Sunday, 9 August 2015

On respect and being too alien

Ever since fleeing the Netherlands and becoming somewhat settled in my new country I have noticed that as the immediacy of survival subsided, I began to experience the return of memories of events which I had seemingly completely forgotten about. Much of it for apparently good reasons, as recollections from my childhood and early puberty indicate.

I had remembered that during my primary school time I was bullied, with groups of students standing around me during lunch breaks outside, harassing and ridiculing me, or trying to prevent me from cycling home. Events which seem to have slipped my mind included at least one time when a fellow student spit into my face, and another where some classmates were holding me while another punched me into my abdomen until I folded over in pain.

What was it that drove these classmates to be so incredibly cruel to me? I do not recall them doing something similar to others, whether in my year or to others in other classes. It's often said that appearing weak, easy to give in to demands, or just being 'weird' tends to attract bullies. Yet the scale at which this happened was astounding. It wasn't a single bully, but practically my entire class who participated. Enough to surround me multiple bodies thick during lunch breaks and enough to block an entire road and sidewalk.

This wasn't just limited to primary school either. During my subsequent first few years in high school the same pattern continued, with many of my classmates taking up the habit of surrounding me every time we were waiting for a new class to start and killing the time by verbally harassing me. It was during that time that I discovered that I'm susceptible to migraine attacks induced by stress. Almost every week for at least one year I'd be absent from part of that day's classes as I was forced to go home with another migraine, often being picked up by my mother as I was unable to cycle any more.

In both cases I managed to improve my situation considerably through violence. In both cases those instigating the worst bullying and harassment were guys, and in both cases I had to first use violence in order to make them stop. For some bizarre reason they then turned friendly towards me, as if the whole thing had just been some kind of outrageous test.

It all still makes me wonder what it is that seems to make people in general consider me to be different enough to single me out, not to mention wonder about the behaviour of people around me as a whole. There are plenty of things which likely play a role, including me living the first decades of my life as a bizarre kind of inverse transsexual: believing myself to be a guy while in reality I always was a girl in body and mind. For the most part at least.

And then there's the second curse, that of being gifted. Not thinking or seeing things the way those around you of your age do, but preferring to converse with adults even as a child. Reading books for adults because children's books are boring and simplistic. It's another great way to find oneself to be very lonely, as no group recognizes itself in your combination of physical and mental age, even as your own mind keeps striving to outpace even the most learned adults around you.

All of these memories seem to blend together with my struggles of the past decade and some, with the bullying, harassment and condescension of physicians, psychologists and other supposedly learned and intelligent people. Their belligerent attitudes are to me little different from those of the bullies and their hangers-on who used to torment me as a child and teenager.

It all serves to reinforce for me that both physically and mentally I'm too different, too alien for most to ever accept or understand me. I'm surrounded every day by people for whom I might as well be an alien from outer space, as I'm nothing like them and they cannot comprehend what it's like to be so different.

This is not to say that there aren't individuals here on this planet who do respect me, but they are far and few between. Most people avoid me because I'm too strange. Those who should help me because of their occupation meet me with scorn and derision, rejoicing in making me out to be a complete and utter liar. This sadly often leads me to be suspicious of people acting friendly towards me. I have never enjoyed playing the victim, which is why I have always kept up a brave and happy face through all of these decades of physical, mental and psychological abuse, harassment and worse, yet I'll be damned if I am not allowed to feel at least a little bit that I have deserved something of a break at this point.

A good night's sleep without being plagued by barely remembered nightmares and traumatic recollections would be a start.


1 comment:

pincerfae said...

if I thought saying 'I'm sorry for what you've had to go through' would be enough to ease the pain, I would.

you're not the only one who went through that kind of trauma, being how, until I was 30, I was lied to by every profession in this country, lied to about my nationality and where I was born, and even when there was proof positive of me being intersexed (I had a CT scan five years ago), they still refused to admit that I'm a hermaphrodite (normal female with male genetalia, whatever the hell that means...).

sometimes it's best to find at least one thing that makes you happy and go from there.