It took nearly forty-five years to figure out I had Asperger’s. I couldn’t understand after all the counseling, finding Jesus, and going through forgiveness why was it I still felt “off.” I found trying to be relational with people wasn’t happening. There were other weird quirks I began to wonder about, and that is where I started my research.
I journeyed all the way back to childhood and mentally noted my traits. I looked at how I interacted with other kids, and how I interacted socially with others. I can honestly say it was awkward for me on many occasions. I was fortunate my friends from Canada were forgiving and would stay around while I had my moments.
It all made sense as I dug further into research why I acted the way I did and answers were coming. Some of the traits I carried were intense emotions, self-taught, hypersensitive to clothing and foods, sensitive to every sense, acting like a tomboy and never entirely fitting into my peers. These are just a few the traits of a girl who has Asperger’s.
My earliest recollections of being different were my sensitivity to nylon. I broke out in hives anytime I wore it. The family doctor told my mom to stop having me wear it and to switch to cotton. She wasn’t too pleased since cotton clothes were expensive in Canada but she had no choice.
I learned to read by the time I was four. We had shelves upon shelves of books. Both my parents loved to read. I would grab the children’s books and figured out how to learn on my own. There were pictures of me wearing dresses, but I much preferred to dress in pants. I also liked playing more with brothers trucks and cars and playing in the dirt. I was a tomboy. I wasn’t interested in girl things. It worked out because most of my friends in Canada were tomboys and I could fit in.
My eating habits were interesting, to say the least. I sat next to my dad at the dinner table, but he never scolded me. My mother would get irritated. I had to have all the food separated on my plate. My meat, vegetables, and potatoes, (this was our usual staple with every meal) couldn’t touch. If the juice from vegetables started seeping towards my meat or potatoes, I would freak out. Nothing on my plate could touch. Next, I had a routine on how I would eat. I would start with my meat, eat all of it, move to the potatoes, eat all of it, and lastly, I would eat all the vegetables. I never mixed the food. I had to eat one thing at a time. Otherwise, I would get ill and want to throw up.
I remember I had a lot of anxiety and at times I didn’t understand why. I had always thought it was due to the stress of abuse which I am sure was some of the reason but not all of it. I would have moments where I wanted to hang out with friends at school while other times I became anxious and wanted to be left alone. Usually, when I got stressed out I would start to act out of place and kids kind of back off and not play with me. I learned that with Asperger’s we do get overwhelmed and need alone time to decompress.
After I had my time to realign and calm down after a few days, I would go right back to playing with the other kids. I was very clumsy which is another trait. It was frustrating thinking I had something else wrong with me. Nope. Just the brain not being coordinated with the body. I knew what I was trying to accomplish but couldn’t get the brain and body to agree.
My sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing was off the charts. My eyesight not as much because I had issues. Odors, if they were horrid, would cause me to nearly puke as did taste. I could listen to sounds when no one else could hear anything. My strongest sense was my sixth sense….perception. I could sense people’s emotions if they were liars and other things people couldn’t pick up. I still have that ability, and it becomes so much I have to stay away from others, sometimes for weeks.
Even though I had friends in Canada and met ones when I moved to the States, I never developed deep relationships. I still have contact with a few from my past, but I put a conscious effort. Socializing is the most difficult of all the traits of Asperger’s. I can make friends, make small talk when I come across people but I can’t quite get the in-depth part of being relational. It took effort even with my kids, but they are loving and understanding.
There are many other traits of Asperger’s I had but are not as prevalent today. I had to learn to overcome some of it and some of my characteristics I have come to embrace. I discovered there are many out there just like me struggling to try to be part of the world, are rejected because we are different. I will be blogging more about other things about being a person with Asperger’s and how it clashed with society. It is no wonder I have survived, not just with being abused but never fitting in because I had a different design than others.