I was born on December 3, 1979, and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome during Kindergarten. AS is characterized by obsessions, repetitive body movements (such as hand flapping), and difficulty socializing with people, among other things.
During my years in elementary school, as a result of my inability to socialize, I had very few real friends. I spent most of my time daydreaming about life during 18th – Century America. This continued throughout my graduation from a two – year college (by that time, I also focused a lot of my thoughts on science fiction). I felt very lonely, and at times, depressed. This got me on medication.
My middle school years were the worst, in that I was the victim of endless bullying. This was partly my fault because, out of fear for my family’s financial situation, I developed a habit of scanning the floor for money. The other children saw this, and began harassing me. It took endless work by my parents, teachers, and school psychologist to get me to stop this habit, which soon led to a dramatic decrease in incidents of teasing.
High school was much better in terms of bullying, but there were two new problems. First, I became desperate for a girlfriend, and never got one, despite my having asked many of them out for a date. Of course, the reason for this is because I never gave myself a chance to get to know them. I just went right up to them and asked them out. Second, out of jealousy of the girls, I wanted to wear skirts. While I may never know if my school would have allowed it (a few are alright with the boys cross-dressing), I was too afraid to ask my parents if I could do it, which was understandable, given the taboo of the issue. This filled me with severe anxiety and frustration, and actually led me to become psychotic, and I was therefore taken to a school for students with problems.
When I went to a four – year college (from which I did not graduate), out of extreme desperation, I finally was able to make more friends. Yet, I talked to them mostly about a relatively new obsession of mine – lgbtq rights (a lot of this had to do with men cross-dressing). Also, I began wearing skirts (first, it was women’s skirts, but then I switched to skirts designed for men, as well as kilts). I felt a lot happier, and even received a handful of compliments on my new attire.
Now, I am doing much better. I have many friends at a Jewish Community Center, and despite my obsessions, I have broadened my topics of conversation with them to include things such as a variety of political issues, my interest in writing, science fiction and technology currently available, and my recent investment in the stock market. In addition, we sometimes discuss our interest in entertainment and what we have done during the past few days or weeks. Finally, thanks to encouragement from my parents, it has only been during recent weeks that I began joining in other people’s conversations.
(more posts to come from Autistic Artistic Carnival very shortly…)