[ Dancing With Autism Part one can be found here! ]
Last time , I talked about having the need to go back and reflect on my origins with my understanding of Autism and how the first few years with it just made life feel unlivable from time to time, yet with lessons learned and not giving a single f*** anymore, progress is slowly made!
Everyone has a story with how they dealt with having Autism once they found out, nothing is ever the same and this is mine and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t fun…so many misunderstandings by myself and others who were supposed to know better around me that I say slowed me down when I was at a critical time of my life and perhaps with better support for me and not tossing me into a group of delinquents then maybe I would have had a better 5 years, who knows but here we go.
By the time I reached the age of 16, I had just about done my GCSE exams or lack of them as I only really was allowed to take the Maths, English and Science tests which deeply upset me as I felt it unfair to not be allowed to go for History, Geography or even French! Truth be told it was more the principal of the issue that I found more insulting as I just didn’t understand why my Autism was such a major factor in the decision for so much to change in my life.
For me, Autism was still very much unknown and I had little understanding about it because if anything…people were treating me like I had some sort of anger issues…telling me that it’s never good to keep things locked up inside and that if I needed to express an emotion then I should but I didn’t always get what they meant by this because before any of this happened, I thought life was pretty good. Before the word Autism or Aspergers came into my life, I had friends, was always told I was a happy child and I didn’t have a worry in the world, I had even been kissed by a girl my age unexpectedly but I didn’t really think much about it at the time…I was 10 after all!
Anyway, with my somewhat disappointing grades under my belt now, you could probably understand that I was a little down in the dumps, I mean I had no prospects for a respectful career or continuing my education at all…it was like I had reached the final station on the train ride, it was time to get off at an unknown destination and I didn’t know what to do. However, fate seemed to have not given up on me just yet…it appeared to have thrown me a lifeline and another chance to turn things around but this time, it was on my terms…no one else’s.
Alas, I still had bad marks and if they weren’t fixed then I don’t know what I would have done as Apprenticeships weren’t really a thing at the time and I was just desperate to go elsewhere and be able to make decisions for myself, anything would suffice, just get me out of the hell hole! I felt this way back then because everything bad that happened to me was in this place, I could help but hate it but not anymore but I’ll be honest…took me many years to get over it…many of them.
Somehow, I had just good enough marks to be able to apply for a college course in a nearby town and without a moment’s hesitation…I forced my Dad to drive me there so I could fill out an application form! As it wasn’t so far away…about 15 miles, I didn’t think any issue would be brought up as I had gone to a school for special needs in this town many years ago…during happier times in my life and it made me think that maybe a return would help fix things for me.
Could I hack it out going to another town every day? Would I be able to cope on my own was essentially the big question and with many pretty much doubting that I could be capable of such a task was a tad bit depressing, really bringing what little confidence I had left down. Yet in this state of mind, I was desperate to get away from the town where so much misery had happened to me during the last few years, I didn’t have many kinds words to say about it at the time as I just didn’t care about it anymore, the place had slowed me down and robbed me of any chances of aiming for any dreams that I had when it came to college etc It had done nothing but cause me grief, pain and had stripped me of any respect and as far as I was concerned, anywhere would have been better for me to get past my obstacles and have a decent life at least.
September 2006 was a change for me as it felt like the end of one awful chapter and the start of a brand new one where I had more of an impact of how it went and I was determined for things to change for the better but by going to this new place, it already was as no one knew me here, a chance to write the wrongs forced on me…I hoped at least.
Next time in Part 3 I go into dealing with the ordeals of coping in a new environment, meeting new people and whether my past would interfere at all with my future.