In The Perspective of an Adult with Asperger Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder

Good Morning Friends

It is obvious that Jagged Frost isn't my real name but it is who I am. The first part of this pen name, or Jagged, comes from a character in a well loved Star Wars series that she cherishes. This character is that of Jag Fel, nephew of Wedge Antilles (who survived the assaults on both death stars) but raised in a society that much resembles the Star Trek Vulcan philosophies on life, love and war. The part of this similitude to my own character that she thought was most fitting is the divided nature of his character and dedication to forming one life out of the pithy substance of two. Much like Spock for those not familiar with Jag Fel, I have two heritages that I must balance, consider, and weigh in every aspect of my life. Unlike Spock but more closely related to Jag, both of my parents are human although I often don't feel human due to Asperger's Syndromeand Bi-Polar Disorder that have been my constant companion for the last twenty... almost thirty years of my life.

To own the truth, like Jag and perhaps Spock, I have had to control my emotional responses because much like the newly renovated character Spock, in the latest addition to the Star Trek saga, I feel things deeply enough to be detrimental to myself. Over time I have learned to deaden these feelings for my own comfort so often am unaware of those feelings. One of the tools I have found to be helpful in this is the ability to analytically consider everything around me constantly. I have taught myself to do this so that my conditions do not force actions in the moment that I might later regret. There was a time that my control was spotty enough that my family used to walk on egg shells around me to prevent me from snapping.

Like both Jag and Spock my emotions always run deep but I am far more romantic in a human sense than Spock considered being even in the latest Star Trek movie even when it came to Ahora and I am happily married with two children so I will have to stick with Jag as a role model in the roughest sense of the term. This instinct is where the Frost portion of my name comes from. My wife chose the last portion of this pen name for me from the ruins of other pen names that I have used to express this instinct. As a result of this I have found that sometimes people think me cold because i have learned over time to set emotion aside in place of cold analytical observations regardless of the circumstances but especially when the subject would otherwise be so emotionally charged as to preclude me from even discussing it without problems.

What is Asperger’ssyndromefrom my perspective sense? Most doctors when you ask them are vague at best on the subject. I mean no insult to any doctor that reads this. Wikipedia has some good stuff on the subject but I have seldom found anything written that is coherent from anyone who actually has the condition let alone both of the conditions stated in my title. I must give thanks to my maker for the level of sanity that allows me to discuss this with you this morning but my eyes were awoken to the need for this subject when I visited a NAMI chapter the other week and found myself bombarded with question that I had the answers to. One of the people there was even a medical professional who works with children with Asperger’s syndrome.

Asperger's syndromefrom my standpoint may be biological or a tissue issue in the brain but I doubt it. I am not sure how I got it although I am sure the forceps used at my birth didn't help anything. Even if that were it, as anyone who has had brain damage and survived to think again I am living proof that Asperger’s syndrome is not a retardation even if I do admit that when life gets a little rough I feel retarded in my ability to deal with the input or stunted in my development. I have not, however come to an impenetrable wall that relieved me of the responsibility to overcome my conditions. I have, however had to sweat, cry, scream, rock, cuss, and fight for my lucidity let alone my sanity. What I have found is that Asperger syndrome is a condition that makes me more sensitive to external and internal stimuli then anyone I have ever met without the condition. Stimuli of any kind makes at times light that would be considered good enough to substitute for daylight to feel like someone stuck an optical light right at me. It makes sounds that would appear to most as being happy and festive morph into sounds that feel like grating fingernails on the proverbial chalk board. For the first part of my life, right up to junior high, my response to these affronts to my senses was to tune the world out and live in a haze of complete disassociation.

I have noticed that in talking with other people with another form of this condition called Autismor others with Asperger's Syndrome that though I can't speak for any other than myself I have found that they share my hatred for anything loud and jarring that to you might seem perfectly normal. I do remember as a child staying out of direct light most of the time if it could be helped but was blessed yet again that from my earliest memories I have a bit of a loss in hearing. I was also aided by some Attention Deficit symptoms that I was diagnosed with as a child but which I am not sure now if they were real or reflective of the joined confusion to my synapse and a bit of self preservation that caused me to act out and distract myself almost constantly. Concentration is often very hard because it requires one to be anchored in the here and now and accept and or deal with the stimuli that each moment in the present offers you. Those adults whom I have met with Asperger's Syndromedo things in order to distract themselves from their pain. Most children I have met have the natural born option and defense mechanism that allows them to shut off their responses or retreat into their mind in order to cut down on input. Children with Asperger's Syndrome have an overabundance of it that starts from birth and often is applied without discretion before they know what they are doing and because of this they often skip or miss stages of development altogether. I believe it is this and not brain damage, however that is the cause for the majority of the apparent retardation in people with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome as observed by doctors from without. I think that the difference between the two conditions is the point in development at which the person with the conditions says, biologically or instinctively, "It is too painful to become more aware of my environment, I think I will stop now." This ability, fortunately and unfortunately was never to be mine due to my other predominant condition of BiPolar Disorder.

