Bullies have become a rather hot button topic lately. I feel like everyone has been bullied or hurt by others, and there is a big movement to try and stop the problem. Along with such insults as “Fattie!” and “Dummie!”, there has been an arrow I have a personal connection to. It`s that word incapable.
Boy, have I heard that one a lot. “Z, you are just incapable of paying attention!” And “Z, why are you incapable of doing your homework!” The one I was always straining to fix “Z, why can you run after the da*n ball!?!” The one that brought me to tears, of course, was that “Z, why are you such a lousy know it all that makes the other kids feel stupid when you are always pointing out the answers?”
My favorite, of course, is still “Z, why are you incapable of curing your stupidity?” I suppose none of them meant any harm but what they said. They managed it despite themselves, probably due to their oblivious nature.
You see, for most of my life, (I`ll admit, I`m still super young, but this type of behavior still lasted far too long) I was undiagnosed with a ton of issues. My blood sugar issues, which would make my vision black out at a moment`s notice, and faint if I pushed myself too hard physically.
My gluten intolerance, which I wrote in more depth on in this post. It made me feel like I was running through syrup, and I`m surprised I was half as active as I was with all of that weighing me down. It also gave me the brain fog that made Math so horribly difficult.
And, last but not least, the myriad of vision focusing issues that are best explained to the general public by calling them dyslexia. I don`t just have problems with letters going backwards, though. They go upwards, downwards, mirror wards, and move around a lot. Actually, considering all of that, my teachers should have rejoiced that I knew anything, let alone ‘it all’!
And what is so wrong about a student trying to help other kids with their work? That question has been plaguing me for years. You see, I never was bullied by my peers. They liked me too much, because I was always helping them with their work, and because I was always trying to help people even to my detriment when I was younger. I was only ever bullied by some teachers.
Bullies aren`t always kids- They can be teachers too!
Part of my problems is that I have rather mild Asperger`s syndrome, mainly the component of it that makes me helplessly disorganized. I couldn`t remember to do my homework, and couldn`t find it when I did. Let me tell you, I got a lot of heat about that. When I asked for help, did a single one of those grumpy pants give it? No. I was a smart kid, so obviously my disorganization was a willful and deliberately upsetting choice on my part. I`m not sure what organization has to do with intelligence, and they never did get around to telling me.
The worst part, of course, is that teachers were almost my idols. I loved how they gushed over my writing and cooed at my artwork. I loved that they always had good books around to read. I loved that they knew what an isosceles triangle was, and could teach me about shield volcanoes. I loved them. Until a particular one made it clear that not all of them loved me.
Sure, most of my teachers were ambivalent towards me, and some of them genuinely liked me. A rare few of my teachers loved me, and always pushed me to work harder, and tried to help me get organized. I loved them back, and I`m going to dedicate all of the books I write someday to them, or at least one book per awesome teacher. They taught me more than book smarts, they taught me about persistence and hard work and pushing myself to do my best, even when others would gasp in awe at my version of good enough.
But the ones that disliked me? I know now that they were the people that didn`t understand emotions well, or even people. I know now that they probably had undiagnosed Asperger`s, as it really is an under diagnosed problem. Most everyone who has it is super smart, if not a genius, so what problems could they possibly have? But that doesn`t make it right that they automatically assumed the worst in people, in me. And now that I know that they lashed out at me due to their own insecurities and feelings of stupidity, and maybe the feeling that my inability to do homework somehow made them look bad? I get it. I understand pride, now that I have more than is healthy. I don`t like it, but I get it.
So if they are out there in the blogosphere, and reading this very post? I`d thank them for teaching me to always give the benefit of the doubt to others. I`d ask them to open themselves up, so that someday they could maybe not take other`s failings as a personal insult, or even try to help others with their problems.
Most of all, though, I`d say all of that. And then probably ask them to not come by for a chat tomorrow. I may have learned the art of forgiveness, but I`m not a master of the forgetfulness aspect of that virtue!
Have you had a run in with someone who brought you down and upset you horribly at the time, but looking back made you stronger despite them?
The best way to react to bullying seems to be closure. Some people find that in fighting back. You can fight back with your fists (though you`ll get sued for defending yourself, because that`s our legal system for you!) or you can fight back by being everything they say you aren`t, and you can`t be. And someday you might find that you are glad you had these naysayers in your life to push you to push yourself to excellence.