Now that I am a young adult, understanding the way I am is a walk in the park, but during my younger years, it was a huge mystery to myself. As I look back, I wish I knew everything about myself, just so I could survive the day with a smile. It was exhausting knowing that my day was going to be filled with many challenges that I would barely cope with facing. Socialising, concentrating on school work, walking to and from school and classmates going out of their way to make my life miserable. Eventually, I left school when I hit year 7, but the time before that, was extremely distressing.
As a female with Asperger’s, the social aspect of school was more than challenging. I would have questions buzzing around my head all day, wondering why girls would want to play kiss-chase with boys if it was gross when they got kissed, and why girls would get their friends to talk to a guy for them. The less people involved, the better. But of course, being logically minded and socially inept, I was unable to figure out why girls of my age would do these things. Especially when it would result in drama, because as we all know, ‘girls hate drama’. However, I did have one friend. Let’s call her Amelia. Amelia was very much a sociable person. She had nailed talking to everyone and people just seemed to talk to her with confidence. But there was one problem. Me. At the time, I didn’t recognise how different from her, I was. She would just socialise with ease and I would only ever talk to her. If someone did address me, chances are, it wasn’t for a positive reason.
I remember one day in a science lesson, the equipment for the experiment was set on the table that myself and 3 other people were sitting at. Amelia included. So, everyone began piling over to grab the stuff they needed and for some strange reason, some of my classmates were talking about the TV set boxes that they had at home. Everyone all agreed on a particular brand but (not his real name) Chris, owned something different. And I had the same. So I pointed out that I had that particular brand myself and he asked for a high-five as we were snap. Despite my anxiety shooting through the roof, I gave him one. And as far as social experiences go at school, this was one of my proudest moments. A high-five with one of my classmates.
As I mentioned before, I did drop out of school when I reached year 7. This wasn’t a choice. In fact, if I was able to stay on, I would have. And by able, I mean, mentally able. Unfortunately, I had what they call, an autistic meltdown. But with that being a topic to touch on in another post, I’ll share some positive news about what happened after I left school..
I was extremely lucky (and still am) to have a family that were all for supporting me. My mum had bent over backwards to ensure I got the education I deserved, resulting in 5 GCSE’S with only 5 hours a week tuition.
So despite the hardships I faced in my early years, I feel that without the decisions I made along the way, I would not be where I am today.