My life experience so far with ADHD,and Mild Autism.
In my life i have had a hard time finding who i am, not just what i want to do with my life but also what goes on in my head. As a young adult whom lives by themselves i have had more and more time to actually get into deep thought about my life as a whole and what made me who i am today. I have gone through a few “life-changing” things/phases in my life (at least to me they were), when i was a kid i got bullied every damn day for the way i looked and the way i acted (more on this later), at 9 my parents divorced, my grandpa died two years ago and i still don’t know how to live without him here at times. Yes i may be young and yes i definitely have not had it as bad as some other people, but i still have gone through some shit and i feel like airing it out.
Going back to the being bullied part of my life, from Kindegarten all the way through 12th grade, i was bullied in some way, shape, or form. Once i got into 10th grade and people started to actually get to know me it lessened but still happened at least weekly. I was a kid who had major anger issues, i didn’t really know why but have gotten an answer recently that explains it at least a little bit (reference the title). Anyway, as most of you if not all of you know kids can be really cruel, and will pick on kids that are even the slightest bit different, and/or an “easy target” any chance they get. I wear glasses and have since i was about 7 or 8, kids in my class went right after me for that, along with how awkward i was. But as i mentioned before i had major anger, that is what kids went after the most, any and every chance they got they would antagonize me and laugh at the result of me getting angry, whether it be me throwing my shoes at them, trying to fight them, screaming in their face, etc,.
By the time i got to 3rd grade i got the idea in my head that if i acted out and made people laugh that they would like me better. So from then on that’s what i did. As i know now it wasn’t the best idea along with the fact that most if not all the other kids were laughing at me and not with me. I would do anything from run out of the lunchroom to chase imaginary squirrels to hiding from the teacher under the water fountain, etc,. Although i figured out the aforementioned fact that they were all laughing at me for the most part by the time i got to 8th grade , i still did the same all through till near the end of my senior year.
Going back to elementary school, my parents thought there was something behind why i acted like i did. So here and there throughout my elementary school years i was tested by different experts in certain areas, they all would test me in different ways, such as ink blot tests. All they could conclude at that time was ADHD, which a lot of kids have and i have it pretty bad, although i have gotten better at times. While i was in school, i believe i was in 4th grade, my parents divorced. Which back then i didn’t really know exactly what it was or how it was affecting me but as i now think back on my life a lot especially lately, i conclude that the aforementioned event actually did have a lot to do with who i am today.
The Divorce was really a weird time to go through, going from one house to another, and my mom having a new boyfriend so quickly after she was separated with my dad, but then my dad never finding another significant other himself. I got along with my now stepdad really well for the first few years, but then as i got further on into my teens i just seemed to i guess distance myself from him would be the best way to put it. I got irritated with a lot of the things he would say or do, i wouldn’t wanna interact with him all that much anymore. I know what you are thinking “oh its just another teenager with angst against their step parent, so typical”, yes that is technically right in one sense but i lived mainly with my mom, only really got to see my dad on the weekends. So as i have been thinking more lately about everything and anything, i have concluded that i just felt that my stepdad was trying to take place of my dad, which i know not to be true because i know him and he would never do such a thing but it was just how i thought around that time. Around that same time i started to shut myself off from my mom as well as my stepdad and sisters, i would really only talk to my dad about anything. Like i would still talk to my mom and such, but i would spend more time in my room alone then out in the living room with everyone else, my mom and sisters would even not invite me to go places because they assumed/knew i would say no.
My parents especially my mom had thoughts that i didn’t like them and/or like hanging out with them anymore,which for the most part wasn’t true at all. It was mostly just because i had spent all day at school around people, mostly ones who were bullies in some way, so i just wanted to decompress and be with my own thoughts and just be me, although i still don’t know for sure who i really am, at the time i was who i thought i was. Once i got into high school my grades dramatically changed for the most part except the easy course(s) such as gym, which in my opinion nobody should get below a B unless you have a spectacular reason such as major medical problem, etc.,
In high school we had a Learning Center where the kids who had trouble paying attention, just didn’t get the subject, etc,. would go to hopefully get better in school, you had to be accepted into it though, my mother tried to get me into it all through my years there, she fought and fought, even had me tested and such, but the so-called experts didn’t think i needed it enough to accept me in (which was a total farce, i know i was so able to get in). But none-the-less the school system had failed me. In the end it didn’t fail me grade wise as i did indeed graduate on time. Which is honestly the biggest accomplishment in my life to this point.
