsular - Why I love it there) I was too embarrassed to actually write that even before leaving my own town, and actually just around the corner from where I lived I got confused and went into a shop to ask if this was the correct road to take to get me to Wales...the shopkeeper must have thought I was completely mad because my town was a 2 hour drive from the place I was asking about. My husband had carefully written instructions down for me and told me I would be fine, but I had this overwhelming feeling as we reached the first sign post for the motorway that I was heading in the wrong direction. I also omitted the fact that once on the motorway I took a wrong turn but somehow realised I had and stopped to ask a lorry driver who happened to have broken down and was parked up on the hard shoulder if I was going in the right direction ( I wasn´t) and how to get back on track, he must have thought me mad too. I along with my daughter did eventually get to where we were heading and fell in love with the place on site, but it was more luck than judgment we actually got there at all despite really good instructions.

    Two of my main failings are that I cannot read a map to save my life, and I have to turn it the way we are heading in order to even begin to try to understand it, and the other is that I can´t seem to follow road numbers , I just look for place names.

    When I get back to the UK I am definitely going to treat myself to a GPS, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will, like you , still get lost.

    You are most certainly not alone dear Effer, but we get there in the end...well most times anyway :)

    Voted up and shared and sending a big hug your way too...Hope it doesn´t get lost on the way :)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Linda Sue! You are so sweet and a real friend....to share some of my old hubs, just to keep me in the loop, while I'm on my sabbatical.....What a precious Jewel you are!! Love & hugs....

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Travmaj......Hello, to you too! Nice to meet you. Thank you for being able to relate!.....Hey, "Go with flow"......now THAT, I can do!! LOL I'm glad you stopped by!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    OH...Suzette.....No problem...please, by all means, laugh. It IS funny to me, now at this point. Years ago, I think I would get upset because it never seemed people took it seriously....and didn't even think that this issue existed.....You know, like "How the hell does this woman get lost all the time?"......

    I would finally reach my destination after hours of trying to find it....and I would be stressed, upset and exhausted.....and no one realized I wasn't kidding! I REALLY did experience times when I would find a parking space and just sit and cry. ....obviously, before cell phones! Now, I can just call and scream, "HELP!".....and everyone knows who it is!! LOL

  • travmaj profile image

    travmaj 4 years ago from australia

    Hi - so glad to meet you. I'm adding myself on to your world. I am hopelessly lost most of the time - reading a map is beyond me - I have to turn it upside down and then it looks ok but I still can't fathom direction.

    I travel considerably - this works because I'm usually with other people and just go with the flow.

    Otherwise - I just leave early... Cheers...

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Bobbi....I LIKE your attitude.....Oh, I'm not actually sensitive about this. It's been lifelong for me, and I now can see the humorous side. There is no one in my circle of family & friends who is not very aware of my dysfunction.....and to be honest, the "jokes" are really funny.....Hey, there are worse things I could have!! I guess you and I won't be going anywhere together.....except maybe by bus!! LOL

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

    This is hilarious. I'm not laughing at you, but with you. I enjoyed reading this and it is so good you see the humor in all this. Well written and well said.

  • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

    PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

    Hi Paula,

    Sometimes people can be rude without meaning to---and then again---they can mean it. Just rise above it all---and let the smart batooties drive.

    My sister said I could get lost in my front yard. Now I generally can find my way to most places that are familiar by going numerous times. So my sister drives when we on trips--- and it is great to just sit there and relax.

    And if I think someone might suggest that I drive---I look so lost and ask---Where is it?---What city?…What Interstate? And then they will say---I think I should drive.

    So, I feel I taught them a lesson---don’t mess with the oldest sister---she is a country girl---and smarter than a fox. While they are stressing out driving I am relaxing---so who is getting the best deal?

    Bobbi Purvis

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    2patricias....Individuals who suffer with this malady, always totally understand one another and feel the concern for one another. That sense of panic you mention?....been through it a thousand times.

    The truth is, we really have to learn to take it in stride and laugh with those who laugh AT us.

    My sister, who was just the opposite (Miss Inner Compass)

    would always have some funny comment, like, "OK, I'll drive, they're expecting us today, not next Friday!"

    Now, I ask you, how is that not hysterically funny?

  • 2patricias profile image

    2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    Thank you so much for writing this as it shows me that I am not alone. I live in England, where we drive on the left. I try to carefully preplan my journeys so that I mostly only turn left.