BiPolarDisorderis a nasty little condition that is in affect a lack of innate control of emotion. All of the natural abilities that are the birthright of people born to be a part of the mean or statistical middle of intellectual population models can control how much they think and feel. We shall call this group the Norm for short even though I am sure many of you who are reading this have given up on words like norm or normal as being completely void of meaning or purpose. It is, however, shorter than the alternative so I suppose you can lambaste me for using it latter. At any rate normal people are capable of nullifying feelings that make them uncomfortable by using a number of caveman techniques. They can Fight or put something damaging in to the inertia stopping center of the source of their pain. I lovingly refer to them as knuckle draggers but that is just me. Violence never solved anything but it is a natural response that most people use to exert control over their lives. They can also fly, run away, distract themselves with mind numbing activities, work too much, screw anything with two legs, toke or drink anything that induces an altered state of consciousness and may result in temporary or permanent actual brain damage that helps... it all amounts the the same thing but as most people futilely wish, denial is not a river in Egypt.

Normal people do intentionally that which people with Asperger’s syndromedo before they are old enough to know how to reverse it and people with Bi Polar Disorder wish they could do but can't without great strain, medications, sweat, tears, cussing or self medications. The last but most damning place people with Bi Polar Disorderresort to is, delusional insanity that results (without great personal effort that they didn't want to put into life in the first place or they wouldn't have allowed it to happen) in total senility and intellectual paralysis. This last is how I regard schizophrenia and its subsets or at least the versions which are suggested by professionals to be the natural results or unfailing conclusion to the lives and intellects of those with Bi Polar Disorder.

As you can probably tell from my tone, I am not very forgiving in my sentiments towards those who leave reality for their friends and family to clean up after them, nor those who would say that I have no choice but to lose my marbles. Perhaps as I have alluded to before, something happened to me when God cursed me with both conditions that seemed diametrically opposed to each other. I had three choices once I found out, a couple years back about my conditions due to long awaited correct diagnosis following an acute psychotic break. They said at the time that left unmanaged this break was a forerunner of things most likely to come, Option one, I could medicate myself into insensitivity and mental stupor. Option two, I could allow life to act on me and not act for myself and loose touch with my wife and everything I hold dear (which I very nearly did on a number of occasions which included suicide attempts). Option three, find a way around both conditions and find the power to make a difference in life instead of being another obstacle for others to stumble over.

As I hope it is apparent to you now, I, Jagged Frost, chose option three and I am at a point now that I feel the need to help share my experiences here. I expect that they will be of use to you as they have been of use to me. In this treacherous place in the mind there are no stupid questions although I may from time to time be self deprecating or maybe apparently sarcastic in my responses. Much in life is funny if you know how to look at it even if sometimes that places you at odds with others. I have been set apart by my birth and have lived apart most of my life even if only in my mind. Like Spock and Jag, I hope you will take a moment to see things from my perspective, laughing with me.

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Comments 20 comments

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Jaggefrost, I am glad you chose option 3!

Welcome to hubpages. You have taught me much about Asperger's and being bi-polar, not to mention having both conditions at the same time.

Thanks for your informative hub!

~Jen



Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

Thank you one and all for your kind welcome and comments. I am not sure what to do with this post. I have considered treating it like a blog. What do you think?


michelle 6 years ago

thankyou for sharing your life experiences, my husband has dyspraxia and aspergers and have only recently got diagnosed after i needed answers as to why he was behaving like an arse towards me, family and friends. It would be really helpful to hear your wife's experiences, because my husband seems to have a cycle where he does things to unintentionally hurt me which jepordises our relationship as things are generally sexually related but without sexual contact.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

I have tried to respond to your question in the latest update in my hub. I know you will find my answer to your concerns there although the spiderweb effect of those conditions usually mean that a lot of other things get caught in it. Part of those things can be sexual in origin because humans one a carnal level are sexually driven and so that is one of the drives that gets bent and twisted by Asperger's Syndrome. The guidelines I have found for diagnostics are listed and should function regardless.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago Author

Hmm from those wondering about my last post I actually, to save on the time trying to read through the old post to get to the new information, I made another hub out of my update.


hillrider profile image

hillrider 5 years ago from Mid-west United States

Well where to begin...your post here almost reads like something I may have written several years back except we do have unique traits that only we feel so it would only be similar. At least the bi-polar aspects.

