still breathing…

LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY

I’ve had some time to digest the revelations I disclosed in my last blog, although I still am reeling at the implications of this discovery. The chaos in my mind has become louder and more persistent as memories and recollections bombard me seeming to shriek validation of my (and my father’s) diagnosis. I don’t even know where to begin…

As far back as I can recall I have been different. Felt different. Felt alien. There were moments growing up that I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was adopted (I wasn’t). What else could explain the self-imposed alienation I felt? My isolation was lonely. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t connect with others. I couldn’t retain lasting friendships. I escaped inside my books and my imagination and lived there for a long time. I learned very quickly, before I could consciously understand my actions, that society wants perfection. Demands perfection. There was no room for my perfectly imperfect self. And so I had to adapt…quickly. I vividly recall trying to mimic and emulate other girls my age in an effort to fit in…and was quickly branded a misfit. Most of the time, I felt like I didn’t even know how to be a girl. I was quirky and unusual, which did not bode well for me. Kids are cruel, especially to those they do not understand, and because there was no diagnosis, no explanation available to my parents to help me, I suffered. No child should be subjected to the tormenting I received for being different. It still haunts me.

I don’t remember exactly when my anxiety started. I suspect it was around kindergarten when I was thrust into the “real” world and out of the safe secure nest of my home, forced to socialize and interact with other children. I don’t recall my dad carrying me into my classroom almost every day or the sobs that would spew forth when he left me with these curious unforgiving little humans, but my parents remembered well and I would hear the story from time to time in the years following. I eventually adapted by creating my own coping mechanisms that I still utilize to this day if my anxiety gets too intense. My irrational fears never made sense to me until now. Frankly, a lot of things didn’t make sense to me until now. I keep traversing back in time to situations and memories in my life. My recollections are now evaluated and measured against this new-found knowledge, this Asperger’s; and the deductions serve over and over as evidence and validation of my placement on the Spectrum.

This diagnosis, thus far, has not ushered in any sort of sadness or melancholy for me, except perhaps the inevitable wistfulness of a timelier verdict. I am still me. Nothing really has changed, but the understanding that I am gaining is invaluable. I am saddened that my father chose not to accept this reality. The benefit his family would have garnered from this knowledge could have drastically altered our somewhat harsh perception of him. I know it has for me. I now understand some of the underlying compulsions of his actions. So much of my relationship with this man can now be explained. So much I now understand. I wonder if he would have accepted my diagnosis. Could we have discussed this? Would he have denied me the solace and colossal amounts of relief that seem to continually wash over me? He loved to fixate and obsess. Would he have been able to see the correlations? The similarities? What would he have done with this knowledge?

I have so many questions that can only be answered with speculation. I will continue to dig, to uncover, and to learn; but I am forging ahead with more clarity and confidence. There is much less turmoil in my soul to shadow my path. I am experiencing….peace.

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