This post was originally published at http://meandmyrandombrain.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/dear-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
Dear I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s
Freedom, freedom in being, in knowing, in becoming, in fully embracing who you are. I spent 30 years wondering what was wrong with me I couldn’t make friends, didn’t know how to communicate with others, was just plain weird, clumsy, and just spent the days reading, dreaming, and working.
And then I heard the word Autism at work, these kids I was working with that could read but didn’t talk had this thing called Autism. Interesting…. I was young the internet was not yet in its full glory yet so I went to my favorite place the reference section of the library, World Book Encyclopedia (it was my favorite because of the slick, shiny pages. yet so much information.) I found out what Autism was and who Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were. Wow. Then to the DSM-III-R and I met the criteria for Asperger’s . Huh? Now what? I am a college graduate so I guess in reality other than socially it hasn’t affected me except for not having friends and having these strange stereotypical behaviors, and of course being young for my age, it has already been determined that I have ADHD. So I am a bit of a spaz. So off I go I have an answer now.
I start wishing there was another person I could meet with this thing called Asperger’s but instead I read every book I can get my hands on until finally I get a computer. I have never been so happy it was 1994 and I am on the internet, email and I can finally communicate what has been bottled inside for so long, little did I know these keys would open me up to a whole new world of being able to say what was in my head without having to think first. I wish I could explain it to everyone what happens when I sit at a computer. It is like water rushing into a dry desert. Apparently there are thoughts and words I never knew I had and when I type there they are in a way that never happens when I have to talk, as if another person is living inside me all this time. I will never be without a computer, smart phone or tablet again. But as usual I am getting tangential here.
I want to say that since I discovered the internet I have found so many people that I can connect with, so many people that are like minded as if I really am an alien who has been searching for my home planet and my planet is WWW. something-somewhere-glad-Ifound-you.com it has been a freeing experience to know I am not alone in the journey with any of the labels society, doctors, teachers, shrinks or even myself have put on me. Bottom line I am me like it or not some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t but there is always someone somewhere in the world on this thing called the internet that I can find willing to communicate and sometimes even to be my friend and I take great pleasure in knowing that despite my social issues in real life when you strip away all the face to face stuff, the internet allows relationships to happen on a deeper level without worries about outward appearances. So if you are out there feeling alone you can look for a fellow alien on the web and certainly you too shall find a fellow traveler.