I Don'T Have It After All

I have tried to 'break out' socially a few times, each time I was able to maintain the mask for 6 months to 2 years at the longest, but each attempt ended in rejection and me slipping into isolation for years afterwards. I never felt like I really connected with any of the people I was hanging out with and I certainly never made any 'good friends'. When I was 15 I was so ****** up from being isolated and anti-social that I was diagnosed with a form of autism called Aspergers syndrome, the implication of such a diagnosis is that your born with a brain thats 'wired differently' and you'll never be able to socialize properly. I can't tell you how much that diagnosis messed with my self image, I was never so suicidal before in my life in the years after receiving the diagnosis. Plus having to go home to an extremely negative and isolated environment didn't help any, I sat around devastated that I couldn't socialize and I hated myself so much because I was told that I was born with a defective brain. Only about a year ago did I meet a psychologist who explained to me basically that the Aspergers high functioning autism diagnosis is a load of **** and people are handed out this diagnosis like candy. After thinking about it a long time I realized that the psychologists before that never took into consideration the extremely negative and unfruitful home environment I lived in my whole life prior and my bad experiences at school. Any kid that went through what I went through at a young age would have extremely low self esteem too, which results in poor eye contact, monotonous voice and awkward body language. But in my case these were symptoms of anxiety and fear, not autism.

So I don't have autism and my brain is perfectly normal, but nonetheless the implications of the diagnosis when I was younger left me with a very negatively distorted self image of unworthiness that lingers still. It's very hard for me to be see in the town that I live in because I have so many bad memories here, when I'm outside I have this anxiety that people that knew at one time about my problems might see me, 'that weird awkward screwed up anti social kid'. This anxiety is so strong that I won't even work in the town I live in. I go on the bus a few times a week to a much larger city some 30 miles away where I hang out when I want to get away. There's a lot of places to walk around and explore and I meet some cool people every now and then but still I don't really connect with anyone. I learned that this is from being held back by fear more than anything else, and that I can socialize completely normally with eye contact, facial expressions and whatnot completely naturally when the conditions are right, it's happened a few times and I used to be like that in early grade school.

Sometimes I wonder how many other people there are out there that wrongly received this diagnosis, but just had very bad childhoods and lived in toxic environments.
Psychedelia Psychedelia
18-21, M
5 Responses Feb 8, 2013

Dear Psychedelia,

I do not wish to disrespect this space. My name is Justine Zavala and I am currently a student at Cal State Dominguez Hills. I am doing a research paper on Asperger's Syndrome. I would like to present the opportunity for any who would not mind participating to do so. Below is a link that will send you to a link to fill out a survey which should take no more than 10 minutes. Thanks so much for your time.


I have doubt my diagnoses off and on since I was 17. I was bullied, I did have a good family, I had hearing loss at a very young age, and I wonder how much it gave me aspie traits. But lot of aspies are bullied in their childhood and may have had a ****** up childhood because of it because of lack of understanding. Like having parents who just thought you were normal so they thought you were just a brat and just stubborn so they treated you as such and to you it was a ****** up childhood. It just sounded like your doctor was a quack, saying AS was a load of crap. Was he even a professional in it and did he even specialize in it? I would only trust an autism specialist with their opinion. Sometimes kids are abused because they have autism. People with it can develop social anxiety because of it and due to their experiences like with rejections and not being understood. I even think they can get PTSD because of it.

I am shy, I suspect I have social anxiety, I have anxiety, I wonder how much of it is due to autism or being shy or just anxiety or am I just being normal with something I am doing because some people are just awkward and odd or have outside interests or prefer to be alone with them and don't have anything wrong with them. But I do have a different brain wiring and think and communicate differently and process things differently. I have something. I grew up being in special ed and being on the IEP and I had developmental and communication delays. But I was still a typical child. I was always told it was a coincidence and even my own mom isn't sure. She would just say 'that is a good question" when I would ask her about it a few times. But I just see it as a label and it's to get you the help you need and if it gives you the proper help, use it. It doesn't matter if you truly have it or not or if it was the environment that caused it or not. Would I turn out to be normal if I didn't have hearing loss and wasn't sick a lot? I still have problems but I feel normal.


(bummer, my tablet spontaneously rebooted when i was writing my reply, so now i have to remember what i wrote, or write something completely different).
i wonder how much the traditional aspergers traits (eye contact, voice, body language) are directly due to wiring, and how much they are due to experience/development. like you with your dysfunctional home environment, kids who actually do have aspergers also get deprived of the experiences and positive emotions they need to develop those physical social skills, but for different reasons. they are deprived due to their delayed development in those particular areas, and the influential grownups often not understanding the developmental difference, so therefore they do not get exposed to the appropriate experiences at an appropriate time for them, they just get written off as disordered. this deprivation and other negative treatment can lead to the same outcome you experienced, anxiety and fear. even with autism proper, i wonder how much the so-called autistic traits are exactly that, and how much they are actually just anxiety/fear, due to the communication barriers. there's defintely a developmental component in actual cases of aspergers and autism, but i wonder if the reason these so-called autistic traits are allowed to linger, is simply because of the anxiety and fear resulting from bad treatment and misunderstanding.