    When I took my driving test I came to a complicated junction, the examiner said which way I should go and I misunderstood and went another way. I quickly realised and apolised. He said (through gritted teeth) "It's not a test of navigational ability." Just as well, because once I'd made that wrong turn, it took a long time to get back to the driving test centre. As he'd said it was ONLY a test of driving skill I felt quite relaxed and actually passed.

    I try to explain to my husband that I often have absolutely no memory of having been in a particular place before. Every now and then I feel a sense of panic - I am lost - I don't know where I am. This is often on a route that I have driven several times.

    If I am going somewhere new, I have to plot my course on a map at home, and then write instructions that I can understand. I even do this when using the GPS system.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Pamela....Your story about your co-worker is too damned funny!! I can picture this and it cracks me up! How on earth did you all keep from laughing out loud??

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Born2Care....By all means, write the sequel! Looks to me like there are enough of us "LOST" souls to keep reading!!

    It's always nice to know that you're not alone in your suffering.....but in this case, it's a bit scary to know there are so MANY of us out there driving in circles and getting in everybody's way!!! lol

    Good way to get a management position!!

  • Pamela N Red profile image

    Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

    I'm pretty good with my directions most of the time but once in a while I'll get turned around.

    I love the story about your dad. I used to work with a woman with a speech impediment and people couldn't understand her so she would talk louder. lol

  • Born2care2001 profile image

    Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 5 years ago from Asheville NC

    Ok GramDawg!

    I could write the sequel. There were so many comments I almost couldn't find the bottom!

    I worked in the transportation industry for 25 years. Amazing, isn't it? Most of that time with UPS. I thought I had finally found the right company because they advocated the use of right turns. Then I got lost! HaHaHa! No, really. I was so bad they decided to promote me into management just to get me off the street.

    Great hub. I so enjoy our writing!

    Thanks!

    Bruce

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    As a fellow-sufferer, my only advice to you, Tammy is never get inside a paper bag!!! LMAO.

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

    I am glad someone finally gave this affliction a name. I get horribly lost all of the time. I can't remember which way to go when I come out of a store at the mall and if I have a job interview, I have to practice driving to the destination before hand so I don't get lost (just moved to a BIG city). My friends and family tease me too and tell me I could not find my way out of a wet paper bag. I understand what you must deal with. This is a very creative and unique hub. Well done!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Kelly......You are too funny.....can't find your ass with both hands!! LOL!!!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Effer - I have lived in the portion of the world for most of my life - take me out of the city and I can't find my ass with both hands and a road map! My husband bought me a GPS too - and I didn't as for it either:). It's in the glove box:) haha

    Terrific!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Ruchira....that is so funny that your poor child feels he must pray in order to get to a party on time!!!LOL!!

    I can certainly relate to this!!

  • Ruchira profile image

    Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

    haha...this hub so relates to me :)

    when i have to drive my kid to b'day parties...he goes "oh god, make us reach there before the party ends"...lol

    I have to revise my route and keep my GPS all alerted where i am going to avoid my kid get all cranky/upset at me...lol

    i am fwding it to my hubby so he can have his share of laughter as well....cheers!

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

    Looks like there are a lot of Pauls around you. My parents originally wanted to give me the first name of Richard, but decided on Richard as a second name. My maternal grandmother was Pauline, so maybe that's why I was called Paul.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you Paul.....I can feel for you. You can give a GPS a try....I find it annoying, but I guess that's because I'm "weird", as I'm told! lol

    Let me tell you something about the name "Paul" in my world....My paternal grandmother was "Pauline," I have an "Uncle Paul," on that side of the family and his children, my cousins, "Paul & Pauline." My name is "Paula" and my second son is "Paul." Also... On my maternal family side, I have a cousin "Paul."

    We can top that off with the fact that my husband has a brother and nephew, named, "Paul."

    We try not to discuss ANY of them much....it gets much too crazy!! LOL!

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

    I have a very bad sense of direction, too. I have always dreaded driving into a big city for the first time even if I have a map. I have never attempted to use GPS. Voted up, funny, and interesting. I am sharing with my followers.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Those darned nasty ring roads!! I've found those buggers where they say there are none!!!

