on the spectrum

‘That’s you!’ my wife said. I watched the TV screen carefully. Suddenly, my whole life made sense. I am autistic.’: Man discovers he’s autistic at age 32, now ‘happy, flourishing’

“Growing up, my mom always slapped me when I acted ‘weird,’ calling me ‘broken.’ I gave up on being loved and turned violent. I just felt angry all the time. I stopped caring about everything, especially myself, and contemplated suicide. Then, I met Sylvia. She understood me, she saw past the self loathing and the anger. She saw the real me, the loving me. She broke down the barrier I had put up to protect myself. I wanted to change for her. I wanted to deserve her.”

‘Charlie?! CHARLIE!’ My son wouldn’t look at me anymore. I didn’t even recognize him. My entire world came crashing down. The doctor told me ‘not to worry’. I later learned how wrong she was.’

“It all happened so fast. He stopped speaking altogether. I wasn’t hearing his sweet little voice saying ‘thank you’ after I gave him a cookie. He didn’t like to be touched anymore. He avoided people, even us, his parents. I wasn’t prepared to hear the diagnosis. It hit me hard. My jaw dropped.”

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