Autism Bullying Story

September 9, 2013

Submitted by Sheri

Hi ya’ll, I want to share my story of how I’m bullied and treated badly because I’m autistic. I’m wanting to spread awareness to show that not everybody who tends to themselves are “weird” or “stupid”.

Ok so it all started when I was diagnosed with Autism when I was two years old. I started acting different by little things where I wasn’t socializing and playing with the other kids at daycare, I’d run away from my friends and hide behind a bush or plaything. My Mom figured that I just wasn’t feeling good from when I was sick with mercury poisoning from my MMR shot and just wasn’t feeling good. My friends started calling me stupid and that I needed to start hanging out with them or else I wasn’t going to be a part of their little hangout club anymore. One day though, I climbed up on a kiddie ride and put in a quarter to ride it, thinking I was going to laugh and have a ton of fun……… but instead, I couldn’t control my balance and I fell down splat onto the concrete where I started shaking super bad. My supervisor carried me inside right away and called my Mom to come get me because I was having a really bad seizure and that I needed hospitalization. My Mom left her workplace right away and took me to the hospital freaking out and crying because she didn’t know what to do. After awhile of observation, blood tests, urine tests, and biopsies I finally got diagnosed with mild Autism. My Mom cried and cried day and night alongside my dad, who changed his part-time job to full-time so that Mom could be a stay-at-home-mom with me to make sure I was ok and to take care of me properly. We started doing all sorts of things, I went to a lot of pediatricians, doctors, Autism support groups, therapies, and much more.

[quote float=”left”]Oh God, high school….[/quote]After my diagnosis, I didn’t talk for two long years. My Mom figured that I might have been deaf so I took lots of hearing tests but I was able to hear just fine, I just would not talk at all. I felt like I was being dragged out of the house every single day for “weird things” I’d think of it as and that I just wanted to stay home and relax instead of literally putting all my energy into running, jumping, tumbling, crabwalking, reading words off of charts, and much more I’d make a whole list of. I just didn’t want to do anything, and my Mom couldn’t reason with me because I’d throw fits and start crying because I wanted to stay home where I wasn’t surrounded by people, especially by the people in gymnastics because people would come up to my Mom and be all like “what’s wrong with her?” It felt like I was being judged and the girls would make fun of me because “I was too stupid to talk and play properly”. I’d come home crying and tell my Mom I wanted to be dead and wish that people never knew me. She took me out of gymnastics because she didn’t want me being bullied and made fun of all because I was different. Nobody knew I had Autism, I didn’t even know I had a mental condition and it hurt because I thought I was normal like everybody else.

In school, times are the hardest. In pre-school I was made fun of because I was in my own little world where I’d play with the toys on my own, eat by myself at a lunch table, I’d nap in the corner at naptime instead of around the other kids because I was scared and nervous all the time. The only friend I had in pre-school was a horse named Lightning Bug, a beautiful black horse who I’d ride everyday at recess instead of play with the other kids. I’d sit on her and talk to myself when I felt like I was talking to LB, she’d neigh in response and when I got off she loved to lick my face and I gave her hugs all the time, brushed her, heck I even washed her. I’d be all like “Lightning Buggy, why do people hate me?” and girls would look at me and giggle behind my back and walk off before I had time to hide from them.

Kindergarten and first grade was actually ok for me a little bit, I did manage to talk to a girl named Shelley who became my best friend and we always pushed each other on the swingset, she’d come sit with me at lunch, she sat with me in class whenever we did groups or sit on the floor, and she even came to my house at times. My Mom loved it that I was socializing and felt like that maybe Autism wasn’t affecting me social-wise. I did manage to make another friend named Sierra Garrison, and her, Shelley, and I became a little hangout group and we would stick together all the way through my Kindergarten year. My Mom threw me a 6th birthday pool party bash and unfortunately Shelley couldn’t come because she was on vacation (which is ok too :)), but Sierra and her sister came which was an absolute blast. I was so happy that I had two friends who understood me and knew what I was going through with being quiet and tending to myself. At times though I felt super bad because I was causing people to laugh at Shelley and Sierra since I was hanging out with them, and people thought of me as the “weird girl”. I felt like they or one of them would turn their backs on me and say that if I was causing them to be laughed at then they wouldn’t be my friends anymore. Thankfully that didn’t happen and they have always been in my heart because they were the two people who wanted to be friends with an autistic 5 year old who was bullied all the time for keeping to herself. In 1st grade I made another two friends, Allison (I think of her as Allison the Frog idk why lol), and Jessie. We all hung out at school and we would go to our birthday parties where I was actually invited to stuff which would bring my Mom to tears because she never thought her autistic little girl would be invited to do stuff with friends and have a good time after what happened in pre-school and gymnastics.

