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Learning as a PDAer

Mar 05, 2020

As a PDAer, I cannot be seen or known to be learning anything from anyone else.

Ugh. Really?

Yep, really.

No help with homework thanks. No putting my hand up in class.

Always pretending to understand everything when I don’t.

There lies within me an internal resistance of which I have no defense against, that does not permit me to take information from others without feeling enraged or as though I have to fight every inner part of my being.

There are a number of reasons for this.

The first is that I’m afraid of the information that comes from others interfering with my ability to come to my own conclusions and understandings of the world.

I don’t want to be influenced, persuaded, impacted, stupified.

I have an innate, organic resistance to restriction, limitation and entrapment which stems from an underlying, powerful, forceful determination to be free.

When my husband offers information around the historical significance of a program we’re enjoying on television, even though I want so badly to know, It hurts me to listen.

I have to use a significant amount of energy to remain still and focused in that moment, and yet my face drops, my eyes look away and I cannot engage with his face or energy.

I want to.

But I cannot.

I want to learn from others. I do.

But the internal resistance that accompanies my pathological demand avoidance says No.


We’re not doing this.

It’s entrapment, taking my attention, demanding I hear the knowledge to then possess forever inside my brain.

I’m not always friends with my PDA.

The only way I learn is to discover information alone, and on my own terms.

And nobody can know.

At least not until I’ve digested it, analysed it, challenged it, reframed it and presented it my own way.

I know. It sounds like pride. Ego.

It really isn’t.

I’m an eager learner, and yet I have a neurobiological condition that prevents me from doing it in a way that is socially acceptable I guess.

But I do collect information.

I listen in the background, observe body language accompanying the information being offloaded to engage how passionate and knowledgeable a person is, and how trustworthy their information is.

I gauge their intentions and motivations

Demand avoidance analyses all of it.

There’s a book, a professional, a conference coming up soon..

I want so much to go.

And Yet PDA says No.

I can’t be seen and known, I can’t sit amongst the crowds

My neurobiology doesn’t allow me to sit and eagerly take in information in the ways I’d like.

If I were forced to be there, in the audience, my problem seeking/problem solving brain would pick apart all of it

I might even pull strange contorted faces and roll my eyes

These are all the things I do when watching videos, reading books

I snigger, tut, eye roll, laugh..

This is how my brain navigates doing the things it doesn’t want to do

This is how my neurobiology navigates it’s way through the internalised resistance

Until I find something I resonate with

Something that peaks my interest

Is profound

And I’m in!

Can't get enough!

My new passion,

My new social obsession!

I’ll learn all about this person and how they came to know the things they know

I want to know all about them; their life experience!

I trek all the way back, far beyond the reaches of the information itself,

And all the way beyond the person.

I hyperfocus on them; on the information on offer

From their being

Until there’s nothing new, or nothing left

And on I forward

Ready to happen upon a new, self led interest

By chance




It’s a lengthy process

But so worthy of being engaged with








Kristy Forbes

inTune Pathways

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