One of the worst bullying experiences I’ve ever encountered happened almost 10-years-ago now but I can still remember it like it was yesterday…
I was in high school and, while in the staircase after recess I was having a conversation with one of my friends about girls. He was telling me about a date he was recently on while I was sharing about wanting to find a relationship of my own one-day. It was something that I often daydreamed about. It was something I had wanted ever since starting high school.
While continuing our conversation one of my peers overheard our conversation and decided to but in. She interrupted our conversation and, in a condescending fashion said to me that I would die alone because I’d never be able to understand other people. That was one of the most gut-wrenching moments of my life. As silence consumed and I blacked out to the world for a few minutes I thought about an incident that happened just months before which made this situation even worse.
I had fallen into a trap by one of the popular girls in our high school that had told me that she’d like to be my girlfriend. I told her I’d love that and at that moment thought we were in a relationship. Just a few days later, while asking her if she wanted to go on a date, she, in front of her friends told me that she was only kidding about wanting to be in a relationship with me as she laughed in my face while I walked away, fighting back tears as my heart felt like it was beating out my chest.
I thought about saying something to a teacher but felt too embarrassed by both situations to bring. At the time I thought they would laugh at me, feel sorry for me, pity me, I just didn’t know. I thought that I was a loser, and for months after I had considered a life where I would have to embrace a life where I’d never be in a relationship, never get married, and never have a family of my own. I thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll get into college and get a great job one day. Life won’t be that bad.”
Going into my senior year though, I was reminded of advice from a family member who mentioned to one mf younger cousins when he said that, “You can’t pass the time living your dreams in your sleep. You need to live those dreams when you are awake.” I wanted to start my final year of High School off on as positive a note as possible. I went into my senior year as the President of our student council, captain of our varsity basketball team and lead in our school play.
The one moment that stood out the most that year though was when a month and a half in I starting dating the head cheerleader, just a few weeks later we were boyfriend and girlfriend and I was in my first relationship.
I was happy.
Today, even though I’m single as a 28-year-old adult on the autism spectrum I’ve dated several women and have grown to be more confident in my own abilities in the dating world.
For those reading this I hope your loved ones, regardless of having autism or not will be able to find someone out who will be there for them. Whether it is a relationship or even just a friendship… find those people that share similar interests to your loved ones and never give up hope. Don’t let naysayers or the bullies of the world hold you or your family down. But also remember, some of our loved ones do enjoy being alone at times and that’s ok too. For those who ever feel alone though or just need a friend to talk to I’m only a message away via my Facebook Fan Page.