I’m going to share my story of how I discovered I have Asperger’s and then you can leave a comment below this video/article on why you think you have Asperger’s, how you got it, was it hereditary? Did you take a test? Just leave a comment below this video/article. Here’s Why I Have Asperger’s and Autism.
Why I Have Asperger’s and Autism
But I’m going to start at the very beginning of my life, and can fill you in on pieces and the clues that make up my life as a person with Asperger’s.
When I was two years old, I started rocking back and forth. We had a rocking horse in our house, and I used to get on that thing and just rock for hours at a time.
I used to look out the window at my dad who was building a sailboat in our backyard, and it was very entertaining to me, that was all I needed to be entertained.
When I got a little bit older, I switched to a rocking chair, and then when I was eight years old I decided just to rock on the floor while watching TV with my parents.
I was a very highly sensitive boy, and my dad had an anger problem. He was basically a dry drunk. He didn’t drink but he had a lot of resemblances of an alcoholic. His dad was an alcoholic and he had a scary temper as well. My dad was frightened a lot when he was growing up.
So my dad had a lot of rage, and as a highly sensitive boy, I needed to create my own fantasy world, and rocking back and forth allowed me to not only reduce stress and feel safe, but I was able to daydream.
I was very good at just playing with myself, I could ride my bicycle around in circles on our driveway for hours at a time. It didn’t take a lot of stimulus for me to be entertained.
I made up my own radio show at bedtime, bedtime was always too early so I would sit in bed, and create games and sing songs and rock back and forth.
When I was 12 I discovered hard rock, and my mom got me a drum set because I was always tapping on things. I was constantly tapping on things, and I listened to my sister’s music and my dad’s music. I loved music. I was mesmerized by music and it just took me into other worlds.
There’s earlier pictures of me where I’m just zoned out with these big 1970s headphones on my head. Music just took me away, and I loved it.
When I was 17, I discovered alcohol, and that tapped into the alcoholism of my complete lineage, my grandparents were alcoholics, a lot of cousins and nephews were alcoholics.
My mom’s dad died when she was only seven from alcoholism, my cousin died when he was 32 from alcoholism. I had a heart attack when I was 32 from alcoholism. So it nearly destroyed me.
But in the beginning, it was a lot of fun and it was a great escape, and I acted differently on alcohol than other people, to me it was like speed, and I got manic on alcohol, and it felt like 17 years of suppression lifted off my shoulders when I drank, I can talk to anyone, and I would stay up all night with this manic energy.
I felt like I was truly alive because living under my dad’s rule, I didn’t feel I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t express my feelings. I was picked on in school by bullies and the teachers. I just felt like the whole world was against me.
Alcohol was the very first time I felt free, along with my rocking back and forth.
I dropped out of high school because I just wanted to be a rock and roll drummer. But what happened was, alcohol and drugs consumed my life and I just became a short order cook in the restaurant business, and every night I would come home and I would rock back and forth, and I would just smoke cigarettes, or drink.
So that was my life for a couple decades, and when I was 36 I finally quit alcohol and started to work on myself. I had a panic attack in front of my dad because I had a lot of trauma that I suppressed that was coming out in my sobriety.
I was doing a lot of spiritual work, and I still, you know we made amends, but there was still a lot of guilt and shame from what I did in my childhood and for becoming a drunk, basically.
Last year, I took the Asperger’s quotient test, and I scored in the autistic spectrum – and it just made sense. My whole life started to make sense; it was the last piece of the puzzle.
I could actually feel some relief and understand why I was picked on and why I didn’t excel in school, and why I was anti social and preferred being alone, instead of in a room of people.
I always had friends but I only played one on one with them. If more than two friends got in the room I got nervous and I got quiet, and that was my whole life.
But when I did that Asperger’s test, I felt complete relief, and it just amazed me. And looking back, I realized that my dad had Asperger’s because he was a control freak, he had to control his environment.
