Anecdotes

Anecdotes LIX. To Walk Two Worlds

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My world changed the night I lost my mind. What had once been tucked out of sight and held in silence came roaring onto center stage. I was no longer able to hide the fact I live my life connected to a world most people don’t see. Part of me doesn’t care– I am what I am, weirdness and all– but another part does, because no matter how much I commit to being shamelessly myself, the world can encroach on me. I’ve seen it is possible to lose my freedom, to be made unsafe, to be questioned on things I more »

Anecdotes

Anecdote XXXV. A Hall of Mirrors

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Many things were said recently that struck me, making panes of reflective glass vibrate in my head. “Can we do Monday instead?” “Why do you do that?” “Nothing I say is going to matter.” “That’s toxic.” “I don’t NEED you!” “Do you think she needs hospitalization?” “I guess we should sleep.” “She’s very unusual.” “See you Tuesday, then.” Spoken by various people, not all directly about me, but all things that somehow caused me to pause. I’ve realized what it’s like: it’s like living in a hall of mirrors. I, for some reason, pour my effort into reflections– giving people more »

Anecdotes

Anecdote VI. The Lies We Tell

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2002 was my lowest year up to that point in my short life. I was 12, in the ruthless incarceration of 7th grade, and my peers’ bullying was at its peak. It seemed everyone was eager to take their pubescent frustrations out on me. People I had once thought were my friends left me. When I asked one of them why, she replied, “You depress me.” I didn’t inquire further. In the economic chaos following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the local hardware store where my father had worked for twenty years, folded up during the recession. My parents spoke more »

Anecdotes

Anecdote V. The Boys with a Deathwish

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“Nick the Prick” continued to plague me as I went through school, and was the ringleader in what seemed at times a school-wide hatred of me. By the time I reached middle school, it seemed like everyone was out to get me. I tried to have friends, but even they distanced themselves as it became apparent I was not altogether like them, nor would I be bent to their ways. As puberty descended like a hellish sandstorm of hormones and emotions, my body began to betray me. I sprouted breasts overnight, and one day I rose from a plastic band more »

Anecdotes

Anecdote IV. Why Math Stinks

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I was never popular in school. Unsurprising, given my nerdy interests, my general distaste for social interaction, my different style of dressing, and the 6’3” invisible swordsman who followed me everywhere. As he had told me, no one could see him, but many seemed to know he was there. Often, I could walk down a crowded hallway with him, and the teeming mass of shuffling students would part around me like minnows evading a pike. I tried to be friendly, and my teachers tended toward a wary liking of me, but there was always something about me that was off-putting, more »