Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Growing Up Aspie


Thinking back upon my childhood, trying to find the main mood feelings...I always felt oddish, like I was different but I didn't know in what way. Perpetual confusion would probably summarize it best. It was as if something was always wrong but I was completely clueless as to what that something was.
Starting school at the tender age of five was my very first experience with pure, paralyzing terror. The only world I had ever known, to that point, was the very isolated one of my parents home where no one was ever allowed in and the children were fearfully taught to stay in and secretive.
At that age, the physical and sexual abuse had yet to start so this ginormous event, this separating and venturing outside this backward little world, leaving mother and siblings, my bestest of buds who tolerated and cared for me was profoundly traumatic.
I recall the steps to the school like it was yesterday. I was soaked in fear at what they were telling me would transpire. My mother, sensing my fears, kept repeating soothing and reassuring words, probably to keep me from bolting more than anything else. Yeah, I had that habit way back then also, bolting, running off when I became afraid or felt like a trapped animal being led to slaughter.
Those first few months of schooling are full of vivid memories that I would care to forget, so great was the pain. I remember subtle elation when hearing about this whole summer break thingy. I may have even smiled, always a rarity, as if I had to put on a mask, disingenuous as it may be.
Then I found out the awful truth, that this matter of school, angst and separation was going to continue in a few more months...and then, for a large number of years. I found it heartbreaking, to say the least. So I made the most of summers and tried spending every day outside, mostly hiding out in the woods or playing on the swings at the playground.

I can't say that I smiled much or showed emotion with any kind of regularity. It could be said that I kept very much to myself. I was a good girl and did what I was told. Taking care of my younger siblings, making almost daily trips to the little grocery store for milk and bread and doing my chores as best I could filled up my days.
I have a very hard time remembering happiness. The most noticeable times were when mother brought home another new baby. Their were ten of us kids in all, so a new one arrived every couple of years or so.

Somewhere in those early grade school years, things got really ugly. My father lost his job and became quite violent. He was angry all the time and with great ease took his wrath out on the nearest child or my mother. Physical abuse became the norm with objects, projectiles flying through the air without warning. Punishment for such infractions as teasing and failing to complete a chore became harsher and harsher. At first, standing in a corner would suffice but it quickly moved into hitting children with whatever object was handy, grabbing and pulling someone by their hair, or just plain hitting.
That was the daytime stuff anyway. At night the punishment took on a completely different form.

I lived in a state of perpetual confusion. I didn't understand that which was going on in my parents house as wrong, per se, because I had nothing to compare it to. I was only allowed to go into the homes of two neighbors and that being quite sporadic. So, I really did not know how other people lived. I just figured, the hitting was part of life and that it happened to everyone.
Food became quite sparse and inconsistent. Meals were these little melees of whatever could be found in the cupboard and thrown together. We had a couple serious spells where there was very,very little to eat. I think it was at that time that I figured out how to turn off and fear hunger. What an empty, hollow, unnurtuing feeling that is.

The sexual abuse started when I was about seven. So, my days were spent trying to escape the poverty and the nights were spent unsuccessfully trying to escape my father. I lived in constant fear, always trying to find a way to escape. Forever searching for something I couldn't quite grasp, safety and security. Damn, I felt so completely and utterly trapped. I lived hell, I kid you not. I lived hell.

I sought employment as soon as my age permitted and married the first guy that came along, who happened to be twice my age. I was soo willing to do anything, anything, to get out of my parents house.
I managed to hold down jobs, for the most part, as a nurses aide working in nursing homes and private homes. I needed a paycheck as my husband had great difficulty finding and keeping a job. We moved and ran from bill and rent collectors, borrowed whenever we could and lived paycheck to paycheck.
I don't recommend living in poverty to anyone. Its a...pardon my French, mind fuck. Ones whole mentality becomes rearranged to finding and securing money and sources of food. Poverty of house and mind is extremely demoralizing and degrading. Its hard to have any self-esteem at all when you are begging for a meal or a ride.

In my twenties, I just figured I had some sort of mental illness going on as by this time I had glimpsed the outside world and was very much aware of how my thinking and feelings were radically different from everyone elses. I sought therapy and was told I was bipolar with a smidgen of schizo affective disorder thrown in. I had my share of medication trials and errors. Nothing worked for long, go figure...I wasn't mentally ill, I had Aspergers but back in the 90's no one could recognize it.
My days continued to be filled with fear and trying to survive. I was unable to fit in anywhere and continued to wonder why I was so different. I pretty much attributed all my anxiety and troubles with the whole growing up abused theory and that worked, making sense in my head.
It wasn't until many years later, in my late thirties when I had my Eldest son tested at a local clinic that it finally dawned on me that I had Aspergers. Funny, not really but typical...it took me about two years of little bits of research and pondering here and there for me to finally grasp the full meaning of the phrase, "I Have Aspergers".

3 comments:

  1. Bless ya Amy just wondered if you have a email address as my friend whom was abused, believed herself to be suffering from the effects of childhood abuse as been told there is a high chance she is too aspergers. All of her therapy as been focused around her abuse and as left her confused. I think it would help a lot if she could talk to you as you have such a lot in common x Carla_10@hotmail.co.uk

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  2. Hi Carla, thank you. I would welcome talking with your friend. I have quite a bit of trouble with emailing and my computer but I can be found on fb. My profile pic is a Lego red and black sphere with a little Lego WonderWoman:)

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  3. Hiya Amy I cannot find you on fb lol there is loads of Amy murphys lol can you add me darling as I'm a easy one to find. My name is Carla Gumbley lol thank you I really appreciate your kindness x

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