The Hidden Village of Aspergers

March 5, 2014

No One Understands

No one understands me, no one understands
I am not an animal, I am a human being

Throughout infant school and primary school, I knew I was different.

My early memories of Stanford Infant School (1988-1991) are fragmented, but I do remember that I read a lot and I didn’t like playing with other kids. I remember a teacher trying to get me to come out of the wooden house in the playground and play with the other kids. I ended up playing a reluctant game of ‘In and Out the Dusty Bluebells’. I remember some nasty boy called Dylan shoving me off a bench, and getting upset because the teacher wanted us to dance around the room, and having extra PE lessons because I was so rubbish at it. I spoke in a monotone and when I was about nine or ten, Mum told me to try and deepen my voice. Apparently it was too high-pitched or something. I had imaginary friends and sucked my finger. I cried when Mum rearranged the furniture in my bedroom. I couldn’t ride a bike or tie my laces, and I walked down stairs in a weird way; I’d put one foot on a step and then the other foot on the same step, almost walking crabwise, rather than walking down stairs the conventional way. People found the way I held my pencil weird; a psychologist of some kind analysed my handwriting, and I was thought to have dyspraxia. Even now, I get told that I have surprisingly neat handwriting, considering how I hold a pen. Speaking of writing implements, I ate my pencils – I didn’t just chew them, I actually ate the wood. At break times, I used to run around the playground, on my own, lost in my own head. The other kids must have thought I was batshit insane. I did this in primary school, Stanford Junior School, as well.

Then Dad died, and the shit hit the fan.

Again, I can’t remember much, but I do remember freaking out whenever we had a supply teacher or a student taking our classes (and this happened a lot), to the extent that I was sent to go and sit with a junior class (Year 3/4 – my school had mixed-year classes) or the class next door to calm down. I’d cry or hyperventilate. I didn’t know why – it just upset me that we had a strange new teacher, and I very rarely liked them. It didn’t start after Dad died, it had been going on a while before that – I remember being particularly arsey with one student teacher, when I was in Year 4. She must have hated me. I remember going on a school trip with her when we were doing the Tudors, to Lewes or somewhere, and being miserable because I wanted to go home and I wanted my usual teacher. It was a bloody good thing the teachers were nice. They knew bad things were happening at home and that I’d lost my dad – Jack and I started Year 3 and Year 5 respectively a week or two later than the other kids. We had to go up north to Preston in the first week of term to say our goodbyes to Dad, as his time was rapidly running out.

I hated getting shouted at, hated collective punishment – my class made the Bash Street Kids look sane, and we were called into an emergency assembly a few times – hated noise, found group activity difficult. When all the kids were talking loudly, I’d hyperventilate or shove my fingers in my ears. I used to eat in the school secretary’s office because I couldn’t stand the noise in the hall. Sometimes the headmistress would shout at us to keep the noise down, which made me panicky – I’d end up throwing away lunches because of it. I remember chucking out this amazing lunch my mum had made me, and feeling bitter about it afterwards. I’d spent whole days skiving lessons by hiding in the toilets. How I didn’t get bored out of my mind, I don’t know. In short, the oddness was there, but Dad’s death exacerbated it. Mum, Jack and I all went off the deep end. Mum had migraines and panic attacks, and Jack had crying fits, and I acted up in class.

At some point, when I was about ten – this would have been 1994 – I saw a speech therapist who shared my birthday, as it happened. I can’t remember the exact details, but I do remember looking at picture cards and being asked questions about what I’d do if there was an accident, that kind of thing. Apparently my answers were a bit weird and inappropriate and illogical, whatever.

Then Mum got a letter from her saying I had a thing called Aspergers Syndrome.

Not as many people were being diagnosed back in 1994 as they are now. Aspergers wasn’t as widely known back then – there were no Adams, no Sheldon Coopers, no Glee characters faking Aspergers, no Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, though there was Rain fucking Man. At least, though, Mum knew why her daughter was a little freak, and it wasn’t just because her dad had died. The weirdness had a name and the odd behaviour had a cause. Even if it wasn’t something that could be cured, at least she – and by extension, the staff at Stanford Junior – gained a bit more understanding.


  1. […] 3. Mr Psycho: emotional difficulties 4. Female Of The Species: not fitting in with other girls 5. No One Understands: the diagnosis 6. Dark Clouds: memories of Barcelona 7. Blow Your Cover: first sexual relationship 8. Influenza: […]

    Pingback by An announcement | The Hidden Village of Aspergers — March 5, 2014 @ 10:50 pm | Reply

  2. i was diagnosed with aspergers about 1991

    very true what you say no one understands fullstop

    mark________________________________ > Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 22:46:08 +0000 > To: >

    Comment by Mark kent — March 6, 2014 @ 6:10 am | Reply

  3. MOST PEOPLE are very very snotty nosed about autism //aspergers

    and M.E. this i have as well.THINK WHAT THIS IS LIKE

    mark—————————————- > From: > To: > Subject: RE: [New post] No One Understands > Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 06:10:00 +0000 > > i was diagnosed with aspergers about 1991 > > very true what you say no one understands fullstop > > > mark________________________________ >> Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 22:46:08 +0000 >> To: >>

    Comment by Mark kent — March 6, 2014 @ 6:14 am | Reply

  4. […] I still had crying fits and an abject fear of anything unusual happening. I talked more about it here. The other major change that occurred during primary school was my mum meeting J, my future stepdad […]

    Pingback by Everybody In The Madhouse | The Hidden Village of Aspergers — March 17, 2014 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

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