As a child I was very talkative and probing and I remember the adults asking me if I ever shut up. Answer to that was, and is, "no, not really." :-)
I was a very precocious and forward child. I really thought I mattered in the world and so did what went on in my mind, my opinions and feelings. Life has tried hard to disabuse me of that notion and has humbled me some, but not removed the sense that I'm important too. So when the first day of school began I was put on the school bus. Well the school bus had this very nifty window down low from which I could watch the road trail away. Fascinating! Absolutely the most fascinating thing I could see. The shouts of the other children finally got through to me to sit down and I told them "no, I don't want to and you aren't the boss." Well it took having the bus driver pull over and come to the back and instruct me to get me to sit down. That gives you the best picture of how it all began.
I never was one to take orders from those not in authority and often not from authority either. You want me to do something, you ask me and explain why, not just tell me and expect compliance!
So kindergarten was fine, I played with the toys lots and picked up the lessons rapidly and whatever, I was oblivious to things. Grade one meant going to the other school closer to home. There were two schools in our district and the nearer didn't carry kindergarten. This one had my older sister around and she did make some effort to protect me for the first 3 years. In grade 3 I was failed a grade and transferred back to the other school "for a fresh start".
So I don't remember how or when it got bad. I remember sitting on the bus one day in my snow suit and a little girl actually sat beside me and spoke nicely to me. I was in pleasant shock as I turned around to address this novel experience and when she realized that I wasn't her friend who wears the same suit, she leapt up "ewww, it's Yo-yo!" and went away.
I remember how the retarded girl got picked for baseball team and then the teacher would say "well I guess you get her" to the team "stuck" with me and they'd all groan. Now it's not that I was any worse at sports than anyone else, they all just universally hated me that much.
I knew better than to try and approach groups of children to play, it was bound to result in hurled epithets or missiles.
The usual crap with pinching, hitting, hair pulling and stealing and breaking of stuff was not a daily occurance but an hourly one, often smirked at by the teachers.
Why did they hate me? I never did figure that out. for every person to whom I'd ask would come a different answer if any answer at all. Most of the time it was 'I just do". If they had the decency to try and answer my queries, they all had different reasons. The querying and answers lasted long after my school career. When I did get concrete answers I'd take them home and cry over them and analyze them and ask myself hard questions to try and figure out why I did or did not do this or that thing as expected/desired. Much personal growth did come of that.
I would try to find hiding places whenever turned loose into the school yard and there pursue daydreams and imaginings, playing by myself. It was made clear very early on in my school career that my presence was NOT wanted and there was nothing I could do about it. Any attempt at interaction would be met by increasing degrees of punishment until I was gone. I learned how to handle being alone. I can go to the movies alone and feel perfectly normal about it. I can spend weeks at a time with no outside contact and so long as I have some activity to amuse me, I'm able to feel content.
They didn't often seek me out by the later years but in the early years they found it highly amusing to bring me to beserker stage. This was when I'd go haywire screaming and throwing my fists wildly or swinging my lunchbox in a circle to make them all be out of reach of me because I couldn't stand the picking and pinching and hitting or whatever. Ploys used to freak me out included the sneaker hits and pinches, taking things and playing "monkey in the middle" with me, throwing missiles, and general verbal abuse aimed towards upsetting me.
Adults told me that I was picked on because I reacted. That I was supposed to become stone, let it all roll off me like water off a duck's back. "water off a duck's back" became my mantra and to a degree it did help, I did get a lot stronger, but more than anything it also egged them on to greater feats of cruelty. It certainly did nothing for my loneliness. I was invited to one party at which the birthday girl said "my mother MADE me invite you but I don't want you here" At those god awful FE14 affairs i got grudging valentines from children who made sure I and everyone knew it had been mandated from above. Anyone who did try to make friends was abused for it till they gave up and left me be and frankly I didn't want charity friends and soon rejected all attempts anyway, knowing they only felt sorry for me and I truly had nothing of value to offer them. I made friends with adults where I could. I won over a few teachers. I was in dance classes by age ten and made friends with the adults there too. There also the other girls just plain didn't want to deal with me. their hatred made them too find ways to ridicule me and hurt my feelings and make my time around them difficult.
So by the time I reached highschool I'd been failed a grade for not trying and passed a grade because I was smart. I'd been fully indoctrinated into the psychiatric system as a "patient" though nobody really had a clue what was going on. I was put on ritalin for a time but really, it wasn't much use. In Gr. 7 and 8 me and some of the other "outcast" kids realized that being friends with each other or not made no difference to our status but did allow us to find friends in each other and some few friendships were formed. In highschool these got a bit better and I started to form connections. I still was desperately unhappy. Life looked like a pointless exercise and nobody could give me a good enough reason to justify it. I tried suicide in a variety of ways, sometimes telling on myself, other times keeping it to myself. The whole thing is a cloud of black fog with spikey lightning bits here and there and summers released to merely being miserable but having moments when the sunshine and my walks in the fields and woods cheered me up.
I had a magical way of connecting to non-human things. Trees, all manner of bird and mammal creatures, even butterflies would come and sit on my hand. These things kept me going when all else failed. The wind was a person who spoke to me. I heard God's voice in everything and everywhere. I never told the professionals about these things because I was a smart girl and knew they'd come up with ever wilder speculations about my insanity. I knew that my problems weren't disorders but symptoms of my treatment at the hands of humans. My harsh parents who were so unsympathetic, the teachers who hunted me down in my hidey holes in the school and thrust me into the cruel embrace of my schoolmates, those same children who worked so fiendishly to destroy me. I was clinically depressed from lonliness and rejection and and sense of utter worthlessness. Didn't help that my parents also had no sense of value in me. I did all the housework, the cooking, the cleaning and the yard work by age 14 but I was still a useless piece of misery to both those people. We've made our truces and even earned some respect or affection in the years since but I was an individual under siege and only the wild things were my friends.
By age 16 I knew I could quit school but I had no idea what to do with myself. I had no skills that I could consider marketing and my interests were all inappropriate to my gender and therefor unsupported. I really didn't want a career anyway, I wanted to be a housewife (appropriate to my gender but hard job to find).
Well my sister had quit school then gone back by then so I knew better than to quit by her example. She had her own problems related to family issues caused by my Father being classic Asperger's type (he still won't accept it but he really is and we Asperger's can be real ASperholes.... IYKWIM) So anyway I gave up on Dance, gave up on life, set my sights on getting discovered as a singer and poured everything into perfecting my voice (well ti's a nice voice anyway even if it wasn't a vehicle to a career) and hitchhiked away from there by age 17 to begin my journey to healing.
It's been 21 years since and I've come a LONG way baby. Never did find a career, haven't found the mythical husband yet either, although i'm currently involved in a long distance relationship that shows more promise than I'd dared to hope by this time in my life.
Through it all I've worked hard to develop the social skills others pick up instinctively in their youth. I think I've done this very well and in some situations I'm better at it than a native speaker of the social tongue, but there are situations in which I've been unable to study and learn the necessary scripts and rules, most notably those one finds in the work force. I've never been able to stubbornly stick around long enough, i get fired for not fitting in and well, you can't say 'well can I just hang out anyway and try to figure out how to get along?"
So, long it is, but I tried to keep it short, but a life story is necessarily long, right?
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