- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
A Monkey's Paw
Be careful what you wish for.
As a kid I walked around in a proverbial haze. I couldn't remember one day from the next and anything that bothered me got bottled up. I think on some basic level this state of affairs should have a limit to how long it can go on before you erupt for lack of outlets. I should only be so lucky back then. As much as the social abuse at school and church sucked for some reason nothing that happened to me back then could make a dent. I would wake up laughing and go to bed crying. My pillow didn't even seem to remember yesterday because it wasn't even damp enough to remind me why I should hate people in general.
I didn't though and that was half my problem. I couldn't focus on anything that was flawed or faulty in their actions long enough to come to any conclusions so I treated everyone like they were my best buddies and only figured out who wasn't by which fist ended up trying to make a mark on me or who stole my lunch box.
This went on until the end of my sixth year. There and then I swore that I would never let anyone hurt me ever again. Ok so I didn't succeed in stopping all of the bullying but I started practicing sarcasm. (A bad habit even if it does allow people to laugh, when properly applied, in copious eruptions.) I learned how to erase tender emotions from my face and how to stop people in their tracks with a stare that reminded them why ice and fire in their turn aren't elements to mess with. I learned how to break people down to their basic instincts and tare at their will to fight. I was a demon. It might be argued that society made me or atmospheric conditions brought on a quick bout of Darwinian progression but If you couldn't tell by my writing style, I still haven't become a hundred percent pleasant. I seem to be made of the kind of stone inside that once changed it is really hard to recast it but enough with the excuses.
At about that time, you could call it my will made manifest in teenage hormones. I started to notice a new pattern of behavior emerging on my horizon. I suddenly had no tolerance for pain. Most people when they get to this point have the sense to avoid pain or become wimps and follow the path of least resistance. Oh no, not me. I stared down every bully I came across and found that even when we fought I could get angry without measure and couldn't feel a thing. In a perverse sense the release felt awesome and I started looking for safe places to let of some steam.
By that time, I had gone through so much at school that the teachers almost sighed with relief at this change. They looked the other way when I objected to someone holding on to the seat next to them to prevent me from sitting there so I took the stool they were sitting on. Good times. Or the time that someone decided to lust after my sister so I referred to him as "the douche" when he was around and even when he wasn't. The poor fool didn't even know what that word meant. He kept getting mocked and slapped until some teacher took pity on him. I think if the teacher hadn't wanted to laugh when she knew she shouldn't someone might have tried to suspend me then.
At the same time I found that the more I let the anger out the more anger I had to let out. It seemed to bottle up like before but the cork on the bottle was faulty. When the pressure got to a certain point the cap would blow off and anyone around me would get an ear, face, or gut full. The Asperger's Syndrome didn't go away though. I never could feel things in the moment they happened and when the cork came off wasn't always when anyone I should be mad at was around to feel the rage that I suddenly couldn't suppress. The problem kept happening though, even when I tried to work on the causes for it. It came in cycles that I couldn't stop. These feelings made me volatile. It made me dangerous. Out of one side of my mouth I hated it. Out of the other I loved and cherished it, that was until I got into the real world and adults aren't nearly as understanding about such things.
Realistically, my will had little to do with the presentation of both or either condition. I was a ticking time bomb from the day I was born. I did, however, when I could feel anything, found that I could feel everything. Being dangerous had its advantage. People gave me space enough to realize that I could also be a good person as well when those I didn't want to think I was weakening weren't looking. I found as I always had before that I wasn't interested in preying on the lowest man on the totem pole. I went after the bullies on top. I started with the ones that got in my face and ended with taking on ring leaders until everyone who had bothered me pretty much avoided me.
I never made friends though. That was one weakness I never allowed myself. Anyone I cared about could be used to soften my resolve. I knew that much and I never allowed it. I failed in that regard at church though. I befriended a girl who had it rough as well. She dealt with things in a very similar if very different fashion. She saw the good in me and brought it out of my hardened shell. She is the one I married and I had to fight just about everyone who I was closed to, blood wise and a few people I shouldn't have had to in order to defend and keep that relationship.
Now you might consider that the bipolar symptoms were reactionary and the Asperger’s was simply a height functioning form of Autism. I wish that were true. I found out differently when I got married and while the open hostility went away, the cycles kept coming. I found that I no longer had trees in my back yard to rock in or hidden places to beat on when I was suffering sensory deprivation or angry. I started banging my head on our apartment wall and it felt good. I would climb into our walk in closet to rock. I found that I would go into funks for days or weeks at a time and then become hyper functional for long periods of time. I did what I had to for my new and growing family but the symptoms didn't go away.
After all is said and done, I have found that I have much to offer those who have gone through the same type of thing that I have. It came at a bitter price though. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. All I have ever wanted was freedom to be myself. Now as I rattle away on this keyboard I know that I have found it. What I can't let off physically makes for a great article though.