Filling In the Blanks
Vacation trips to see my family are always interesting, and by interesting I mean both fun and extremely annoying at the same time. I am often triggered by mother, who still sometimes treats me as if I’m a child who needs help with everything (although, considering how my Aspergers affects me, can you really blame her?). Also, some members of my family tend to get extremely loud during the get-togethers, which creates an uncomfortable sensory experience for me. But, overall, I am glad to see them and I’m happy that I live close enough so I can visit without it being a big thing that requires months of planning ahead.
One of the most interesting things that always seems to happen is that my mother will end up chatting with me and my wife, and end up shedding some light on exactly how I was as a child. The discussion always starts with talking about how my daughter is progressing with school/dance/etc., but the conversation always veers towards how similar I was as a child. After each visit, I am invariably more certain in my Aspie diagnosis.
This time, my mom described how I was in grade school – at first, I found it hard to connect because I missed a significant portion of 1st grade due to health problems. My mother thought that I just got a late start socializing, however I suspect my Aspergers was to blame. She claims that once I got to high school I had a “troupe of friends following me around.” I doubt this is true; I was friendly with many people but didn’t hang out with many of them, and they DEFINITELY didn’t follow me around!
My mom has a tendency to sugar coat things (“no, you never had tantrums when you were a kid”) and/or distort memories to fit her liking, like the friends thing. If you take everything she says as truth, I was a perfectly normal kid. But if you pay attention to the small details she gives out – for example, during this trip I also found out that I went through a “phase” where I wouldn’t eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – you end up getting a different picture.