Growing up, I’ll admit I thought I was like everyone else, a happy go about little boy that had no problems with making friends and well, pretty much doing kid stuff like playing football at the park, going camping with friends and well going to school, life was fun as a child because of the lack of responsibilities that a child has.
However as I turned Twelve, I began to notice a certain change in me, perhaps it was always there but I was too naive to realize it at the time. When I lost all of my friends in Year 6, I couldn’t understand what It was that I was doing wrong, I told a girl that I liked her but a former friend of mine told me to tell her that I didn’t and I listened! what was I thinking, she was really beautiful and friendly yet I just did what that ass told me! I actually thought he was a good friend…once, I trusted him and he pretty much stabbed me in the back! good riddance I say, I have real friends who don’t take advantage and care about me! Their my family and I’d do anything for them and they’d do the same for me!
I was told that I had Aspergers Syndrome when I was 14 and oh boy, my life changed from then on out. Things made sense now, why I acted the way that I did, everything suddenly had an answer but along with this came more questions like
- Where did it come from?
- Would my children inherit it from me?
- How would people treat me, now that I had a ‘label?’
School was an absolute nightmare starting in Secondary School, my so called friends decided that I was too weird and for 3 yrs, I was pretty much alone and it was in this period that I just lost confidence in everything and everyone. I never got beat up but the names I was called were just horrible! People would walk all over me and take advantage of me not understanding basic things but the worst thing in all of this was that I didn’t know I had Aspergers at the time, I knew something was wrong but just not what. High School wasn’t much better, I had a couple of friends but still…most people thought I was a weirdo that should just go away…how do I look back on this time in my life Ten Years later…it was a hard time, one that I never want to happen again but I did do some silly stuff…I’ll admit I never thought things through back then and I would apologize if I could but to all of the people that always made it their mission to make my life a living hell….you failed, you couldn’t even dream of doing those things to me today, I’m not the same person anymore. You lost! Although it was because of these 6 years that I worry so much, I’ll admit, I was so hurt during this time that I distrusted everyone, I shut them all out and sat alone in the darkness…a long time in isolation, my flower welted and almost died before fresh water came and made me grow back, that water was Craven College! That place gave me new life and all of the people I met on each course I did made me stronger! College and University reunions I would always go to…School Ones….No, It’d be too painful and besides, I have nothing to prove to those people anymore! College and University let me be Human, I wasn’t treat like an animal by the people there, they didn’t care that I had Aspergers or that I worried, they let me be me and that gave me the chance to improve and get more confident, I even met my future wife their and after all the screw ups in Love I had gone through in the past, I was beyond happy that I had found my soul mate, Love you Emma Jane Whitham!
I have reached a point where I no longer care who knows that I have the condition, I mean I’ve overcome all obstacles thrown at me and exceeded them. What is their to fear? name calling, constant questions? being accused of faking, Yes I have been accused of this, no idea why!
- Why would you fake having Autism?
Seems like something that no one would actually do but the person who accused me did so because he said that no one with Aspergers could be as happy as I sounded, that people that have it can only worry, suffer and be isolated from the rest of the world which I think is absolute nonsense! If you believe that you can live a normal life, then you can! yes I over worry about small stuff, yes I struggle to make friends and such but i have friends, I’ve lost friends before, I’ve had lovers and lost them but that’s life, we all live it, people with and without mental health issues. I’m often told to not tell people that I have Aspergers, why? Are you saying I should be ashamed of it? I’ll scream it from the rooftops and not give a damn, it’s a part of who I am and I refuse to deny that! I’ve had to learn to control it for so long now that I have almost perfect control, 9/10 people would have no idea that I had it, in fact only one person has ever guessed and she was a student on my Drama Course at University, then again she was a very bright, intelligent and friendly girl so I didn’t mind because I knew she wouldn’t do anything awful with that information, it showed me that their are good people in this world as well. I don’t have to deal with the bad ones anymore, I can fight them off now and a part of me wishes I could go back to my school days as I am now and just show them all that their words and taunts were a waste of time, in fact they made me who I am today because I was so determined to prove them all wrong! It was my mission to graduate from University, no matter what!
University was my toughest challenge, interacting with people was going into overdrive for me because they were all so much better at it then me, these wonderful talented individuals inspired me and made me want to up my game, so much that I often stepped out of my comfort zone and tried new things, did I make any life long friends on my course? No but that wasn’t my goal, my goal was to get a 2:1 and I did this. People liked me, don’t get me wrong but I never really hanged out with anyone on a daily basis but hey…life doesn’t end at University, I’m only 24, a long ways to go, I hope.
I would thank everyone on my Drama Course for pushing me to be a better person, even if they didn’t really see me as a friend…. I tried but like a crab with a shell, I always crawled into it! I don’t really know how people saw me but that didn’t matter to me, I am who I am and I’ll never change. I have lifelong friends and a Fiance that I adore, a loving family…what more do I need? However, they are all wonderful, kind human beings that will all become fantastic actors, directors and Backstage People. Watch out world, Huddersfield Drama Students are coming to dominate your stages and studios! I could sing their praises for ages because they all showed me what they can do and it was amazing how talented many of them were, i felt like I was living in the Renaissance Period or something. Thanks you geniuses, any Theatre company would be lucky to have just one of you.
I will never be ashamed of having Aspergers or anyone who has it. I will always talk positively about the disorder and try to make life better for people who suffer with it because they deserve a chance at life, just like anyone else does. Will their ever be a cure for it….who knows and even if they did, would I want to take it? Probably not because I have reached the point where I have mostly prevented it from taking over my life, I have friends, good ones and a fiance that is my soul mate. I graduated from University and College with great marks so what difference would a cure really do for me, apart from making me a bit less paranoid? Besides that, how much of a different person would I become, who knows my Aspergers could be the reason I am the person that I am today…I’ve been Autistic for almost 25 years, a quarter of my life, it’d be a struggle to suddenly not do the things that I do anymore as I have built up ways of coping and overcoming, to suddenly have that taken anyway from me…I have no idea what would happen.
As for the Future, who knows what will happen..I’ll continue writing and living my dream….which is to just be happy, take each day as it comes and try new things all the time. I want to see the world and take on the ultimate challenge…being a Father.
Thanks for reading, judge it how you will