How the Fuck Did I End Up Here? Life with Aspergers

When people see me, out and about, or in my place of work, they see the persona I’ve developed over decades to cope with the reality of the world that most people live in. They think that I am composed and comfortable, perfectly competent and able to go about daily life. What they don’t know is that, even when I feelย do feel fairly confident, the slightest upset can cause massive upheaval for me, so I micro-manage, and try to stay in control of my own environment in ways that can seem excessive.

I always knew I was different – figuring that out isn’t rocket science: at school I was the odd kid, persecuted for being the odd kid, utterly unable to comprehend the nature of competition, or bullying, or socialising, or team sports, or fun;ย completely focussed on certain interests to the point of obnoxiousness; fearful of every new experience; straightforward in a way that people thought completely tactless; unaware of appropriate boundaries; naieve, and gullible, and guileless. And that’s not even scratching the surface.

I have spent a great deal of my adult life trying to figure out my purpose in life, looking for the answers to my existence. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was alerted to the existence of Asperger Syndrome and High-functioning Autism, and began to explore what that meant; this led to the discovery that females with Aspergers (“Aspergirls”, a term coined by author Rudy Simone) often become expert mimics and imitators, looking to their peers for how to behave in social situations, and doing likewise – but in the way that a parrot might. Which is why females are far less diagnosed than males with Aspergers: it just isn’t that apparent.

Since that discovery, I’ve realised that Aspergers is part of my life, and that it’s a gift, not a curse; but it does come with a whole different set of challenges for coping with life. And that’s okay, but it’s really, really easy for others – and sometimes even myself – to forget this, when to all appearances I’m just as capable as the next person. And sometimes that expectation gets me into trouble, and I make huge errors of judgement.

Right now I’m hurting because of one of these errors, and I’m hurting because I doubt many people will understand that I didn’t make it with full knowledge in the usual sense, and I truly didn’t understand the consequences. The truth comes as a shock to me, and I’m devastated.

If you care about me – or a girl who has, or you think might have, Aspergers – please read this.

I have no need for your pity – but I’d do just about anything for your understanding and respect.

10 thoughts on “How the Fuck Did I End Up Here? Life with Aspergers

  1. Melanie, I’ve read this a few times and once again, I admire you just putting it out there. Digging deep, it makes your creativity stronger. I hope that makes sense, cause it does work.

  2. If our society wouldnt be so focussed on appearances it would be a whole lot easier to be different. Everyone is different for goodness sakes. Don’t tell me the heavily made up skinny dolls with the bright smiles and high pitched voices are that by nature. And those of us who don’t see the sense in all that pretending, and just want to be factual and honest and real, are seen as un-social? Sometimes we can be grumpy, but if people just stop and listen, they would realise it’s not tactless but rather highly sensitive because so many many signs and notions speak at once to us – it’s the only way to cope: be direct.
    Be proud of yourself. It’s okay to be you. We don’t label tigers as challenged because they don’t behave as chimpanzees do.

    • Thanks very much for leaving a comment about this post. I much prefer to be direct, but people aren’t always willing or able to take that in. Anyway, I’d rather be a tiger than a chimp ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. A dear friend of mine wasn’t diagnosed until she was 40yo, and suddenly life for her began to make sense.
    Congrats on surviving school – never an easy time but one fraught with difficulties for an Aspie. Take care xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s