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    molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Cambridge has an internal ring road, so we just kept slowly turning left all around the town. It is such a beautiful town with beautiful old buildings that we didn't notice until we arrived back at the restaurant. lol

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    molo......that IS hysterical!! No one noticed you were passing some of the same places you'd passed before??

    aHA! see? Depending on Mr. GPS...no one was paying attention...but putting their confidence in the little BOX! I love it!

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    molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    That's for sure lol.

    We went out a few days ago to Cambridge. We had lunch, jumped in the car and someone I assumed hit the 'home' button on the GPS. 25 minutes later we were back outside the restaurant lol.

    We cracked up. They do throw out some funny things sometimes.

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Rebecca....anndavis and Tillie.....Hate to say this, but it's always nice to know I do not suffer alone!

    Are you ready for this?? Psychiatrists actually HAVE A MEDICAL TERM FOR THIS, IT'S "DEVELOPMENTAL TOPOGRAPHICAL DISORIENTATION." You might know why I just call it Directional Dysfunction!

    Further, these Drs. explain that it is probably rooted in "early brain development...." Now THAT'S sad.

    So, ladies... this is what I think.....This all happened to us when our parents took us on those long rides to unknown territory and dropped us off!.......Well, maybe YOURS didn't, but MINE did !!! ROFLMAO!!!! Ann...promise, we won't tell your daughter!!

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    Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

    Yet another thing in common...I share your beast of disability...I am totally empathetic! I once had to get a parking lot attendant to help me find my car..couldn't remember which door of the store I came in. I had memorized the woman's section not realizing there were four of them!

    My husband was a truck driver for 35 years and can find any place, anywhere. I, on the other hand, cannot find anyplace even if I've been there before.

    I'm so bad it took me four days to find this hub!!!!

    Just remember to wear your ruby red shoes so you can click yourself home!

    Voted up, funny and SHARING.

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    anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

    Such a joyful read. You hit a nerve with me. My daughter can barely find her way home. When I'm with her, I never say anything, but I have to grit my teeth when she passes the turnoff to my house.

    Very nice and fun hub. Ann Up and useful and awesome.

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    Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Ha Ha! I have the problem too. Let's call it direction dyslexia!I enjoyed the humor in this testimonial!

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Owl.....well, thank heavens we can laugh! There are much worse issues we might have to deal with...eh? I've not ever had a lengthy conversaion with a dyslexic....but maybe if you do a bit of research, you can figure this out....The solution may be something right under your nose.....and we only have ONE nose, so no mistakes there !!

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    molo.....You have made me laugh! and I can feel for you, no doubt. lol...right now I am thinking about the time I programmed the GPS to take me to a Barnes & Noble Book Store...but the GPS told me I had reached my destination in front of a very nice house in a beautiful neihborhood on a dead end. oops.

    One thing for certain here, molometer....you and I will NEVER travel together under any circumstances!! lol Thanks for stopping by.

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    Owl Ka Myst 5 years ago from In the Valley of Grapes

    A rarity! LoL.... I'm an oxymoron....great with directions and navigation in specific situations, but lost in other situations. And if ambidextrous is supposed to be good with directions, ok...but that left vs. right gets me every time....maybe I'm a dyslexic ambidexterous....rofl.

    The red on right is a great idea. I usually wear rings and could use that. I took them all off when I went to work working on electronics, have not gotten around to cleaning them and putting them back on, but now I work with clay, so they still get in the way.

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    molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Well I can tell you this, you are not alone.

    My wife is a great navigator.

    I can get lost in an open field.

    I even bought a GPS and rarely take notice of it as I am 'sure' I am going the right way no matter that the GPS disagrees.

    In truth the GPS has told me that I am in the middle of a lake before now.

    Great hub and very funny. Votes and shares.

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    OH HEAVENS iamaudraleigh!!! I do not live IN the city of Buffalo.......I'm Southwest about 35 miles in a small, quasi-rural area! When I need to go to Buffalo for any reason......I bring 2 co-pilots, maps, written directions and my GPS!!! Not to mention that I make sure my family knows what time to expect me back or to call in the troops!!! LOL

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    iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

    I am horrible with directions too! Living in Buffalo does not make it any easier huh?

    I like your optimism when you said, "The reality is I would basically be best off just accepting my disability, living with it gracefully and elaborate on the things that are really great in my life. Yes, that's it. That's what I should do."