Now its a few years from then, my mom and i finally want to get to the bottom of it all to see if there is more than just ADHD, so we set up a meeting with HCRS, which is one of the big companies around where i live that helps out a lot in diagnosing such things as autism, bipolar, etc., So we made an appointment to see a specialist in autism diagnosis. In the meeting she had me do such things as look at a book with no pictures and asked me what my interpretation of the pictures were as to what is going on in the story, she asked about my childhood, all aspects of it. Such as my hobbies, if i had any organizational habits, my daily routine, etc., It was actually a very intriguing and fun meeting the lady was very nice. Before we left she talked privately with my mom about what happened in our meeting, on the drive home my mom asked me how i felt (i hadn’t known what the lady had said about what her diagnosis was), i said i felt alright, she then said to me “Do you want to know what she said?”, i said yes my mother then told me the lady had diagnosed me with mild autism.
At first i was relieved to know finally but at the same time i didn’t really know what to think. I didn’t really know exactly what it entailed, along with what it was that i did that coincided with autism. But after researching here and there for the last several months, it all makes sense to me now, i have many of the symptoms of mild autism. I chew on my clothes, i also have the organizational habits, social skills, and anger problems that coincide with Autism. Now i know it might not seem like much in a way but to me it is, it shows why i am who i am in certain aspects of my life and it honestly makes me feel more “at home” with myself so to speak. Which i have needed to be for a while.
Now i know mild autism isn’t as much of a major thing as Severe/Top of the spectrum, i am a near the bottom of the spectrum one. But that doesn’t mean that in one sense that i am much different from the top of the spectrum people, Yes they suffer more than i in many ways, some can’t even talk while i can very well for the most part, but in the sense i am speaking of we all still usually share one or more characteristics. Such as my cousin works with a severely autistic child, as i said before i chew on my clothes, this child does too, more severely than i do as he chews and chews until his shirt is covered in drool sometimes, while i don’t do it to that extent i still do it a lot. So whenever i see a(n) autistic child/person whether it be in pictures, videos, TV, or in person i feel a sort of connection to them whether they be on my part of the spectrum or not, i still think to myself ‘I know why he does that, and i do it too’ sort of thing.
To those of you who have read this far, i thank you for sticking with it and i appreciate that you had enough interest to make it this far. I just want to touch on one last thing before i send you off. With Autism can sometimes come anxiety, and usually with anxiety comes depression. And in my case that is the case. I struggle. especially recently (the past couple years), with anxiety and some onset depression to go along with it. The one “sort” of anxiety i have majorly is crowd anxiety, i hate hate huge crowds unless i know where i am going and how to get out and in safely. I think my anxiety and depression, especially the depression part of it have gotten so much more relevant in the past couple years has to do with a few things that have happened/are happening in my life, my grandpa died in 2014 he was and always will be my best friend and i think it has just been too hard for my brain to comprehend that he isn’t here anymore. Also I now live by myself, the first time ever in 20 years i am alone every night, as i am afraid of the dark, heck I didn’t even really stay home alone at all until i was about 16 or so. I know it might not seem like much but to me it’s really everything in a sense.
So to conclude this piece, I want to say that living a life so far with ADHD and Mild Autism has been challenging in a sense but also kind of nice i guess would be the best way to put it. What i mean by that is with the ADHD yes kids for the most part would laugh at me instead of laugh with me like i had said before, but it was fun in the sense of how i would just run around for no reason, or jump up and down/spin around and other things of the sort and i had fun doing it, it made me happier to do it, especially since i would see the smiles on peoples faces and that is one thing i love to do (if only i had the social skills/humor to be a comedian). With the Autism, albeit i didn’t actually know until several months ago, over these several months it has just made me more comfortable with what i do and who i am, and i feel as though i am happier in some ways with my life because of the diagnosis. So lastly again, i thank anybody who has stuck this through till the end, i honestly appreciate it, and if you relate to this in any way i hope it either helped you in some way or touched you.