A Shadow to Overcome

February 21, 2018
By Anonymous

For all of my life I had a shadow over me. No one knew it was there, not even me. As far back as I can remember I’ve always been pretty awkward. Now there’s no problem with being awkward, but it sometimes can get in the way of things that are important like making friends early and developing relationships. I wasn’t self aware of these social mistakes I had been making my whole life. I wasn’t trying to be rude; in fact it was quite the opposite, I would often overcompensate with kindness and it would sometimes come off as flirty or pushy when it wasn’t meant to be.

Around the beginning of my 5th grade year I’d moved to a private school. It was a fresh change that allowed me to have a clean slate and make a few new acquaintances. My second year of private school is when I met my best friend. That is when the social ladder switched up for me because I no longer cared to even bother getting any new friends because I felt completed with just one. It made perfect sense to me; I have one good friend, so why do I need more?

In the following months of my 7th grade year, my parents sat me down in the living room to tell me something. Of course I was oblivious as always to their way of thought and movement as I didn’t know any better. They carefully explained to me that they were worrisome about my cognitive abilities and the somewhat non existent social life that I had. Then they told me I had Aspergers. I was perplexed. I was ignorant to here fact that it wasn’t a disease so you could imagine my confusion and frustration. They then explained what it was; it was no illness, but a mental disability that hindered my ability to understand social patterns and emotions that other people take for granted such as sarcasm or small talk. These simple things (along with a handful more) I had lived without for for my entire life. Now being self aware I limited my own social abilities to what I thought I could do, which is one of the many reasons why I wish I would’ve never found out that I had a form of Autism.

The thing that stopped my immediately was my ability to talk and make friends. I was simply to legalistic and firm for even people who would consider themselves to be typically accepting towards others. The evolving cycle of me warding off individuals and being silent made a lot of people dislike me and distanced me from the rest of the people in my life. To my disarray however, I still had one friend.

How I’d wished people would have understood my confusion and reasoning back then and even now. It was not until just last year that I was the only obstacle standing in my way blocking what I could achieve.

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