I am just posting this in the MH forum too, just in case there are people here who can also help:
When I was younger, I didn't really have the best of starts. My mum was very unwell, so could not work, and my dad left when I was a young age. He would spit in my face, and shout at me a lot. When I was about 12, I had call the Police a lot, as was either shouting at me or my mum, hitting her, or pouring orange juice over her head. My dad left when I was 12. I was put on the Child Protection Register, and was only removed when it was certain that he would not be returning to the family home, and after my grandparents had paid £5,000 to replace the doors he had punched, and the kitchen ceiling he had brought down. If it weren’t for my grandparents, I would have been taken in to care.
Between the age of 14 and 16, my mum had fallen seriously unwell. I would help the best I could to care for her, but it was very bad. There was no heating in the house over winter, and there was no one to cook meals. My daily dinned consisted of. McDonalds meal, and a load of sweets, crisps and general junk food I would buy out of Home Bargains. My mum couldn’t work. The only household income was what she received in state benefits. I received Free School Meals, but I had so little confidence, I never went to the dining hall to receive them. I just stayed in the library at break times. My weight substantially increased with such a diet. By the time I became 17 my weight was 110KG. I was so shy in school. I just sat in the back of the class and got on with the work. All of this went unnoticed and I did not know at that time that I should have asked for help.
What got me through it was that I had a flicker of hope: education. I knew that if I worked hard, I would get out that situation. I would work every night, just to really give myself something to do, and have something to aspire to. I fully focused on education at school, and didn’t take any interest in social affairs.
It worked. My GCSE results, despite my target grades being all A/B grades were outstanding. I received 13A* grades. I was so proud of achieving these grades, in such circumstances.
I never really engaged socially in school at all at GCSE level. Firstly, receiving only state benefits, my mum couldn’t really afford to send me to extra curricular clubs. Secondly, I was so fixated on academic achievement, to escape the circumstances I was in.
Not engaging socially didn’t really bother be then. I always had hope that one day, the academic achievement would see me reach a good university, and ultimately, happiness.
I continued to isolate myself during sixth form – working very hard, with a dream of reaching university. I had such high aspirations – I look back now, and realise they were unrealistic.
Thankfully, my mum began to get better as I began sixth form. She began to get the professional help she needed, and things began to improve. She is now getting better. One day, hopefully soon, she will be able to get a job.
I worked very hard throughout my A’ Levels. I attained fantastic grades – A*A*A*AA, that enabled me to attain a place at a top 5 Uni. I had never been happier. I left school having having achieved my dream - I had reached a very top Uni that would stand me in great stead for the future.
I have just completed my first year at Uni - I got a promising mark in my first year - 67 - but amidst such a struggle. Earlier in the year, having displayed some difficulties and having being recommended for an assessment, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. I haven't told anyone apart from the University this, as in all honesty, I have felt really bad about it. I keep focussing on the negative aspects of the diagnosis, despite my Uni emphasising that it is a good thing which will enable me at access support.
I am just a bit worried about my future, and would be grateful for any advice.
I know the I have the intellect to have a great future and hopefully make a really positive impact on many peoples lives - however, I am just worried that the Aspergers Syndrome and my poor family background will hold me back - how can I possibly escape them?
I just worry especially with the Aspergers, I will always struggle to make meaningful social connections, and as a result, always be lonely. I really worry myself at the thought of growing old and going through all of the ill-health which can occur at that age totally isolated and alone, with no family around me. I just think that I had such a difficult and isolated childhood that karma would say that I will have a happier future. I know that you can never leave anything to chance like that, or live in self-pityness, so I am working so hard at Uni to try and make a good future for myself.
I am just worried that because of my Aspergers and poor family background, with no connections in the world of work, I will struggle to find any meaningful place in this world despite my efforts.
Please could you advise me if there is any help out there for people with Aspergers who are trying to make a success of Uni and a way in the world, or if there are any coping strategies that you know of.
How can I escape my tough start, Asperger's and loneliness and find happiness? Watch
- Thread Starter
I would say just be yourself. University students are more mature and will except you more. Asperger's is apart of you and there is nothing wrong with it. You are a human being with many talents and skills. I wish you all the best. There are mental health and learning disability services in university that can help you adapt to the university lifestyle.