Giving History New Meaning
I’ve taken last night’s thoughts from my blipfoto daily photo journal and put them in here:
Things have been a bit slow.
I think it’s probably the fallout from Monday’s assessment. Yesterday I had a headache all day and today I’ve had a stomach ache all day.
I was expecting some sort of emotional and physical reaction while I recovered from the stress and anxiety pre-assessment, and my reaction to the psychologist’s feedback post-assessment.
Even though it was what I’d been preparing myself for, it’s an awful lot to take in.
After all it’s only 2 months since I started contemplating the likelihood that I have Asperger’s.
The last 2 days I have been churning with memories of school days and wondering how much better things could have been had I been diagnosed as a child (obviously not possible in the 1970s and 1980s). My grades dropped and dropped and dropped, the enthusiasm of my teachers dropped and dropped and dropped, and my ability to be accepted for who I was by my peers dropped and dropped and dropped.
The psychologist said I did incredibly well in the tests. She said even when I said I wasn’t sure and said I was guessing I was getting things right. She said I was in the top 2% intelligence-wise. She looked through my school reports from the age of 5, and when she got to my exam results she was surprised. She said she was expecting much better. But I’d given up. I think I started not bothering at about 10 years old but was always hoping things would get better. Only they got worse. I gradually convinced myself I wasn’t very clever after all.
I’ve been thinking about the girl who bullied me at secondary school. And the girls who participated in her taunting. What if I’d been protected from that because of my vulnerabilities? What if the teachers had known why I was so quiet, why I had to be so quiet? Why I had to look down to listen. Why I couldn’t bear to stay at school in the lunch hour. Why I struggled to organise myself. Why I often wasn’t sure how to behave or how to fit in or what to wear.
I know that we are the sum of our struggles and not just our achievements and they make us who were are but I would like to take away some of the pain from my past.
School was a big pile of shitty crap for me. The years after school were difficult too as I struggled to find my way in the world and couldn’t understand what was expected of me.
All I can do is write about my experiences and hope that things are improving for today’s young people with the higher functioning, less easy to spot autistic spectrum conditions because some sort of acceptance in ourselves and from everyone around us can make all the difference in the world.
It was tough being a teenager. It was very, very, very, very tough. I never knew just why it was so extraspecially tough until now and I want to go back in time and rescue that fragile, vulnerable young girl and tell her she’s alright. I want to tell her school teachers and her school mates that she’s alright. I want to tell everyone who misunderstood her that she didn’t have a nasty bone in her body, that she’s a really loving, forgiving person and she deserved better, kinder and more thoughtful.
I want to tell everyone who fills in the missing information about someone they don’t understand with nonsense they’ve made up in their own head to be less shallow, and if needs be just accept that they don’t understand.