I suffer from a common condition that some have and some don’t. Not depression, or Anxiety, or anything that you’re thinking of. In fact, this illness is one that not many know the name of. Alexithymia. I’ve had this all my life without even knowing it, when I discovered what it meant I realized what I had. The type of person that I was. Because of this illness, I was led to a life of isolation, choosing a path to be alone.
There wasn’t just that ONE moment when I realized how I was different from the other kids I knew when I was younger. But there is that one moment that will stick to me as long as I live.
Because I have Alexithymia, I don’t know how to give people my opinions without sounding rude, which means I’m rude even when I don’t mean to be. I learned that when my parents told me that I was being rude to a lady that came over to our house one time, I couldn’t help it, so I stood quiet whenever I could to avoid causing any inconvenience. This lead people to believe that I was just a shy person or anti-social. So they would either leave me alone, believe that I hate them, or try to get to know me but end up becoming distant due to the fact that I couldn’t express what I feel. Over the years I would only have one or two friends, I had gotten use to being mostly alone and accepted it happily. Until I met this girl in 6th grade..
It was at lunch when I had finished eating and I had to use the restroom. When I entered the ladies room, I saw this girl talking to two older girls. At first I didn’t think anything of her when I was walking by. Until she came up to me when I was washing my hands. She told me that she was selling bows that her mother had made as a hobby. I declined in the nicest way possible and walked away.
After school, I passed by her again and overheard the conversation she was having. She was asking them if they wanted to buy any bows from her. They said no and walked away. I didn’t think much of it and continued to walk home.
The next day I saw her again sitting alone at a table with a sad expression on her face. I figured it was because no one bought a bow from her at all. I felt bad at that moment, when I saw her again in the restroom and walked up to her. I asked her if she was the one who was selling the bows. Of course she said yes. I told her that I was interested in buying one, the moment I said that her face lit up and she asked me with a cheerful tone what colors I wanted the bows to be. She told me that the price would be three dollars. We agreed to meet in the same spot the next day.
From there, we exchanged the bow and the money like it was nothing, and I thought that it was the end of it, I didn’t even know her name. The only times that I saw her was at lunch since we didn’t have any classes together. One day she sat at the table I was sitting at and she saw me. “Hey, I remember you!” I remember her saying so suddenly. I gave her a look that was supposed to be surprised, but instead being a weirded out expression. She looked at me funny, but chose to ignore it. “You’re that one girl that bought one of my mom’s bows.” I didn’t know what to say at that time so I just nodded. She told me that I was the only person that bought a bow from her.
From that day, we became friends and one day she asked me why I was so serious and distant from the rest of the kids. At the time, I had no idea. I had just thought that it was just who I was and believing that it was just best for me to be alone since I thought no one understood me. I told her that I was just a shy person and didn’t get along with the other kids.
This may sound cliche, but she was the only girl to accept who I was. I learned that she didn’t really have friends either because they believed that she was annoying. But as time past we made new friends together and because of her, I’ve learned to open up more and somewhat express what I feel. If I didn’t have her today, I would probably still be completely alone. That girl who made me realize who I was is still with me today. We have our ups and downs, but still continue ourselves as best friends.