I have shared many personal thing’s about myself in this blog. In the hope they resonate with other parents who may be experiencing the same emotional difficulties and may be seeking a way to overcome them, and to let them know that they are not alone and that there is a solution.
There is however one aspect of my life that I rarely share with other’s. Partly because it’s too difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t live with it. And also because it’s something I rarely think about. Yet now as a parent it is something that crosses my mind more as I watch my daughters grow and develop.
At the age of 34 I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Autism runs in my immediate family, so for me not to get coloured with a brush of a neurological difference in the way I see and process life would have been a small placed bet.
As I child I was problematic (only to others) as my ADHD caused issues with my schooling and home-life. My complete lack of concentration and inability to operate at less than a hundred miles an hour was not really understood, so I was seen as a problem child. I struggled to learn as others did. I took everything that was said literally which also caused me confusion. As a result, along with other emotional problems I was experiencing I quickly felt my difference and separation from the world around me.
I soon made the decision that to fit in I needed to learn from watching the way others acted and interacted, and do what they did. I didn’t always learn from the best examples or get it right. That acting became exhausting and caused depression and anxiety. I became a bit of an oddball. I was either over the top and taking things too far, or sinking into depression at my inability to be like I wanted to be. And then came alcohol. And with alcohol came a new freedom and answer to my social problems.
In retrospect my saving grace (although it didn’t seem it at that time) was that I left home early. Just before my 15th birthday. I was forced to learn to live in a world I didn’t understand with people I didn’t get. In truth it was alcohol that gave me all I needed to cope and get by. And without alcohol, the traits of Aspergers along with my other mental health problems made my inability to react with others and deal with the stresses of daily life stick out like a sore thumb. My frustration’s only grew with my feelings of seperation.
Getting diagnosed was like a one-tonne penny dropping. And since understanding Aspergers more I have come to understand myself more. And nothing has helped me deal with the anxieties that I experienced with it more than the mediation I practice, the one I share the link to on my menu page.
Occasionally my traits become apparent. Now and again my wife will jokingly tell me to ‘put my Aspergers away’, she is more aware of my traits then me at times.
Nowaday’s it affects me less, as over the years I have become more comfortable with myself and realised It’s okay not to have to force myself into situations I don’t want to be in. I’m still not overly comfortable in social situations (unless i’m performing as a musician), and tend to stay away from interacting with others. It takes an effort for me to do things that others do naturally. I’m a crap conversationist but I love to write. So I have found a road to expression in this blog and the book I have written.
People have told me there is a good chance that the triplets may find themselves on the autistic spectrum because I am. And I do think about it from time to time. Perhaps they will be – or maybe they won’t. Even so, there is nothing wrong in seeing the world from a different perspective than most. And if they are, at least I have the understanding now to support and guide them.