Tuesday, March 16, 2010


April 2, 1987

I've been going nuts lately, not wanting to talk or associate with anyone. Staring off into space, knowing something is wrong but not knowing just what. Sitting alone with strangers around feeling comfortable. Sitting in my car alone hiding so no one can see me. I just want to be alone.

Cris is always complaining about needing a break. That drives me nuts! I need the break. Just to be alone. Sitting, staring is what I want. I want to leave this world for awhile each day. The time I come home I need just a minute alone because I am so stressed out. I like to be home with Cris and the kids but it's the people all day, then hopping in the car and being home too soon. Everyone wants something too. Everybody wants something from me and now I am so drained. I need to replenish myself so I can become whole again. How can I keep giving after it's all gone?

I thought giving would create a vacuum, whereby I would draw things from others. Well how vacuous must I get before I get something, even just a grain, comes back to me? How come I can't be the one who says I need a break?

Just wanting to be alone: a classic Asperger's symptom. While reading Tony Attwood's book on Asperger's, this struck me as something I felt in the present. I didn't remember that I had always wanted to be alone. I need to be alone to recharge. I get so "peopled" out. Being a high school teacher is exhausting for me. Full classes of 20-36 kids shuffling in and around me - 5 sets a day. No wonder I am a nervous wreck! I have taught for 11 years. 

Five years ago, I cleared all my personal items out of the room. I was leaving, if I could, over the summer. I wanted to teach at an online school. I was shocked that I didn't get a call back for my perfectly conceived application. Then the urge to seek a different job came earlier and earlier in the following years: April, December, October, the second day of school this year - only 7 days before my diagnosis. Finally, it all made sense: the desire to escape; the sensory overload; the inappropriate behavior; the overwhelming sense of being out-of-control. 

I have tried many things this year to comfort myself in the classroom. I take an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety medication. I have put all my curriculum online - including lectures - which I record earlier at home and then podcast. While, I have little direct contact with the kids, I am actually a pretty good teacher. If they need help, they come and ask. I am probably better one-on-one anyways. I try my best not to move about the room. When I do, I only end up saying something wildly inappropriate, or acting like a fool. I hate being a teacher as much as I love it. I love teaching, but I am not particularly excited about photography nor graphic design.

When I get home from school, I usually have 3 to 4 hours to unwind. I am the happiest when I am by myself. I love to be alone. In silence. No anxiety.

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