Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Praise the Lord, my soul. Psalm 103:1

Sometimes, I get really frustrated. (Okay, I know, frustrated is basically my middle name, but bear with me here).

I have written proof that my IQ has dropped with age. As in, dropped nearly 50 points. I was a smart little kid.

What did they do with me? Nothing. Yeah, I was in the gifted program for an hour a week and did an extra project there each year, but academics were strictly regular class time. They basically had me wait for my ability to match my age, and then they started to teach me (beginning with algebra in 6th grade). That's six years of completely wasted time; little to no gains in basic skills from kindergarten through fifth grades. No, I wasn't social, and no, they didn't notice or try to change that. Yes, I had some minor behavior problems, and when I explained that I was bored, they told me I wasn't applying myself.

What if I'd had a diagnosis? Would they have looked at my differently? Sometimes I wonder.

So what are we left with? A nearly-23-year-old who is emotionally and socially much younger, who can't navigate much at all on her own, who spends most of her time alone... but who can't find ways to keep her mind engaged. I am never, ever content to just... be. I have to read, knit, sew, do puzzles, do sudoku, do crosswords, clean, go, drive, walk, shop... anything but sit. Even sitting and watching TV by myself for more than a half hour is rough. I'm autistic, but I hate to be alone. Luckily, I live with the best cat in the world. I could never truly live alone; I'd simply lose my mind.

I'm frustrated that what I could have been is so different than what I am. As the psychologist in charge of the study I'm in put it, I can handle anything academically (unless it's complicated fiction stories that have a lot to do with character!). So why aren't I a doctor or a lawyer or a meteorologist? Why does even the thought of working at Walmart make me need to take a pill or two. Just the thought. Time to move on, or I really will be after some meds...

Is what I am less than, or is it just different? Is the girl who lives on cash assistance somehow less than her stepsister who will be a doctor?

I guess it comes down to this: there is what I am in the eyes of the world, and there is what I am in the eyes of the One who matters. It's not really complicated.

(I can't get the rest of the psalm to paste itself here, and I'm losing patience; do a favor to yourself and look it up though, k? It's so good.)

1 comment:

  1. "I'm autistic, but I hate to be alone" - Nigel can definitely relate to that. Even before he learned how to talk he was trying to interact with other kids (inappropriately, but he tried). I think the pervasiveness of autism is what makes it so hard to find one's niche as far as employment - but that's just from a parent's perspective. I know that Nigel will be facing this soon as well. Thank you for sharing your emotions and experiences!