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the real world

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Aug 18, 2018
    I've been busy and been fairly quiet on here this week, but many of you are always in my thoughts still. Because of my age, things, like bullying, doesn't impact me anymore. But so many of you are still young and still have to deal with life's hardships and if I can do anything at all that might help you get through it all, that's what I want.

    The other day it dawned on me that I was probably bullied most my life but just didn't realize it. When something is brought to your attention, it stands out more prominently and that's when it starts affecting you. Keep in mind that autism was not a thing in my early years, neither was adhd, dyslexia or any of these new things. So we (still being who we are) were forced to live the same life as everyone else. It's okay because that's how I learned to survive in the real world - didn't like it, but I survived it. Unknowingly, I saved my autism moments for when I was alone. I learned to hold back tears until I could get off to myself. In crowds, I tended to stay in corners and hide myself basically - just didn't know why.

    It dawned on me the other day, just how much I actually was bullied all my life - I just didn't know I was being bullied. In school when someone threatened to beat me up I put on my 'I don't care' mask and dealt with it. I didn't know I was being bullied so it didn't have such a great impact on me. I knew that for some reason this person didn't like me and wanted to beat me up, and 'oh well', wasn't much I could do about it except hope they didn't because I knew I could never fight back. When I got into high school, other's must have noticed it (I still didn't) because this one really big girl told me if anyone picked on me she would take care of them. I thought that was cool but didn't know why she said that to me. I was oblivious.

    I was a waitress and worked with 2 other waitresses that used to make fun of me and laugh at me and sometimes the cook came out of the kitchen to help me when they were laughing at me. Again, I never understood why or what I had ever done to them but I didn't see it as bullying me, I don't really known what I thought it was. In another job once a lady told me she was going to wait for me outside of work and beat me up. I just couldn't believe a grown adult (older than I was) would still want to fight. I just made sure my husband picked me up at the door but never took it personal or felt like "Hey, I'm being bullied".

    My 15 year nursing career at the hospital was the worst. I still never understood why it seemed like the majority was out to get me, but I never thought about it. The only time I realized it was personal was when a nursing student became a nurse and we worked together and she told me she used to feel so sorry for me when I was trying to give report to the oncoming nurses and they would always give me such a hard time and she thought it was terrible and hard to watch. Here, I had been thinking everyone was treated the same way and I just had a harder time and was trying to write down any possibly information on each patient that the oncoming nurse might drill me for while I tried to tell them what I thought was important to the care of the patient. I thought it was me. And why did so many people actually make things up to try to get me in trouble? Even a computerized printout of excessive absences with the computer printed name scratched out in pen and my name hand written in ink to use against me where I had to prove my innocence. Or when I was written up for something I did not say or written up for being so out of it - this day shift nurse had written I wasn't even able to walk. Seems I would have remembered that - I never took naps, did any kind of drugs (even prescription), no pot, no alcohol - I offered to take a drug test right then but they declined. All these things I didn't understand. Again, I was oblivious to it having to do with me being different. I thought it was crazy and outlandish and how can people just lie like that. But I always just would go in, do my job, try to be nice to everyone and do my paperwork in a corner somewhere. Though sometimes, just to irritate people back, I'd toe the line just enough to irritate, but knew where the line was and stayed within it so no one could fire me. :) Maybe that just became something I did to entertain myself, I don't know.

    Maybe if I had known at the time that I was on the spectrum and thought I was actually being bullied because of it, it may have had a different impact on me. Maybe it was a good thing I didn't know these things because it probably would have made it harder for me to deal with the bullying if I thought it was because of autism. I can relate when others talk about being bullied, but I have a hard time relating to it being because of autism because I never took it as something being wrong with me for the reason I was bullied. There are just some mean people out there that like to bully and it's not because of who you are - it's because of who THEY are. Ignore it, fight it, but don't let it take away or make you hide the special person you are. I see most of us as gentle and kind - possibly an autism trait :) - don't let the world change that. And I think that's exactly what these bullies are trying to do - take the kindness and good out of people.
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  2. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

    Jan 31, 2017
    Great post.

