Ohai thar~

So I’m back. Kinda. I don’t know.

I’m sorry for my disappearance… a lot has happened in past months, and I just couldn’t find the motivation or the energy to write for this blog. I’m sorry. I’ll try to post more. ūüôā

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An Inner Peace of Sorts

My mind seems to have taken a turn in the past few days.

I won’t be getting diagnosed, probably. My psychologist keeps telling me that it’s ‘stronger to acknowledge the fact that I only show a few traits without a full diagnosis’. Because of this, along with that terrible meeting with the psychiatrist that specialized in ASDs, I’d been strongly doubting that I even had AS.

And then I realized that I don’t seem to show my true feelings with people. When I am uncomfortable, I begin to act overly confident, even arrogant, and I start ‘talking down’ to people. With this, I also realized that communicating with people verbally is very difficult for me, especially when I am upset or anxious. Instead, I become increasingly less coherent, and people only understand half of what I am trying to say. In essence, while I think that I am explaining myself to the fullest extent… I’m not. This realization was terrifying, but very significant to me.

Just a few nights ago, when I realized this… I was distraught. I suddenly felt like my problems are, in fact, debilitating, and that there was no way for me to explain this to anyone other than my mother.

But, at the same time… it was validation. I know that I probably have this now. I know that I will never be diagnosed, especially with the DSM change…

And I don’t care.

I’ve always felt more comfortable with labels. They are a way of combatting my own illogical thoughts because they are concrete.

However, I don’t need a label in order to live with AS. I need to learn to deal with my difficulties and to harness my strengths… I don’t need to dwell in self-analysis and frustration.

I have been in a constant loop for months… but it’s over now. I can finally read again and I don’t have to analyze all of my thoughts and actions. Maybe I have it, but maybe I don’t.

I just have to follow the road and see what happens.

 

Why I Think That I Have AS (According To The DSM IV)

Well, since¬†AS and how it applies to me seems to be the only thing that I think about as of late, here’s a post about it! XD I need to try and get this onto paper and organized. Maybe, just maybe… I’ll stop obsessing over it.

This is highly unlikely, but one can try, right?

This is the DSM IV Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome. The DSM is about to make a revision to any and all of the conditions within it next year, but I figured that this one would be useful for the time being!

299.80 Asperger’s Disorder (or Asperger Syndrome)

  A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least  two of the following:

    (1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye  gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction

    (2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

    (3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements    with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects    of interest to other people)

    (4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

  B. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests,  and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

    (1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

    (2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or  rituals

    (3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

    (4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

  C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational,  or other important areas of functioning.

  D. There is no clinically significant general delay in la

nguage (e.g., single  words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

  E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in  the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other  than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

  F. Criteria are not met for another specific pervasive developmental disorder  or schizophrenia.

Now, I guess I’ll list each trait and how it applies to me. (If the trait does apply to me, that is. ;P)

A. Qualitative impairment in social manifested by at least  two of the following:

    (1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction

From what I’ve read, this can be in extremes. Many people on the spectrum aren’t naturally adept at reading facial expressions/body language, and as a result, we can have deficits in it. It seems to go either way (extreme or little exhibition of facial expression, exuberant or stilted body language/gesturing, or too much/too little eye contact.)

For me, I am more extreme in my gestures/body language. If I were to be observed from a distance, it would look as though I were putting on a show, as though I was merely being theatrical.

I’ve always come across as theatrical. My facial expressions are often rather extreme, and my body language is highly animated, to say the least. Personally, I blame it on learning body language/facial expression through observing cartoons. I’d mimic everything unconsciously, and only until someone pointed it out would I realize that I was doing it. I also have a tendency to copy close friend’s idiosyncratic movements, partially in an attempt to interact properly. In honesty, I often don’t even realize that I am doing it!

Regarding eye contact, I find that I have a tendency to stare, especially when I am listening/trying to comprehend something. However, I also find that I don’t naturally make eye contact when I am nervous, that I have to force myself. In fact, I sometimes glance over someone if I don’t want to speak to them/feel nervous in their presence.

When I go on walks, I often look at the ground, not only in an effort to avoid conversation, but also because I get distracted by the little things (i.e. the twigs, the cracks in the sidewalk, an ant, etc.), and, unless it’s dark outside, the sunlight hurts my head. I also have a tendency of, when I do make eye contact with people in passing, I don’t realize that I’m supposed to smile at them in return. In fact, I often don’t register the fact that they smiled at me period, and I feel enormously guilty when I finally do realize that they were smiling at me.

