Saturday, 11 June 2016

The meaning behind my tattoo, Aspergers and being real honest

‘Why do you have a moon on your arm?’, ‘that is so random Soph’, ‘what does it even symbolise?’ Since getting my tattoo which is on a place that is rather hard to hide, I can understand people’s confusion.  So this is why I choose to get a moon inked on to my arm for the rest of my life. (Just to pre-warn you this is a long piece so you may want to grab a cup of coffee or a snack and don’t worry, I do get to the tattoo point).

In secondary school, I started to realise I was a little different. I couldn’t take anything or anyone seriously, I would say stupid stuff at the wrong time and worst of all I would just blurt stuff out without thinking what so ever and it sometimes upset people and to be honest caused chaos. I was confused because I didn’t want to upset anyone, that wasn’t my intention at all but for some reason, I just couldn’t see when my ‘humour and honesty’ was crossing the line.

I’d receive comments like ‘why did you say that? Are you an idiot?’, ‘Soph just don’t speak’, ‘why do you always take it too far?’ ‘That joke was taken way over the line’. At the beginning of Year 11, a teacher I got on very well with turned to me in a detention and said, ‘Sophie, do you have Aspergers?’. Well, she might as well have slapped me across the face. I laughed it off and honestly didn’t think any thing of it for another year. However in that year, I went more into myself and became quite insecure when it came down to my intelligence.

A year after the first comment and while doing my A Levels a friend suggested I may be on the autism spectrum, then an adult in my life did and soon after another teacher.

If you don’t know what Aspergers is this is a pretty good short summary, “Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. Autism is often described as a 'spectrum disorder' because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees.” 

So in year 13 just after my A-Level exams and after not having told anyone my curiosity all my life I finally rang my doctor. I was 100% sure I didn’t have Aspergers but I was curious and I suppose a part of me was a little concerned as everything I read sounded like me. I had learned as an older teenager at this point to sit there and just copy others and say things to people like ‘aw it will be okay’ ‘you okay?’ ‘Do you want a hug?’ but it wasn’t me, it was just me doing what I thought was right not what my brain was telling me to say. Deep down someone crying over failing a driving test, crying over an exam, was utterly ridiculous to me and my confusion over people's emotions began to frustrate me.

To sum this ramble up, I went to my GP 8 months ago and she was certain I had Aspergers so I was referred to an autism spectrum specialist and she confirmed that I had Aspergers. I was shocked and felt uncomfortable with it for a while I won’t lie about that. I didn’t tell a soul for half a year. I didn’t want anyone to look down on me or to think I was stupid. But I’m not embarrassed anymore, it doesn’t change me or who I am, I’ve always been me and this ‘label’ doesn’t change that.

So the tattoo and how my moon ties in. My character and outlook on life have always made me super independent. I never needed anyone and I grew to love my own little bubble (seeing as my Aspergers has always put me in my own little world). In the last year, I’ve used that to my advantage and it especially helps me in my career as a journalist. Having a crescent moon tattoo symbolizes the expulsion of negative energy from your personal or work life. I got rid of the people, habits, or things that I no longer needed that were harmful to me and it also symbolizes growth and creativity. In the last year, my life has changed dramatically, not one aspect is the same as this time last year and I became the person I always wanted to be, confident, independent and truly happy. The moon symbolises I suppose something that won’t make sense to others but it makes perfect sense to me and that is all that matters. So as dorky as it is every time I get a glimpse of the moon it reminds me how happy and content I am and it always lifts me out of a bad mood.

I added a facial profile to the moon to create a sense of whimsy and personify the moon to represent that the moon is in a way, myself. The five stars all represent something difficult I have gone through in life so that every time I look down and see the stars I can remind myself that I can get over anything and do anything I want.  Although if any more shit things happen to me I’ll be really pissed off because I don’t want too many stars.

So if anyone actually got through that and read the whole thing then I’m impressed because I certainly would have hit ‘X’ ages ago. This is something quite personal that I still feel awkward about so I’m not ready to do more posts on it yet and you may never see me mention it on my blog ever again. I just couldn’t not mention it for my tattoo meaning because it is the reason I have a slightly creepy moon on my wrist (which yes hurt like a bitch while getting it done).

I suppose my only other message that I would like to get off my chest is this: if you have autism, Aspergers or you’re pretty sure you do it’s not as bad as it sounds. We are normal people, we can get good jobs, some of the top dogs have autism or Aspergers, we are not stupid and in fact, we usually are particularly intelligent and specialise in something in particular. Now if you ask me that is pretty darn cool! Partly because of my Aspergers I’m in my dream career and training to be a journalist because I love it so much and I obsess over my career, my room is constantly neat, I’m always organised and I don’t ever get upset over silly things, I also never feel embarrassed or nervous (to me I make the most of it). Just don’t let it get you down and do not ever feel stupid because of that darn label. 


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