Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So Not Normal!

It's funny, there are some things I could just never see myself doing when I was a child.  One was growing up and holding down a boring, steady, leave your house in the morning and lock up, return tired at night, kind of job.  I just figured I would grow into it, like everyone else.  You now, grow up and be normal.

December 29, 2012 South Bank, Brisbane

What I did always envision was myself in a wheelchair, overcoming some handicap with admirable pluck and determination, somewhere in middle age.

I'd always imagined this to be a physical handicap I would overcome through perserverence and profound inner personal strength.

It occurs to me now that I have been fighting a battle with a handicap since I was thirteen, that I have done so with admirable determination and pluck, that I have shown great perserverance and inner personal strength.

The handicap wasn't the Asperger's.  The handicap was my unawareness of it.

On the Big Wheel in South Bank

Thirteen was the first time I recall standing in my grandmother's bathroom running something sharp across my skin just to feel something. 

I don't want to make a big deal out of that.  I wasn't trying to kill myself or even inflict self-harm.  I was just dead inside, I was numb, and I wanted to feel something, make something hurt a bit just to feel real pain.  I didn't understand what was wrong with me but it sucked.

Of course I was diagnosed with depression in my late teens and early twenties.  Wasn't everybody?

Being diagnosed as depressed made me feel like a personal failure, like there was something wrong with me, a personal flaw I should be able to overcome.

Being diagnosed as Asperger's feels like a personal triumph, like there isn't something wrong with me after all, a personal strength that makes me unique.

I've worked so hard my entire life, way more than most people would bother.

But I've accomplished more than most too.

Now that I know that I have Asperger's - and okay, I don't officially, but I am fairly sure! -  I don't feel like I have a handicap anymore.

I had always had this feeling there was something wrong with me, something inadequate. 

Except for when I've felt superior.

Now I don't feel either.

But I do feel different.  I do feel extraordinary.

Performing at South Bank.  We CAN do magic!

What I feel is like taking that wheelchair and racing it down the biggest hill I can find!!

Is that normal?

Doesn't matter.  I am not normal.  I am not like everyone else. 

I am free.

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