I believe I am undiagnosed and on the “high-functioning” range of the autistic spectrum. Perhaps it isn’t autism. Perhaps it is brain damage. Perhaps it is something else entirely…
My ex-boyfriend had a friend who went into uncontrollable rages for years, but he wasn’t always that way. It just sort of started at some point in his life, and it became an unpredictable recurring experience. The man was an athlete, and was getting his head checked from some sports related injury. They found signs of previous brain damage. The portion of the brain that was damaged was responsible for emotional regulation. He finally had an explanation for his experiences.
Perhaps I don’t have autism. I simply seek an explanation for my experiences. The fact is, there’s something wrong with me. There’s something wrong with me and I do not know, verifiably and without a doubt, what that is, nor do I know the cause. What I do know is some of my experiences and some of my symptoms, and I relate to those reported by the Asperger’s end of the autism spectrum. It’s the explanation I give myself when no other explanations are available.
I’ve always been above average intelligence, and extremely socially awkward. Due to my awkwardness, I’ve often been misunderstood and hence mistreated. Because I don’t like being mistreated, I observe others and attempt to be like them to fit in. Unfortunately, I can only maintain the facade for so long. Eventually I get emotionally overwhelmed. And I go into a meltdown. Unfortunately, meltdowns are uncontrollable. And unfortunately, the people witnessing said meltdown do not realize this. Nor do they realize that any of my quirky attempts to prevent a meltdown from occurring were in fact, attempts to prevent a meltdown from occurring.
When I was in high school, they had me on an IEP. I guess nowadays that’s considered a disability, when a kid has an IEP. I didn’t know that then. Nor did I understand the implications of this educational route. Apparently, when you have an IEP, they’re supposed to help you transition into adulthood. I was never made aware of this. I never received such support. I didn’t even know I needed such support. I thought I was going to snap out of it like I was told to do. I tried and I tried for many years.
And now I realize that this isn’t something I can just snap out of. This is not something I can just fix. This is something I have to live with the rest of my life. And while it doesn’t fit into society, I have to navigate society with this disadvantage. I can’t just opt out of working or providing for myself because of it. So I repeatedly fail and start anew in my misguided attempts to fit in while meeting my own unique needs(which is incongruous).
I have been unemployed for 4 months now, due to a meltdown at a job I formerly enjoyed. For 4 months I have been conducting interviews, with no calls back. I am not receiving unemployment benefits, food stamps, or any form of assistance.
I am two months behind on rent and utilities. Rent and utilities are $500 monthly combined. I took out a micro loan from my bank, thinking I would be employed within a month and now owe them $1000. Thus, I will need $2000 to catch up on bills. This number does not include phone bills, food, or hygiene products. I have a job interview this upcoming Tuesday. If all goes well, I’ll be able to start moving forward. If not, I just want to make sure I have a roof over my head. So, just to be safe I am asking for a total of $2500. However, I will be happy with anything.