My Diagnosis

 Ok, so my most painful experience in life last almost my entire life. It's not something really serious like being raped or POW, but more on the means of chronic humiliation and emotional abuse. Note that I remember almost everything from two years old and up, I have very vivid memories of preschool and early elementary that others simply do not have.

So to start, I was a developmentally delayed child. I didn't speak or was potty trained until I was 4. But I could read fluently when I was two, (thats how other communicated with me). I was sent to a special education preschool, and I knew this. I knew, even when I was three years old, that I didn't go to the regular preschool that my older sisters went to, I had to go to the "stupid" preschool. When I was three and four years old I had this belief from the bottom of my heart that I was defective and stupid. Because My parents and teachers often talked about getting me a diagnosis of autism while I was in their presence, I had this horrible fear that "they were trying to make me autistic." 

Consequently, when  I was four, I jumped off my two story deck to "fly into heaven."

By the time I reached kindergarden I caught up developmentally and acted like a normal child. My teachers and parents dropped the "autism" thing for a few years. My fears diminished and I became a happier, much more sociable child, although it became apparent that I was more preceptive and emotional than most children. 

(this is where the pain comes in). In third grade, I became the random target of the class bully. If he would have called me something like "cootie queen" or "butt face" I would have been alright, but you know what he called me? At the time my self esteem was still fragile from my early childhood experiences, so when this bully called me RETARD and STUPID, he even had the nerve to call me A.I (which to use stood for autistic impaired). I was crushed, this bullying sent me into a deep spiraling depression. I thought, "he knows, he must know, why would he call me these things, he must know that I was a retarded kid." This also gave me a severe paranoia about life.

This bullying I received was not ordinary bullying, it was severe and persistent. Because no one else wanted to be bullied by Corey, they joined his side, so the entire class would join in together calling me RETARD and say "you need a brain transplant." I began having meltdowns at school, failing all my classes (although my IQ was tested at 140),and crying my eyes out when I got home, and writing death stories. I couldn't get my teacher to help me, I couldn't get my parents to help me. In fact, absolutely no adult figure wanted to help me, I was ALL alone. That stung me alot when I was little. I felt so desperate, I felt that I couldn't escape my life situation, I felt that god was punishing me for being a "retarded kid" when I was in preschool. One day my depression got so severe, I fell into psychosis. I packed up a suitcase, and waited in the woods for over 6 hours for aliens to pick me up and bring me to a place that I belonged.

Note the day third grade began I was a relatively normal child.

This was also the time I started being pulled out of class by the social worker. I couldn't express that thought at the time, but I knew that I was ultimately fine and that it was Corey the bully who needed intervention NOT ME. In fact, Corey got no intervention AT ALL, none at all. And those stupid idiots kept pulling me out of class and destroying any credibility and self-esteem that I had left, while Corey got NO reprimands and continued to bully me. Now if they would have just stopped him, both of us would have been alright. But no, they had to be ******* stupid. And my parents again, were to dumb to stand up for me, they just went along with everything.

So one day, I got fed up and pushed Corey. I was sent to the social worker's office were my mom was called down as well. This is when she recommended a psychologist. I still remember the fear and anguish in my voice as I yelled, "IM NOT CRAZY! IM FINE! IM NOT CRAZY!" and she just said, "Sush Christine."

Later that night, I locked myself into the bathroom and swallowed an entire bottle of advil. I didn't really understand how it was supposed to work, I thought it was be quick, so while waiting for my death, I got bored, puked up everything and went to play video games or something.

The school year continued to be ****. Eventually I was taken to the University of Michigan to have many tests ran on me. I had an EEG and MRI. When I was getting put into the MRI machine I quietly said to the man, "PLease sir, don't do this test on me, I'm not crazy!" He looked at me with a sad face and nodded, he quietly said back "I know." I thought these tests were to measure the amount of "insanity" and "retard" that I had in my brain. At least this time they didn't talk about it in front of me.

Later that week, we met up with a behavioral psychologist at the university of michigan. I was with some kind of apprentice doctor in the corner of the room playing with doll house while my parents the the main doctor were discussing. I was listening intently on their conversation. Then the doctor gave my parents my diagnosis: HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM. I froze in my spot. A shover of fear/anger/rage /sadness went through me and I thought, "what??!" I did not see this coming, not from a mile away, I had thought the "autism" thing was LONG gone. I screamed at the doctor, "WHAT?! how could you do this to me?! I'm not crazy! I'm not retarded!" And I proceeded on a very long rant on how I hated my life and the people in it, I think ANYONE placed in that situation would.

