In This Post, I Worry About Worrying Too Much
I have a wonderful 6 year old daughter with Aspergers. She is smart, talented, beautiful, and absolutely amazing in every way possible. I am truly blessed to have her as a child. Despite these blessings, I am constantly worrying about raising her to become a “good person.”
I try my hardest to make sure she is a nice, well mannered child. Sometimes it’s difficult to do this with an Aspie child. People with Aspergers sometimes have a tough time being “nice” because it involves taking the emotions of others into account, which is notoriously difficult for Aspies. Teaching politeness is also a tough task because manners don’t always make logical sense (for example: If you are going to get yourself a glass of water, get me one too; I shouldn’t have to say please because you are already going to get a drink for yourself!). I want to make sure she lives a happy, successful life. Sometimes I worry that she won’t have the tools she needs to achieve this because of her Aspergers.
But then I look at myself. Although I was never diagnosed, there is very strong evidence that I have Aspergers, as well. And, in my opinion, I have been pretty successful in life so far. I’ve also been generally happy (more so, in fact, since accepting my Aspie nature). So do I have to worry as much as I do?
I think about the stories my mom and older sisters tell me about when I was going to school when I was younger. They tell me how they were always so distraught about sending me to school, how much I hated it, how I was bullied constantly, and how it must have been torture for me.
I, of course, remember none of this.
From what I remember, school was pretty fun. I learned lots of stuff. I had friends (or, at least what I perceived to be friends at the time). There were lots of fun games and sports to play. I had a great time! I can’t remember specific instances of being bullied; perhaps some kids tried, but I just didn’t catch on. The worst thing I can think of is playing football in the schoolyard and nobody throwing the football to me. Oooooh, what a tragedy!!! Perhaps it’s the Aspie nature of being disconnected from my emotions that allowed me to be oblivious to the terrible things my family saw. It’s also possible that my family is kinda nuts and overdramatizing things.
So, now the roles are reversed – I’m the one wishing a happier life for my child, and she’s the one who is probably happier than I could imagine her to be. And if I turned out happy, successful, polite, and friendly, who says she won’t be able to do the same things I did?