    <Insert kind and wise words here>
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  3. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    I have been frequently bullied at various times in my life - in primary school they called me names and deliberately wound me up to make me melt down - basically I was their entertainment. It was obvious that I was being bullied and I was aware of it - they stood around me in a circle and chanted names at me, and I couldn't understand why I was ging targeted, because to my knowledge, it was fat kids or kids who wore glasses or had red hair that got bullied - but I was neither of those.

    I have a student who told me that he was being bullied at school, and I told him basically what you wrote at the end of your post, that it is the bullies who have the problem and that he should never imagine for one minute that there is something wrong with him, their words mean nothing and not to let them take his self esteem away from him.
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  4. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

    Oct 1, 2018
    I was bullied and/Or ignored throughout most of childhood and some of my adulthood.

    Recently there were a couple of people that I had to deal with at work who were intimidating but -- one of them the boss took care of, the other one I did not back down. Progress!
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  5. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jun 30, 2017
    I think I spent a lot of time trying to stick up for my brothers.
    They got picked on a lot.

    I think I might have been that crazy kid sister. You know, the one you were wary of.
    Could turn like a viscous dog.

    I was brought up to ‘hit ‘em back’ in an era where the cane, getting slippered, a length of 2 x 1” timber and throwing board dusters at students was perfectly acceptable at school.

    For that reason I don’t remember getting bullied by people my own age.

    The odd nun or teacher seemed to enjoy humiliating me,
    during training when serving, I never saw it as bullying, they had to break you down to build you back up.

    I understand ‘bullies’ to crave power over someone else to feel better about their insecurities or inadequacies.

    I’d always believed it said more about them than the victim.
    Gave away or revealed part of themselves they were trying to hide.
    Hence the bravado.
    A projection maybe ?
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  6. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    May 27, 2015
    There were girls in high school who made my life awful. They gave my younger autistic sister drugs one day, while she was waiting outside for me, which may have been LSD. I protected her throughout her childhood but in that instance I couldn't.
    They did awful things to me, and they made my life miserable. Eventually I ignored them. And the school I went to at the time became part of a larger area school, which saved me. They couldn't beat me up near the lockers anymore, and I learned to hit back when possible.

    Once years later I saw one of the girls, she went behind a coke machine to hide from me. Seeing her hide made me realize how ashamed she must have felt, about the things she had done. She hadn't changed me, only made me wary, but she was different.
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  7. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2016
    Some people are just plain mean. The only autistic kids I knew in school were in the special education classes and I don't remember anyone bullying them, maybe because they were physically separated from the general population. I think mainstreaming kids who are different is not always a good idea. Sometimes they need the protection and extra attention of being in separate classes.

    I do well remember two guys in high school who appeared gay although I didn't really know what "gay" meant at that age, who were bullied by the other boys. One of them was small in stature and the bully boys put him in a garbage can (the huge sized garbage cans that were in the school hallways) every single day. They'd pick him up and dump him in the can every morning. The other gay guy was just verbally harassed to death by the bullying jackals. It turned out that both of the guys were gay although maybe they didn't know it back then. The small gay guy became a Baptist minister of music and has cut several successful records of him singing hymns and religious songs. Beautiful voice. The other gay guy moved to New Orleans and was elected queen of the huge Mardi Gras gay parade there one year. I saw his photo in the Times Picayune newspaper leading the gay pride parade and I was able to get his phone number and meet up with him to talk and share a drink down on Bourbon Street.

    I now regret that I didn't stand up to the bullies back then because I knew it was wrong and empathized with the victims. I was kind of shy and insecure myself then. Now days, God help you if I catch you bullying someone. Not shy or insecure anymore.
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  8. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jun 30, 2017

    That’s how I felt when one of my brothers was getting a hard time.

    I noticed it was never one to one though.
    It had to be two or more bullies
    (in the days before the internet and cyber bullying)

    I’m trying to be all about ‘calm’ these days, been in pursuit of zen-like for a while now.

    I got a hit of that old fury after reading some of the personal accounts on this thread.
    (Can’t help but wish I’d have been there to do something)

    One brother got tall and broad (looked intimidating) and found it easy to win Angling matches.
    He socialised with a fishing crowd. (As much as Anglers socialise)
    They didn’t just accept him, they wanted to know about how he mixed his baits, slight changes in designs of equipment and so on.

    My other brother got his 2nd Dan (black belt) in Karate (shotokan, I think ?)
    Massive boost in confidence.
    They both come through it all okay. :)
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