Later that night, I locked myself in the bathroom again. Swallowed 6 pills of advil/tylenol because it matched the number of letters in "autism." It wasn't enough to kill me. I never felt a more crushing depression when I woke up the next day. I thought about trying again, but I thought "whats the use if I can't die." And I lied in bed all day. That day I knew Corey had succeeded, I was officially "retarded" (i know autism isn't retardation, but at the time I thought it was.)

I spent the next 7 years trying to prove to my parents that I wasn't autistic. I knew I was wrongly diagnosed. Because I was labeled, I lost respect from my parents and other adults figures. I was treated like I was truly retarded. To prove to them I wasn't autistic, I spent HOURS and HOURS a day online researching the symptoms of autism and presenting them to my parents. I knew that the symptoms DID NOT match me, I i think my parents knew too, but they kept denying me. Because of my diagnosis, they would not take me seriously, no one would take me seriously -- that STUNG like a cast iron *****.

By the time I reached high school I was WAY past desperate. I was a ******* animal! Everyday I would demand of my parents, " need a re-evaluation!" And everyday they would deny me. I would leave notes around the house asking for it, they would rip them up in front of my face. One day I asked dad, "Please dad, please! You know this is wrong! You know I'm not autistic right? Yo know that I'm not crazy... Right?!" He shook his head at me, turned his back at me, and left me there standing on the driveway.

The way I finally got myself a reevaluation was when my dad was driving me home from soccer practice. We were on the free-way and I said to him, "dad... if you don't get me a re-evaluation... I'll run us into the median." He looked over at the median, and nodded slowly and whispered, "ok chris." I felt sick that this was the only way to get what I wanted: a death threat.

  So in the summer we went back to the same ******* guy who wrongly diagnosed me. I was never so scared in my. But I was excited because I prepared a speech to convince him. When I met him I told him all the reasons why I should get the label removed. And my ******* mom interrupts by saying, "well she's OBSESSED with hockey and goalies. Thats an autistic trait isn't it?" And I said back, "just because I like something doesn't mean I'm obsessed with it!" I got to talk to the doctor alone and I cried when I told him how the label ruined my life and caused so much pain, and that my problems were based off some bully, not from my brain.

That day my diagnosis was removed, it was the happiest day of my life! It will probably still be better than when I get married or have kids.

Though my life didn't really change when I got my label removed. My parents still treated me like an imbecile and I still suffered severe nightmares and flashbacks from my life. I cut myself in tenth grade because I couldn't escape my painful memories and deal with the fact that my entire life was a pile of suck, while everyone else I knew was so happy. 

It stings the most when I realize that I didn't need a ****** life to learn the lessons that I did. 


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4 Responses Nov 1, 2008

Reading your story I can honestly relate completely with your story. Growing up my parents did something quite similar they sent me through speech classes because they thought I had a problem with my speech capabilities; when the teacher that was in charge of that told them that I didn't have a problem with that my parents took me to specialists to see what might have been wrong with me. After some different tests they diagnosed me with having ADHD and I was required to take Welbutrin and Riddilin all the while my mom would make sure and point out to my teachers growing up that I had "special needs", even though I would tell the teachers that I wanted to test out of the "special needs" classes and I did, it would always seem like she would degrade me to a child even when I was in middle school and high school. By the time I was in Ninth grade I had tested out of every one of the classes, but it didn't seem to phase her at all, I was still the stupid child. The whole time I wanted to prove to everyone that I wasn't stupid and I could keep up with everyone else.<br />
When I tried to tell her about my job in the Navy that I was offered she didn't even seem to want to listen, that's when I had become heart broken. The job I have now, not many people are never offered in their whole career and I got the offer my first time. I have so much going for me and she didn't want to listen at all.<br />
I will admit though you seem to have been very strong in your effort to stand up for yourself so many times, I never did anything like that because I was more of a "do what your told" kind of person. I do admire that very much. Thank you for your story.

I know what it feels like to be labelled like this. I've once been backbitten by my arrogant conceited histrionic flirt dutymate in college. She told our other group members that I was autistic because I wasn't making friends with them. She was really a bully, and I didn't like it of course. She got on my nerves. Now, I've learned how bullying can ruin a person's life. <br />
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But don't worry, what they did will someday boomerang to them.

We are who we think we are. We are what we think we are. No one can change who we are unless we allow them to do so.

I am so sorry that you went through all of that, hon. Labels damage people more than some would like to admit. Labels cause premature judgement, and that's unfair. ((hugs))<br />
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