Dropped out of High School - My Meltdown(?)

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Zidiane
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07 Dec 2011, 2:08 pm

Hi. My name's Zidiane. I have Aspergers. Yeah...

Well, two years ago I dropped out of High School. I sort of had a Meltdown? I think? Anyway, I suffered through School (Even though I had people (Two) I liked, and even more who, for reasons I was never sure of, liked me) for four years. I had issues with writing; if I write for an extended period of time, my hand hurts and cramps up, so I failed English III, twice, because I avoided most of the writing assignments.

Up until this point I'd been really tolerant of many Social things. I could get through them because I knew they would end eventually. But after I got to this point, where I would be forced through an entire year of School Buses, crowded halls, the anxiety that anyone could talk to me at any given time, and on top of that, take English III, followed immediately by IV, which I wasn't entirely sure I could pass in one go...

Before this point I'd never broken the rules hardwired into my brain (Listen to Mom (Or Dad, if he was around...), try NOT to be rude, be polite, don't hurt others, help anyone being bullied, don't hit women (Once had my eye half gouged out and I still couldn't break that rule), etc.). I was very strict with myself, no matter how much I didn't (Or did) want to do it. Kinda like the laws of Robotics. But when All of those factors (In School) came together, I kinda broke... as much as I think I'd allow myself to (I'm nearly always in full mental control). I couldn't refuse direct instructions from my Mother, so instead I threw away my shoes so I COULDN'T go, or I'd stall until she left for work, or I walked purposefully slow to miss the bus until she finally gave up telling me to go after maybe two or three weeks of missing every day.

I guess that doesn't sound so bad, but it changed everything about how I deal with people. I used to be tolerant of others, I could ignore people (Without being rude, of course; as far as they knew, I was completely absolved in their conversation) while acknowledging and mentally cataloging the situation for anything else potentially helpful for later analysis (I work really hard for my Social Camouflage). But for a whole year, and probably several months (I can't remember that time too well), I could not be in any public place (With people in it) without breaking out into a cold sweat, shaking uncontrollably (Like I am now thinking about the situation), forgetting everything if talked to (Including my name), and I became unable to move if it was anything close to crowded (5 people within a 10 ft radius of me).

ANYWAY... after allllll that, there has to a point in here, right? Yeah... I can't remember it. There was one when I started typing... I think it was something about being unsure if this was considered a meltdown? When I hear of others' stories, they seem much more... extreme. Maybe it's because this is my story, but it doesn't seem AS significant. I THINK it's a Meltdown. I just want to know what to classify it. Regardless of what I call it, it has still radically altered my life.

Oh yeah. If anyone has had a similar event in their life (One that changed their once awesome camo.), can you tell me if it will come back? I really liked being able to hide and blend (Even though people seemed naturally attracted to me anyway, somehow). I can't go anywhere without people staring or avoiding eye contact anymore. My face turned from the Social Mask, the fake genuinely-interested-in-you-and-what-you-have-to-say mask, to my natural face, which comes across more as a thug's-murderous-glare, judging by reactions.



Basagu
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07 Dec 2011, 2:18 pm

A year ago i skipped 2 weeks of school without people noticing because i couldn`t take it anymore. I didn`t get bullied at that point or anything and i don`t know really why i did it.

I noticed a big change in my behaviour after that, i used to be able to let people be when they ated stupid but not anymore. I found out that they do get on my nerve but instead of me getting irritated i get tired.

Although people at my school thought it was awesome i skipped so long without noticing and it didn`t break my camo. I noticed i viewed the world different after all of this.

And it all happened for no obvious reason nor do i know why i changed so drastically in those 2 weeks...


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Robdemanc
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07 Dec 2011, 3:48 pm

The same kind of thing happened to me at 15. I stopped taking anything to do with school seriously and used to not go to school at all, and would be argumenatvie with people when I did. Before this I was a good kid.