He had a very strict routine. We had breakfast the same time every day. We had dinner exactly at 6pm every night. My mom cooked all our meals, and then when I was in school I would eat in the cafeteria, but all my meals were met. It was just a very quiet strict household.
My dad’s also a perfectionist, and when he focuses on something, it’s usually one thing at a time, which is an Asperger’s trait. When he focused on one thing he did amazing things.
He restored cars, and he would restore them back to their original if not mint condition. He won lots of car awards, being first or second place with his cars – just immaculate restorations.
When he focused on his business, he excelled. He had the only rental business in town and made a lot of money with that. When we moved up from California, he sold his house for 10 times what he bought it for, and we bought a really nice house in Washington State.
He was always making money, whatever he touched. When he was into sailing, he built his two sailboats from scratch in the backyard, and that’s what I started watching him when I was a little boy.
When I was five years old, he spanked me really hard, and that was the first time I experienced this temper. I think a piece of my soul left that day when he spanked me. I didn’t really trust him from then on.
When I was 16 to 18, I gave him the silent treatment – and it hurt him, but it hurt me even more. Then I turned to drugs and alcohol.
So, the time that I took the Asperger’s test, there’s also an empathy test, and I scored very low on that. The reason why I scored very low on the empathy test is that Asperger’s is a social disease. We have a very hard time dealing in social situations, and we have trouble communicating.
So I recommend that you take that test if you haven’t, you can take both of the tests. One of them, the Asperger’s test is at psychology tools com, but it really made a lot of sense when I took that test.
Asperger’s is also hereditary, and it just made sense that my dad has Asperger’s. I’ve caught him many times after his work day, he would take a shower, and then he would sit in his rocking chair just looking out at the water, and he could do that for an hour. He would just sit in that rocker, and not even rock, but he would just gaze out at the water.
I discovered that I can do that as well. I’m easily entertained at just looking at one thing for many hours. I can do repetitive tasks and love it. In fact, if I ever had to go back and get a job that would be a dishwashing job because I love the Zen, simplified process of just washing dishes. I love routine, just as much as my dad.
So what made you get Asperger’s? I know it’s kind of a funny title because you can’t just get Asperger’s, but what made you realize that you had Asperger’s, what traits do you have that make you realize you have Asperger’s?
I would love to know, because once I discovered I had Asperger’s, at the age of 47, it just made my life make sense, and now I’m on a mission to help others with not only Asperger’s but with addictions. That’s why my whole brand is around Asperger’s and addiction.
So check out my blog, I’ll leave a link to that under the video description as well, hit that subscribe button if you’re new here, and hopefully I can hear your answers, because I’m really curious.
Today I am almost addiction free, I stopped rocking back and forth about four months ago, you can watch my other videos on that journey as well. I rocked 14 hours a day, the last couple years of my rocking.
So it definitely took over my entire life. I had calluses on my knuckles, because I rocked on the floor from morning until night, I was able to do that because I worked from home.
When I became a full time entrepreneur and worked from home, I found myself rocking more than doing work. I would only work about one hour a day, and the rest of the time I was listening to music and rocking back and forth, and just staring out at the landscape and watching cars go by.
So that’s pretty much been my life. I’ve calculated that I’ve rocked over 45,000 hours in my life. I’ve rocked for 46 years, but I say in other videos that I rocked 40 years because I only remember rocking when I was eight years old and my mom said I started when I was two.
So it’s been a wild journey, I’m glad to still be alive, I could have died from so many times with drugs and alcohol. It’s been a scary ride but I’m really glad that I just realized that I had Asperger’s and I just do things differently than others.
So maybe this will help you discover that you have Asperger’s as well and Why I Have Asperger’s and Autism. I’m very sensitive to sounds and to changes in my routine – changes to my repetition. I just want to zone out and today I still find myself tapping and humming, singing songs, there’s always a song in my head going, music has been a big part of my life. I’m just really glad to be alive so we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.
Erik C Johnson