I was born in a christian family, bible studies and prayer were my food. My parents were doing God’s ministries in remote village. The finance in the family was enough for the food and shelter let alone medical attentions. But we had lot of help from people from different walks of life including Medical, education etc.
From early days of my child hood I had a feeling of something missing. I was afraid to tell my parents or relatives owing to financials. I reached my twelfth grade and it was time to choose my career path. It was most difficult time for me, I don’t have anyone to cry to or talk about. My parents wanted me to be a minister of God, I also wanted to. The speech impairment was so severe and I don’t want to embarrass God. so I decided to pursue engineering. No one knows this actual reason, but only me (now you know).
I was not ready to accept my handicap yet. I pushed through my engineering studies but never took any stage appearances or speaking competitions. I kept my circle small, even if my secret was out it can be contained.
Completed my education and got a job in Software firm. My analytical capability helped me to climb the ladder but something was holding me back. while i was chatting with one of my close friend, she sensed that i am struggling to speak. She asked me to take a test on autism, I panicked and was afraid. I prayed about it and consulted a doctor who told me you may have autism.
I did not accept his findings and i was in denial. Few years later I came to USA for Job opportunities. Things were going fine, but i was having difficulty communicating or speaking. So i decided to get it checked again, I got confirmation about autism. Now i am afraid how will my family react ? and will they accept me?
Struggle that i went through was enormous, I cannot speak what i think. It was like partially dumb. Close friends mock for being this way. One of my close relative told me this “You could have born as dumb”.
Still I relieve few incidents over and over again,
Incident 1: In Lufthansa flight from Germany to USA. The air hostess came to ask me about the lunch order, I spoke some sentence which she did not understand. She called her counterpart and spoke in german, laughed. Few minutes she came again asked me same question again. I spoke a sentence but she did not understand. She told me, if you cannot speak why did you use this flight.
Incident 2: My sister in US threw a Christmas party for which she invited her friends. She called me to attend, I wanted to attend but I decided not to. I cannot communicate with large group of people, I would just stand in the corner like a jerk. She was angry and never talked to again. I understand from her standpoint, but i could not explain to her about my handicap.
Immigration officer mocked me for not answering the question, but my brain think i have answered. I formulate a sentence in mind but while communicating i miss out some part it, but mind thinks i have already conveyed. The sentence i speak most of the time could not be understood, I shut up my mouth any were i go. This made me being alone all the time, I am afraid of being with group of people, I cannot make small talk or general talk, I can talk about only technical terms, cannot draw conclusions or thought about a person or any incident.
But when my mind is quiet i can talk fluently. Some time ibuprofen helps me. I won’t blame God or parents. This is the way i was designed, so I will prolong as long as possible.