So here goes…
If you recall my post from a week ago called something like “Most Personal And Revealing Post So Far”, I mentioned how the March For Our Lives played a huge role in my inner peace starting to fight off my depression for lack of a better phrase…kinda tired right now. Anyway, there is an even bigger reason for this and it goes deeper than using my voice to stand up to [insert serious problem here].
I have been holding off on this for a long, long time and only my family and my ex knows about this. But it’s time to come clean to the root of it all…
First off, let me disclose how beyond disgusted and insulted whenever the NRA plays the “Mental Health” card when the media covers a school shooting, which it rightfully should…ALWAYS. This is an insult to the overwhelming people out there with mental health issues that are GOOD people and DO NOT pick up guns or other weapons and go nuts. I am one of these people. If you have been following this blog up to now, hopefully this has come across well enough. I have a temper sometimes, but my heart is always in the right place and when I hurt someone emotionally and take my problems out on the wrong people, I feel terrible about it and am beyond empathetic. Like I said once before, people on the spectrum do have empathy. In my case, maybe a little too much…but I digress.
When I was in 5th grade, which would be in 1998-1999 and my last year for a long while at a mainstream public school, something happened in Colorado on the exact same date as it is now in 2018…The Columbine School Massacre. It was one of the most traumatic events that got massive attention from the media and like Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter today, many of the kids at the March this year were born around this time. Since then, these tragic moments have gotten more and more attention to the most progressive we’ve ever been this year as this shit keeps getting worse and the government becomes more and more corrupt…but I digress again.
Back to 5th grade. I was about to graduate from my elementary school. But I had gone through some terrible transitions in the process. My family was forced to move three times from 1997 till then (and this wasn’t the last time) and my first few months of this school year were spent in an entirely different school and town. It was scary and I missed my friends like crazy. AND I was looked at as a lost cause by teachers and staff over there because I was different and vulnerable. This would make me act out. And then the abuse and restraints began. In January of 1999, my family was able to move back to Watertown by pure luck and I was back in my original school and reunited with my friends. All good right? Wrong. I was a different person than before. I acted out. I showed aggressive behavior even to my closest friends. I didn’t even know what I was doing and how it affected everyone I cared about. I had to be in a smaller, separate room for lunchtime. I couldn’t last 10 minutes in the classroom without being dragged out. I wasn’t a class clown or a bully, but I was a troubled kid. Then the news came out about Columbine. People everywhere were panicking. Zero Tolerance became the nationwide policy and rightfully so. But because of this, parents and the school district saw my behavior and would not let me continue in public school from the 6th grade on. And as you can imagine, my life got darker and darker each year and with each school that made the alternate school in 5th grade look like Mister Rogers Neighborhood by comparison.
So after I advocated for myself to rejoin the mainstream school district (see my first blog post for more details on that), I succeeded and life was all peaches and cream. Then college happened and it was definitely a mix of very good and very bad. My self esteem took a major beating for various reasons (again, see my first post) and by my senior year, I was starting to be beyond anxious about the pressure of graduating and all of the pressures I faced day after day about other things. My laptop kept dying out and I was getting very little help from the IT department on campus. I was literally in panic mode. Then…I did something that haunts me to this day and I probably regret the most out of everything I have ever done. I threatened the IT department and said in the presence of several witnesses that I was gonna shoot the place up. I could not believe what I said after I said it. But the damage was already done. Campus police spotted me, put me in cuffs and I was suspended from the campus for over a week and after my hearing, I was let back in on probation and had to write a long multi-paged essay on the laws I disobeyed. The shooting at Virginia Tech had happened just a couple years before this btw.
So here I am now. I had a bittersweet graduation the following April and all, but I had been totally shaken up by something I did out of anger and SHOULD NEVER have done. With all of these courageous young people fighting against gun violence in schools and the country at large, I myself could not feel more down about myself and the choices I have made. I have two different sides of my brain. There’s the logical side and the overly emotional side and they are always going back and forth. My logical side knows that I am a very good person who cares deeply about people and their feelings of safety, security and hope for the future. But my overly emotional side cannot process this and feels like I am part of the problem. And since I am older, I have wasted so much of my life aiming my anger in the wrong places and am just now feeling more guilty than ever constantly wanting to “study war no more” (Down By The Riverside lol). This is all a good thing but the grieving process is very hard and when you are faced with what is probably the climax of our country’s gun problem, I feel more powerless than ever and feel like I deserve to be isolated from the world. If anything upsets me the most, like I said, it’s the NRA and their overwhelming amount of supporters making sick comments about mental health being the real problem. Kids with Aspergers are NOT violent by nature. And they are NOT baby Hitlers.
Sharing all of this in my blog is part of my journey into liberation and rebirth. I no longer want to live in the bubble of good memories as a kid. I want to make new good memories and be the best that I can be and continue to tell my story. My ultimate goal is to help, not to hurt. I owe it to so many people and especially myself. My logical side has to butt in more and assure me that I am a good person and I can make the world a better and more humane place.
This was very hard and emotionally exhausting to write but I am really glad I did it.
(Originally posted on April 20th 2018)