I also read these comments and believe that it does help to explain the depth of some of the poetry we will read from you. I noticed something and will continue before commenting directly but was pleased with the open honesty and lack of self pity. It is what it is, I don't like it and do the best I can. Often sorry I believed or felt what occurred I still am unable to control the thoughts. It is certainly our behavior that we must. I will be following your hubs and reading more. Please take this as a compliment to your writing and not simply a case of birds flocking ...


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 5 years ago Author

I can accept those terms Hillrider, I have found that it is more successful to supplant unwanted thoughts then to try to control them but to each their own. I am sorry that you can empathize with some of this but happy if it helps put a new light on what you think and feel. I would be lying though if I said that this compulsion to self analyze my biochemical hell were all there was to me but it has definitely given me a greater appreciation for the human condition and an understanding that life is to fleeting and precious to BS our way to peoples favor. Being open and honest seems to get more done then putting on pretenses for any other purpose.


kb 4 years ago

I am in the process of getting diagnosed. I always thought bipolar now they are telling me aspergers. I am glad to know you can have both because i feel like I have both.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

It is possible but it isn't a cake walk. Sorry, but good luck with all that.


empire mike profile image

empire mike 4 years ago from empire, colorado

aw man, only one kiss, but it's worth it. i certainly learned a lot about you quickly, and forrest here takes his hat off to you. this hub is simply awesome, not only in its content but in your writing style as well. i certainly won't pretend to relate, but you already know i can empathize. and, by the way, the deal's not off; now i only want to get to know you more.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

And that I will never deny you, Mike. X


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

I enjoyed your post and I understand it very well. Just started writing on Hub Pages myself although I joined two years ago with great intentions but then my young son was diagnosed with Autism which then led onto me thinking he's very like me so then I was diagnosed with Aspergers only this year. Always I have written either very deeply or else quite sarcastically (humorously I like to say but loved ones may suggest sarcasm) and I often wondered is there anyone else out there that thinks like I do? Its a great reassurance to know that yes there are many other non-earthlings out there too although none of us are exactly alike. I'll keep reading as I continue on my journey to this new frontier.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

And you are welcome to my friend. These are shores where no one should be alone.


thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Thanks very much.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

Your very welcome.


Kimbergram profile image

Kimbergram 4 years ago from Lakewood, WA

Thank you Jaggedfrost. I have an 18 year old son with Asperger's. Your style of writing reminds me so much of him. You are both brilliant writers and it shows. Often times, we get so frustrated with the groups out there like "Autism Speaks", etc... Not that they don't have good intentions, but in our house, we don't believe in finding a cure for Asperger's. If you think about it, many of our most famous inventors, composers, scholars have/had Aspergian traits. It is not the people who have Asperger's who need cured, it is the rest of society that can't accept people who are the slightest bit different.

Thanks again for speaking out. It is through people like you, who are willing to tell it like it is, where my son finds strength.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

It is strange how this subject draws such fine responses as yours, Kimbergram. When I think of continuing this subject, In the face of my previous posts, I find myself at a loss. maybe you can suggest places you would like me to ex[and on. If anyone else wishes to suggest spin-offs on this article that would be cool too.


Kimbergram profile image

Kimbergram 4 years ago from Lakewood, WA

Hearing from an adult who lives with Asperger's is so much more powerful than listening to a counselor or psychiatrist. You have so much to share. I can see how my 18 year old would relate and get ideas and just feel good about himself by listening to your trials and errors. I want to read more of what you have written, so if you have already written it, I apologize. I think sharing your life story of how did you find your partner, how did you make that contact, how does it affect your work life, raising your kids. All the pluses and minuses. As long as your genuine, and obviously you are, you have all it takes to mentor others along their path. Thanks again


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 4 years ago Author

I see, in this comment that I have more to write. I did address one of those subjects but not from this angle. Thank you. I will work on that..

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