Has anyone ever heard of my problem? (Very long read)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gbhut1999, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. gbhut1999

    gbhut1999 New Member

    Hi all,

    I happened to find this site and thought I'd post here to see if anyone has ever heard of my problem, and if so, if anyone could tell me what it might stem from.

    I am 31 years old, and while I feel that I have come a long way since I was a child in school, I still wonder all the time why I behaved the way I did.My behavior caused my siblings to hate me, and I had no friends in school or around the neighborhood while growing up, because my behavior drove them away.

    Here's my story. It all started when I was around age 2 or so. My mom said that when I was first born, I was very well behaved, and very quiet. Sometime around the age of 2 however, I became very hyper. I was always getting into things and doing stuff I wasn't supposed to. I would get up in the middle of the night and get into things in the kitchen, and would do stuff like take all of the spices and seasonings and mix them all together, and I did this in an attempt to "make milk." (I was 5 at the time, and had no idea how milk was made, and was seriously hoping to one day actually make a glass of milk, even though we actually HAD milk in the refrigerator.)

    Although I don't remember this, my mom said that one night, my sister caught me running the garbage disposal and I had came very close to actually putting my hand down in it before she caught me and turned it off.

    I went trough this phase for a good year or 2.

    The real problems started when I went to school. My mom put me is pre-school when I was 4. Her intentions were that she wanted to get me used to being away from "mommy", and get accustomed to being around other kids, and learn to socialize.

    Once I went off to pre-school, I didn't really participate in class like kids normally do. When the teacher had all of the kids together reading stories, I would wander off and get into things around the classroom. I was very shy around the other kids and don't really ever remember talking to them.

    All of this continued all through grade school. I never really participated in class, and spent most of the day off in my own little world, daydreaming about anything you could imagine.....from thinking about stuff that happened in the past, or living an imaginary life. Students would often think I was staring at them or things on the wall, when in reality, I wasn't even paying attention to what my eyes looked like they were focused on, because I was off in my own world thinking. I would literally live an imaginary life, thinking about stuff like fixing things, flying airplanes that had my class mates or other people I knew on them, driving, and even helping people in emergencies.

    At recess, I would talk to imaginary friends, or pretend to do things. I would run around the playground pretending to drive my dad's pickup truck, and make the same kind of noise it made. I would also do things like pretend I was working on the truck, or act like I was driving places delivering things, or go around making strange noises. In the winter when the weather was bad and we stayed inside for recess, we would have recess in the gymnasium. All of the other kids would do things such as play basketball, jump rope, ETC, and I would go off on the side where the lunch serving area was and pretend that I was working in a restaurant cooking meals and serving drinks. I did this all the way up until I left grade school and went to jr. high.

    At home, I would also make strange noises, and daydream. I had an obsession with appliances, especially air conditioners and furnaces. I liked the sounds of the washer and dryer, and would be known to stand around them when they were running and play with the dials. We got a dishwasher when I was in the 2rd grade, and the first few times my mom ran it, I got a chair and put it in front of the dishwasher and sat there and listened to it and watched it go through it's entire cycle, and used to get mad when they would run it after I went to bed because I wanted to be around when it was running. (Yes I know...sounds OUT there...)

    I would also go and sit outside and live an imaginary life of fixing things like cars and lawn mowers, and make the noises of them starting and running. I did this when the neighbors were out, and actually truely thought that I could make these noises and have the neighbors think that it was an actual car running. My mom would hear me and tell me to stop, and I would honestly wonder how she knew it was me making the noise and not an actual car or lawn mower.

    Whenever I saw an air conditioner, I would go and check it out and try to see it running. If I was in someone's house, I would always go look at the furnace, and did the same thing when we were in motels. To this day, for some reason unknown to me, I still like the sound of an air conditioner running.

    Whenever I was in a building and I got the chance, I would flip any switch I could find and go looking for mechanical rooms for furnaces and air conditioners, and try to turn them on and see them run. I would get into things like plumbing access and turn any valve I could find.

    I can even remember a few times when I was 9 or 10, when we were out running errands, and I would actually point out whenever I saw a house with a window air conditioner, and whenever I was in a place that had one, I would look at and play with the controls. I would even draw pictures of air conditioners in school, and talk about them all the time, and would always ask the teacher why the heater in the classroom never cycled off and on like the furnace at home.


    I was 12 when I started jr. high (7th grade.) Once starting jr. high, the daydreaming in class continued, as well as doing strange things to try to get attention. I would walk by people at random in the halls that I didn't even know and say things like "Hi weirdo!" I found out that in the jr high all of the classroom's heating units had control panels on them for the fan and temperature, and would play with them before class started and the teacher came in, and I remember one time even making the noise of an air conditioner running all during class and making the other kids mad.

