Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is Anybody Out There?

This was a question I began to ask at a very young age...I noticed that outside of my nuclear family, it was as if I were a ghost and I could talk and talk and no one would hear me (understand me.)  While the kids around me in 5th and 6th grade were making friends, social connections and the like, I had no clue as to what that even was.  I knew that people that I was stubborn, indignant, callous, rebellious...but I knew that the opposite was true.

The world "outside" remained (and to a large extent still does remain) a mystery to me.  I've let very few people "in" my life, and those that I had didn't remain very long.  To them I'm erratic, neurotic, "off somehow."  To be certain, I knew I was different, but I couldn't for the life of me understand why.  It reminds me of the stories of people remaining aware during anesthesia, I think I'm shouting, flailing my arms even and you still can't see or hear me, and I'M in PAIN!

There's also the fact that what I call my "social organ" (and no, I don't mean that thing down below) was almost non-existent or shriveled and barely functioning at best.  But having always had a very hi "verbal IQ" I could fool almost anybody into thinking I fit it...for a time.

Then my erratic emotions would surface, my inability to cope with the stress of the situation and all sort of things negative would trigger me into an utter meltdown, but not even have the language to express to anyone what I was experiencing.

My parents, bless them both, thought "there was no such thing as mental illness/disability etc...only moral weakness."  I would hear over and over again how "I could 'do it' if I just put my mind to it", the good ol' Protestant work ethic on steroids.  They meant well, they didn't know (like I know today) what I was dealing with.

Here I am at (almost) 50 now, and having had a positive diagnoses of AgCC has changed my life.  I was able to drop, no jettison so much shame, so much guilt and self hatred.  Mind you, I think I'll be working on it for years, but to accept that I'm just different brings me a great deal of peace.

It's great to be alive,

Just Joe

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