Hidden, But Not Invisible!
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome by a private counsellor in 2008, after being recognised as being on the spectrum by friends in 2007, who had apparently believed for years that l ‘already’ knew l was an Aspie and was just comfortable with it.
Truth is, l wasn’t aware of Asperger’s Syndrome and my only knowledge of autism was in fact Raymond Babbit from the film ‘Rainman’.
I always knew when l was a youngster that l was ‘different’ to my peers, my friends and other family members, but put it down to the way l was brought up by my parents and because my Father was in the RAAF we moved around a lot and l never had any experience of laying down any firm foundations for anything.
Even back then, l was hidden, but not invisible, this design was created for that very thing.
It has taken me a lot of years to finally find peace within myself and be comfortable with who l am. The poem below was written in 2009, several months in fact after receiving my diagnosis – so it contains an awful amount of the initial anger and confusions with both my new label and of course the knowledge that l was to ‘recreate’ my identity.- because l had had the truth suddenly unlocked upon me.
Also please note that this was written before the new classifications of DSM-5 2013 edition, so there might be some differences.
Black, White and Grey
Many are oft confused by Asperger’s Syndrome,
Hardly surprising considering the lack of tomes,
Even as to what kicks it off, is a mystery,
Genetic errs, but no clearly determined pathology,
It’s not a disease, and as such there is no cure,
Characterized disorder of repetitive interests and behaviours!
Not to be confused with autism, but part of the spectrum,
And no, none of us are stupid, or slow or even dumb!
Supposedly known for an increased intelligence,
Intellectually we could knock most off the sixpence,
Sure we have our faults and flaws, and they are intense,
But harmless they are, and never ever cause offence,
Don’t get us confused with those that sputter profanities,
Tourette’s is a completely different ‘psychology’, game wise,
We can be clumsy and use the odd phrases or words,
Not forgetting the ability to speak and think the absurd!
Because it’s not a damning illness, there’s no treatment per se,
Overall, considerations awarded to improving our ‘grey’,
Addressing our communications, looking into our routines,
Managing the way in which we express, and are to be seen,
By others whose lack of knowledge at times can be damning,
Comes with the territory of the innocently and honest beings,
Our functioning might be perceived to be repetitive or obsessed,
But what is wrong with making sure, that one does their best?
Disorder is usually present at our incarnation; we have no choice,
Childhood can be hard, or easier for those who understand our ‘voice‘,
We speak the truth, honesty is our key, yet emotionally open to abuse,
But we still walk the path of constant discovery, despite the bruise,
Seeing the world differently through non aggressive eyes,
Makes us open targets, for those who berate and continually lie,
It‘s said that we have no empathy, and this is not entirely true,
Seeing the truth as others refuse to acknowledge, is all we do
We prefer to speak as we see it, within the black and the white,
Directly this might be seen as wrong, or by a few, honest delight!
Many Aspies as we are known, are not diagnosed until later in life,
Thankfully it makes the jigsaw come together, and explains the strife!
Like myself, always accused, awarded and treated for stress,
Diagnosis of the syndrome arrived a little late, to clear up my mess,
But l live with it now on a daily basis, and have come to understand,
That despite not seeing the grey, l am l believe a better man!
I wrote that eight years ago, not long indeed after my diagnosis, and oh how l travelled a long journey into understanding since then who l am, and l have no regrets at all. I am proud to be me.
Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger
Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.