Trouble and Bullies in School

I was a smiley and happy girl before I started school.

I hated school when I was young. My body was made to be constantly in motion. Sitting still and paying attention to the teacher was difficult.

School was overwhelming. It was the first place I experienced sensory overload, and I had a hard time understanding my teachers in a classroom environment. The florescent lights gave me “headaches” and I had a hard time focusing because of all the “background noise”.

In first grade the other kids were learning how to read, but I taught myself to read at an early age.  The teacher wanted me to sit still, not distracting the class, but I had other ideas. I wanted to crawl around on the floor, hide under my desk, and spin in circles.

My teachers were not amused by my behavior and suggested my mother have me evaluated for ADHD. At the time ADHD was the general diagnosis for disruptive children and Ritalin was being passed out like candy. Teachers liked active kids being doped up because it made their jobs easier, but nobody seemed to question if these drugs would have harmful long term effects on the children.

My mother refused to have me evaluated. She was angry when my teachers suggested that I was unintelligent. I was a bright child and my mother knew me better than my teachers did. Unfortunately there was no convincing me to apply myself to the “trivial” things that my teachers wanted me to learn.

The other kids were horrible to me. I was picked on constantly, verbally abused and physically beat up regularly. When my mother would ask how my day was I never mentioned the bullies. I took my beatings as they came.

The other kids told me I was “creepy” and called me a “witch”. When Practical Magic came out in 1998 the kids started to use the chant “Witch witch you’re a bitch!” any time teachers were out of earshot.

Things didn’t get any better in middle school. I spent most of my childhood wishing to be an adult, just trying to get through being a kid. I HATED my childhood. I wanted to be an adult, because adults treated each other better.

I remember my first ride home on the school bus in sixth grade. In elementary school bus seats had been assigned, but the bus driver let me know that I could sit wherever I wanted. I was one of the fist kids to board the bus in the afternoon, so I chose the very last seat.

A boy tapped me on the shoulder and I took my headphones off. He let me know that I “was in his seat”.  I smiled politely and let him know that we did not have assigned seats this year. Before I knew it his fist was in my stomach. It felt if he had punched all the way through my gut into my spine. Nobody said or did anything to help me.

I sat in the seat directly behind the bus driver for the rest of the year on days I had to ride the bus.

The warm happy girl who had started school only a few years earlier had almost completely vanished. I was in a dark place, every peer I met became a potential threat and I was learning not to trust anyone.

In high school I became a better “actor” and learned to mimic the people who were not getting picked on. Things got better, but I had become a very shallow and fake person. I had backstabbing and untrustworthy “friends” and became just like the people that I spent time with.

The bullying had stopped, but I had become a shadow of my true self.

Years later I am still cleaning up the damage done by my childhood, rediscovering my true nature, and getting back to being that warm and happy girl that I was meant to be.

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30 thoughts on “Trouble and Bullies in School”

  1. I was never bullied much in elementary school, I even had a lot of friends to play with and I had created a phantasy-land at school. Other kids made drawings and contributed to it.

    In high school everything changed. I was picked on and bullied a lot. I wasn’t the happy, busy and social kid anymore. I was very unhappy and didn’t dare to express myself anymore. I dressed in neutral clothing like fleece vests and cargo pants. I felt horrible every morning climbing my bike and going to that learning-factory full of immature people. Just like you I wanted to be an adult.

    I banded up with other neutral kids and misfits, but I also met some backstabbers. I was good at learning, spent my free hours between classes to finish my homework already and after school I made my way home to eat chips, drink ice tea and game on my Playstation. I grew large.
    In the weekends I dresses differently. I wore my ring and my necklace and I absolutely loved my free time.

    Eventually I survived high school, got to university and built up the adult life I wanted. Your story sounds quite relatable 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This was a heart touching article. I’m sorry that you had such problems, but I think it helps to then think about the Holocaust, Mass deaths in the world wars and find ourselves more fortunate, for there is always someone suffering more than us. Also, I think we have great power in our minds.
      ‘They can hurt my body all they want. But, they will never possess my self respect of I do not give it to them.’
      The power of positive thoughts is immense. I wrote an article about this and one about bullying too on my blog, I thank you for following it!
      But truly, I now support you on your way to recovery dear friend. And I deeply recommend that you read the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’ I kid you not, it’s likely to change your life!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much. I wrote about these struggles to hopefully inspire. All things in this world are temporary, especially suffering. At this point in my life, I feel as if I am past these things, but my memories are often still as clear as the day they happened even if the pain is long gone. I actually REALLY enjoyed the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People! LOL! Great read I recommend it to anyone. I am definitely all about self improvement. I am my own project.

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  2. Sounds so familiar. The proudest time in my teaching career was at the beginning of each semester when I passed on my greeting speech. Of all full rules, each teacher was taken to give the one concerning bullying was my own. “Each of my students will respect their classmates and this classroom. If for whatever reason you cannot follow these rules the door is always open.” In thirty years I never had a discipline problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, kids are pretty good about picking on other kids when the teachers are not around or not looking. My bullies liked to catch me in hallways just out of view of the teachers. Another good place is in the bathroom if the teacher is in the hallway or not visible. Recess and lunch were good spots for bullies too… and of course school buses because bus drivers like to pretend they do not notice you being assaulted.