When it comes to reading all of these things, I’m not as good at it as I would like. In controlled conditions such as when¬†I am watching television or doing body language quizzes via the internet, I am¬†able to read nonverbal cues relatively well… but when I am in RL, I am less than stellar. I am usually either unsure as to the fact that I am reading it properly, or I register it slowly. Sometimes, I miss it altogether… but that’s only when I’m not paying enough attention.

Really, it’s rather difficult to make good eye contact, not panic, and make sure that you’re being kind and calm and¬†listening correctly¬†while also trying to figure out what someone thinks about you!¬†I don’t know how people do it. ;_; It’s too much for my poor brain.

    (2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

Hm… not sure about this one. I’ve always had a friend or two, but they haven’t always turned out so well. Many of my friendships appear to be rather one-sided, with me planning the events, initiating social outings, etc. I often avoid sleepovers/social outings at other peoples houses simply because I feel so much more comfortable at home.

After interacting for prolonged periods of time, I either become overly blunt, aloof, or anxious, often a combination of both, so I’m really not too comfortable with social interaction as a whole… despite the fact that I DO want friends, and that I get lonely quite often.

I haven’t always been introverted to this extreme, I was very different as a child. I had fewer inhibitions, and I was more talkative. I didn’t really know how to interact with my peers, so I often came across as overzealous or abrupt. Most of my closest friends were badly behaved males who often had ADHD and/or below average intellect, which was strange because I was a very scholastically inclined person (I still am, in fact… more so than ever before!)

From what¬†I remember, I was often the ‘helper’, the dependable one. I always set aside time to talk, to listen, and to help. I often resolved conflicts, and I was the girl who helped all of her friends with complicated schoolwork or learning how to jump rope. If I saw a friend crying, I would comfort them.

I always sensationalized people, and when they weren’t what¬†I expected… I would feel betrayed. Because I was so helpful, and because I literally put aside any and all of my own issues in order to help others, I was often taken for granted. I didn’t talk about my problems to others, I just helped them with their own. If I did talk about myself, I’d usually overshare and they’d use my honesty against me later one.

The best friendships that I’ve ever had have been online. They’ve been reciprocal for the most part, though I still have a tendency to overshare and put others before myself. I am more adept at talking about myself online, and I’m more open about my problems. I love my internet friends, even though even they aren’t perfect friendships. I still overshare, but I am working on it. I’ll get a hang of it eventually!

In writing this, a certain incident comes to mind in which I lost a friend. I was eight years of age, and there was an eleven-year-old boy that would¬†come over and play. My mom babysat him, I think. Well, his mother wasn’t the best. She was rather neglectful, and a bit emotionally abusive. This is why my mother took him under her wing. We went out hiking nearly every day, and he’d always play with me.

On one of our hikes, I remember him complaining about his mother to us, talking about an instance in which she threw one of his favorite toys into a river in a fit of rage. I remember him asking why she did these things, and I remember answering bluntly, “She doesn’t love you.”

At this point in time, I didn’t realize that this was a cruel thing to say. My mother reprimanded me and I apologized, but he stopped hanging out with us soon after that, moved away, and never spoke to us again. A few months later, our apartment got egged, and my mom has strong suspicions that it was him.

I’m not sure if I was always this blunt, but if I was… I definitely understand why I didn’t have too many long-lasting friendships.

    (3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)

I’m usually open to trying new things. Most new activities don’t really hold my attention too well, but I do try. I’ve been told that I brag a bit, so I don’t really think that this trait fits. I desperately want people to share my interests with me, but no one really seems to want to. XD Oh, well!

    (4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

I’ve always been one to be overly eager regarding social things, but if I don’t realize that someone has smiled at me, I will not smile back. I process it too slowly. >.<

Regarding emotional reciprocity, I definitely show it.¬†Or, I try to, at least. Sometimes, if I can’t empathize, I fake it. I often don’t know the right things to say when someone is upset, but I do try. I just fail. XD

I’ve been known to laugh at the¬†physical¬†pain of others, which offends a lot of people, but I can’t help it. I don’t know why I laugh/smile, but either way… I really can’t control myself.¬†One of my¬†theories is that, because I’ve never been one to react much to pain myself, I find it absurd when people start to cry over it. Another theory is that my laughter is, in and of itself, a way of showing empathy for them. Strange, I know, but I do feel fear/worry over them… and sometimes even embarrassment!

B. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests,  and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

    (1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted    patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

Oh dear, this is definitely an issue for me. It has been my entire life.

