Thursday, October 10, 2013

Temple of learning

     I have always said that I stood in line twice when they were handing out empathy. When people feel pain, I feel pain.Sad movies can affect me for years. Some have taken a little part of my soul that I will never get back. One night I googled the phrase-too much empathy. Three words. Three words that took me on a journey and helped me to better define my place in the world. The first article that popped up was titled-Asperger's theory does an about face. The article explained that people with Asperger's had been thought to lack empathy, when in fact, they were so hypersensitive to the point of shutting down. As I learned about Asperger's syndrome/ Autism Spectrum disorder I began to recognize myself . Quirky, odd, strange.....all labels I had grown up with. But in 1998 they were given a name. It was Asperger's.
    The Universe had more to show me in the form of several coincidences over the next several months.
I rented a movie about Temple Grandin and saw more of myself. I was a visual and literal thinker too. I was
hypersensitive to light and sound and smells and too much stimulation. Then..... Temple Grandin was scheduled to speak at my workplace! The ah ha moments piled up throughout her speech. The puzzle that was my mind finally fit together. This was followed by a 42 score on the Baron Cohen test (17  is neurotypical aka normal).
     The autism spectrum is wide and varied. It is said "If you have met one Aspie, you have met one Aspie".
But if you know me, I am easily recognizable in the diagnostic criteria. Just like my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
diagnosis, there have been dismissive comments "Oh, you don't have that"......"I don't see it"....and so on.
It is not my job or desire to convince those people of what I know. And I know myself.
  I am comforted by the thought that there are other people like me....that I am not alone in my quirkiness.
My name is Gina and I am an Aspie!

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