I remember my security blanket. I can’t recall when I got it as a child, but it brought me comfort. A person with Asperger’s tends to latch on to an item that makes us feel secure. Mine was a blanket; I carried everywhere I went except at school or a friend’s house. My parents accepted my need to carry the blanket around the house.
It comforted me in times of feeling anxiety, which happened a lot around my mom. I especially loved my blanky when it got washed. I would caress it between my fingers and rub my nose in it for hours. This behavior comes across as weird and abnormal in the neurotypical world, but for us Aspie’s, this is comforting and normal.
As I stated, my mom had no problem with the blanket. When my parents got separated the final time, I got to take it with me. I held that blanket more often once we arrived in Chicago. The adjustment was traumatizing, and I clutched my blanky as often as possible.
My mom tried to enroll me in the public school but withdrew me when the superintendent told her because of my high grades; I would be bussed over an hour away to a magnet school. Thankfully, she turned down the request. Instead, she enrolled me in the Catholic school. The same one I attended when my parents first separated when I was six years old. Oh, joy. My anxiety went through the roof, and my blanky and I did not separate at all at my grandma’s house.
I started school immediately since it was already the second week of September. My mom had to fight with the principal because he wanted me to skip sixth grade and start eighth grade. My grades from Canada excelled the classes in the States. I breathed a sigh of relief when she firmly told him no.
The kid’s at school tormented me daily. I was a pre-teen with no understanding of puberty. My period hit, my face filled with acne, and I had no clue on personal hygiene. The kid’s told me to go back to my own country. I felt confused because I was born in the States, so technically I was in my own country. The nun who taught sixth grade was off her rocker. She would smack kid’s hands if they didn’t diagram a sentence correct on the chalkboard. All this horrible input on a daily basis left me in tears and not wanting to go to school. My only saving grace, coming home to my security blanket.
All that changed when my grandmother decided I was too old for a blanky. I got home from school when I had another horrendous day, and searched for my blanky. It was not in its usual place, which usually was on my bed or pillows. I didn’t think much of it since my mom would wash it if it got dirty. I went to the basement, opened the dryer door, and found nothing. Panic started to hit me. I scrambled through the entire apartment searching for my beloved blanky. Tears flowed, and my mind raced.
I leaped up the back stairs to my grandma’s apartment. I opened her door ran to her in tears, begging her if she knew where I could find my blanket. She stood with a cold, heartless stare, and blurted out; she threw it out. My entire body felt like it was going into shock. All I heard after that point, is how I was too old for a blanky and I needed to grow up. All my feelings drained from me. My tears stopped, I stared back at her and thought I would never trust this woman as long as she lived. It seemed a common theme in my family where the women broke my trust in them.
It seems silly after all these years I still miss that blanket. In the regular world, it appears childish and immature to hold on to something for so long. For a person with Asperger’s a blanket or whatever source of comfort we get, it means everything. When a person whom you love and trust rips that piece which gives you a sense of safety, it is traumatizing.
I can’t blame my grandmother for what she had done. No one in my family knew I had Asperger’s. I have experienced many other instances of having things torn from me. Many times it nearly destroyed me, but still managed to get through it. I took a lot of abuse in many realms and survived. Today I find comfort in the Lord. He is all I need to make it in the world, and I am thankful every day for it.