I’ve recently shared on some specific hostel and school experiences that I had. This post will be more general and specific if I can remember anything specific. In writing this I was remembering how I would not understand why someone would suddenly stop talking me “as a friend” with no explanation at all or if someone would say “yes we can make a plan” and then the plan is never made.

I know that not understanding that has lost me many friends and people over the years because I take things literally. This has been sad for me. I want to reach out to people and just get to know them. Not to use them or anything but get to know them.

That part has been very challenging and difficult for me to adjust to because missing those crucial signals has meant that I lost more than just a signal.

From that experience, I’ve learned not to assume ANYTHING! I’ve also learnt to not put big expectations on people and try as much in my ability to define the boundaries and what they are expecting. It’s a lot of emotional work and more questions which NT people don’t seem to like but I need that to further understand relating. I think many of my misunderstandings with people have been because they have not communicated clearly with me and then the lines were blurred.

I’ve now learnt to fit in with where people are at because life and circumstances are constantly changing even though it’s difficult sometimes to adjust at such short notice. I would rather understand where someone is at more clearly and talk through a disagreement than them think that I am rigid and won’t change on some point or another, especially in relating to people.

Have you ever been misunderstood?

Louise and frog

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Posted by: Louise | December 10, 2017

How I got my diagnosis as Aspergers/Autistic

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The rainbow of hope

I was in a church group and one of the ladies in the church group approached me and said that maybe I was Aspergers.
During that same year, I asked my psychiatrist the same question and he agreed. This isn’t a long story but there is more to it…

I went to my main church to work on something in the office around that time and I looked up the “symptoms” of Aspergers and what ended up happening is that I read many articles on it and looked up the DSM definition and tried to understand it better myself.

That day I remember sitting in front of the computer and crying for three hours as I went over the many parts of my life and my experiences with anxiety, with people and with people in leadership positions over the years.

This happened about six or seven years ago and since then I’ve learnt to acknowledge my weaknesses (that was extremely hard) and to learn to deal with these challenges in a better way.

One way was to go to a psychologist to help me with life skills and pain from the past, another was to sign up for art classes again (that only happened in 2016) and the other thing was to finally track down a professional organizer.

What I still want to do is get a style consultation and someone who can help me with my health. I’m in the process of getting a new job so hopefully, the money will come in for that soon.

That is a sound byte of the story.

Louise and frog

Posted by: Louise | December 10, 2017

Gratefulness around a #birthday in high school

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I may have sounded bleak in the last post but it wasn’t ALL bleak. I remember one birthday (I think it was matric) where two friends of mine saved their money to help me to get a facial and a wax. For me, that gift was so amazing!

What that meant to me was that others were thinking of me and did belong in some way. The other thing it did was show me that not every person is the same.

It showed me that they wanted me to take care of myself and it was a real treat. I felt that I did not deserve such a gift and I am forever grateful to those two girls in high school who thought of me and who pampered me that day.

Thank you! You know who you are and I don’t want to mention names because sometimes people don’t want to be mentioned.

Can you think of some people who did something selfless for you while you were in high school?

Louise and frog

Posted by: Louise | December 9, 2017

Positive results of having been #bullied

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Yes, the title is meant to catch your eye! YES, I have been one hundred percent truthful about the things that have happened to me and I will continue to do so. Sharing those experiences will help others not to feel so alone and so condemned I think. I will be writing about more into the future as and when needed as well as continuing in the new year to write about transitions because I’ve had a year of transitions!

Now, back to this post…

What I’ve learned from been bullied

1 My self-esteem should not be linked to how I’m treated by a select few

When I started being bullied in early junior school (and I didn’t know that that was what it was) it affected my self-esteem. In kindergarten (nursery school here in South Africa) I don’t think that it registered that I was been bullied at all or I can’t remember if it happened. Been bullied in different ways and by different people over the years and slowly realising it was not a nice thing but what I have realised is that whether someone bullies you or whether they treat you really well, it should not be linked to how you view yourself.

2 The person who is bullying me is more unsure than I am

Well, to put it honestly, the other person is actually more scared and may possibly have a lower self-esteem than I do. Making a generalisation and assumption (which aren’t good things to do relationally) would be that they have been bullied themselves in some way and started to do it to others to protect themselves.

3 You learn to stand up for yourself

Eventually, you learn to stand up for yourself. Why? Because the nature of the bullying sometimes changes and you do need to learn how to protect yourself. You also learn tenacity. Staying power in the game of life even when and as things get harder been around people. I also had to learn to be assertive. It took me a long time though and it was and still is a good life skill to continue to learn.

4 You find the strength inside yourself eventually

You are usually stronger than the one who is bullying you but you can’t see it. Most people find anything or anyone that is different or strange an offence to them because it’s the unknown, the scary so instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt they would rather hide behind bullying and belittling the person. In a backwards kind of way you eventually realise that you have some different, uncommon strengths hidden inside which others may not have or which are in short supply.

5 You realise how to change the script and not become like them

This one took a while because as a reaction sometimes that is what happens. You find yourself becoming what you despise because your focus is on it so much. It takes a lot of strength to turn your focus on to something and someone else and on to another type of behaviour. You need to turn your focus around and “repay” with humility and kindness. In a way, you may also feel sorry and sad for them because they are not able to face their emotional issues head-on. (If they had been they would talk to you as an equal and not bully you).

Something to think about …

Have you ever bullied anyone (if even in a very small way)?

Louise and frog

 

 

Posted by: Louise | December 6, 2017

#Bullying on the playground

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Bullying is like being fried in hot oil…

Bullying has become a “go-to” topic that educators and teachers and others are talking about more, especially in schools as the impact has been seen on the students who it affects although sadly those that are doing the bullying are not facing consequences to their behaviour and actions. Many times the bully is defended because they are more popular or their parents have pull at the school. This is unfortunate.

Talking (or rather writing) about this for the first time for me is not easy. I do not want to “re-hurt” the people that hurt me. Why write this then? Well, it’s because some of these stories need to be told. This is for others to understand how subtle it can be and how to the extremes it can be as well.

Today I’m remembering the bullying I received when one Saturday afternoon my friend and I were playing on a school field near my house. I can’t remember how old I was but I think near the end of junior school. There was a clubhouse on the field and it had a viewing section so you could go there and have a good view of whatever match was played on the field.

There were a bunch of girls there also playing and they “kidnapped” me for many hours that Saturday afternoon with no way of escape and no negotiation. Six to eight teenagers keeping me on a chair for about three hours (I think it was about that amount of time), it’s hard to tell. My friend was able to escape – she managed to run away. I tried to run away but they “took me prisoner” before I could run away.

They eventually released me and I went home full of fear and post-traumatic stress. During that time of being trapped the feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and loss of control of my own environment. It was not easy as I never found out why they trapped me or what made them eventually let me go.

That event shook me for a very long time and I was traumatised and I didn’t tell my family about it. It was almost surreal and I was glad that they let me go before it was too late (and that they let me go at all).

This happened outside the school and in my own “leisure” time but it was done by high school girls that did this to me, a girl that was just finishing junior school or in early high school. I think that this incidence (along with many others) was the cause of some of my depression in high school as I felt more that I did not belong after this.

Have you ever been unexpectedly bullied and then not know how to get out of the situation because it wasn’t safe?

Louise and frog

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