|Me at age 5.|
I had to deal with bullying that occurred because of my differences. Fortunately, my mother (parenting as a single mom) was always a source of strength and inspiration for me.
Prior to being diagnosed, neither I nor my mother had an explanation for my meltdowns and shut downs and other issues. After the diagnosis, it was amazing how my mother reacted. She became my superhero.
She took me everywhere and pushed me into activities – many of which I didn’t want to do at the time, but in retrospect, I’m very glad that I did. Otherwise, I would’ve just isolated my entire childhood and adolescence.
|Me and my mom.|
Long story short, I was involved in speech and drama, cheer-leading, and many other events that were highly social. Yes, those were some painful experiences in a way, but I hide my symptoms so well that others didn’t know that I was ‘different’.
I’ve failed to mention my brother up to this point. He was very supportive after the diagnosis as well. Our fights and disagreements and my ‘odd’ behaviors made sense to him at that point. In many ways, he was like a father-figure to me.
|Me, my brother and his wife.|