I believe that my first obsession was dolls. Not collecting them, no, but playing with them and making up storylines. This is a bit unusual for people on the Autism Spectrum, but the way¬†in which¬†I played them wasn’t normal. I would play the same storylines a number of times, with a few variations, until I made a new one. Each storyline had a certain set of names, and each character had a certain set of characteristics. I’d play for hours and hours and hours alone, and I’d block everything out. While I wanted other children to play with me, they never did what I wanted to, which I found to be very frustrating. I tried to be open, but it was very difficult for me.

There were other obsessions, yes. Swimming, and reading, television, anime, anatomy, science, gymnastics, and now the humanities have also been obsessions, fading in and out over time.

A timeline of sorts:

Age 3+- Dolls, storylines, fantasy, imaginative play

Age 7-11- Anatomy

Age 8-11- swimming, reading of fictional stories

Age 4-16+- Television, medical shows, anime, procedural drama (on and off over time)

Age 13-16+- gymnastics, reading/writing, anime, television, the humanities, science

Age 11-13- booktapes

Current Age: 16- the humanities (specifically reading, writing, and psychology.)

Most of these special interests are very focus, difficult to divert, and they take up my life. XD They always have, and I suppose that they always will, especially considering how interconnected they are. ūüėõ

(2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

Erm, not too sure about this one. For one, my routines are not ‘nonfunctional’. In fact, they are very functional, in the fact that I need them in order to function. XD

But seriously, I have my routines. I can break off¬†of them with little problem, but I do have my routines. I never realized this, but it makes some sense. I do the same thing every day naturally. I don’t need a schedule or anything, it’s just what I do.

I think that it’s different from the typical AS routine. I don’t have set times or a schedule, but when I do… I want to follow it. I’ve always avoided sleepovers,¬†at other people’s houses for the reason,¬†I suppose (which is strange, because I always wanted to go on sleepovers, but I often felt homesick). On the contrary, I find it difficult to stay on a routine… even though I function better on one. I often do things in the spur of the moment, in order to keep my courage up.

I do get pretty upset when I’m late to gymnastics or miss a show on TV, though…

(3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping  or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)

Well, I’ve always been one to wreak havoc on my jaw. I chew on things, I grit my teeth, etc. I was always the kid with holes chewed in her clothes. I always fidget with whatever is in reach.¬†I recently started both rocking and toe walking, but I used to walk on my heals as a child. It seems that I’m always on my toes nowadays, partially because of gymnastics. I started rocking because I’d always rock my brother to sleep, and it felt very soothing.

I have also been known to shred random bits of paper when I’m bored. XD I find it calming.

When I am happy, I jump, do cartwheels, spin, and do other such thing, which seems to be abnormal to others. For me, it’s truly an urge.

There are others, but they don’t come to mind at the moment~

(4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

My mother says that I never seemed to have this issue, but I DO find myself fascinated by knobs, wheels, and other such small things. I wouldn’t call it a persistent preoccupation, but it is definitely something that I’ve noticed about myself.

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational,  or other important areas of functioning.

Yep. Specifically social and occupational.

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single  words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

I spoke a bit late (I was two), but I did use single words by that point. I caught up quickly, and my speech was rather advanced by the time I was three.

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in  the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other  than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

No delay other than both fine and gross motor.

F. Criteria are not met for another specific pervasive developmental disorder  or schizophrenia.

Nope, no other criteria has been met! XP

Two Reasons Among Many

Around a year ago now, I embarked on a journey.

I have always been a misfit, an oddity. I have tried to deny it, tried to fake normalcy… but it has¬†never lasted for long. And I wanted to know why.

This question, this yearning for an answer, launched an abundance of research and soul-searching. A bit too much, perhaps.

I soon became obsessed with learning about myself, with finding out my reasons for always feeling so out of touch.

And during this journeyРwhich, mind you, I am still onРI realized something important: I feel as though I know nothing about myself.

Absolutely nothing at all.

This terrifies me.

After all, how does one go about life whilst clueless about their very existence?

How does on go about life if they don’t pay attention?

This is one of two reasons why I created this blog.

The other reason?

Well, I am a writer. I write prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

… And I think a lot. More than a lot.¬†

I am constantly thinking.

And sometimes, my thoughts inhibit me from creating. I can not explain how this is so, but sometimes, my own logic makes it rather hard for me to write. I suppose that it is¬†because I am always questioning myself, always judging myself, and the stray thoughts running through my mind don’t make it any better.

I am my own worst critic.

And so I assumed that I can write my thoughts away, and organize them in one neat, contained archive.

