“For the Truth Shall Set Ye Free”
I first remember things going wrong at age 5.
I am standing in the corner of the bedroom with my mother beside my brother’s crib. She is telling me I am cold and selfish, like my father’s mother whom she hates. I now think she hates me. She tells me I will wind up all alone.
It is just after the births of my brother and sister, only 11 months apart, and my 25-year-old mother, is totally overwhelmed. My brother is the apple of her eye, with Mom’s dark coloring and the looks of her adored Sicilian born-father. My sister is Daddy’s little girl. I remember feeling all alone, and being cold and hard at that age, confiding only in my stuffed lion, Leo. Many, many years later I come to see this cold, hard me as a dissociated self. Many years later my mother apologizes to me. And I apologize to her.
I set out on a life-long struggle to be different from my father’s mother, doing everything to try to be warm and loving like my mother’s Italian family. I fail. With acute stage fright most of the time, I cannot initiate a smile, nor greet people. The most basic social skills are lost to me, much to the chagrin of my parents. Often I cannot respond to people. At times I cannot organize my thoughts well enough to speak. I feel evil and selfish. I want to fit in and can’t. I want to pass for normal and don’t. I want to have a family and never will. I want to find love and it will take me decades to do so.
The “defensive personality” serves me well, covering up many, but not all, of my autistic symptoms. I live dissociated from many of my numerous fears.
My story begins when I break down. My fiancé, Sundra, goes back to Sri Lanka. I change library jobs from a relatively comfortable clerical position in a small library to a position cataloging art books in a huge office. The new job is in a giant room with three different departments and about 40 employees of all ages and ethnicities. There are no cubicles or dividers so everyone can see and hear everyone else. It is as gossip-ridden as a small town. There is no privacy and there are fluorescent lights. It is all too much. But it is here I meet Danielle who is to change my life forever and, later, Jimmy, who becomes my husband. My journey begins when my autistic shell breaks, at age 28, when the “superficial personality”, the dissociated me, falls apart. I seek therapy and am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Not until thirty years later do I find out I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, as well.
I write my story as a message of hope to all those who are as lost as I was, to those who think, as I did, that they cannot find love. I open my heart to help others avoid the suffering I went through and caused. I nearly lost my job and my mind pursuing love. I hurt other people. I could have been seen as a stalker due to my typical Aspie approach to a romantic interest. Love threw me over the brink of sanity and made me psychotic at times. I didn’t know I was Bipolar and my psychiatrist didn’t know I had Asperger’s syndrome.
Finally, I write this book to psychiatrists and other therapists that they may understand their patients who have the same issues and delusions.
From the Prologue to Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things:
Hm! A book…I should have guessed it before right?
March 1, 2013 at 1:16 PM
🙂 Arjun, I really like your pix on your new blog. Sorry you are hiving up on your poetry.
March 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Ha, And I’m wondering here, why haven’t you liked any?
I’m missing you! 🙂
March 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM
Oh, I thought I did like them or there were not “like” buttons there– something was screwy. I have missed you. Will go to your page and like some pronto! Are you giving up poetry? 😦
March 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM
Noways. I got 30 ready to go.
But I was disappointed how “Stoned” was received. I write dark, wry humor as pure art but I keep away from negative energies and I could feel it strongly around my blog.
So cooling off now.
March 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM
The day i get a kindle or something like it, I want to buy and read your book. I read this prologue on your other website … if I remember that correctly.
March 2, 2013 at 1:46 PM
I would love for you to read my book but have great doubts about whether you would like it. It is about love, psychosis, bisexuality, relationships, being Bipolar and having Asperger’s and about therapy and the process of healing. Not usually your topics of discussion although you seem to have an excellent grasp of BPD and Narcissism and other psychological topics as shown in that DSMIV-like post and other comments on posts.
March 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM
… 🙂 better not to have doubts, and see what happens, than to doubt an not experience! Authentic stories are always worth reading!
March 3, 2013 at 7:48 AM
That was powerful! I can relate to it on so many levels. First as a human being who suffered from painful social anxiety for most of my life. Then as the psychotherapist who helped those suffering from painful social anxiety. Finally as the psychotherapist who’s worked with clients with Asperger Syndrome.
March 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM
So glad you can relate and it is wonderful that you can help people who have the same problem you have. I imagine it is not easy doing therapy when one has social anxiety though you are in a specific role. My husband is a clinical social worker and has Asperger’s and is hypomanic and yet is able to overcome his problems to help others. I so admire people like you and him.
March 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM