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One of the most important facts I believe shapes my view of the world is that I have a high-functioning case of the Asperger spectrum of autism. It went undiagnosed until quite recently in my life, and I am now 35.
In 1978, I was born prematurely with hyaline membrane disease (now commonly called respiratory distress syndrome). I went without oxygen to my brain for an indeterminate amount of time. I also had fluid on my brain that had to be constantly drained. The first three months of my life were spent in an incubator, not held or hugged by humans. The reason for this plastic isolation bubble was to save my life. I can't help but wonder now if it is what so deeply damaged my ability to understand my own human emotions properly.
I always knew I was different from most of the kids in school. While other kids were on the playground or at lunch, I could be found in the library reading about physics, engine specs on World War II aircraft, and the Vietnam War. I was fascinated with how and why the world worked. I was able to get perfect grades in class without trying, and I was constantly admonished for being the class clown, talking too much, and staring out the classroom window. I was placed in academically gifted classes around the fifth grade and was beginning to excel. Of course, that all came to an abrupt end when I was sent to a forced child labor camp in Florida after fifth grade.
This time, I will give you more than a synopsis of the scenarios. As per reader requests from my first book, my thoughts will be included, instead of just my version of the resulting reality. Of course, along the way, I am going to tell you stories I can't tell my kids, yet. Seriously, if you know my kids, please don't give them a copy of this until they are at least 18 years old. I want them to still think I have all the answers for a while longer.
Some of these stories will make you laugh, and some of them will make you cry. Just know I am not making up stories to toy with your emotions. Our lives are often more bizarre than fiction. Writing these events down is simply my way of letting them go. I am learning to dissipate the anger and negative energy associated with the past and have entered a new state of bliss in my life that can only be described as transformative. I'm not proud of everything you will hear here. However, these stories are the truest versions of some of the more dramatic events of my life that I can recollect at this time.
These are events I do not feel comfortable sharing with my two young sons just yet. They are compiled into this audiobook: Stories I Can't Tell My Kids Yet.