About a quarter of the way through eleventh grade, my Chemistry teacher called home with concerns. I was performing below my potential. I was despondent in class. I was off in another world.
“Are you on drugs?” asked my parents. “Broken-hearted? Knocked up?”
“I don’t believe in atoms,” I said.
We should have known then that something about me was a little off.
Memories like this one and others are flitting through my brain lately, and they’re looking a lot different than they did the first time around. I think I’m officially in the Validation phase of accepting my Aspie diagnosis. According to Rudy Simone, that means I’m looking back on my whole life and am re-framing it. It probably shocks you to know that I’m doing that obsessively.
Some of these memories crack me up for their weirdness alone. Others for the blatant Aspieness that didn’t raise flags in the ‘80’s but wouldn’t go unnoticed for a second today. Here are a few of my favorites:
- I dropped out of Brownies after my initiation ceremony because I couldn’t get over the absurdity of having to study my face in a mirror on the floor and pretend it was a pond.
- I dove under the table and screamed every time someone ordered flaming cheese in Greek Town.
- I stayed up until 4:00 AM once in fifth grade because I simply HAD to figure out the pattern of squared numbers. I solved it and promptly fell asleep. Answer: (n+1)2 – n2 = 2n+1
- I agonized (read: sobbed, barfed, had nightmares) for days in second grade because I lost a library book.
- I could recite every line in Miracle on 34th Street (including the part when Santa sings in Dutch), but could not remember to comb my hair. Ever.
- I read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 at least 487 times.
- When asked in first grade: “If you were mayor, would you allow radio stations to play tunes that transform your citizens into exotic creatures?” I replied, “Those songs don’t exist.”
I know not all of you out there reading are Aspie, but for those of you that are, please share some of your painfully obvious but overlooked childhood Aspieness in the comments below!