Wednesday, 18 April 2012

New Town, New School

When I was 17, we moved to a small town from a big city.  I didn’t want to move.  I was used to the house I lived in and the neighborhood also.  I had never seen the house we were moving to, never even heard of the town.  I was very depressed and cried a lot.  Once the move happened, it turned out to be a great thing.  People were friendly and there were fewer of them.
Red was the main hair colour!

It took a few months and I was able to get a new job as a merchandiser but it was in a larger store in a mall.  Due to my slow processing, I still had some problems with customers even though I wasn't on the cash desk.  I would misunderstand what they said or I would hear them but not understand anything so I would have to ask them to repeat themselves a few times. One person who didn’t happen to be the same race as me decided I was racist because I couldn’t understand and went to my boss, but the problem also happened with people the same race as me. 
Red with a fading blue streak
The next fall, I transferred to the local public high school for grade 13.  I had no friends in my grade and was uncomfortable in most of my grade 13 classes.  I also took some classes with younger grades that I did not have access to at my private school.  I did fun things like metal and wood shop, drafting, and typing.  It was hard getting used to having boys in the class but I did get along better with some of them (especially the younger ones) than the girls.  I liked cars and rude jokes while I didn’t like shopping and small talk. I got to know some of the younger kids in grade 9 and some of the misfits like me.  I had my own style of dressing; people may have made fun of me behind my back but no one ever made fun of me to my face for the way I looked.  I started visiting a hair dresser regularly (mainly for something to do and someone to talk to) and had many different hair styles for the next few years.  I didn’t care what people really thought about the way I looked because I liked it.  In some ways that is a good thing about asperger’s but sometimes you can look really bad.
Purple done in England
During my grade 13 year, I had two relationships which I talked about inappropriately with the kids in shop class.  I was teased and called names because of the things I said, but the kids didn't seem to be serious.  I seemed to start going through my teens when at about 19 when most teens are starting to grow up a bit.  I was just getting started.  My mother thought it was because I started going to public school but it just allowed me to be me a bit more.

I wasn’t ready to leave school so I stayed an extra year doing my fun courses.  I had graduated the year before with more than enough credits for my diploma.  In this final year, at almost 20 years old, I got my first boyfriend.  I was in a relationship with the boy for almost 3 years.  During this time he abused me in different ways, mainly when he was drunk.  I knew it was wrong, but I didn't leave him.  I didn't have anyone close to me to talk to about it and I didn't want to leave him because I didn't think I'd ever meet anyone else.  Girls with asperger’s are more likely to get into trouble in relationships because we trust the other person and don't think that they would want to hurt us.  We also don’t think anyone else is out there for us so we have to keep what we have no matter how bad it is.  We also don’t like change and dumping a boyfriend is a big change.
Red with yellow streak (once blue)
I took a year off school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college or with my life.  Going to school was all I knew but I knew I couldn’t handle university.  I finally decided on the Mechanical Engineering Technician program in college.  There were only 3 of us girls in the program and I was the only one in most of my classes.  Too bad I had a boyfriend!  Most of the courses were hands on so I liked it and did well.  I got rid of my abusive boyfriend towards the end of my first year at college and a month or so later met my future husband.  We met through a friend and decided after a month to move in together and get married.  We had similar backgrounds and understood each other well.  Something nobody else did.  I did not go back for my second and final year of college that fall because I needed to work but I found out it was mostly book learning that year so I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.