I don't think you had a meltdown, I would describe more os burnout. You reached a point where you didn't want to keep making the effort for no apparent returns. I think most NT's will make efforts throughout life because they get returns from their social lives. But because we can't we soon start to think "why bother".

Just find what you like and stick with that, try to earn a living from something that interests you. I ended up going to university ten years after leaving school because I became interested in computing.



theWanderer
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07 Dec 2011, 4:19 pm

I don't know if it was a meltdown, it felt much different, but I hit a breaking point when I was about 18 - it was more the cumulative effect of too many things piling up on me at once, more like yours, but it shifted my life to the point everyone asked "what happened to you?". From my reading on Wrong Planet, I'd guess that many (but not all) of us hit a similar breaking point somewhere between about 16-20. My own theory on that is that those of us who do are the ones who were unable to learn to "fit in" well enough, because we just don't work like everyone else. And the strain finally catches up with us. But that's just my theory, and I'm not even certain of it myself, especially as I had other issues going on. (I'm legally blind, and was overprotected. The breaking point, for me, was figuring out that I'd been so overprotected that I just wasn't ready to be an "adult", even though everyone suddenly expected me to be. How bad was that? The day before my eighteenth birthday, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere on my own. Or do anything except what my father approved. I hit eighteen, and I was expected to figure out college and then get a job without hitting any speed bumps along the way... So that was a big factor for me, along with all the other issues I'd been struggling with. And my visual problems, as I've finally figured out years later, tend to "heterodyne" with my sensory issues, complicating some of those.)

On a side point, if you can't take writing for a long time because your hand cramps - that's because you're using a modern pen, a ballpoint or a gel pen, something that requires pressure. With a good fountain pen, you don't need to grip the pen, or press down on it very hard, just hold it so the nib moves across the page. I speak from experience: I used to get those hand cramps, when I was young and used ballpoints. Still do, when I've tried gel pens for long. But I can write with a fountain pen for hours on end without getting them (you do have to unlearn the tendency to bear down on the pen, first - if you press too hard, you'll actually wreck the nib). Sorry. :oops: Fountain pens are one of my obsessions... Every single pen (even a supposedly "identical" one) has its own characteristics and 'personality'.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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07 Dec 2011, 5:11 pm

Zidiane wrote:
. . . I used to be tolerant of others, I could ignore people (Without being rude, of course; as far as they knew, I was completely absolved in their conversation) while acknowledging and mentally cataloging the situation for anything else potentially helpful for later analysis (I work really hard for my Social Camouflage). But for a whole year, and probably several months (I can't remember that time too well), I could not be in any public place (With people in it) without breaking out into a cold sweat, shaking uncontrollably (Like I am now thinking about the situation), forgetting everything if talked to (Including my name), and I became unable to move if it was anything close to crowded (5 people within a 10 ft radius of me). . .

Do you think this might be that you are angry/disappointed that no one tried to help you when you were down?

I crashed in 11th grade (age 16). And even though I had been a good student the previous two years, no teacher reached out to try and help me.

At long last, I pretty much decided that this is the baseline at which bureaucratic institutions generally operate, and it's only the occasional act of grace or the occasional act of kindness in which a person rises above this.



Mike1
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07 Dec 2011, 7:14 pm

If I hadn't gone to a technical high school I probably would have gone mad after awhile and dropped out. Now that I'm in college I don't have as much ambition as I had in high school. My trade at my technical high school gave me a greater purpose in life, although I kind of enjoyed my academic classes too. Now I just have academic classes, most of which are related to my trade but not as exciting. I don't have a problem excelling at almost every school subject and contributing to the class, but I need to have a lot of time to do fun things like play video games or else I get depressed and demotivated. I manage to do well in most of my classes with little effort, but sometimes I'd kind of like to quit college because there are many things about it that annoy me like tuition bills, class registration, writing essays, and many other smaller things. I'd rather spend my time teaching myself things over the internet because it's free, I can learn at my own pace, I can skip over the stuff I already know, and there's no homework or tests. I still learn things over the internet sometimes when I have the free time even though I'm in college. Right now I'm working on teaching myself a second language. I don't have much desire to have a successful career or make a lot of money because I already have most of the things that I want in life. I mostly just want to be as smart as I possibly can. By the time I die I want to have an excellent understanding of physics and engineering down to the quantum level, be able to solve the most complex math problems, know an extremely broad range of world history, understand psychology in depth, be able to speak many languages, and have a lot of knowledge in many other areas. I don't know if I'll ever be able to achieve this level of intelligence, but it is more important to me than being outwardly successful, although outward success will probably come with it. I am already a walking encyclopedia at age 18 and I hope to continue expanding my knowledge.