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Owl Ka...Gosh, I don't know what to say....except, I feel for you. Have you tried wearing a RED bracelet on your right wrist "R" for red...? It's my experience that ambidextrous people are extremely good with directions....so, sounds like you have a rare problem. I wish you luck conquering this one.

    Dzy.....You are a dear to try to help and explain. For myself, I'm afraid I need to tell you that things like a compass, map, Gps....they're about as helpful to a directionally dysfunctional person, as giving a 2 year old, a dictionary........lol. Honest.

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    Owl Ka Myst 5 years ago from In the Valley of Grapes

    I can use the cardinal directions when giving directions for areas I am familiar with because i have a birds eye view in my head, but when I'm lost and driving, I don't always know, I do get 'turned around' and unsure what is west or north. When lost like that, I guess its some internal GPS that says 'go that way'.

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    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    LOL, Owl Ka Myst--that's exactly why I prefer compass points for directions, because whether you turn left or right depends on which direction you are traveling, whereas the compass points never change. ;-) This is especially true if trying to give directions by phone or other remote means.

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    Owl Ka Myst 5 years ago from In the Valley of Grapes

    Left handedness and fear of heights, interesting mentions.

    I have a good sense of direction when it comes to, hmm....how do I explain.

    I can get lost in a city, but know the cardinal directions to go to get back towards something I recognize....then I follow landmarks.

    It's my 'left and right' that messes me up. I'm afraid of heights (but was fearless and excited to do a sky dive, ironic I know), but not left handed, well, that depends.

    I'm actually ambidextrous. Because school 'taught' me right-handed writing, I write with my right hand, but I 'lead' with my left hand a lot. Deal cards, sort stuff, in my crafts, the left hand is busier than the right. I'm goofy footed....surf/skate term for one who leads with the left foot.

    When in the car....I'm usually always the driver, but I have to tell new people, 'if you are going to give me directions, you can't say left or right, you have to say -your way- or -my way-....

    It works to the opposites when riding as passenger and giving directions.

    It takes to long for me to figure out what is left and what is right....and we miss the turn.

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Dexter, my friend, you are too sweet. Thanks for the ego boost....you know when a girl needs a lift!

    I get lost in my brilliance??

    I take it you're considering a run for office? Hell, you got MY vote, cutie pie!!!

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    Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

    Fpher! You write the best hubs!

    I guess I have it easy. In my hometown, I have the lake to the east and at my retreat, I have the mountains to the west. Doesn't take much to know which way to go! lol

    The way I look at is that you are so intelligent and have so many great ideas, it's hard for you to decide which one to choose. Therefore, you get lost in your brilliance, which impacts your sense of direction. Makes sense to me!

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    eddy.......nice to see you. you have a great day too!

    POP......Your GPS is Female? Have you given her a special name? You can really grow fond of her.....she's such a pal!!

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    breakfastpop 5 years ago

    I have no sense of direction at all. Don't ever tell me go north or south..forget it. But now I am saved. I have a wonderful calm lady in my car who knows everything and I don't have to worry about getting lost ever again!

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    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    Unique;original and a brilliant read.

    Here's to many many more from you.

    Take care and enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    I have a poor sense of direction in the car also. I am glad to have a compass that shows me which direction I'm heading as this helps, plus I use a Garmin when going into an unknown area. I thoroughly enjoyed your hub! Up and funny.

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    No....I'm not left handed......I asked Sunshine if she was a righty or a lefty.....I keep thinking I read something about dominant sides and this dysfunction.

    I swear one day I will do my own intense research and investigation and come up with some common issue that links us all together. Then, there's always the nightmare that one day I'll find myself in a strange place surrounded by only dysfunctional people like myself and we'll never ever ever ever get home!!

    Ha1 Who am I kdding? Every where I go is "strange" to me!.............LMAO!

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    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Hi, did you say you were left handed? if you are it makes sense as I am too! lol! the funny thing is, in a car I can find my way out of anywhere, but in a shopping centre I can come out of one store, go to turn left, then look right and think, which way did I just come in? lol! so yes, I am the same! yeah! makes us special! lol! voted all the way!

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Sunshine....let's face it, WonderWoman.....just knowing you, is a BONUS!! lol

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    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I'm a righty and not afraid of heights. I dislike roller coasters. I know you didn't ask me that question, consider it a bonus answer :)

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Oh I feel for you, GF. I know the mass confusion. Just a question...are left or right-handed? Are you afraid of heights?

