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HFA or Aspergers?
alicecrose posted:
I was also wondering if anyone could relate after reading my long rant.

Hi I'm 32 and didn't know what was wrong with me. For a long time doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong except other symptoms that went with it such as depression, anxiety and ADHD. In my twenties was when things went completly out of control. I got through school but couldn't hold jobs down or perform simple tasks like driving, making friends, or being able to live on my own. It literally felt like I was living in a war zone trying to survive. I was always the "good girl" or polite. People always said I was such a sweet person. I'd go from this obedient "emotionless" person to being on the ground screaming and crying because I was fired, layed off and so forth. Growing up, my parents were often told to be more strict with me. My mother and to an extent my father knew me more than my doctors. My dad tried to get me out there hoping it would help with my reactive behavior. To make a long story short, I ended up in and out of hospitals for things like pulling my hair out, self harm and then finally an attempt of suicide. I tried so hard to be self-disciplined and to work hard but eventually I'd have these meltdowns and at times wouldn't remember what I did. Finally my mother saw a show on Oprah about a girl with aspergers. Her and my whole family said that was me. I can't tell you how hard it was to get a diagnosis. I was never officially diagnosed but met the criteria for having aspergers and was "diagnosed"...which has confused me since then. Most doctors only specialize with children who have aspergers so it's not easy speaking with these doctors. My dad goes in with me to help translate what I'm trying to say. My case worked recommended that I go on SSI. After years of finally getting approved with the help of my dad, I was not excited. It's not enough to live on and they send in this paper work that makes absolutely no sense. They also like threatened me off of it. My dad does most of elbow grease. I don't see how anyone who was actually disabled mentally could get on such rubbish. I share a trailer with my dad and we both pay rent. I thought one day I'd be able to improve but I have no friends, no social connections and have an extremely hard time speaking or getting my words out. I met other aspies on sites but felt they were more "elevated" than myself. I started reading about High Functioning Autism and I can honestly say, it fits me more perfectly than Aspergers. At 32, I'm amazed how fast time goes. I can't get around because I can't drive and public transportation isn't good here. It's embarassing when people ask me where I work and what I do. When I tell them I'm on SSI they're like lucky you. I tell them, "No you have no idea." The only reason why I'm on SSI is because I can't afford my meds which is basically antidepressants and Clonazepam for my tremors. Aside from that, it's not enough to really live on. I pay for half the rent which takes up most of the money. My dad has helped with food costs. I still struggle from a day to day basis mostly neurological and also psychological. It gets intensely lonely with no one to talk to. It's an extreme struggle with trying to be friendly and at the same time being able to relate with adults. I'm extremely immature in many ways and feel like a child stuck in an adult's body. If I do have Aspergers which is what doctors believe, I certainly don't fit the stereotypical gifted Temple Grandin or those who have been able to afford the luxuries of education and help. Don't get me wrong, I love Temple Grandin but to say Aspergers isn't a disablity but a gift seems misleading for rare exceptions like myself.

Spotlight: Member Stories

My son and I have Asperger's. My goal is to share our gifts from this, rather than being discouraged about how we "don't fit in".

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