I don’t want to scare you, but you should be aware that I’m on the spectrum…cue the dramatic music… Technically I don’t know which part, we and by we I mean myself, some family, a shrink (or three) and a therapist believe I have Asperger’s. Yes I know what it rhymes with. Yes I know South Park says it’s made up. Yes I know that all ASD’s are about to receive an overhaul in the DSM. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
No I don’t have a certificate on my wall that says “Congrats! Here’s your spot on the spectrum”. (How awesome would that be?) Truth is, all I have to go on as far as a diagnosis are 25 years of being me. Well, that and as a freshman in college psychology my professor conned me into taking IQ tests for the grad students to monitor. Then accuses me of cheating, re-tests me, gets mad because I’m a poor student but apparently have a high IQ,gives me some crazy test that I now know was testing aid for Asperger’s, and as a final coup de grace has the department head basically tell me “O hey we think you’re on the spectrum. Ever hear of Asperger’s? No? Ok, have a nice day.”
Hmmmm…Asperger’s ehh? After a little research…ok that’s a lie. I never gave it another thought until I read Augusten Burrough’s books. His brother has Asperger’s and when he explained what it was I seriously went “Holy crap..that’s me.” A lot of kooky things about me fell into place.
In 5th grade I memorized the Jabberwocky word for word (I still know most of it). I could not tell you why.I can tell you that an alligator can run as fast as a horse for short bursts, and to escape one you should run in a zig-zag pattern. WHY DO I EVEN KNOW THAT?!
Chances are I’ll spit out some random bit of information (that has no relevancy to you, me, or anything else) if there’s a void in conversation. I’d liken it to a verbal commercial, to give my brain a chance to either:
A. remember your name
B. determine why you’re talking to me in the first place.
I’m not senile, I actually have a pretty good memory. It’s the things I memorize that tend to be less than helpful. For example, I have no idea what your name is but I know that you have a car with a dented bumper in the same place I had a dent in the bumper of my old car. I got the dent from a light pole after someone rear ended me. I didn’t get hurt, and my car was ok so I smile because I’m glad I didn’t get hurt. You see me smile, think I’m smiling at you which equates to “Hey I want to speak with you” for whatever reason in homo sapien.
I hate being touched. As long as I can remember, I just generally disliked people to touch me on purpose. Hugs, gross…group pictures,gag…I literally break out in hives. I once told a boss my aversion to contact and the hive reaction, she thought I was just being goofy so she spent all day getting as close to me as possible. Until my eye swelled shut. Then she cried.
Now as far as Aspie’s (that endearing nickname for people with Asperger’s) go I’m pretty low on the spectrum. I’ve been able to hold a job, I’m married, and I have a daughter. It hasn’t been easy though. I met my husband when we were 18 and I decided that I would marry him the first night we met. Ridiculous, right? Want to know my reason? Aside from thinking he was handsome, he didn’t make my skin crawl when he got near me. I even sat in his lap when a few of us piled into the front of a truck. I was in LOVE in four hours. That was seven years ago. (and I still sit in his lap sometimes just because there isn’t a single other soul on this Earth that I can comfortably do that with)
I promised you a first post. So ta-da! It’s not my best work, but I did just get done working a thirteen hour shift so be easy on me I’m sensitive. No really, ask an Aspie. We’re sensitive.