Zidiane
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08 Dec 2011, 12:12 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Do you think this might be that you are angry/disappointed that no one tried to help you when you were down?

I crashed in 11th grade (age 16). And even though I had been a good student the previous two years, no teacher reached out to try and help me.

At long last, I pretty much decided that this is the baseline at which bureaucratic institutions generally operate, and it's only the occasional act of grace or the occasional act of kindness in which a person rises above this.


I'd never considered that a possibility... But, no, I don't think so. I honestly didn't care about any of them (Except one student and one teacher), but one of my teachers did try to help me. He suggested Home School (He taught CA, with other kids with similar ailments, so he understood why I couldn't be there any more), but that didn't pan out.

theWanderer wrote:
I don't know if it was a meltdown, it felt much different, but I hit a breaking point when I was about 18 - it was more the cumulative effect of too many things piling up on me at once, more like yours, but it shifted my life to the point everyone asked "what happened to you?". From my reading on Wrong Planet, I'd guess that many (but not all) of us hit a similar breaking point somewhere between about 16-20. My own theory on that is that those of us who do are the ones who were unable to learn to "fit in" well enough, because we just don't work like everyone else. And the strain finally catches up with us. But that's just my theory, and I'm not even certain of it myself, especially as I had other issues going on. (I'm legally blind, and was overprotected. The breaking point, for me, was figuring out that I'd been so overprotected that I just wasn't ready to be an "adult", even though everyone suddenly expected me to be. How bad was that? The day before my eighteenth birthday, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere on my own. Or do anything except what my father approved. I hit eighteen, and I was expected to figure out college and then get a job without hitting any speed bumps along the way... So that was a big factor for me, along with all the other issues I'd been struggling with. And my visual problems, as I've finally figured out years later, tend to "heterodyne" with my sensory issues, complicating some of those.)

On a side point, if you can't take writing for a long time because your hand cramps - that's because you're using a modern pen, a ballpoint or a gel pen, something that requires pressure. With a good fountain pen, you don't need to grip the pen, or press down on it very hard, just hold it so the nib moves across the page. I speak from experience: I used to get those hand cramps, when I was young and used ballpoints. Still do, when I've tried gel pens for long. But I can write with a fountain pen for hours on end without getting them (you do have to unlearn the tendency to bear down on the pen, first - if you press too hard, you'll actually wreck the nib). Sorry. :oops: Fountain pens are one of my obsessions... Every single pen (even a supposedly "identical" one) has its own characteristics and 'personality'.


Yeah... I hated when my Mom tried to force me to do College research. My Dad had me write a thousand word essay on each College I had to research. Very frustrating... but that was several months before my Burnout, so I don't think it played a role in my crash. And, my Mom does that all the time, the treating you like a Child one moment then treating you like an Adult the next. It's very confusing. I could take one or the other. Just wish she'd commit to one or the other.

Fountain Pens? Hmm... I will have to try them. While I AM a little skeptical, and I know that I tend to crush Pens and Pencils I try to use because I crush them, I will definitely have to try. And don't worry, I've seen much weirder obsessions. Yours is pretty tame, and not weird like... collecting teeth. Or toenail clippings. Or moths.