Maybe, just maybe, this will help.

If not, this place makes a great diary, anyway~

 

 

 

Welcome, Stranger, To My Blog!

Welcome, Stranger!

… Unless, of course, you aren’t strange, then you’re just a visitor. Then again,¬†we’re all strange. Humans are strange.

It’s a fact of life.

Okay.¬†I can already tell that my first post is going to be rambly and quirky and hyper. Probably because I’m rambly and quirky and hyper. You’ll get used it eventually.

Until then, enjoy it! I know I do!

Mostly.

Speaking of random, I have a bruise on my ankle. I’ve had it for days… and I’m not sure where it came from. How very curious.

Now, I think I sh0uld introduce myself. You know, before I scare you all off. Which would be bad.

So~ here goes:

Who am I?

This is a very complex question. In truth, I’m not entirely sure. Then again, is anyone? We humans, as a species, are constantly changing: physically and mentally, consciously and subconsciously. Our outlooks transform and evolve as we acquire new experiences.

So, in short: I’m not sure who I am, I’m not even sure who I was or who I will be in the future.

But there is one thing that I’m sure of: with each passing day, I’m getting closer and closer to unlocking my identity.

And when that day comes, I’ll welcome it with open arms.

… You weren’t expecting that philosophical bit, were you?

As stated previously, you’ll get used to it.

Eventually.

Though, since I know that you didn’t visit/get sidetracked on this blog just the read the whimsical philosophical musings¬†of a rather strange teenage girl, I will supply you with more information about myself (for future references).

And, mind you, this will be in list form (because lists are so much easier to write than full paragraphs, and I’m very lazy)~

-I’m a home-schooled high school student that is currently in the eleventh grade. I could’ve graduated early if I wanted to, but I wanted time to prepare for college. I also wanted to learn more. (Because learning is the most amazing thing ever.)

-I’m a gymnast, and I have the flexibility to prove it. And I’m on of those girls that can land a cartwheel on a balance beam, look oh so VERY graceful as I finish, and then fall off of the stage as I exit. Yep. I’m just that idiosyncratic. Then again, I never was particularly graceful to begin with. Gymnastics just makes me seem that way at times. I never seemed graceful until gymnastics, really.

-I’m a writer. I’m not a prolific writer, but I do try. My innate perfectionism seems to be a roadblock at the best of times, not to mention the worst. But I’ve learned to live with it, to an extent.

-I’m an active watch-er of anime, and I can prove it. In Japanese.

-I’m rather socially awkward a majority of the time. It may not show up online, but it is there, nonetheless. The internet is the only way I can express myself in a way I approve of, really.

-I’m fairly sure that I am partially Asexual. The very idea of intercourse disturbs me to no end. (Too much information? Probably. Do I care? Not at the moment. I probably will later, though.)

-I skipped the fifth grade. Technically.

-My mom is very, very important to me. She is, and will always be, my best friend. Even though we don’t get along like we used to.

-My little brother is the most amazing being in the universe. At this point in time, he is twenty months old.

-At five feet, two inches height-wise, I am surrounded by giants.

-I am something of a gypsy. I have been all over the US and in parts of Europe throughout my childhood, and I fully intend to see more of the world some day.

-I am multiracial.

-I’m practically nocturnal, though I DO try to maintain a socially acceptable sleeping schedule. I just suck at it.

-I am an avid reader, even though I haven’t been reading quite as much as I used to.

-I have a very Bohemian style of clothing, and my favorite articles of apparel would be my Guatemalan hippie pants, and big, baggy tie-dyed T-shirts. I have worn my favorite shoes to shreds, sadly, and I must sew them soon. And don’t forget my feather earrings! c: I love those.

-I am left-handed, and my handwriting leaves much to be desired. I usually prefer to type, as handwriting slows me down exponentially.

-I walk the fine line between genius and insanity on a regular basis. However, I think I lean much farther towards insanity, because my opinion (and many other people’s opinions, I’m sure) I’m nuttier than peanut butter. And that’s saying something.

-I may or may not have Aspergers Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have not been officially diagnosed, but I show many of the symptoms, and my mom believes I have it. (This will probably be mentioned quite a bit, as it’s relatively new to me.)

^This is me. If you like me, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. (I’m trying to work on my hypersensitivity… :P. Being disliked hurts, but it’s a fact of life, so I have to become accustomed to it!)

… I guess that’s all I really have to say for now about myself. For now, at least.

So, yeah. Nice to ‘meet’ you all! Welcome, welcome, to my blog!