..was pretty much the epitome of what it felt like for me in HS. Always feeling like THAT kid. Always trying to keep up. Always feeling behind my peers. In the stands of an auditorium in my dream I can see teachers gossiping and whispering about me and shaking heads. (Can’t believe that happened in this dream..like hi on point subconscious and real trauma issues.)
Quick back story..I was pregnant at 16 and found out the weird vibes I was feeling about some of my teachers was in fact them gossiping and looking down on me for being pregnant and talking poorly about me in the teachers lounge. Devastating to me as I very much wanted to do right by any and all of my teachers. And this particular trauma and the way it made me feel did in fact showed up in this dream. I really was a good girl and wanted to do everything right so badly. Always wanting to please people including my year older bf and really why I did end up pregnant by him. (But that’s another story for another time.) At 16 I got to find out teachers were a lot like some of my teenage peers and I lost a lot of respect for any kind of authority after that. Not that I didn’t already question authority..remember my brain doesn’t have a hierarchy way of seeing people. Everyone is on the same playing field to me. But learning about hypocrites at a young age didn’t help me in a world where blind obedience is expected and demanded of you.
The dream begins where I am at a school (not my HS just some random school) and we are all preparing to graduate and there is a rush of activity and of course I have no idea what I’m supposed to do or where I’m supposed to go. Half my dream is spent trying to figure this out and feeling that all too familiar embarrassment and frustration that everyone else seems to just know what to do and I don’t. Why don’t I just know what to do like them?? The panic of knowing I need to be with my peers but couldn’t find them was real. I finally get the courage to ask a teacher who of course gives me side eyes like “come on you can’t figure this out?” God I hate that look most of all. The way I’m treated for asking a simple question after is very much like I’m a small child or just dumb. It’s humiliating. A lot of times I didn’t ask questions to simply avoid this response. But when I’m at the end of my rope I do because what’s worse..in this situation..is not being part of being with my peers.
I’m told where and how to get to my peers who are beginning “the walk” all together to their seats up in a high bleachers section of an auditorium. Then it gets weird but SO SYMBOLIC. The way to go is a like a blown up adult size rat maze. With slick ramps and stairs that my slippery flats I’m wearing can not get a grip on to climb. I think to myself “how did my classmates get up this??” I have no idea how. I look ahead up the ramps and random stairs and see I’m way behind. I’m the last one (again) and so way behind. (I mean could it get any more symbolic of what I really felt in HS? Nope.) I struggle to get up one very weirdly steep ramp basically crawling and climbing with my flats slipping trying to find anything to grip on to and becoming more and more frustrated and really having a hard time understanding how all my classmates easily just walked up. I can see them way up ahead of me and they are gracefully gliding up. I feel the familiar “this isn’t fair…this really isn’t fair I couldn’t possibly do this even though I REALLY want to..I don’t understand what is happening??” Why is everything so weirdly harder for me? I don’t understand. I just want to be part of the group. I don’t want to be a problem. I don’t want special treatment. I want to be like everyone else and just complete this task like they all are.
And then I wake up.
I am really in awe right now of why I had this dream. Nothing in particular happened leading up to this. This was just a random dream that was so incredibly symbolic of how I felt all the time in so many different social settings. And still do. I still don’t know how to be part of a group and if I do somehow luck out and am invited to be part of a group of people or peers..what to do once I’m there. I really don’t. It’s like there are things others around me are just born with knowing (surprise they kinda are!) and I didn’t come with that natural knowledge. Not many things feel impossible to me but this does and always has. Knowing what to do in social situations where there are expectations of me. For the longest time..most my life I blamed this on how sheltered I was as a kid. How much my mother kept me from being with my peers and only allowed me to be around the evangelical church community and didn’t teach me how to be out in the “secular” public. (And still even with the church group I didn’t have a clue.) But I blamed a lot on my mother and my sheltered upbringing. Now I know too much was unfairly put on my mother and my being sheltered from the ways of the world. It wasn’t all that although it did contribute to a lot of the feeling isolated and naivety. And certainly wasn’t fun and a childhood full of freedom. But before I was diagnosed with being autistic..it was all I had to go on. It was the only possible explanation of why I never knew what to do or where to go and why when I did it was still so very hard to keep up. Even when I learned the way to go..I just couldn’t keep up or easily figure it out. There was still a maze before me I had to try and figure out on my own.
Maybe this is part of my subconscious accepting this truth finally. Maybe my subconscious is now putting the pieces together and catching up the data base inside my brain. The fact that the setting was in a HS and a graduation is so beyond symbolic to me. I really did experience a real trauma from this period of my life…my HS years. It was not fun for me. It was very full of turmoil and feeling like I was just barely keeping up or not at all and it wasn’t just my peers but the adults around me too. Not all..but some. And we sure find a way to focus and feel more of a impact from the some, don’t we?
But anyway…it was just a dream..right? Ha. I wish. But I’m glad I had it. I think I needed to take that period of my life out of its box I tucked it away at and look at it a bit. Hold it for a bit. Maybe that’s the purpose of dreams. They are the things you try to bury and your subconscious is all…nope. Here you go. Look at it. Make sense of it. And I can now. There lies the difference. Timing again. I can now look at it in a more understanding way. It was in fact me and my brain that made me feel all that. It wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t dumb. I was just simply me. I just needed more instruction and more guidance with things others just naturally knew. It wasn’t their fault either. They couldn’t help but to understand the world that was very much made and set up for them. Had it been reversed…they would of felt very much like how I felt. That’s just the way it was then and still is but now with bits of cracks in the walls of this long time institution of only one way. My hope is someday there are multiple ways for all the different brains..and not so singular and rigid. That we learn to make exceptions and BE OKAY WITH EXCEPTIONS TO THE SET RULES so all can FEEL included and part of a larger group made up of all kinds of different minds. My hope is my grand daughter never ever experiences being or feeling left behind and has a clear path..made just for her that she too can easily navigate. That it won’t be looked at as her being given breaks or special treatment…but instead looked at as her simply needing a different way to achieve similar goals. Not a biggie…just a different way.