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  3. Autism needs to be treated ,I agree medicines have side effects ,but then other way is meditation , self affirmation and patience ,I wish you a healthier life and regarding bullying its a kind of disease which of course needs counselling too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not personally believe that Autism is a disease. Evidence suggests that Autism has always been with us, in many of the great minds and inventors of the world. We are a different brain type, a minority. Like many other minorities , being an Aspie has it’s challenges because the NT world was not built for us. More than anything we need understanding and the freedom to be our true selves. Trying to pass as “normal” is what causes many of our problems. I do not think it is fare that we should have to “fake” who we are in order to make “normal” people feel more comfortable.

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      1. Actually to think different you need different type of chemicals and their interaction its true Einstein ,Newton and many more were not normal ,brain wise ,my intentions were not of sympathy ,actually its your choice to be normal or same, personally I respect everyone as who she is as she is

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        1. There is more than just a chemical difference in the way the brain of an Autistic person develops and there DOES seem to be a genetic link. AS runs in families. Perhaps it all starts with chemicals as a child develops, and genetics make the chemical reactions more likely – that part I cannot be sure of. Recently they have done brain scans of Autistic brains and the neurological pathways are physically different. Many are overactive while others are under active. Many of us can pretend to be normal, for a while but at an EXTREME mental cost often leading to a shut or melt down if this “fake persona” is lived in too often. To be “high functioning” is to be good at faking normal, but who wants to be fake all the time. The truth is people on the spectrum actually live in a slightly different world than neurotypical people because our brains are physically – not just chemically – different. Our amygdala’s tend to be larger and overactive, causing many of us to live in a constant state of “flight or fight”. Our brains process sights and sounds in a different, and often more intense way. It is not just a choice of being “normal”. We are simply not the same, and there is nothing wrong with that. 🙂

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          1. Agree ,I do feel no one should fake , but again its world that supports majority and minorities of any kind ,let it be racial ,mental ,physical do find difficulties ,all I can say stay happy the way you want

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Elsesser's Education Blog and commented:
    This blogger shares some of her school experiences as an undiagnosed child with autism. It is quite heart breaking. We teachers can certainly make a difference if we understand , pay attention, and actively support children in these situations. This should never have happened to this person in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing my story. Despite my hard childhood, I did grow up to be a strong and compassionate adult. I had to overcome a lot, and perhaps the worst lingering effect is that I do have trust issues, because I was overly trusting/forgiving growing up. This has taught me to be more cautious as an adult, but I have gotten great at selecting amazing friends vs just ok ones.

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  5. This hurts me so much to read for various reasons. First, I am technically undiagnosed. I only discovered I was an Aspie when my son — who is just like me in every way except gender — was diagnosed.

    I moved around a lot as a kid. I learned quickly that there are two options: bully or be bullied. I learned to blend in and how to say what needed to be said in order for people to like me.

    My son, on the other hand, was bullied to the point that I had to involve the police. It broke my heart. How can people be so heartless?

    I have another son now who just started school. He is autistic and has much more sensory issues than I do. He is like you described; he climbs under his desk or a table at a restaurant. I get the stares all the time. “Why doesn’t she do something?” “That child isn’t disciplined. How spoiled!”

    The best thing we can do is what we’re doing; educate people. Imagine the difference in the world if we had known then what we know now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am sorry about the struggles that you and your family are going through. My family was in denial that there was anything different or abnormal about me, and I discovered AS as an adult. Suddenly all the things that I had learned to keep to myself made since. I could not advocate for myself before because I had no words in my verbal script to explain my experiences. You being aware and spreading your awareness for your family (and for all of us) any way you can is the best thing that you can do. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advocating for your amazing children. ♡

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  6. I’m sorry you had such a hard time at school. Kids can be truly awful.

    I’m happy to hear that as an adult you are finding your way toward happiness again. I think that is a big part of growing up. The internet is a great place for it. Everybody can find a place here to be themselves. Are you aware of Amythest Schaber? She’s a youtuber my brother introduced me to. She’s a really wonderful advocate for people with ASD. I totally recommend her channel if you don’t watch already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lydia, thank you for your comment. I actually have already watched all of Amethyst’s videos (lol) and am looking forward to watching the new ones when she adds more. When I first discovered AS I must have searched every page on the Internet, reading and watching everything I came across. I’m truly grateful for the online Spectrum community. Interactions fact to face are hard for me to navigate gracefully, but I tend to do much better online.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to so much of this. Want more challenging work? Do the trivial stuff first. Want friends? Stop seeing dragons in the clouds. Want a life? Stop being “a freak.” Thankfully, I did not stop being “a freak” and I quite enjoy my life right now. Thanks for this post. There’s much hope here, even with the acknowledgement of difficult beginnings.

    Liked by 1 person

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