I am Pernille – I am autism whisper

I am Pernille

pernille sort 150

I was born in Aarhus in 1972. My entire childhood and most of my teenage years, I lived in Aarhus, until I, in 1988, 16 years old, moved to Stockholm.

My husband, who comes from Gambia, and I started dating when I was 20. We were married the same year. It’s been a long time ago. I’ve never had other lovers or married to anyone other than him. I’ve never been interested in romance. It’s only my husband that I’ve ever been in love in.

Together we have 3 children:

• A boy of 19 with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD

• A girl of 17 with Asperger’s Syndrome

• A boy of 12 who has not yet been cleared.

I grew up in a family of three mothers, all actresses. My father was a high school teacher, and did not live in Aarhus, but I saw him every other weekend.

I always knew that I was different. Despite this, I managed the first years of school, without any major difficulties. Was a real tomboy … had some friends, but did only what interested me, and played much of the time in my own closet. I lived like, and was, a great deal of time, Pippi, and later, Ronja. Loved animals and had both cats and a goat named Luna. In the period up to puberty, traded my life for horses. I fit horse and got half of a mare named Tanja.

As 12årig when the world around me … and especially my peers’ behavior changed to something else and for me , very complicated and incomprehensible things went wrong for me. I was also moved school, from the Rudolf Steiner School to a huge public school where I was ignored and left out in the cold, the others in the class.

Thus, I experienced for the first but not the last time, the loneliness, as something painful and that my otherness, was a handicap, and the reason why I could not function in a regular school among ‘ordinary’ students and teachers … I realized that I could never be like them … never understand it they understood … never be able to speak or understand their ‘language’. I could not keep up with the academic, mobs were lost in the corridors and could not endure the resounding and chaotic noises or strangers and objectionable odors at the school.

I was, in the spring of 1985, admitted to the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, where I lived and went to school in almost 1 year.

As a 13 year old I started on a small private school in Aarhus. There I was glad to go, for it was small and it was ok to be different. I was still held, in part, on the margins of the others in the class. But it did not matter, because I was not interested in their friendship. I had a new, special interest, modern dance, which I used all my time. As a 16 year old, I went to Stockholm to train me to dance. I lived in Stockholm since I was 16 until I was 20 years.

From 1999 to 2007, I lived with my husband and our children in Birmingham, UK . There I took an educator, while I was working at a school.

Today, I work in special education classes at a primary school in Aarhus.

Despite my disability I have, on many points, done well in life. In many aspects, I am successful and I get on with my work because it makes sense in the framework that I can work in.

I live with countless challenges that I’m a master of disguise to the world. I have, so to speak, fought and struggled to survive and cope me in this neurotypical world.

After my hospitalization as 12-13 years, and subsequent visits to the orphanage, I have refused me for all kinds of help for my problems. No one had control over my life and tell me what I could and could not. Lonely wolf … who fight itself and survives even!

I may have done well, despite all my challenges in understanding and commit me in life and the world. However, it is laborious and fatiguing and eventually I had to admit that the challenges do not disappear with age … they are rather harder and harder to compensate.

I’m late diagnosed. I got my Asperger’s diagnosis in 2012 and my ADHD diagnosis in 2013.

Clearing is a very hard process. We live in a time when there is more attention on girls and women with autism and ADHD.

I have now found myself, and therefore understand why my life in many ways, has been and is so hard. I have seen that people say to me that I am so ‘normal’ that, I not need a diagnosis that, I’m so rude … and some even come with frankly, unintelligent comments like: “We have probably all a whiff of something’ Or’ Anyone can get a diagnosis, these days’.

What people do not see is how much energy and how many systems I use to be as ‘functioning’ and ‘normal’. What they do not see is my exhaustion after social events or my inner stress at the slightest change in routines, my disorganized home, and all that I do not get done because the challenges of the executive functions means that I find it difficult to plan and execute duties and functions.

You will not be investigated for fun! You do not get a diagnosis because it is ‘up’ in time! And you do not get medicine because it is ‘modern’! And you cannot have ‘little’ autism! Either you are autistic … or you are not!

All people with autism have a common core of difficulty. Autism is not something you outgrow. Autism is not a disease. It’s a different cognitive style that does not fit in with the brains that are more of in our world … Therefore, autism is a disability.

For the first time since I was a teenager, I’ve got girlfriends … not just a friend … but two, lovely and gorgeous thoroughbred girlfriends! Anja and Stinne! We are the same species, speak the same language and have the same life values . We have a bond that only we understand the depth of!

I ‘ve also got two totally unique Muggles, into my life. My therapist and my physiotherapist who practice together, here in Aarhus. These 2 women understand my problems and helps me to become better at what I find difficult. You acknowledge and appreciate me for who I am …

I am Pernille . I’m autistic.