So, this is me.
My name is Mark. I was born on the 16th of January 1977 and I was born with Aspergers Syndrome. I was an awkward child who probably didn't have the most auspicious start in life.
My mother left my father during pregnancy for someone else. Shortly after I was born I was sent to live with my mothers parents, while my mother moved far away to raise a new family. I never saw my father again.
I loved my grand parents dearly. My grandfather was a remarkable man who had a kind, generous and loving soul. He passed away when I was nine years old. My grandparents where happily married for fifty years, and after my grandfather died she went into a period of morning which to this day has never really ended, leaving little time for maternal affection, although I know she loves me dearly.
I missed my grandfather a great deal. I have always had trouble saying goodbye to people, I find the emotions that sad situations stir within me troublesome and overwhelming, and I struggle to cope with them.
My memories of childhood are mainly of being alone in my room. I didn't make friends easily, and struggled to make friendships last when people came in and out of my life. I have always preferred my own company, but having said that I am also prone to feeling lonely.
I was a bright child, able to read at an adult level by the time I started school at the age of four, but I found school a frightening place. I was never good with play ground politics, and I was certainly the shy kid in the class. I was also an underachiever at school, never volunteering answers or information, simply because it was an interaction that I didn't feel comfortable with. I knew I was intelligent, but it became apparent very quickly to me that knowing everything was not a particularly good way to win friends. I did the work that was required of me, no more, no less.
At home, however, things where different. In the comfort of my own little room, and my own little world I was free to explore the things that interested me. I visited the library diligently every week and read books on any subject I was interested in, as many as three books every week.
Secondary school went very much the same way; the only difference was that I was even less interested. I was still seen as shy and probably quite ignorant of others and unapproachable. In a way at some level I think I may have preferred it that way.
By my third year of secondary school, the decision was taken to put me in the bottom group of my year, mainly because I just couldn't bring myself to do any homework as I found it uninteresting. I think the teachers assumed I had a learning disability. I didn't really care much though.
Social interaction on any real level has always been very difficult for me. I feel uncomfortable in most social situations. I am very shy around new people. I feel nervous and anxious in social situations like parties, even when they involve family members that I have known all of my life. In these situations I embarrass easily because I don't naturally understand social queue?s and often put my foot in my mouth, that is, when I talk at all.
I chose not to go on to university despite having 10 A Grade GSCE?s and three A Grade A Levels. I couldn't cope with any more of the social pressure that education was putting on me. One of my happiest memories is walking away from school for the last time.
Since that time I have worked a lot of relatively menial jobs which involve limited interaction with people.
I have managed to have a couple of relationships; the first was when I was 21 years old. She was a nurse and very intelligent, but sadly she was also an alcoholic, and she treated me very badly, even violently at times. I struggled with that, as I couldn't understand how you can care so deeply for someone, but hurt them so deeply at the same time.
The next relationship I had is the one I am still in. She is a remarkable person who has been through more in her life than most people can possibly imagine. She is funny bright and patient with me. She is my life, we have been together for six years and I couldn't be happier, and as much as I can talk openly to anyone, I can talk to her. That isn't to say that she doesn?t get exasperated at times. She has always told me that I sell myself short, and much more often since I took an IQ test.
I still get anxious about things; I still have difficulty sharing my emotions and thoughts. I still enjoy my own company and I suppose I am still an underachiever (I design websites now), but for the first time in my life I feel as though I don?t feel like an outsider all the time, just now and again, which is nice.