I guess i should start from the beginning.
I was two when they first told me that I was special.
They didn’t know that I could understand them, but I could. The late nights when they would cry, ask each other how they would manage. They thought I couldn’t understand them, but I could.
You see that’s what made me special, I could understand them, I just couldn’t respond. At this point no sensible person could respond, so I forgave them for their naïvety.
They told me that I would have to go to a special school, either that or be put in the special education program. The latter was easier for them, and cheaper.
So I went into the first grade, when I was six, and joined the schools special program.
This would have been perfect, if elementary school kids weren’t so mean.
I could never remember whether or not they were attacking me because they hated me or because they were afraid of what they couldn’t understand. Nevertheless they were mean.
The teachers all tried to stand up for me, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter when they weren’t looking, when we were on recess, when they would push me to the ground, when they would tell me I was worthless and that no one wanted me.
I know my parents didn’t want me to feel this way, but I couldn’t tell them that I wasn’t happy. Everyone told me that being bullied would build character, but all it did was tear me down.
So there I went, reluctantly, to school, every day for five years until my fifth grade graduation. It was difficult for me to get through, not just because the academics were confusing, but because everyday was a struggle.
It wasn’t as if I didn’t have friends though. Jerry was my best friend. He, too, was considered special. He was bullied and he was beaten up.
The only difference was that he could complain about it. He could cry without his parents wondering what was wrong. He could explain why he was upset. I, on the other hand, could not.
When we graduated, Jerry told me that he was going to have to go away. His parents wanted him to go to a different school, a school where he could live with people his age that needed special attention. I think his parents just didn’t want to deal with his anger fits anymore, but I never told him that, mostly because I couldn’t.
I said goodbye to him and, suddenly, I felt sad. I spent the rest of the afternoon crying until my mom made dinner for me.
She told me that it was all going to be okay. She told me that I would have a fun summer with Jerry and that he would leave when school started again.
Her words made me feel a little better, but the ever-present fear of school still hung over my head.
I tried to tell her that I didn’t want to go back to school in August, that I wanted to go be with Jerry, but she didn’t understand me.
She told me that middle school would be easier for me because their special education program was bigger and better. I believed her. What a fool I was for believing her.
I hope you enjoyed this! I believe in spreading awareness of mental health issues and learning differences, so thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy what I have in store for this “series”!