Saturday, March 17, 2012

Autism and Bullying: Part One

In previous blog posts, I have discussed many times about my difficulties that I endured during middle school.  While most of those difficulties were dealt with internally between myself, one of the external difficulties was bullying.  Middle school students can really be the cruelest people imaginable to someone who does not fit the unspoken criteria of what is socially acceptable.  It was really the perfect storm in my case.

To start with, I have a personality type that accounts for only one percent of the population (INFP), which accounts for individuals who are passive in appearance but really hide deep feeling and sensitivity.  In other words, I could take taunts from bullies without a word but feel the pain for years.  Also, I was dealing with mild autism.  Put an idealistic perfectionist in a body/mind that does not operates on a different system from most other people and you get someone like me who will push the limits of my own condition and ridicule myself for any perceived failures. Put that kind of a person (me) in a situation where he feels socially inferior, you get a depression so deep that the shadow of which can still be felt today, amid all my success.

There were a few bully's during this time that went out of their way to make my life miserable.  However, the majority of people considered me to be an outsider.  It was less how people viewed me and more to do with how I thought other people viewed me.  My entire sixth grade year, I ate lunch alone with the exception of another troubled kid who I could not stand but said nothing about it.

Even these days, while I am striving for greatness as a writer, I still have to endure the doubt and intense internal conflict associated with my personality type, all invisible to people who come associate with me on a day to day basis..  All things considered, I am my own worst enemy at times.  

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