It is virtually impossible to explain what goes on in my mind. I have kept my thoughts secret, far from the reaches of those around me and even closest to me. David is the only person who knows the “real” me, well as much as I know about myself. The issues I have had have been around my entire life and the biggest problem is that no one else seemed to notice. Sure they would say things about me being weird or silly or how I tried to get attention and had to be in the lime light or that I was a mischievous little child or rude but they never stopped to ask why. And why would they? What I have noticed about families and people in general is that you get labeled early on and once you receive your label you are done. The label given to you now determines how family members treat you and where you fit in the peripheral pecking order.
The problem with me was/is that I never fit in the titles I was given.
I found it quite confusing and hurtful. I still do but you cannot change the image that people have of you. For me, I spent a life time trying to live up to the labels given to me (good or bad) and cried out in many desperate pleas to get the labels broken off of me. My life has been lonely, scary, and full of fears. It also has been quite rewarding and I have achieved many things that I can be proud of. People do not understand that, I can embrace my dark times with my rays of light. Even now as I am writing this I feel sadness and tears welling up but I am quite happy and relieved to finally have answers to my questions that I have for so long ached for. Through this time of researching Asperger’s and the Autism Spectrum Disorders, the more answers I have and as I continue to find books, articles, videos, doctors and others like myself I am ridden with emotions.
These emotions are both joy and heartache.
I have joy because my world finally makes sense to me and heartache because no one ever noticed or took the time to help me. I am also filled with heartache because I know that it really doesn’t matter to a lot of people either, even those who share the same DNA as myself. I have been labeled in this world and I am done. I am an adult now and should move on. What people do not understand is that my mind will not allow me. I do not wallow in the past, I need my past to help me understand who I am. I need to know why certain things were bad or good, if I don’t I have all of these chambers opened in my mind. Left open with no closure and I will fall into same patterns that lead to the same downfalls, if I don’t recognize them. I need to know why certain things hurt me, why I didn’t understand a joke, why someone treated me the way they did.
Many of my questions have been satisfied with simple answers.
I also have now learned that there are just some questions with no answer at all. Though I find it difficult to grasp that, I finally get it. Through out my life I have questioned my sanity and feared that I truly was insane. There have been times when the only option I felt was suicide. My motives for this was not intended to be selfish, I believed that if I was gone everyone, especially my family would be better off. Then there were moments when I felt that no one even knew of my existence. I still feel this at times, like I don’t exist. I am just a vapor that drifts by the lives of others never known, never seen. I am not depressed, I am disconnected. I don’t want to be, I just don’t know how to exist. Then there are times when I feel so socially normal that I can’t contain my joy. I am not in manic states, I am just feeling like I belong. My existence becomes validated, for a moment. At those moments I wonder if I had made up all of the emotions I am feeling and think surly I should be able to stop this.
Then I am once again feeling like my life is a drifting moment.
My thoughts get consumed with anxiety and fears that I know are not real but I can’t stop them. I begin to feel that I am not wanted and never was wanted by family or friends. I get engulfed with thoughts that I have done something wrong and then panic, driving me to a fight or flight mode. And I shut down, cut myself off from the world and escape into my safe haven filled with the acceptance of my husband and children. When I am in this state I feel that is all I need. I convince myself that we are perfectly fine like this, just us. I then look at my kids and know that I can’t. We need people but it takes all of my strength to step out into this world and be strong for them at times. I feel their pain when I see them not fit in socially. I hurt deeply when I see people look at them awkwardly. I am sensitive because I know the signs. I know what it feels like. They don’t know though, so I have to keep up my strength to not let on that anything is happening.
I don’t want to influence them with my issues.
I am reminded that my life growing up was completely different. They are different from me and they will handle situations THEIR way. I get that, it is just sometimes hard to let it happen. But it has to. I survived, no I didn’t just survive, I actually thrived in many areas despite all the obstacles that were before me. Many people have and they have achieved great things. I am actually quite happy that my children have a whole different world to live in. They will have resources to help them through their teen age years into adulthood that I didn’t have and they will succeed. They will do much better than me and I love watching their journey. (Some days not so much :-D) I am also very happy to know that whether real or made up, my emotions and feelings are mine and I can feel them and express them. I am hoping that our children will feel validated in their emotions. I hope they never have to wonder if what they are feeling is real or made up, alone.
I would pray that they feel comfortable enough to talk to us about it, so that isolation is far from them.