A good illustration of the process of my writing this book…
As part of the process of (self) publishing my book detailing my experiences with having Asperger’s, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, I am posting excerpts of the book on this site on a monthly basis, to get it publicity and to hopefully raise interest.
Having started this last month with a few paragraphs from Chapter One, here is an excerpt from Chapter Two, titled “Shut Up, Derek!”, which describes the times I said inappropriate things and not only never realizing they were inappropriate, but feeling oppressed, like I was denied my First Amendment right, because I wasn’t being allowed to express myself the way I wanted.
Along with describing a pretty bad incident I did and a harrowing near-incident that if successful, I wouldn’t be writing this now.
Here it is:
“…I would be expressing myself, using what I thought was my first amendment rights in saying things, and someone would look at me with an annoying expression and say in a puzzlingly angry way, ‘Shut up, Derek!’
And my brain would always wonder, sometimes verbally, why that was said since I had done nothing wrong.
Consequently, I saw anyone who told me to shut up as an enemy, or someone who saw me as one; who hated me – or at least disliked me – for no reason, someone who was maliciously trying to deny me my basic American right to free expression, which around 350 million other residents of these United States have.
It was like everyone had the right to express themselves however they damn well pleased except me, as every instance of someone trying to hush me up made feel like I was in a North Korean prison camp being straitjacketed and chained up like a pit bull, being unnecessarily restricted by what I could and could not say.
There were several of these negative events (people telling me to shut up in not a nice way, like they hated me) that I can recall as clearly as I can recall what I had for breakfast this morning, reminders of how my aspie brain had and still has rendered me as an annoying, insensitive dork with too many people as far as my vocal interactions.
…my reaction to…(seemingly) everyone’s assessment of me fluctuated between feelings of bewilderment over people having such negative vibes regarding me when in my mind I didn’t do anything to them, and anger over these people trying to deny my first amendment right to free speech.
This anger manifested itself by me forcefully saying ‘Shut me up!’, trying to fight the oppression that according to my Asperger’s brain those who were telling me to shut it were trying t do, but even that didn’t compare in the slightest to what I did to a girl one night during my days at SMC (short for Santa Monica College, which is how we all referred to the place), which is SO hard to think about today because it was SO unforgivably heinous.
It happened during an SMC football game – the minor leagues of college football – sometime during my second year there.
Too many folks didn’t understand me back in the day because of this, which I wouldn’t even know about until the mid-90s and which socially cost me SO much…
I was commenting about the football players on the field – I don’t recall what I said and I definitely didn’t think whatever I did say was bad at all – when this girl, whom I had known since junior high and was never really friends with in the first place, her seemingly finding fault with everything I said and commenting how dumb it was, told me to…
‘Shut up, Derek. Just shut up.’
Feeling like I was being treated like shit for no reason other than being myself by someone who I felt had oppressed me that way more than once before, dating back six years to that point, I snapped and did something that NO guy should EVER do to a female.
I hauled off and punched her on the shoulder.
You are now free to call me a loser and a punk for hitting a girl; I’ll wait…
Just as you would figure, everyone was understandably pissed off at me beyond belief; I still wonder why I wasn’t suspended from school for what I did.
What happened next was a continuation of me snapping, as I proceeded to go up to the top of the bleachers, which was easily a couple of hundred feet high if not more, and started to put one leg over a wall, intending to jump off. One other acquaintance who likewise never liked me sneeringly commented that I was trying to get attention, which I don’t deny – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.
I obviously didn’t put my other leg over that back wall and go through what at that moment I had intended to go through, else you wouldn’t be reading this book.
It was also clear that what I was suffering from along with Asperger’s was something which I honestly feel had stemmed from all those people seemingly oppressing, abusing, and bullying me throughout my life:
After I put my leg back on the safe side of the stands, I issued my apologies to the girl who I punched and everyone else, then sat in my seat…but not really giving my full attention to the game the way I normally would due to me feeling lower tan a slug buried sixteen feet under, which I wouldn’t have minded being that night.
Pretty traumatic stuff, eh?
While I never hit any girls or women or attempted suicide again, there were more incidents of me feeling like I was in a prison in North Korea due to people telling to shut up for what in my mind was no reason in this chapter.
For details, read the book when it comes out.
BY THE WAY: Next month I’ll post an except from Chapter Five, “The Bullied Life”, which is self-explanatory…
An illustration of how I wrote my first draft of WALKING ON EGGSHELLS…