Two years ago, before the damage to my brain last year, I was a more prolific writer, fueled in no small part by the newness of the discovery that I was almost assuredly on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, a theory that would be confirmed about 6 weeks later by a licensed professional.
When one is found to be on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum later in life, much water has rushed under the bridge. The later the discovery, the more “reframing” one finds themself (purposeful spelling) doing, in attempt to make order and sense of their life lived thus far through perception with greater clarity. Suddenly, with such a discovery, may come the need for everything–one’s entire timeline–to be re-ordered, reassessed against a different measuring stick. The “why”s and “how”s often emerge out of the woodwork.
And two years ago today, I had written a reflection on having gone through school, especially elementary/primary school, knowing who I was but unable to be successfully understood and accepted by others. Back then, the conventional criteria for autism would never have fit me; it had not yet been sufficiently fine-tuned as it is today. Thus, the best that anybody could come up with was “she’s different”. I called myself “dreamy”, because that’s how I saw myself in relation to the other kids, a characteristic I could neither hide nor shed, a compulsory inclination.
Because I’m still dealing with my brain (apparently that mess is more severe than I realized), I figured I’d share something from the past because would have been relevant 35 years ago when I was going through school, it was relevant two years ago when I wrote it, and thus it might still be able to help someone today. Because as much as my own period of intense AS-related exploration and discovery has been exhausted and lies behind me, other people may be finding that their stories are just beginning, their discoveries just unfolding.
So, here it is: Invisible Division: School life as a little Asperger’s/autistic girl. I hope you enjoy the rewind! I’m doing my best to gather energy to write new material, I promise 🙂