    I would walk up and down the halls cussing and talking to imaginary friends, and every once in a while I'd leave class to go to the restroom and go out screaming cuss words in the halls, and then laughing about it.

    After my first 3 weeks in jr high, the principal sent me out of the school, and placed me in a behavior disorder (BD) classroom that was at the other jr high in town. By the end of the year, I had earned my way back into all of my regular classes, but I still did odd stuff like run up behind other students screaming at them trying to scare them.

    The next year, we had moved to another town, and I once again started off in all regular classes. I think my 8th grade year was the absolute worst year of my school life as far as my behavior. From the very first day, I cussed for no reason, and towards the end of the year would proudly go around saying that there wasn't a day during the school year I didn't cuss at least 50 times. I would bring odd stuff to school just to go around showing it off and laughing about bringing it to school. I brought everything from tools to flashlights and anything i could grab and hide in my pocket - one day it was a light bulb, the next time it was a TV remote, just any little odd thing I could think of. All of the kids used to laugh at me for this, and for some reason, I loved it.

    That entire year, I went around telling people that I worked for this heating and air conditioning company in town. I even told them I had my own company truck and went around fixing furnaces and air conditioners after school. None of them believed me, and some of my class mates actually knew some of the people that worked for the company I said I worked for, and asked them if they knew who I was and of course, they did not. But I just wouldn't give it up and kept it up by saying stuff like "oh I know that person, and I told them if anyone ever asked about me not to tell them they know who I am." I even went so far as to wear a garage door opener on my belt like it was a pager and tell everyone that it was my pager for work. Everyone knew it was a garage door opener but I just kept insisting, no it's not, it's a beeper. Has anyone ever heard of someone doing something so "out there" like this?

    After my 8th grade year, my dad's job ended up having us move back to our original town. We moved back the week before school started. My freshman year was no better than my 8th grade year. I again told everyone that I worked for a heating and A/C company in town and told them all the same stories. Again, I got the same responses and some of the kids knew some of the people that worked there, who said they had no idea who I was, but I just would not give it up.

    All through high school, I would antagonize people on purpose and get them so mad they were ready to knock me out, and when they were about to it, I'd literally take off running away.

    During the 2nd half of my sophomore year, I started telling people I worked for the fire department going out with them on calls and washing the fire trucks. Again, no one believed me, and again, some of the kids knew people that worked on the fire dept, and they had no idea who I was. Again I kept persistant that I worked there no matter what anyone said, and I even went so far as to take an old radio I had and spray paint it black and fix it up to look like a real 2-way radio and would clip it to my belt and walk around telling everyone it was a fire dept. issued radio. When I was about to turn 16! I had this portable police scanner that I would also clip to my belt and go out walking around the neighborhood or around down acting like I was talking on it every time omeone was out or a car went by.

    My junior and senior year improved just a LITTLE. I wasn't as wild as I used to be, but I still did nothing but daydream in class. I barely graduated by the skin of my teeth, thanks to being in Special Education.


    After graduation I went off to tech school. I did very well, and when I graduated, I had barely missed the honor roll club. I decided I wasn't going to act dumb once I went off to school, but I do remember one occasion where I again took my portable scanner and went to the mall and walked around acting like I was talking on it pretending to be a security guard.

    I am now 31 years old, and for many years now, i think back to these days and think about the stuff I used to do, and I wonder to myself just exactly what it was that made me want to act like this and do those kind of things. I am embarrassed when I think of what all the other class mates must think of me to this day. What I have written here tonight is only just the tip of the iceberg of the kind of stuff like this I used to do.

    This behavior got me in a lot of trouble, at school and at home. my parents thought I was just being a brat and that I knew better, so my dad would not get me a lot of the help that the teachers had suggested. But looking back and thinking about it, I really couldn't help it. It was just the kind of person I was and to this day I just can not think of a reason why I acted like this as opposed to living a life and behaving like the rest of my class mates.

    If anyone out there has ever heard of anything like this and has any idea what could make someone be like this, I would love to hear from you.

    I know it's dead and buried in the past now, and I'm glad that I changed and I am not like this anymore. But I just wonder to this day what was wrong with me, and why I acted like this.
     
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hello! I think this could be a number of things or a combination of things. The way your family reacted to it plays into it but there really might have been something going on with you that needed a more attentive intervention. I think you could talk to a neuropsychologist and see if it would be worthwhile to have neuropsychologist testing done. You mention that your story doesn't cover everything so I'm not sure if you are still having problems and that is why I'm saying "maybe" about the testing. Still, if you aren't having any problems as an adult, a neuropsychologist might be able to help you decipher some of this and pput your mind at ease.
     
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, I'd bet my bottom dollar you've got some sort of Autism Spectrum Disorder going on.

