When I was a little girl I knew something was different about me, but could not specify what it was. I could tell by how my relatives treated me. Cousins didn’t want to spend time with me or make any attempt to get to know me. I was called stupid and ignorant behind my back because I didn’t fit in socially with pears. My mother, God rest her soul, did her best to make me “normal”. It started by having me abandon being left handed and relearning how to do everything right handed. When I’d get upset or wanted to relax I rocked. I was told to stop doing that. I had to sit a certain way, talk a certain way, be better behaved then my pears. I was not allowed to think for myself and speak on it. My wants and dreams were never validated. I had been demoted from being a family member to becoming a matter of circumstance, a source of shame.
I could not understand what I was doing that was so wrong. Why did everything about me need to be changed? What was so unlovable and even unlikable about me? Why was I born? I should have been that one shot in the dark that misfired.
Over the years my quirkiness grew and my artistic ability along with it, but as my mother combated my many quirks, my ability to see life in full color spectrum dissolved. I could only see life in grey scale. With each step towards normalcy I lost a little bit more of myself. It was subtle at first but became increasingly noticeable as I grew older. Things that I loved and was good at, I could no longer do. I had become the obedient, dutiful go getter drone that my parents trained me to be; forever striving to please those who could never be pleased. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I was a constant reminder of what they didn’t ask for. I was lost and had also lost the battle. Too tired to continue fighting I gave in and ignored the fear of never being found again.
Today I’m a 46 years old proud mom to my beautiful son, who has many quirks some of which resemble my past self; blessed to survive burying my problems and free to express exactly who I am. It is only now that I speak of those things that lie dormant for so many years. It’s been a long time coming and a long road towards regaining, but the greater reward is how good it feels to finally be free and to see full spectrum again.
Take me back to the merry band of misfits where I belong.
There is where no judgments found.
Quirkiness, giggles and stemming embraced.
I’m back in the bosom of happiness and grace.
That which was wrong, finally made right.
Showing my son how to stand in the light.
Keep running and giggling and stemming with glee.
As for the rest of the world…simply let it be.