When writing the notes for my previous post about unsuccessful mimicking, my brain diverted suddenly, off on a tangent, kind of like it’s surfing a cognitive internet.
In my last post, I had begun to take the alphabet and run with it. A rare moment of spontaneity indeed.
That last post had started off with:
“A”, for the Awkwardness I feel when trying to make a joke, explain an idea, or say/do pretty much anything else.
“B”, for the Boredom I’m sure they experienced when something I said or did rang hollow and empty.
“C”, for the Condescension I could in their eyes, as if they were saying, “look–you’re not cool, so just stop.”
“D”, for Disappear, which I wanted desperately to be able to do.
“E”, for the Escape route I frantically wanted to plan.
But as it turns out, there’s more…
You can probably guess what “F” is for…
“Friendless”… duh 😉
“G” is for the Geek that I was called, back the days before the word became chic, back when it was insulting and synonymous with “undesirable, hopeless nerd”.
“H” is for Hell-if-I-know, the phrase that popped into my head so often that it might have been programmed into my brain’s autocorrect/autosuggest function, in response to the confusion I experienced when trying to figure out why I hadn’t been able to pull off the hit joke or social media-post that viral meme.
“I” probably stands for the Invisibility I wanted to be gifted with from/by the universe, to escape the taunts and the unwanted attention I accidentally call to myself.
“J” is for the Jerk that I eventually became when I had finally had enough of the teasing and victimization, and I finally accepted the fact that mom’s surefire “kill ’em with kindness” strategy wasn’t ever going to work after all.
“K” is for the Karma I wished on a few particularly relentless people who never let me live down my gaffes.
“L” is for the Loneliness that I felt when, despite numerous practice runs and what I thought were chameleon-like mimicking skills, all my efforts rang hollow.
It also stands for the Loneliness I experienced–and continue to experience–on a regular basis. It’s sort of my default position sometimes.
“M” is for Maybe, as in just maybe I’ll get it right eventually. Maybe I’ll develop the right timing, the right social circle, the right vibe. Eventually. Or not.
“N” is for the “Nope! You’re not ever going to get it right; you’ll always be socially awkward, even when dealing with people younger than you, whom you feel by all logical rights you should have a leg up on, but you’re never going to shake that insecure, awkward feeling or that strange vibe”.
“O” stands for the obstinacy I eventually developed when I realized it wasn’t worth the time or effort to attempt to fit in with the world anyway.
“P” represents the Pain of being shut out, made fun of, unfairly targeted and criticized, of being alone,
feeling like knowing that no one truly understands.
“Q” is for the Questioning – why couldn’t I be cool too? Why couldn’t I hit that same mark? If people thought of themselves as so nice, why couldn’t they humor me? Tell me, what was I supposed to do or say in that situation? What’s the right answer? If I’m smart like everybody says, then why can’t I get something that seems so simple?
“R” is for the Rest of the people who seemed to get by just fine without nearly the effort it took me.
“S” is for the Smile I counter-intuitively tried to paste on my face and stubbornly maintain, even when I was hurting inside, even when I felt like doing anything but smile. After all, I can’t show the mean people they’ve won or that they got to me, nor can I make the world think that I’m weak or an unpleasant person, now, can I?
It might also stand for the Solution I longed to find, but never did.
“T” is for the Toll that socializing took–and takes–on my energy, my spoons/steam, and even my health. By kindergarten, I had butterflies in my stomach and an urgent need to use the restroom, just because my school bus had pulled up to the school’s entrance in the morning.
It also stands for Tumultuous, which is what I experienced during those times. I felt like my feet were firmly planted in midair.
“U” is for the Understanding I wished I had. The understanding of myself and the truth about my neurotype. And also, the understanding I wished I’d gotten from others, especially the grownups who held all the power. And these days, from society, who stubbornly continues to hold me to invisible rules that I never knew, and hold it against me when I don’t follow them down their path.
Or, it could refer to the Understanding I began to reach, each nugget hard-fought and hard-won.
“V” is for the Voice that I began to find.
It might also stand for the Vitriol I often face(d).
“W” is for the World-at-large that I began to meld everybody into, the world that I began to grow suspicious, fearful, and distrusting of, and skeptical and jaded toward. The masses that began to annoy me as much as they already perplexed me.
“X” is for the X-Ray vision (I know it’s cliche, sorry; my options are limited) that I still wish I had, especially when it comes to other people’s thoughts. What do they really think of me? Who is actually my friend and ally, and who is just using me or plotting against me?
“Y” is for Yardstick – the invisible, intangible unit of measurement that I could never register on or exceed the standards of.
“Z” is for Zebra, what I felt like as an undiagnosed autistic person before and a diagnosed/known autistic person now, when trying to keep my head above water in an ocean of horses.