In his rollercoaster of a life, Dylan “Dielawn” Volk has made some interesting and questionable choices. In this tell-all memoir, he details his life experiences as a man with high-functioning autism. Dylan provides the reader with a personal and unparalleled look into his unique way of thinking, giving an amazingly introspective view on life through his funny, sometimes heart-wrenching, and always honest portrayal of the hardships and successes of navigating the obstacles of life from childhood to adulthood as a person on the autism spectrum.
The first time the thought of killing myself every entered my mind was in fourth grade. I had been arguing with my teachers so much that they moved my desk outside to work in the hall. I had been getting disciplined for arguing with increasing frequency. My brain has worked very hard to block out the specifics from my memory, but the arguments almost always stemmed from me having to follow rules that didn’t make sense to me. As I sat out there facing the wall, I thought about my life. I thought about how I couldn’t seem to make friends, I couldn’t seem to get along with my teachers, and I couldn’t get along with my family. I thought, “Maybe I don’t want to live this life. Maybe I could kill myself.” That might sound very disturbing to you, but in my mind I was just making a calculation. When I first told my parents I was thinking about killing myself, I didn’t realize the seriousness of what I was saying. But when I saw their reactions, I realized the power that it had. I could either grumble about school, complain about not having friends, etc. or I could simply mention suicide, and finally people would understand how upset I really was. Saying I wanted to kill myself was an effective tool to make people sit up and pay attention to my complaints.
When I first started talking about suicide at ten, I was considering it as much as any autistic ten-year-old could consider such a thing. But pretty quickly an exchange with my parents led me to not seriously consider it ever again. In the midst of throwing a fit about God knows what, I reached for the suicide card. I said something to the effect of, “Don’t come looking for me, I’ll be up in Heaven.”
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