Friday, November 17, 2006

More Puzzle Pieces...

Back again, Folks!
I'm back again and I apologize for the long hiatus - I just couldn't find the inspiration to write, let alone be truly creative. As creative writers/musicians know, it goes in spurts. Sometimes the well just runs dry, and we need to let it fill up again. In my case, I needed to have a few more experiences in my life to give me inspiration to ruminate about. The time has come.

More Changes...
Loyal readers will notice that I have yet again changed the subtitle of this blog. Why, you ask? I've had quite a bit of free time on my hands lately, and I started to put together some thoughts. Given the facts of my past, prior diagnoses, and the like, they all started to head into the same direction. What I experience in my life is only part of the picture as to why I have so much difficulty coping, understanding, and accepting things, events, and even people that come my way.

Questions and Answers...
Recently, I was out with a friend, and she began talking about how one of her loved ones had this "problem." I had that peculiar feeling that there was much in common between myself and this person. I began quizzing her hypothetically about it - it didn't take her long to realize that I was referring to myself. I gleaned a lot from that conversation, and the wheels started turning in my head again. I did some more research, and took a few unofficial tests online. One said that I scored a 40 which meant that it was highly likely. The average was 32.

I couldn't help but think that this is the "piece of the puzzle" that has been missing. I had often wondered why I have this intense urge for quests of "useless" information, collecting certain things (often many of the same one) and assorted difficulties (relationships being the BIG one.) For the longest time, I have resigned myself to the fact that "that's just me and how I am." But now it is beginning to become clearer as each day passes! There WAS a reason why I was taken to a university hospital in the late 70's and given PET scans, brain scans, lots of tests, and why I was put in several "special" reading groups even though my reading, grammar and spelling were perfect. Why else would I have a college reading level even before leaving elementary school (somewhere in 5th or 6th grade,) and have such a hard time with simple concepts (common sense) and ideas, as well as grasping humor?

Here's The Kicker...
But the BIGGEST one of all was "Oh, so that's why my dad told me that the doctor said I was mentally retarded!" It was probably autism - A highly developed form of it, known as Asperger's Syndrome. In summary, I didn't act right, and they didn't know what to do with me, so they put me with the other children imprisoned in the Special Education program. For them it's like being trapped in a mental hospital, and on display for all to see.

What? My Kid? No Way!
My dad was in a rage. He wanted to strangle the doctor - No one likes to be told that their child has a disability! Maybe the doctor didn't mean it that way, but didn't know how to express it. I am pretty sure of this though - when my mom passed away (I was three years old at the time,) It CHANGED me! That trauma took a lot out of me, and disguised itself as "hyperactivity," and later manifested itself in extreme bouts of rage and sadness, with the occasional "hyper feeling," which appeared as bipolar disorder. Now, I'm not saying that I do not have bipolar, but that it was only one part of the picture, the other (and hopefully final) part was Asperger's.

What Does This All Mean?
Now, keep in mind that I haven't been officially diagnosed with Apserger's, but I'm very certain that it's there. I'm not looking to use this as a crutch or a label, but as a tool to help my better understand myself, the world around me, and to feel closure to my uncertain past. I have used the "tools" that were given to me through this disorder (analytical thinking, incredible mimicking abilities, and deep comprehension,) as survival mechanisms to get through life. I truly think that if I didn't have those, I would still be in some sort of special program today, not living on my own, and not being able to pursue my dreams. I don't feel regret - rather I feel grateful for what this has given me - I have many assets that I am able to use every day not only to help myself, but to help others as well.

Thank you , Lord.