    You don't have to admit to any more flaws!! Just keep people in suspense!

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    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I am honored that you wrote a hub about one of my flaws. Yep, just one. Wait, possibly my only one. Nope, there's a couple of others. We'll get to those on another hub.

    The funniest part about me being DD is when I'm at the dentist he says raise your left arm if you need a break. My dentist and his hygienist know the my right arm will be raised and we all have a good laugh:)

    Loved the hub as always!!!

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Teaches 12345......Your husband is a rare find. This affects far more womn than men. In addition to the fact that men flatly refuse to "ask for directions," it's a good thing YOU know where you're going!! lol

    Owl......Oh my....if we couldn't laugh at some of the daily frustrations.....I'm afraid at this moment, many of us would be standing in line, waiting for "meds & breakfast" at the facility.....if you get my drift! After a point, I think we must adjust to tolerate our short comings in a sane manner!!

    Georgina....I like your positive attitude.....although, if we're so creative, my friend, how is it we don't seem to create some organization to our thoughts?? LOL!!! Thanks for reading.

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    Georgina_writes 5 years ago from Dartmoor

    Brilliant hub. I'm a fellow sufferer. If I walk into a store when I come out I can't remember which way I'm supposed to go to get where I'm going. Can't tell you how many times I get lost on familiar routes in the car (I now go everywhere with a set of maps). I've got lost driving to a local convenience store a couple of streets away and had to phone my partner for directions. AND I frequently lose my car in car parks (spent 1 1/2 hours in Bristol's Park and Ride once - almost at the point of crying because I couldn't tell if I'd lost the car or it had been stolen). Great to meet a fellow sufferer. I think it makes us more creative! rating up and following you.

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    Owl Ka Myst 5 years ago from In the Valley of Grapes

    At first I thought I could relate, but reading further in I realized my direction issues are nothing.

    Good thing you can laugh at something that sounds quite frustrating.

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    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    My husband wonders around sometimes when we venture out some place new. He forgets how many times he's been by the same building. We balance each other out because I am the opposite; probably because I hate the feeling of being lost. Very interesting writing style and an enjoyable topic.

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    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hi Dzy!! Well sounds like it's damned good thing your Mother got a ride on the wings of Angel's, to the great beyond!! I'll hate to get lost on my final journey!! Thanks! I like you attitude!

    Mary Neal

    And I thank you for stopping by! Obviously you found your way with no problem! I appreciate the vist and the comment! Come back anytime,

    Well bill, ole buddy.....If we're on this journey together...(which of course we ALL are)......I'll just follow. You have the ability my youngest son has. He' amazing with knowing direction, no matter where we are!

    He got a lot of practice finding his way back home after I'd take him miles and miles away into the wilderness and drop him off. I even moved once while he was gone and he found me!......Still have an APB out on his 3 brothers!!

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    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Paula, I hate to say this, but I can't empathize at all...not one iota...you see, I'm one of those people!!! Yes, it's true, I'm the one the nuns would send out to clap the erasers, knowing full well I would take the shortest route there and back because I had already calculated the distance in my head and checked the sun's position for directional navigation.

    It is a curse, not a blessing, and I apologize now on bended knee.

    As for the GPS unit...Bev has one and I love hearing this British voice tell me when to turn; then you can flick a switch and you get Swahili or French or God forbid English! I only use it for the comedy it provides me. I even talk back to the woman in the GPS, which of course brings to light a serious issue I have...talking to inanimate objects.

    Be at peace my friend; as long as you make me laugh I will follow you, no matter how lost we may get on the journey.

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    Mary Neal 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

    A wise friend once said to me, "We all get disabilities if we live long enough." Thanks for this entertaining and informative article about the "directional dysfunctional."

    Mary

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    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Oh, dear...I can empathize vicariously. My mother suffered from the same problem. We used to tease her that she could get lost in a teacup!

    She never wanted to learn to drive, however, so getting others lost with her was not an issue.

    Conversely, my dad had an excellent sense of direction, which I, luckily, inherited. I used to tell mom I was going to buy her a compass. Her reply? "I'd think it was wrong." I'm sure she's smiling with you from the beyond.

    Voted up and shared.