Sometimes I joke that my life started when I was 39 years old.
That is not true of course. But it was the point and year (2017) when things finally started to make some sense. I started to hope and more importantly believe that there was something else to life.
Prior to that point of getting the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, I had spent most of my life struggling with different mental issues. I still do, but not to the degree, I’m used to.
I was raised in a mixed family; my mum and dad came from previous marriages with each two children, so when I was born, I had 4 half-siblings. I began life in Copenhagen but we have moved around a lot, mainly due to job changes of my father’s and seperations between my parents.
Growing up I was faced with alcohol abuse, bullying and sexual abuse at school and a home that was filled with a lot of sadness and exhaustion. In other words; I grew up way before I should’ve.
As you can read in My Aspergers or The Alien Life, I in addition to all of this, constantly had the feeling that I was “off”. It would be easy to blame my bulliers, but the alienated feeling started way before that. It felt like everybody else were knowledgable to unwritten rules or manuals, that I was not privy to. I believed to myself for one that I was English by the age of 4-5 and from “Sutton Sea” (turns out when I looked it up years later, that there was a town called Sutton on Sea, which I found extremely fascinating even if it is a coincidense) – and were extremely saddened when I learned I was not. It made me question if I had been misplaced at birth. Learning that this was not the case, I thought maybe some alien had dropped me off, switching the brains of the vessel that was my body. Obviously as I got older, I knew this could not be the case, which you’d think would calm me, but instead it became frustrating, because “if I was no different, then why did I feel so off?”. I didn’t tell my parents about any of this. I remember spending a lot of time wondering if they would become sad, if I asked them if I was adopted.
From a psychological point of view my life previous to my diagnosis was defined by depressions, anxiety, eating disorders, self harm, suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts. Emotionally the main issues were loneliness, alienation, anger, fear and sadness. In my adult life, trying to take on the grown up lifestyle with work, career and family, I could add multiple stress disorders to the list.
In 2015 I hit rock bottom again, this time deciding that enough was enough. I did a rough cut in Facebook friendship base, started opening up about mental illness and a while later opened up this website to emphasize that change. I needed answers and were determined to figure out, why I kept breaking down and why I seemed to not connect to the world. In 2017 I was being assessed for schizophrenia, had yet a break down, got hospitalized at the psychiatric hospital – and October 2017 I got the Aspergers diagnosis – and suddenly – after the initial shock and confusing – things started to make sense. Especially reading the book “AspienWoman” by Tania Marshall did wonders for me.
Since then it has been a slow but steady curve going up. I have my low points, but it seems like each low point is set a little higher than the previous. I have accepted that there are things I can’t do – but also things that I do better than most (not on a genius level, but still better) – resilience and perseverance are a few, I could mention.
I am getting there – and I’m not going to moonwalk my way there, because I can’t moonwalk – but I will rock all the way to the finish line. You can see that as either a reference to the genre, the autism – or both.
If you are Danish, why not write Danish?
I get this question occasionally, and while it somehow bothers me a bit, I also get, where it’s coming from.
You’ll have to understand that the Danish people is a very proud people; we care deeply about our national values and our history and our “ways”. This is not to be confused with nationalism and populism, although we have those types too (every country does) – we just care deeply about our legacy, reputation and our national DNA. This is of course also the case with our language. We have people who are very on the fence about our Danish vocabulary being “taken over” by English (which is kind of funny, because a lot of English words are actually rooted from Danish, from back when the first Viking crusades began in the years of ca. 800 and a hundred years on). So I do get a few remarks on “why” I do not write in Danish, especially since I myself take a lot of pride in my Danish ancestry.
There are two very simple reasons for that:
First off, as mentioned before, I grew up believing for some reason that I was English – this meant I very early on dabbled with English books and started teaching myself the basics, before school gave me English lessons. I think in English to this day – as well as dream in English. I don’t know why that is, but it IS!
Secondly, I started this blog primarily in Danish, but soon realized that the issues I touch and write about are not specifically Danish, but rather global matters. Mental illness or autistic trades does not confine themselves within national border lines. Since the very point of this blog is to reach out and cause awareness of these matters, to make the everyday life and thoughts of someone with a mental diagnosis visible to as many as possible, it seems rather unlogical not to write in English (which is the language that most people on the planet can understand – without competition).
It does not mean I don’t love my country or my language. There are in fact multiple fun and quirky things about our language, that doesn’t translate well into English. The metaphors we sometimes use to explain things are rather hilarious. Check out my Pinterest, I’ve pinned som “Danish Lessons” from another user on the platform – they try to explain some of the things we say and what they actually mean. It is also one of the hardest languages in the world, not due to vocubulary size, but rather our grammar, dumb letters and the way we sometimes bend the words, that changes vowels and in some case the appearance. Take “to lay” for instanse:
to lay – at lægge
he/she/it lays – lægger (this is pretty easy)
laid – lagde (and you don’t really hear either the g or the d – but rather a more j’ish sound)
have laid – har lagt (and here you hear the g of course – why keep it simple!)
Enough with the language course – suffice to say, I studied Danish at the University of Aarhus, so I do take a very great interest in our native tongue.
Philosophy of Rocking the Spectrum
Rocking the Spectrum – or RtS, for short – is my little baby!
Apart from that it is also where I indulge in my autistic interests, write about mental illness and autism in an effort to create a little courage with my readers, a little light and hope – while also letting people outside the spectrum and mental illness in general know that being mentally ill or having autism doesn’t have to be something that is difficult to talk about.
It is my hope that I can manage to clarify that stigmas and stereotypes are just that: simplified labels that are meant to categorize human beings, but essentially useless when it comes to defining the individual.
If you have met one [insert disorder or mental illness], you have met only one! What you have learned from that one person, does not mean you know everything about the condition or every individual having that condition.
We are as different as anybody else.
My vision with Rocking the Spectrum is to show one version, for inspirational use, additional knowledge (the key word being additional) and understanding.
I am not a therapist – nor will I ever be – and therefore anyone reading these posts and pages of mine, should regard my words as personal point of views and personal experiences. Any medical decision/change should be discussed with your own doctor/therapist.
I will – at all times and in any situation – always encourage you to seek professional help, if you are in need for such. It may seem like a hard task, and I agree, that is it not easy. But my experience is that asking for help is usually easier than you initially expect it to be.
My main message to you, as you read this is: regardless of your situation, condition or health issues – you are not alone.
Someone gets you! Someone loves you! Not for who you try to be, but for who you are.
Never let that out of your sight.
All my love to you… take care of yourselves.