Missing Connections: My Life With Autism

Sam2000's picture

The title of this journal just gave away my secret didn't it?

For a long time I've been debating with myself and my family and friends if I should ever write about this or not, and with everyone except my Mom encouraging me, I felt now was the right time.

I have Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autism.

And honestly, as hard as this may be to believe, I have no idea what that really means. No matter how many times it's been explained to me, I just don't understand it. I've been told that I'm "high functioning" which tells me I'm normal...or am I?

I've always known I was different, but isn't everybody?

I have some classic autism symptoms:

I can't stand looking someone in the eyes! I'd rather be kicked in my nuts than have to look someone in the eye! My Dad does this exercise where he backs me against a wall and restrains me and then has me slowly open my eyes...I can look at him for a few seconds before I freak out, which is an improvement believe it or not. He's not doing that to hurt me, he's trying to help me, and he is.

I can eat the same thing, every meal, for months at a time without getting bored with it. My Grandma helped break me of that habit, but I still order the exact same thing whenever we go out to eat. At least I eat different things now.

On here I know I sound like a really social person but really I'd rather be alone most of the time. My friends and family have helped me out with that, forcing me to be social. My boyfriend especially has helped me deal with my social anxiety, but I've got a long way to go.

To go out in public I used to have to be sedated, but since I started living with my Dad he gradually weaned me off of the meds and now I can go out and at least function in public. I've never seen a movie in a theater because I'm so easily overstimulated that I just can't handle it, also know as meltdown time. That hasn't happened in a while, but it just hangs over my head, like a invisible monster waiting to attack me.

Most autistic kids don't like being shown affection, but I'm a exception here, as long as you don't press down on my shoulders. I just don't like being restrained, but you can hug me as much as you'd like (please do!).

I have a highly specialized talent that I've decided to never talk about, really because it'll most likely be my career and I'm not sure I want to be out publicly in ten years. Yet despite my talents....

I CAN'T TIE MY SHOES!!!!!!!!! Dammit!

I know my writing style has changed since I started my journals on here, and as I get older I seem to be coping better with my autism and doing the best I can with what I have. Who knows, someday I might just be a regular guy?

Someday I know I'll be able to look someone in the eyes without severe panicking, but that day hasn't come yet.

Someday I'll be able to go see a movie BEFORE it's out on DVD.

And someday, dammit, I'm going to tie my shoes!!!!

I'm not sure how what I've written here will be taken, and I know I'm taking a big risk writing about this. I also know this is not the best journal entry I've done, but I feel better sharing my secret.

I just have to hope for the best.

Thank you,

Sam

Comments

elph's picture

A 15-year-old boy so afflicted...

If you've not already done so, I should encourage you to read this short novel from 2004 (a "best seller" with rave reviews):

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

It's surely available at any local or school library. If you can't find it, Amazon has it:

http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Incident-Dog-Night-Time/dp/1400032717/ref=...

While at Amazon, you might note their voluminous collection dealing with youthful Asperger's:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Aboy+with+asperge...

Good luck!

****

On that "shoe lace" thingy: Is it a manual dexterity issue... or a physical inability to reach the laces?

Tycoondashkid's picture

i read that i liked it

on the shoe laces, apparently Autism/Aspergers can be physical too

Sam2000's picture

Thanks : ))

Thanks for the book links!

Sam

Tycoondashkid's picture

im a high functioning autistic

its hard but im here for you

Sam2000's picture

I didn't know you had

I didn't know you had autism?!?!?!?

I have about 80% function in my left hand, and when I try to tie shoes it's like I have a 1,000,000,000 knots to deal with!!! I have a really hard time fretting certain guitar chords, and getting my right hand and left to sync together is a constant struggle. I don't know if it's from my birth or what but my Mom hid her pregnancy until she was six months into it so there wasn't any prenatal care. I don't blame anyone for how I am, I'm just me!

I have the same issues with my legs, I don't have a full range of motion and going up and down steps is really hard for me. I wear lower leg braces just for extra support, but as I'm getting stronger so are my legs. I'm also over 6 foot tall and weight 200+ pounds so that's probably not making things easier.

Thanks for your support : ))

Sam

Tycoondashkid's picture

mine isn't as bad physically

i only really have trouble with tying knots, bad hand writing and a bit clumsy on my feet, i have no problem with stairs but just walking is annoying clumsy but you know

Sam2000's picture

I have lots of physical problems

I can't hold a pen too well, my printing is ok but it takes me forever to write something. I have trouble walking, and have lost some of my speaking abilities in the last few months, but speech therapy is helping me. My voice changed really fast and it's real raspy now. I sound like I smoke 10 packs a day!

One funny thing is I'm really strong, I am doing weight training and I can lift quite a bit so that's helping with the walking and stuff, but I'll probably never be normal physically : ((

Sam

Tycoondashkid's picture

hmm

does anyone in your house smoke? the raspy voice can be caused by that, its only a short time (in my experience)

i used to have trouble with writing too, everybody was so anger at me for it

Sam2000's picture

Nobody here smokes,

Nobody here smokes, thankfully : )) Three gay guys living together and no smokers...must be some kind of record?

My voice changed really fast because I grew too fast and my vocal cords haven't adjusted yet. That's what the specialist I saw told me. I'm in speech therapy but if you heard me talk...well I can say about three words then I pause and say a few more...pause...a full sentence takes me a while. I don't say much because it's so hard for me to talk which is part of the problem, but if I try to talk a lot it hurts and then I lose my voice. Endless cycle of DAMMIT!!!!!!

I hold a pen/pencil using my thumb and index finger and it looks dumb but it's the only comfortable way for me to do it, but at my new school it's mostly computer based to I type everything which I can do fairly well. My Dad massages my hands after school for me which feels great and takes away the soreness : ))

If I try to sign my name it takes forever and looks really bad : ((

I think I'll be writing more about being autistic and stuff in the future, you're making me feel better about it : ))

Thanks,

Sam