My mother has realized after I became an adult that she is unusual when it comes to raising a special needs child. My mom thinks my in laws should have tried to do something about my husband’s feet than doing nothing about it or letting it rule their lives because my husband told me how they wouldn’t do things because of his feet so his brother and sister would get upset with him and he would always feel bad. I told my mother could she imagine what my life would be like if she always told people “Oh I am sorry my daughter did that but because that happened earlier in the day, it’s too late for me to do anything about it or else she won’t understand why because she is in the moment child.” I told her I have noticed how parents let their special needs kids get away with bad behaviors but it’s because they don’t know what to do about it or how to teach them and punishing them doesn’t do them any good so therefore they don’t know what to do so they do nothing. My mom said they don’t even bother to ask for help and they have too much pride and she is realizing how unusual she is. With me she had to take classes, learn to be visual, draw pictures, ask for help because she wanted me to be independent and live a normal life I can when I become an adult. I also told her imagine if she just thought I was a pathological liar instead and always lying to get out of trouble instead of knowing I am in the moment and she said I would probably be very scared and act like I am being abused because I was always being punished.
I am not sure how my mother knew but she says she was smart. There are other parents out there who just assume their kid is bad or a liar or just acting up instead of realizing they have a different brain wiring. I am not sure what my life would be like if I didn’t have a mother who understood me. Sure there were still misunderstandings like I had learned I was not allowed to have feelings or get upset and I was to hold them all in and I was to let little kids wreck my things. I had no idea those were my feelings and it never occurred to me to express these thoughts I had so therefore I had “chosen” to not share these. I also remember being afraid of punishments so I would lie to try and stay out of trouble and couldn’t be honest about it. I remember being told that telling the truth gets you out of trouble, I remember I was still in trouble when I told the truth about what i did wrong so I kept on lying. I realize now I took it too literal and what they probably meant was you get into less trouble if you tell the truth and I was only in trouble because I wasn’t honest about it but I had thought differently about it. No one ever told me and I never told anyone because I didn’t know. Sure I thought that I could do anything I wanted and just as long as I was honest about it I wouldn’t get into trouble but when i saw how wrong that was, I still continued lying by denying it. That is what literal thinking can do for a child. I was an adult when I had learned that “you break it, you buy it” to mean “do not touch anything unless you intend to purchase it” I always thought it meant if I broke something I would have to buy it, not that I couldn’t touch anything. It just meant I had to be careful when I look or else I will have to buy it if it breaks because I bumped it or dropped it.
But I have memories of being in the moment. I was four when my mom was pointing to the wall in front of the staircase saying I did all that. I didn’t know what she was talking about because I didn’t do it. I was coming down the stairs and she was saying I did it.
When I was six, I noticed my friend Stephanie had these buttons busted off her radio she had on her bike. I thought her brother did it because I had seen him be mean to her so I thought he took them off her radio. When I mentioned it to her she said I did it and I was confused and thought she was lying because I didn’t take those buttons.
When I was seven, I was sitting with my class after we got back from watching a movie in another classroom and the classroom aide told me I had stepped on his hand so I couldn’t have one of Amanda’s cupcakes. I told her I didn’t step on his hand. She called me a liar and made me sit out. I thought my teacher had accused me and I didn’t step on Sam’s hand. I didn’t touch anyone’s hand. Then when our real teacher came back to class after the little cupcake party and I had to watch all my classmates eat the cupcakes while I had to sit out and get none, I told my teacher about it and how Miss B said I stepped on his hand and I never did. Mrs. D talked to her and she came back and told me about when we were leaving class after the movie ended, Lee our old classmate, was playing with a toy and I stepped on his hand. I never stepped on his hand. I stepped on what he was making because I had never seen the toy and I wanted to know what it is so i felt it with my foot and I stopped when my teachers told me to but not right away because of processing speed delay I had so it took me longer to respond. My speculation is I maybe pissed him off when I did that so he told my teacher I stepped on his hand to get me into trouble. But I didn’t know this at seven years old so I was confused and thought I got into trouble for nothing.
I remember that same year it was about time for toy time and I overheard Mrs. D tell Jimmy and Joey and couple other kids that I can’t have toy time. Miss. B tells me she says I can’t have it so I had to sit at my desk with my head down. I have no idea why I had no toy time, I didn’t do anything. Mrs. D said I sat in the dress up box and I said I never did. I never touched the box but I had to sit out. Then at the end of the day I said again I never sat in it and I remember Mrs. D saying “yesterday.” So there I was got punished for something that happened the day before and I was so confused about it because I couldn’t understand why I was punished for it the following day.
So as a child I thought you could be punished for anything. I could be punished for something I did when I was two and I was now eight. I also thought adults punished kids just to punish them and if they could decide to punish you for something you did a long time ago or from the day before or from the week before. Like my mom said I would probably have been very scared because I was always being punished and not understanding why. I would have just seen it as adults punishing me because they want to and I wouldn’t ever know when I was going to be punished because I could be punished for anything I did and I wouldn’t know what I would be punished for.