Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Chloe O'Brian

with 9 comments

We’re having a 24 series 5 fest at home right now. I was inspired to put a picture of Chloe O’Brian on my msn messenger profile because, well, she uh, just about sums up my personality disorder.

She displays extraordinary mastery of computer hardware and software but has horrible social skills, displaying symptoms consistent with Asperger syndrome.

Everyone hates Chloe because she’s so annoying and always says the wrong thing and is embarrassing, as well as being more intelligent than everyone else in the office. Everyone hates intelligent people, especially when they know it. I actually relate to Chloe and I find her very amusing.

Of course I’m nowhere near as weird or as intelligent as Chloe, but I still always say things that I shouldn’t and freak people out, or find myself slapping my head in annoyance when people don’t “get” it, then wondering “why do I do that? I hate myself!” I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about it. Yes, I do sneer internally when people are stupid. This is partly because I feel like other people are sneering at me. I just have to go about my normal life in an office and within a couple of weeks I’ve been labelled as the Chloe who doesn’t talk to anyone and only ever speaks to make some sort of frustrated, sarcastic outburst that I always regret. I can be hostile. I try very hard to be nice. I relate to animals much better than humans. Animals always put a smile on my face. Sometimes I make nasty remarks about people walking down the street, usually if they’re wearing ridiculous clothes. I seem to generate some sort of repulsion field that stops me making friends. I never learned the niceties of conversation like “how are you?” or “how is your job going?”, which always felt fake to say. I still struggle to spit them out today. I do not “do” offices well. I used to be much worse than I am.

I’m not a nasty person. I often think about ways I can try and help people, whether that’s because they’re sick, or because they have social problems of their own. I feel really sorry for people who are ill or who don’t fit in. The rest of the time my thoughts are focussed on something more abstract, such as biochemistry, nutrition, politics, or the design of society.

I’ve always joked to myself that I’m a bit of a social autistic. I always had to put a phenomenal amount of work into figuring out what was going on in other people’s heads. I always used to either over-think or under-think things. When people say or do things I just don’t understand I’m always really shocked by it. As a teenager I was such a social retard that I literally couldn’t even look people in the eyes. I was defined as “shy” by my family and “a snob” by my classmates. “Shy” really isn’t the word for it as it was far more extreme than shyness. Being defined as “a snob” really hurt me, because I wasn’t. I regarded myself as lower on the social ladder than everyone else. If anyone suggests that I’m a snob or says something like “you think you are more intelligent than everyone else,” then even today I am totally crushed and hurt by it and I simply can’t forgive them. Even now I don’t like putting my friends out by even emailing them about my life.

Because my level of social weirdness is relatively mild, I doubt I’d qualify as having Asperger’s on the tests. Besides, I know how to cheat those kinds of tests anyway.

Autism and Asperger’s are food chemical related.

Someone with Asperger’s left a message on my blog a few weeks ago. He had diagnosed himself with Asperger’s as an adult. Typical of someone with Asperger’s to diagnose themselves!


Written by alienrobotgirl

15 November, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Asperger's Syndrome

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9 Responses

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  1. Hi Annabelle, long time no hear!> So yes, socializing isn’t exactly my strength anymore either. And it probably won’t be unless I meet a bunch of failsafing optimal carnivores in the Greater Toronto Area.Hee hee. Maybe you’re onto something there and there are hundreds of people like you in Toronto all sat at home feeling square. :)You know people probably aren’t looking at your plate half as much as you think they are! I find I can get away with going out about once a week if I choose the right thing and I pop pills and guzzle bicarb before or after, but it sounds like your reactions are too bad to do that, which must be a bit of a downer. :(I have got quite good at lying about things – I’ve never been keen on drinking, but now I’m always “driving home” afterwards. Also “oh, I can’t eat that, it gives me acid”, or “coffee/chocolate gives me instant acne” are half-true excuses that tend to elicit sympathy and “I know what you mean” noises rather than outright bug-eyed boggling!

    Alien Robot Girl

    15 November, 2006 at 5:27 pm

  2. It’s funny… diet has always come in the way of my social life. Either I’m eating things that cause me to have reactions that take away my ability to relate to people socially – OR I’m on some crazy diet that totally isolates me from everyone else. I don’t really drink anymore, so I can’t go to the pub without feeling like a total square. I don’t even drink pop, so sitting there drinking WATER is just not cool.I don’t ‘do’ dinners out anymore either. I have such a need to feel like I fit in, that I can’t bring myself to not eat what everyone else is eating or to make a ‘fuss’ by asking for something off the menu or by leaving vast quantities of food on my plate. I hate bringing attention to myself and my diet. I hate being looked at like I’m crazy or I have disordered eating habits. Probably because people would stare at me and my plate so much when I was fat that now I’m just so sensitive to it. I’d rather just not leave the house – not get together with people at all – than to feel like a freak or put myself in the line of temptation. And when I do have plans, I spend the whole week preceeding having anxiety attacks about what I’ll eat and what I’ll drink, because, as you know, every social occasion revolves around food and drink.So yes, socializing isn’t exactly my strength anymore either. And it probably won’t be unless I meet a bunch of failsafing optimal carnivores in the Greater Toronto Area.Annabelle

