My teenage years I describe as mainly 'awkward,' taller than many, gangly and clumsy! I hated my acne and my large nose I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I would sit in classes not wanting to be seen I wanted to blend into the background, I knew most of the answers to questions in my head but would never speak out as to draw attention to myself. I remember the smell of the corridors and classrooms clearly and being squashed up against the wall whilst waiting for lessons to start! I found safety in the school Orchestra and Choir so I didn't have to endure lunchtimes in the dinner hall! I also found that the library was a safe place for me.
At around 14 I was having daily taunts from 3 particular individuals calling me the same cruel names over and over, I once had 2 weeks off school making out I was ill when really I just couldn't endure another day of the same name calling. I really can't understand why people think its acceptable to make another person feel that they are not worthy, its still something that puzzles me to this day. I would practice at home certain come backs for what I could say if these individuals came up to me the next day, but whenever it happened I'd freeze, my mouth would be completely dry and the words didn't come out! I've often thought if I could go back with the confidence and gumption I have today I'd soon tell them where to go!
I thought the answer was to look as thin as possible and therefore food became an enemy, I'd gag on food, then at breaking point my mum took me to my GP in desperation and said "please help my daughter, she won't eat." When the pressure of GCSEs hit in addition to all my emotions and hormones, I'd have what can only be described as 'Teenage tantrums' and have to been calmed down.
This resulted in the first counselling sessions I had.
I'd love to get other people's views on this, as I tick every point in the diagram, (left.)
I remember only recently watching a programme on Girls with Autism (ITV, July 2015.) This was an eye-opener and many of the girls in the programme had quite complex needs but it rang home when I learnt that many girls with autism that has been undiagnosed as a child can manifest itself as depression, in particular Bipolar in adulthood.
I've joked about my traits and quirks with the people closest to me but do wonder with the knowledge there is today could I have perhaps been as a child?
When writing to my GP about Lou's traits and referral to an Occupation Therapist, which totalled
8 pages of A4! I talked about my own traits as they wished to know family history. I realised as I have got older I've learnt to control a great deal of these traits.
- Understanding other people's feelings - I used to find this incredibly difficult especially as I was unsure whether to hug to comfort them, and not the foggiest clue what to say! I've always struggled to accept and talk about my own feelings.
- I've never really understood body language, I don't like it when people are up in my face and like to keep a distance when talking to someone, if someone winks at me to prompt me to say or do something, I'm often left very confused! I'm uncomfortable with touch, unless its someone who's extremely close to me, and of course, I'm happy to give my children logs of hugs!
- Always been socially awkward not quite knowing what to say and used to rehearse what I'd say in up-coming situations, I've had to force myself to get out there to places such as mother and toddler groups - to have an adult conversation at the moment is a blessing when your with kids all day!
- Eye contact - I described earlier in the page, nowadays I'm far better and was given a kick up the backside with this after working in retail and from going to University and mixing with lots of different people. If I meet someone unfamiliar now there's still the slight moment of awkwardness but I try my best!
- Obsessive interests - Oh yes! I have these, there's been a few over the years! When I was a child it was specific toys such as the trolls with long hair, then China dolls - I had 100s! Then I collected Pin badges from every place I visited. I bought £100s worth of craft making materials then couldn't find the time to carry this out! More recently its been programmes such as 'Game of Thrones' I'm currently watching the entire seasons for the 3rd time around before the new season starts in April 2016.
- I have a habit of only thinking for myself it seems quite self- centred but I just cant help it, except having kids has helped as I'm now thinking about them and their needs before my own but its been a learning curve!
- Definitely clumsy and awkward! Never any good at sports! Finding it hard to co-ordinate myself and I've always thought how my brain is telling me to move in a certain way but my body doesn't get the message!
- Absolute stickler for routine, I hate changes and find alterations very difficult. If things aren't going to plan I get very frustrated and could almost throw myself on the floor in a tantrum resembling something that Lou would do!!!
- Odd and repetitive movements - something I never like to admit - when I am nervous or excited I rub my palms together vigorously. I control this more now - but sometimes I don't even realise I'm doing it! When completing my GCSEs my palms were red raw from this repetitive action.
- These days if I'm interested in something, and usually in general, I cannot stop talking, I find it incredibly difficult to switch off, Lou shares this trait with me! When I was younger I could be described a 'little parrot' copying sayings that my lovely nan would say to me, that I often hear Lou come out with saying!