    I am on the Spectrum as well, and I'm nearly twenty years older than you are. I'd bet that if you are functional today you've managed to learn a lot of the covert social skills.

    They are regular diagnosing ASDs in adults now, despite only classical autism being recognized in small children. In fact, when I was a small child my issues were written off to poor parenting, aka the "Refrigerator Mom" syndrome.

    It was thought that us Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) folks were that way as a result of not getting enough love and attention from their parents.

    That is NOT true. The ASDs are a spectrum of disorders with varying degrees of expression and severity.

    One thing that has been proven over and over again is that ASDs are the result of a fault in brain wiring, could be due to outside influence during pregnancy, but in most cases it shows up as a mutation.

    In my case, my family is RIDDLED with autism of various types. My mother's an Aspie, my grandfather is one, one of my mother's brothers is one.

    In fact, several years ago a major medical school did a study on the heredity of ASDs. I'm sure they were quite surprised to see three generations of us on the doorstep.
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree whole-heartedly with GN. :)

    Welcome.

    Hugs
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with GoingNorth. Sounds like Aspergers.
     
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi gbhut, welcome to our forum. Aside from the problems I'm sure you encountered along the way, I was truly smiling as I read your post. I used to be involved in another forum where parents would frequently describe their children as being totally crazy about air conditioners (or bathroom fixtures trains, logos, alphabet letters, numbers on the theater seats, etc.). I understand the challenging aspects of such obsessions but I always appreciate the determination of a determined adventurer.

    There's a site called Wrong Planet that is mostly adults with varying degress of Autism or Autistic traits, most of them with Asperger's Syndrome. I know in the discussion forums you'll find kindred spirits in the love of mechanical things there(!), and possibly find answers to your searching.
    http://www.wrongplanet.net/

    If you don't mind my asking, what would you say helped you through the process of changing?

    SRL

    PS At my house we call the kitchen (or bathroom) concoctions 'potions" and direct the concocters to less expensive ingredients. :D
     
  7. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Asperger's.
     
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Definitely was sounding like Asperger's as I read it. Very high-functioning, though, with the level of imaginative play. However, the imaginative play and the lying about stuff to do with it was all surrounding machines and their noises (as well as how they work) and trucks and people that use trucks and machinery.

    The lying - it would have been very obvious to people around you, even if you think it wasn't. Sometimes when lies are repeated and are also really obvious, people just shrug and stop challenging them. I'm betting that you didn't fool anybody for long, but they gave up trying to insist that you were lying, and just left you to play your own games.

    Some of what you describe sounds a little like me when I was young; some of it sounds a lot like difficult child 3. And interestingly, some of it sounds a vast amount like an old school friend of easy child 2/difficult child 2's, in Grade 7. This girl was telling these sort of lies and creating "evidence" to prove her lies. Nobody was fooled, except perhaps tis girl who probably thought everyone believed her. she lost all friends except for easy child 2/difficult child 2 (who was too loyal for her own good, and who is probably Aspie herself) and the girl never returned to school for Grade 8 even though she was still under the legal age to leave school. She simply stopped ALL schooling. Interestingly, this girl had a brother who was profoundly autistic. Non-verbal, also allowed to do whatever he wanted. The only help the boy got was at school; no other therapy. The mother was a lousy parent and just let her kids run wild. easy child 2/difficult child 2 stayed overnight a few times and was horrified at the way the boy would get up at any time of the day or night and raid the pantry for any white pouring stuff (flour, sugar, coconut, salt) and would pour it all over the dining table in order to make landscapes. The stuff would be just left there (including stuff that would bring vermin such as ants).
    The girl was insisting to all her classmates that Zac Hanson (of the boy-band, the Hansons) was in love with her and was a regular visitor, sneaking into the country and out again. She produced a letter allegedly written by him and signed by him but easy child 2/difficult child 2 said the handwriting was obviously hers (complete to the way she would turn every dot in her handwriting into a small heart) and the signature had been traced off the Hanson poster on the girl's bedroom wall.

    Bleedin' obvious to all, except this girl who insisted this was all true.

    It was the depth of the fantasy life which at the time led me away from Asperger's being likely; but form what I now know, Aspies CAN imagine and can have complex fantasies. They DO try to lie, but are actually a lot worse at it than they think. They can tell more complex lies than autistics

    I talk about lying but please don't be offended - all kids try to lie. Most are very good at it. Spectrum kids are much worse at it than they think and after a while most learn to stick to the truth, it's easier.

    You sound like you have adapted well to a normal social life. That happens. I wish I could write more, but life is now intruding and I have to leave this and maybe get back to you later!

    Glad to have 'met' you. I wish I'd been around when you were growing up, I think you and I would have been friends.

    Marg
     
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