Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested: Epilogue

The point and purpose of my posts over the last week and a half have been to introduce a new topic here: Asperger Syndrome. You can read all about it on Wikipedia, then come back here for more information. Based on everything I’ve read on the vast Internet and in books, I probably had AS as a child and still struggle with the challenges today. I don’t definitely have it, but it is hard to ignore the evidence. Though I had no cognitive impairments, I have always had a hard time knowing the right way to be social. My friendships--few and far between--have generally failed due to my own inability to help maintain them. I become interested in topics far beyond what a neurotypical person might, and I have a difficult time not sharing every thought about those passions with those around me. I have a grand vocabulary and use words in ways other people don’t--puns only scratch the surface. I am also so physically uncoordinated that my movements are comical even to myself sometimes. The most important part of reaching a diagnosis is that my difficulties were significant. After thirty years, I’m still struggling with the same things I struggled with early in my life. I’m not disabled, but I do have daily challenges.

I first found out that something like AS existed about two years ago. I was desperate to learn more, so I started buying books. When I read Aspergirls: Empowering Girls with Asperger’s Syndrome for the first time, I was giddy with excitement. THIS! This is me! These are my struggles. These are the words that someone else has given me to explain what I’m feeling and how I think. This is all the inside thoughts I’ve ever had put on paper. These people are from the same planet! I was afraid to talk about it at first, but I eventually opened up to The Man. After some initial reluctance, he agreed I was probably right. A few months ago, The Man and I read 22 Things a Woman with Asperger Syndrome Wants her Partner to Know. We both had many ah-ha! moments and found new ways to work with my strengths. The Man understands why I need “off” time, and he’s less pushy to get me out in the overwhelming world. I understand more about myself and how I need to get out in that world, to experience things with him, to support him and work on my social skills. This book completely changed our marriage. I’m no longer as much of a controlling nightmare, and he’s less resentful. We still have lots to work on, naturally, but we’re growing together now instead of bristling apart.

And if you couldn't tell by the last ten posts that I sort of went all Aspie-obsessed over The Big Bang Theory, well, I did.  Sheldon and I have more in common than I ever realized.  We're not crazy: our mothers had us tested.

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1 comment:

cm0978 said...

Congratulations on your well-written and thought-provoking series of blogs. Anything that helps you understand yourself and your life is valuable. And if it helps you to create better relationships with those you love, that's even better. Thank you for sharing your discoveries.