Abbie P: Notes toward an extreme rationalization.
I was 10 years old and the Doctor was telling my mother that I had Aspergers Syndrome. My mother was nodding and saying, 'I always knew there was something wrong.' Something was happening to me inside- when the white noise is so loud it deafens you and the desire to cover your ears with your hands is difficult to suppress, although it would be pointless.
I ran from the room and into the car park. I found my mother's car and I kicked the bumper until it fell off. I waited in the front seat. She shouted but I can't remember anything, which is strange, because I usually remember everything. I spent the next six years denying my diagnosis , because it justified my refutation of my mother.
I was 11, and we were camping. Me, my step-father, my mother, my mother's best friend and her husband, my mother's best friend's daughter and son. I woke up in the middle of the night and I heard my mother say exactly this;'I do not see her as a daughter anymore, I just don't love her.' I should have vomited. I should have screamed. I should have done something, anything. But I didn't. That was five years ago, and I still haven't so much as hinted towards my having heard my mother's confession, of her not loving me.
She moved 300 miles away to Cornwall when I was 12. I moved in with my father and step-mother, who mean well but sometimes get it wrong. I find it hard to forgive, but I forgive them anything; we can only truly progress into adulthood when we acknowledge and accept that our parents are merely human beings and
that they too will make mistakes. I cannot allow this ideal rationalization to my mother. She will always be to me what kryptonite is to Superman- she imbues me with weakness.
I do not know if my mother said that because she was angry, and that she didn't really mean it. I will never know because I will never ask. I wanted so much for her to be wrong. For her insistance of my diagnosis to be wrong. But the vastness of the things that I do not understand make me want to run away sometimes, and I can be in a room full of people, swelling with the sounds of laughter, and I can feel like a single cell organism cast adrift into an indeterminate universe.
I am 16 now. I have Aspergers Syndrome. I surpassed my predicted GCSE results, and I am currently studying for my History, English Literature and English Language A-levels. I want to go to Exeter University, and I want to travel. I have friends, and although they do not understand me and are often ignorant, I love them. I love my father and step-mother with a ferocity that can make me weep. I love my mother too. When we study love's usual effects, it is more similar to hatred than it is friendship. I could let myself become immobilized by the inevitable darknesses of life; I could double over with the weight of the knowledge that life will always be that much harder for me than it will be for my friends, I could vomit. I could scream. Rather, I will go on. In the words of Samuel Beckett; 'You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.'