For me, the so-called, ‘terrible twos,’ didn’t start exactly at age two. It was more like age four I guess. But grade two, age seven, was when things really started to get bad. The vast majority of the notes my teacher wrote in my school planner were reports of bad behaviour in the classroom. I got tested that year, and was diagnosed with NLD (non-verbal learning disorder). By third grade things started to look up for me, but when I switched schools in sixth grade, it was like I was reverting to age four, behaviour-wise. I was always saying I hated school and wanted to quit. Then, in seventh grade, things turned ugly - apparently permanently. By ninth grade, age 14, which was the year I started high school, I often expressed a desire to drop out of school but was always told I was too young. The age when a student could legally drop out of school was 16 - until the year I turned 16, when the legal dropout age was raised to 18 (at which point there usually isn’t much of a point in dropping out because you should be really close to graduating anyway).
From seventh grade onward my behaviour was gradually getting worse and worse and worse, until finally, when I was 18 years old and in my fourth year of high school, I got expelled. I had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome only three months prior to my final infraction. That’s right - teachers and administrators literally NEVER had ANY IDEA what they were REALLY dealing with! It was like the administrative staff at my school said, ‘That’s it, you’re 18 years old now and you don’t legally have to be in school anymore - goodbye, you excessively defiant, unrestrained demon.’
Then, three days after I got kicked out of school, my mother kicked me out of her apartment. I was taken by police cruiser to the ER, where I was put in a quiet room. My English teacher happened to be in the ER that day because her husband was sick, and when she heard me screaming she KNEW it was me, and came running. My parents had split when I was 15 but they were both in the ER with me. My English teacher had met my mother several times before, but my dad lives an hour away from where I used to live with my mother, so when he and my English teacher saw each other, in their heads, each one of them was probably asking the other who they were. I did identify my father to my teacher, though. I was handcuffed (with my hands in front of me, due to a lack of flexibility in my right arm that was caused by cerebral palsy), and when my teacher saw the handcuffs I think she felt sorry for me. I can be almost certain that when my teacher left the quiet room to check on her husband, she was thinking something along the lines of, ‘Great, now I have two people to worry about.’
I do think that the vast majority of my problems could have been avoided had my parents given me up, PERMANENTLY, in July of 2003, when I was twelve, before things got totally out of hand. I think my mental health was greatly affected and influenced by all the crap I witnessed and/or was put through in my teen years, such as my parents fighting, unreasonable punishments dealt by my father, my parents splitting up (only AFTER I reported my father), etc. In real life a cop did say to me, ‘Your mother could have sent you to a foster home years ago,’ to which I replied by screaming, ‘WHY DIDN'T SHE?!’ I DEFINITELY think that if I had been put in a foster home at age twelve and was never under the care of either of my parents ever again, I could have grown up to be a calmer, more rational, more successful and less resentful person!
However, when it all comes down to it, I think that whatever happened I would still have become an AB.