    Mother Nuture

    15 November, 2006 at 4:42 pm

  3. You’re totally correct – in a way. Most everyday people don’t look at what I’m eating, but my co-workers are special. They are all home economists and dietitians and think what’s on people’s plates is their personal business. If I had a penny for every ‘Are you on a diet’, ‘You’ve barely touched that food – isn’t it good??’ and ‘You’re not eating any of the vegetables!’ comment, I’d be a bazillionaire. My friends, on the other hand, are definitely more understanding. So I guess half of the reason why I don’t go out to eat is because they stare at me and question me at every turn and the other half of the reason is because I am not good with temptation and end up eating carbs/overeating/drinking alcohol.If I could get a handle on controlling myself, then I’d be more likely to go out more often. I had friends come over this past weekend two days in a row. On the first night, I had two small glasses of port and 3 chocolate truffles and on the second night, didn’t have any carbs, but had quite a bit of salty meat and somehow managed to gain 6 lbs in two days. LOL. I’m not joking! It’s still there, too. Only lost a pound of it, so far. I should enter a weight-gain contest. I could totally win it.

    Mother Nuture

    15 November, 2006 at 6:51 pm

  4. The fact that you “know how to cheat on those kinds of tests” is a big sign that you have Asperger’s! LOL. Come on, admit to being an Aspie. LOL. I was thinking that you were one (from reading your blog and NN posts), but you felt you had ADD/ADHD (which can have very similar behavioral symptoms to AS), and I don’t like to run around saying, “I think that you’re on the autism spectrum!” LOL. Not saying you don’t have ADD, just that you might just have AS. :-)I think there are a lot of pretty “normal” appearing people out there with AS that are somewhat social misfits and that’s the only outward sign of not being perfectly normal. I always blamed my poor social skills on being an only child that moved around a lot while growing up. AS makes a lot more sense than my reasons. I also have trouble looking people in the eyes – I have to make a conscious effort to do it.Some of the more technical books I read were pretty disparaging and made life with AS look hopeless. I kept thinking, “but I’m living a perfectly normal life, I just don’t make friends easily.” Two great and positive books that I read are _Hitchhiking through Asperger Syndrome_ by a mom of an Aspie and _Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome_ by an English boy – very fun book to read. 🙂 Steph (GaSteph), self diagnosed Aspie


    18 November, 2006 at 12:31 am

  5. You know Steph, I do wonder. There is a huge overlap between ADD/ADHD and Aspergers/Autism. I have been reluctant to give it a name partly because I’m reluctant to medicalise myself further – I’m terrified of being regarded as a hypochondriac, and also because I feel like Asperger’s is an extreme condition, but I’m still working on stereotypes.There are a lot of extreme words I could use to describe myself: Asperger’s Syndrome. Bipolar Disorder. ADD. Oppositional Defiance Disorder. It seems like I have them, but in a mild way, on the edge of my control.But when I think about my teenage years, I was a totally extreme individual. I mean, I went through a period where I couldn’t even bring myself to speak for days on end. My parents thought I was just “sulking” and being a teenager. My parents live in a world of denial where my sister and I are perfectly “normal” individuals… even though we almost gave my mother a nervous breakdown!I was such a freak I couldn’t even conform to a subculture… I couldn’t even manage to be a hippy or a goth! Heh. I’m going to get those books you mention… maybe it will make everything much clearer for me!Maybe I’ll start using a signature on my NN posts “Steph thinks I’m an Aspie,” and everyone will cut me a bit of slack when I’m being a Chloe or it takes me 10 posts to get my meaning across! 🙂

    Alien Robot Girl

    18 November, 2006 at 3:56 pm

  6. LOL! I don’t know, I don’t carry much weight around NN. If you could only say that Paul or Chris said you had it. :-p That’s actually part of why I don’t post much there – I fumble words all the time and say things matter of factly, which comes across in print as harsh. My main goal in my teenage years was not to stick out or draw attention to myself. I tried to do just enough to fit in, but still keep my own personality. Goth was way too “look at me” for me. LOL. I’ve always been extremely conservative anyway – odd considering my mom is extremely liberal and loves to look quirky. There’s another book by Liane Willey – her first book, I think. I couldn’t really relate to her – her writing is way too random for me and she kept leaving thoughts hanging. I need consecutive thought! LOL. At any rate, she used to curl up in a ball under her bed every day after school. Her site is aspie.comSteph


    18 November, 2006 at 9:18 pm

  7. “I fumble words all the time and say things matter of factly, which comes across in print as harsh.” Oh yes, I definitely have that problem too!

    Alien Robot Girl

    19 November, 2006 at 2:29 pm

  8. “My main goal in my teenage years was not to stick out or draw attention to myself. I tried to do just enough to fit in, but still keep my own personality. Goth was way too “look at me” for me.”Yeah. The very few friends I had, and my sister, were all goth/hippy/alternative. I seemed to be drawn to that type (or they just adopted me out of charity!), but I never really managed to fit in with them. I couldn’t embrace all of the trappings, the music (noise), the clothes, the tortured attitude, etc.I liked goths, but I had the same problem with embracing the look. I wore the ugliest, most boring clothes and sloped around the place keeping my eyes down in the hopes no one would talk to me. I never really understood the point of looking different and then complaining that you get picked on for it. I got picked on for just existing, so doing it deliberately just struck me as indulgent.

    Alien Robot Girl

    19 November, 2006 at 2:46 pm

  9. […] Posted in Asperger’s Syndrome by the witch on July 28th, 2007 So Steph pointed out to me last November that I could well be an aspie. I mused on it for a while and decided I probably […]

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