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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Weird Kid

Lately I have been talking to a relative about my strong passion for music, 
and the way that this passion has effected me my whole life. They seem to 
find every reason to excuse themselves from any blame (hint, by relative I 
do mean parental figure) in my dreams and ambitions feeling worthless and useless. 
I was the worst kid possible. Undiagnosed and untreated Autistic, rolling through 
life’s adventures without anyone really trying to figure out what would genuinely
 aid me in my growth and development. My brothers were “Normal” kids by most
 standards. Two of them raced motorcycles and they were GOOD at it, so their 
ambitions were fueled. We were a Motorcross Family. Trailers, bikes, continually
 updated gear, trips to races, tickets bought for family to attend, ever cheering on
 those two little champions. Don’t get me wrong – I am very happy that they got 
to feel so valued in their talents. I just kinda feel like an underscore in my family’s
From a ridiculously early age I started to show a strong desire to be my own person. 
I defied boundaries with a fiery bullheadedness, argued with authority figures, pushed 
myself forward by all means necessary. Okay, yeah, the Weird One in the family. 
The wild and unruly beast-child. The broken one that has to go to private school because 
social norms didn’t seem to apply to me. Now that I want my family to start owning up to 
letting who I am take backseat to my oddness – they have every excuse in the book. 
“You never listened.”
“You were expensive.”
“I don’t remember you being so passionate.”
“I can only remember you ever singing a few chords… not really any whole songs”
“Your brothers did ________, and were rewarded. That wouldn’t work with you.”
“You just didn’t want to do what needed to be done”
Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell to them. The defiant, expensive, unpredictable child who could
 not have possibly had any passions because her family suddenly doesn’t remember them. 
Please, dear readers, do not be angry with them. They did the best they could with what they had 
to go on. I am promising you this: I have a loving family that is going to awesome lengths to help 
me now. They just don’t seem to see any fault in themselves for what happened to a helpless little 
girl who was at the mercy of ASD and was quickly developing mental illnesses as a result of
it going untreated. This happens so often to so many High-Functioning Autistics. I didn’t 
have speech delays, I didn’t require intensive one-on-one teaching and isolation from social 
settings. I wasn’t THAT Autistic, therefore, I guess it was not supposed to be a problem.
To this day I struggle with socially acceptable behavior. It is a daily challenge for me. 
I still melt down when I am too stimulated, or when I have the wrong kind of stimulation 
presented to me. I hide for days on end because I am now terrified of being too Autistic 
around other people. The good news is this: I am diagnosed now, and I am getting the help 
I need to retrain myself in social situations. I am working hard on how I present myself, 
and keeping track of my successes, moreso than my failures. I am rewarding myself 
for getting better at being a person. I am fighting the Major Depressive Disorder that has 
developed over the last 10-15 years of my life. I am recovering from PTSD in huge ways. 
I am pressing through my General Anxiety Disorder to being a better version of myself. 
I am winning.
And to any family members who read this. This is my truth. This is what it looks like from 
my perspective. I don’t blame you. I am no longer angry with you. But, I do need you to help 
me keep winning. Understand that music and art have ALWAYS been passions of mine. I have 
been writing songs and poems since I was 11. I have been singing myself to sleep since I was 
very young. I have been singing myself out of bed since before that. Music is the place that I 
go to when the voices of my doubters and my disorders won’t shut up. It stills the world and 
lines all the planets up in perfect harmony. The stars in all of their galaxies spin, alongside the 
planets, to the steady beat of Canon in D. This is who I am. I just want you to invest in me, not 
in my problems. Start buying stock in the things that I am in love with, instead of the things I 
am getting wrong. Be about me, the real person who has real goals and real dreams, not about 
the weird kid. 
Peace, Love and Bulletproof Marshmallows
Mandey T

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