I had a dream last night about one of the worst bullied moments I had at school by my classmates and it happened at my HS senior dinner. I “smiled and waved” and pretended it was funny..(because that’s what I do) but it hurt me very deeply. And I had a moment as I lay there in bed this morning..where I finally realized and understand it now. All those years of not understanding how some of my classmates could do that to me..especially at the end…how cruel but fitting..and I finally get it now. I was an easy target. They did not understand me or the abuse I was living with at home. They did not understand the lengths I had to go to JUST BE NORMAL and be with them all and try to fit in. I genuinely did not understand how to be like them or to be natural around them..as well deal with parents who suppressed me at every turn from being with them and just being a normal kid. I had to lie to my parents to simply go to a dance or basketball game. I had to constantly mask to try and fit in and I had not one..but two mountains to overcome on a daily in order to JUST BE NORMAL. I was autistic too.
That senior dinner was the nail in the coffin of my HS experience. It was the flashing neon light telling me “you do not belong and you really never did”. All that work. All that trying to just be normal and a regular teenager. All those years of flailing around..believing people who acted like they cared..being easily fooled..being pregnant at 16 and giving up my daughter for adoption…the trauma of the religious abuse at home. All of it came down to one night that should of been a celebration of surviving our school years together..should of been easy and happy and a “phew we made it together and now we will be sad to leave each other and go on with our lives”…turned into “Oh. Well fuck all of this then. Bye.”
I didn’t understand it until now. It was always this weird why the fuck would they do that to ANYONE…let alone me? It just was always this unexplained cruel and childish thing that instantly caused me to resent all of it. All the relationships I had thought I had built were suddenly…weird and not something to trust. Bullying does that. And I think a lot of it..a lot of the bullying I was in denial about. Being a pregnant teen certainly didn’t help. And I don’t like to assume anything about anyone unless I have proof. I think it’s a good way to be and fair. But in reality..many times I ignored red flags in the name of “if I don’t have actual proof..it’s merely an assumption of someone’s intent or character…and it’s not fair of me to assume..” Because I knew to well what it felt like for people to have assumptions about me that were wrong and unfair. Pair that with not trusting yourself to understand others intent…and you get a life full of bad choices and inviting the wrong people to share your space with you. So time and time again I set myself up to be taken advantage of…or bullied because of how my brain worked. Because I didn’t understand some people’s motives were not fair like mine were. Because I didn’t know I thought in a different way and I didn’t know that not everyone’s brains functioned like mine did. How could I have known. I thought I was like everyone else and for some reason just had bad luck and had a harder go at things. A lot of it I blamed on the religious suppression I dealt with and the trauma that resulted from that. But it was much deeper than all that.
The explanations you come up with before you understand you are autistic and that your brain works differently are wild. But I had nothing to go on to have a reason besides what I knew was right there in front of me. You don’t know until you do. I just had theories…no concrete evidence. And I needed evidence so much. I thrived on real information and the majority of time..people do not freely give information like I did. I was an open book had someone asked among people who were not..even if asked. Like an alien trying to fit in with people who did not..could not..think like I did. So with this new information…maybe some closure. How do you stay angry at people who were childish and simply didn’t think like you did..no fault of their own when it comes down to it. Still cruel and unfeeling or considerate of how that would feel to them had they been in my shoes. But again..solace in knowing I really was the bigger person in that instance..I reacted to it in an amazingly calm way and did not let them see it get the better of me…and now I understand it better. Still hurts..but I forgive them as much as I forgive that young girl for not knowing what I know now about who I really was and am. And I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of my kind heart that feels all that it feels. I really wouldn’t want to be anyone else. And now that I understand so much more about who I am and how I think…a new confidence I never had before. An understanding about past things that happened to me that I never had before. And confirmation that I was really okay..not stupid..not naive…and maybe ahead of the game in many different ways.