Mike1 wrote:
If I hadn't gone to a technical high school I probably would have gone mad after awhile and dropped out. Now that I'm in college I don't have as much ambition as I had in high school. My trade at my technical high school gave me a greater purpose in life, although I kind of enjoyed my academic classes too. Now I just have academic classes, most of which are related to my trade but not as exciting. I don't have a problem excelling at almost every school subject and contributing to the class, but I need to have a lot of time to do fun things like play video games or else I get depressed and demotivated. I manage to do well in most of my classes with little effort, but sometimes I'd kind of like to quit college because there are many things about it that annoy me like tuition bills, class registration, writing essays, and many other smaller things. I'd rather spend my time teaching myself things over the internet because it's free, I can learn at my own pace, I can skip over the stuff I already know, and there's no homework or tests. I still learn things over the internet sometimes when I have the free time even though I'm in college. Right now I'm working on teaching myself a second language. I don't have much desire to have a successful career or make a lot of money because I already have most of the things that I want in life. I mostly just want to be as smart as I possibly can. By the time I die I want to have an excellent understanding of physics and engineering down to the quantum level, be able to solve the most complex math problems, know an extremely broad range of world history, understand psychology in depth, be able to speak many languages, and have a lot of knowledge in many other areas. I don't know if I'll ever be able to achieve this level of intelligence, but it is more important to me than being outwardly successful, although outward success will probably come with it. I am already a walking encyclopedia at age 18 and I hope to continue expanding my knowledge.


A technical college probably wouldn't have helped me. It would have set me back more than anything, putting me on the wrong path. It wasn't until after I dropped out of school, bored out of my skull, that I discovered Fanfiction(dot)net and wrote for the first real time a Naruto Story and realized that I very much liked the taste of writing (With a keyboard).

I don't care about knowledge that much, as much as you do. I'm pretty smart, I understand things that I "shouldn't be able to grasp", but having all of that knowledge, or proving how smart I am to others has never seemed important or fulfilling, at all, to me. If I won't need it, then I don't want it. I have three goals in life: Become the perfect Social Cyborg(Earning a wife and at least one little daughter in the end), learn Japanese (Haven't started that one yet), and become a successful Writer (Books, Cartoons, Movies, Video Games). I've always wondered about Quantum Physics, and I have many experiments that I'd need access to a state of the art lab, many human subjects, and deep understanding of the human psyche... but most of my experiments aren't "Ethical", or are "Morally Atrocious". *Sigh*. Anyway, I would like to go to college to try to learn some more about Writing (Although I'm sure I won't learn as much as others, I've taught myself so much already I could publish a book when I get my computer fixed) and Psychology.



Silas
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08 Dec 2011, 3:28 pm

AS runs in my family and my wife's. We have two boys: one has AS and the other PDD-NOS

Both my boys are homeschooled. They are 8 and 6.

Looking back at my high school years, I honestly don't know how I made it through school. I was in Germany at the time, and there was no drinking age and little supervision. I HATED school from grades 8-12. I had problems with socialization (although I did have a few close friends--one of which probably had AS), and I had trouble with focus.

The biggest reason I struggled in school was that I had no "ownership" over my education: I have always had problems with authority (and still do). Forcing me to do things I do not find interesting is not productive.

When I got into college, I finally had some ownership over my education, and I thrived. Even though I still had some socialization problems my first couple of years, I did well academically, and went on to graduate school.

My children will have a completely different education than I did: they have no conception of learning as something you "have to do" or "work." I don't drill them relentlessly, teach to tests, and push some rigid curriculum at them. If my son wants to learn taxonomy, we go all-out and learn everything there is to know (or until he wants to move to something else). I use the public library, Internet, and tutors if necessary. There is no bullying in my homeschool: no snarky gossip, playground diplomacy, etc. There is only learning and fun.

Zidane: if you can get the GED out of the way, or finish high school, you can get to a point where you take ownership and control of your education. High school sucks, but if I made it through, so can you. Are you in the state or overseas?