Ever have a pivotal personal moment in your life where you discover something that pretty much explains EVERYTHING about you and you didn’t know that’s what it was your entire life and now you are going through 10 million different feels trying to process that? And I’m not talking about a one off…one moment or a few. This is hundreds and hundreds of moments and experiences that I thought were just my not understanding people and them not understanding me because I guess I was just this broken freak. A weirdo. Maybe a trauma survivor. Just a broken person and I needed to hide that and just pretend I understood people and how things worked. And pretend I liked doing what others did. And a lot of times..felt like an alien not made for this world. Not comfortable anywhere but when I was at home or by myself or with the very few people I felt I could be me around and even then I wasn’t really myself around people. I was the version I learned to be to pass as “normal”. That’s how I felt inside.
That’s the weight of stuff I carried around with me my entire life. It’s not something I thought about every day. It’s just something I learned to accept there was no answer to besides that I was just different. That was most likely the result of childhood trauma because I don’t remember a moment when I didn’t feel it. Not one moment.
As a very young child I had horribly vivid dreams. One of my earliest memories is being held by my mother who was trying to soothe me. And I remember this very vividly. I remember how it felt. I didn’t know why I was upset I just know I felt like everything was wrong and I couldn’t shake off the feeling of the dream I had. I just could not get away from the feeling. I remember having many moments like this as a young child. Not understanding what I was feeling. And no answers. You just had a bad dream.
I remember big eyes after I said something. Always. At so many different moments. Or laughter after I said something. Or major disapproval. Whenever I opened my mouth it seemed to be wrong or bad or funny. Imagine trying to figure that out? Having such strong reactions when you did relax and tried to be yourself. It made me quiet a lot. It made it not worth it for a time to even speak when I was younger. People did not like my honesty. They wanted me to be this fake thing that lied to them. That’s what I learned as a kid. And I didn’t know how to do that naturally so I found people I thought were cool and people I admired and I mirrored (or miserably tried to mirror) these people. Their mannerisms..the way they talked..the way they stood..the way they dressed. One girl in particular was the preachers daughter. I thought she was beautiful and cool and graceful. She had red hair. Ya. She had red hair (go figure..even the hair color I have today was most likely me trying to figure out how to exist in this world and have an identity ) and she sang and one time in a bathroom she told me my mole below my neck was a beauty mark. It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me (so weird lol) and from that point on I thought okay that’s how I should be. Which is normal for anyone at a young age except I took it to a whole new level with in the way I talked for a bit and copied other mannerisms. Absolutely creepy I suppose had she realized but I wasn’t in her group of older kids. I was just a young girl trying to be everything for everyone except who I was deep inside. Who I was inside was always wrong to everyone.
And that hurts. It hurts to think I can never get that time back and I wasn’t myself most of the time as a kid. My entire childhood and really adulthood was spent being something I wasn’t. And anytime I tried to be myself I was told it was wrong or weird or anti social or rude. The only time I felt okay was when I was home in my safe place. Or alone out in the fields behind my childhood home looking for my number one special interest..rocks. I did that until that house was sold and my parents divorced when I had my own children. A grown woman..out in a field for hours looking for rocks. Ya..totally normal. It kind of surprises me now that no one questioned that. My family never once questioned it that I know of. That’s just what “Annie” does. Now I look at that as a huge flag..a fucking banner…that I thought and did things differently. Not in a bad way..just in a really different way. It also tells me I was allowed to be that there and I am thankful for at least that. At least I was allowed that. I couldn’t do that anywhere else without people thinking it odd and anti social. At least I had that safe place for awhile.
So this is what I do now. I think about so many different instances throughout my life and so many realizations of what things really were. It’s a lot to realize what you thought or believed was one thing…wasn’t that at all. Identity crisis. I am feeling an identity crisis hard right now. I am feeling grief for the young me. The wanting to go back and change all those moments to moments where I am understood and I am diagnosed autistic and mostly that I personally understand what I am. To go back and change the way I felt about myself and ultimately the decisions I made believing I was not worthy or capable of more. To change the inner voice from “my god why do you always fuck shit up” to “you are autistic so you simply think different and feel differently and THATS OKAY”. Oh to have the opportunity to tell myself over and over “it’s okay”.
Now I untangle or try to untangle all that. Now I accept I can not change what happened but I can change it moving forward. Now I am kinder to myself. More understanding. And while I pick through each moment of “omg that’s what it was”..I am laying it to rest. I need to. I can’t stay in this place of constantly going back and wishing things had been different. I know that isn’t healthy. But because I am who I am and process the way I process..I do feel the need to understand it and I understand it by looking at it. Digging it up and turning it around in my hands and then putting it back. It’s hard…but I need to do this to move forward. Each thing I dig up..and look at in a different light and perspective is closure to me. I must understand it. I don’t know any other way to move forward without understanding every piece of it. It will help me figure out who I really am..well that’s the hope.