I was a very destructive child. Once I was able to scream, run and kick up the biggest fuss possible, I would do so when things got too much to handle. With all the complicated things that would buzz around in my head, I was left with nothing but confusion, which lead to frustration and eventually resulted in anger.
I’m not proud of the things I did; hitting my younger sister, hitting my mum, biting my arm, breaking anything I could lay my hands on. It was all in the heat of the moment. We called it Red Mist Syndrome. It was kind of like tunnel vision. If I was riled up enough, I would eventually snap and begin biting my arm so hard it would leave dents that would bruise. When this happened, everyone knew I had reached my limit and nothing was going to stop me until I had released all my anger. It was one of the most stressful situations myself and my family had ever had to deal with. I would feel immense guilt afterwards, as I had no control over what I had just done, and my family would be exhausted from trying to pin me to the ground. This got harder as I got older and stronger.
As I became more understanding of myself, I was able to identify the cause. Confusion. I realised that simple things like change or uncomfortable clothing would be the icing on the cake if I was due to do something.
With school, I had to have perfectly comfortable clothing otherwise I’d go mental. I was already anxious about going to school so having the seams on the socks, dig into my toes would make me so agitated that I’d eventually explode. I couldn’t possibly imagine the struggles my mum had as I was growing up. When I reached my teens, I worked out that turning the socks inside out, was way more comfortable. And to this day, I wear them inside out. If only I had known that back then.
The difficulty with young Aspies (people with Asperger’s), having outbursts, is the lack of understanding. The child is most likely experiencing an overload of.. well, everything. The senses are in overdrive and on top of that, they’re completely confused with all their feelings. It’s a lot to deal with.
I ruined Somerfield once because of this. As it was another Red Mist Syndrome scenario, I can’t really remember what happened. I only recall having my arm on the shelf and pushing everything off.
Luckily, as I grew up I began to understand myself and all my Asperger’s traits. I was able to point out what was wrong and what was right (with the help of CBT). As I started to understand how I operated, I managed to explain to my family how I felt and everything that happened during my childhood, came to light. It was just because I didn’t understand back then.
Now I rarely get frustrated as I only do what I know I can manage. I have been able to make things easier for myself, with analysing and preparation, and because I am able to do this, it has definitely made situations that I once found strenuous, much more comfortable to manage.