Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Broken Child: You Mean I Really Am Different - Enlighten Me Series

Part five of six here. We have one left to go. These excerpts point to the beginnings of my depression. From what I have gathered, my situation was the perfect storm for a little girl to lose her way. I was in great need of enlightenment and guidance.


Part Five: You Mean I Really am Different?

I felt isolated and alone. When I tried to make friends, they kept looking at me funny or laughed at me. What was going on? I don’t get it, why doesn’t anyone want to be near me? Probably because I was what… ugly, weird, or just confused? Would someone care to enlighten me? What was so weird about me?

To confirm that I was different, I was sent to special ed class. When I looked around me, I was confused. I didn’t resemble anyone in the classroom. I didn’t have the same disabilities or learning problems. My new teacher looked at me and said a little too sternly, “You shouldn’t be here. I don’t understand why they sent you to me. You don’t belong in this classroom.” I whole-heartedly agreed with her indignation, because I was feeling the same way about the situation. All I understood was that she seriously didn’t want me either. That I didn’t belong anywhere. I cried.

I was intelligent, but not articulate. I stuttered slightly when I got nervous. And I was anxiety filled for most of my school life. Once I remember my kindergarten teacher telling me to speak in English. I kept insisting I was. “But I am speaking English!” I cried. The principal came to our home and told my parents to only speak English at home, because I was getting confused. I remember thinking, “What is he talking about? What is wrong with these people, don’t they know English when they hear it? I hear English, I can read English, and I can speak in English.” I just didn’t get it.

Apparently when I first started school, I spoke nothing but Spanish. Years later, I realized that I must have mixed the two languages together, that it sometimes came out as a stutter searching for the right word. My mind was translating quickly but my mouth wasn’t fast enough.

Why didn’t anyone enlighten me? No one told me I was speaking Spanish! I didn’t know I was speaking another language. It would have helped me understand why no one understood me or wanted to play with me. It would have explained why every time I opened my mouth, the other kids would laugh or tease me. It would have also explained why teachers wouldn’t respond to me at times and instead gave me a lot of blank stares as though I wasn’t there at all.

How can I have not known that I was a different culture? It goes to show you that when a child, me, goes out into the world, too naive, too young to understand, with no real guidance, and adults too busy to realize my dilemma that I became a lost girl. I was a smart child, but not smart enough to figure it out.

I was a broken child and no one knew that I needed to be fixed.

The last one coming up. Part Six - No Way! You Mean I'm a Different Race? Confusion arises when you're as lily white as your neighbor, but then again, you aren't. WTF?

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