Coming Home

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

I dreamt of a day I would soon fit in, At first, it didn't come, Instead, I felt like the kid who was always the last to be picked for the soccer team who they felt sorry for but just couldn't bring themselves to choose me. In grade two, I was young and impressionable. My curiosity and leadership qualities often meant I stood out and gained a reputation with the boys in my classes. The kind of reputation that got me detention for flashing rude symbols to my classmates, always talking because my mind would go a mile a minute, and I just plain couldn't concentrate. Sensory overload was calling me and we quickly became best friends.

Back then, I was told I talk too much and I put up a tough front, when in reality I was highly sensitive and considered stupid.

Grade two was the first time I remember being intentionally separated from my classmates because I learned differently and instead of embracing it, they segregated me to a classroom that was different from my usual one. The teachers and the school board isolated me from my friends, gave me longer times to do tests, and rewarded me with treats when I picked up on something quickly or didn't exhibit bad behaviours.

In a school setting, they are abrupt to label students with learning disabilities. They have no problem making the student stand out when, in reality, they're dying to fit in. I had multiple learning disabilities that held me back in almost every part of my life. They shattered my hopes of amounting to anything. Often, my peers would tell me how stupid I was and I believed them.

Flashbacks of hearing voices in my head, seeing colours surrounding objects and people, and hyper-focusing on the unusual sensation of the tiny little bumps that appear on my skin to alert me to someone else's feelings were my new norm.

Those aren't conversation starters in a school setting especially at the age of 8. You don't just fiercely raise your hand in the middle of a class so your teacher can hear you talk about the upset stomach your classmate beside you has without that classmate making an audible sound or wince in pain. Instead, you spend years hunkering down to try and fit in. You try to fit in your whole life until you no longer can.