Yes, I have Aspergers Syndrome. Didn’t have a diagnosis until I was 21, and it’s been a struggle ever since I could remember…
It makes me upset that calling someone autistic is now considered an insult. I see it all the time online, and it’s quite sad.
I don’t think there’s enough awareness for adults like myself. If anything, I think we struggle the most…children can get help at an early age and have the tools to help them prepare for life as much as possible, but us adults have to deal with things like finding a job, driving, and social expectations. We don’t have much help it seems:(
Anyway, this post is just to kind of explain my life with Aspergers^^
I was born in only 6 months, so I had problems from the very start! I was delayed with learning the basics, like crawling, walking, potty training, and definitely talking. My mother noticed right away that there was something “wrong” with me. I only ate like maybe 3 different things (macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, and bread) I hated wearing certain clothes because everything irritated me, I would rock back and forth a lot and I would flap my hands. I’m the youngest of 4 sisters, so my mother knew I was different from my sisters. My mother said that I had this look and that I didn’t show emotion like most babies/children would at my age. I never cried or threw tantrums, it was like I was in my own world. I even remember being in my crib rocking myself to sleep or just to sooth myself. I didn’t enjoy cuddles from my mom or being bundled up…which made my mother feel bad…
By the time I was 6, my mother thought it would be good to put me in kindergarten. I wanted to be just like my older sisters, so I was excited! boy was it scary!!! Now I know almost ALL kids are afraid on the first day of school, I get that, but I was frozen with fear. I never opened my mouth at school, it was like my mouth was wired shut. I just remember being on the verge or crying all the time, and not knowing why… I could never interact with the other children, so I always played by myself at free time, and would swing by myself at recess. I didn’t run, I didn’t tell anyone when I was upset, I was just silent. Other kids would try and talk to me, but I never said anything back. To me, these people were all strangers and I was in constant fear. I would never participate in games or activities, and from what my mom told me what my teacher told me, I was “too quiet and well behaved” like WTF don’t teachers want kids who do their work and not make trouble?!?
When I was 8, I remember that my mom decided to seek professional help for me. I was tested many times, seen many doctors, and all of them seemed to not know what was wrong with me. They eventually diagnosed me with selective mutism and put me on Paxil.
My mom eventually took me out of school because she didn’t think the public school system cared about children like me. So I was home schooled for the most of grade school. Every time I tried a grade, it was the same thing (although I did start talking to other people in 6th, 8th, and 11th grade) I just felt so alone and different. I didn’t know why I felt different from my peers, I just knew I was. I never could make friends, just acquaintances at best, and it was hard. I never really had boyfriends and the boys I had crushes on never liked me back…which really hurt my self esteem and made me feel even MORE alienated!
In high school, I had experienced true depression for the first time. The first few months of 11th grade, I didn’t eat at the cafeteria. I avoided it like an itchy sweater! I was good friends with my counselor, so she didn’t have a problem with me eating in her office. I noticed that I actually got along better with the adults than my classmates. I just felt more comfortable with them for some reason. It was definitely a social struggle every day, but I did feel more comfortable with the nerd and emo crowd 😉 so I ended up making acquaintances with them. I just remember coming home from high school like I just came back from working hard labor at a factory. (a social factory) I would go straight to my room, fall asleep, and even cry. I felt so drained and I just wanted to escape by playing video games or watching cartoons. I eventually dropped out of high school after just 6 months. I was just gonna recharge and focus on getting my GED instead.
At 17, I got my first job! it was at Micheal’s, an arts and crafts store. It was seasonal so I worked around the time of Halloween. I was a cashier and I was happy! until my job actually started…I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’m bad with numbers as it is (I have dyscalculia) and it was horrible working with money at the cash register. I had people ask me if I was dyslexic and I knew they were getting impatient with me. I just couldn’t handle the costumer service and I also have scoliosis so my back was always on fire by the time my shift was over. I lasted maybe a week all together, I was so ashamed that I quit so early, I just wasn’t up for the job. I felt bad about that, so I decided to just focus on getting my GED.
With some bad family problems in between, I finally managed to get my GED at 21. I was so proud of myself! Also, this was the time I got diagnosed with aspergers (finally!). When I got the diagnosis, it just seemed like huge validation. I finally had a name for my “differentness” and my family seemed to take it more serious. I know my family thought I was different and even saw me as just lazy and shy or cold.
I finally knew about sensory issues, which plays a big part in having aspergers. I always thought it would just go away if I expose myself enough, but I still struggle with them to this day. My biggest sensory issues are:
Smells : I have the nose of a bloodhound! I can smell everything so it gets to be too much if a scent is just too strong.
Loud noise I HATE loud noise!!! especially cars and crying babies-_- it gives me major anxiety.
Bright lights I live in the desert so it’s extremely bright here! I also hate ugly florescent lighting…it irks me.
Touch give me my space! I don’t like to be cuddled and I can only wear certain fabrics (mostly just cotton) and I don’t like to wear jewelry or too tight clothes.
SOCIAL DRAINAGE!!! omg just going to the grocery store exhausts me! All of the sounds and talking and yelling really gets to me.
So now that I’m an adult, I struggle with everyday things. I never had a real friend, I don’t like the things that people my age think are fun, I feel immature for my age, and it doesn’t help that I look very young 😄 I don’t even drive because of my bad anxiety, so it’s very hard to get around where I live. (public transportation is a joke here) so my options are very limited. It’s also very hard getting a job and KEEPING it. I seriously haven’t worked since I was 17-_- so it makes me feel like a loser who can’t work a simple retail job.
But for right now, I’m looking into working from home or maybe even pet sitting. I just want to feel needed and contribute to society.
At least I know I’m not alone…