Sadly, I was taken out of public school after first grade because I was being bullied down to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I started hiding from my friends and we’d fight all the time about how I was being stupid and that I didn’t need to be acting like that. Shelley and Sierra never really fought with me but Allison and Jessie would think it was dumb that I was “afraid” to hangout with them after all the time I spent with them. I would yell and say that they didn’t understand what it was like to be laughed at every single day and run away like a scared little kid (which I was).

Shelley and I stayed in communication until my Mom changed the phone number one day, she’d call me and ask how I was doing and would invite me to do stuff with her because she knew I wanted to be like other kids my age so she helped me feel that way. I was all like “but what about Shelley?? How can I talk to her,” and I’d complain because I wanted to stay close to Shelley but we officially broke apart when she changed the number. Mom said she would call Linda, Shelley’s Mom, to give the new number to them but she never got the chance to because we were so busy with my OT, speech, and PT therapy that we didn’t have time to call them. It broke my heart, but I couldn’t help the fact that I had lost my one and only real best friend in the entire world. Things done had to be done for a reason, I guess.

Ok so in third grade I managed to make another little social group because these two girls came up to me one day and asked me if I wanted to eat with them and play with them at recess that day and I asked them if they would laugh at me and they said no, so I agreed and stayed with them for the day. They asked me why I was laughed at all the time and I still didn’t know I had Autism at the time myself so I said “Because I’m quiet all the time a-a-and they say I act different.” This was a different school, so Shelley wasn’t there to help explain what was going on. They said that I didn’t need to be shy around them and that they would be my friends, their names were Diana and Sarah. It made me feel happy because I was a 9 year old girl who was a third grader with Autism who actually had friends, but I was older than them since I was held back.

After a few weeks, another girl came which I found out in the cafeteria one day when I got to school. I came through the doors from my Mom’s car, and I heard Diana’s voice when I walked in saying “there she is.” I glanced over and a girl with a purple sparkly shirt was sitting across from Diana, who turned to look at me. “Sheri! Get your butt over here girl,” Diana said. I walked over and sat down beside Diana where the girl said hi and I said “hi” and I was quiet a lot so Diana had to help me talk saying that the girl was a friend and that I could talk to her. We became friends and we started talking on the phone a lot, and we’d make jokes and crack ourselves up when we had nothing better to do. After a few months, it was with a heavy heart that I had to let go of her because she was moving to another school. Her name was Julie and it upset me because it reminded me of me and Shelley when I found out Mom wasn’t sending me back to the school Shelley was at. We live in a house in between two towns, both city limits. I was in the south part when I went to school with Shelley, and the north part with Diana, so I never actually “moved” but Shelley didn’t know that since we had lost communication since the end of 1st grade.

In fourth grade though, I was reunited with Julie one day in October when my teacher said we had a new student. She came in and looked around all shyly and sat down at the empty desk in front of me. I didn’t really remember her until the name “Julie” popped into my head. I tapped her on the back and she turned around to look at me and I wasn’t shy since I knew her so I asked “don’t I know you?” She stared at me and nodded. “Yeah! I was your friend before I moved to Wartburg. Remember me? I’m the one who Diana introduced you to.” I smiled and we started talking again and she gave me her new number (which made me tear up about Shelley because that’s what I wanted to do with her). I hated not being at the same school with Shelley because she had the most special place in my heart since she was my first friend I had ever made and she was the one who came and sat down with me at an empty table at lunch, and wasn’t afraid to be told “Hey look! That Shelley girl is sitting with the weird girl, we should totally start making fun of her for being friends with the Autism chick!” Okay, they didn’t really say Autism but it’s what happened to me so that’s basically what they meant. Shelley and I had a connection ever since she said “Hi, what’s your name?” and that was that. I was glad to have my new friends though, and that I was still having people to talk to without Shelley around me. A diabetic girl named Bethany Willis came in 5th grade who joined the group and also became one of my best friends and I was invited to her house for a sleepover. It was my first sleepover invitation ever, and I basically felt like crying tears of happiness because I was “included”, meaning I clicked with these girls and that I seemed normal to them. I wish Shelley would have been there to see it because she was proud of me whenever I’d overcome an obstacle but it didn’t matter because I still had people to talk to.

Although, those three years weren’t always bright….. I was bullied by boys in dodgeball and I was called an easy target because I wasn’t good at running from the ball. I would freak out and clutch my head and be all like “NO DON’T HIT ME BALL” and people would look at me and be like “wha?” I got a black eye from it too, and it hurt super bad that I had to stay home for a day or two because of eye pain. I hated gym class and always will because of the jerks in them, which continued on my first year of high school (more on that when I talk about my freshman year). I was also bullied by a girl named Akissa because she came into my bathroom stall one day and tried to wipe my butt in third grade. I told her no and that she shouldn’t do that, but she pressured me into it (autism weakpoint :( ) and I let her do it. I came home and told my Mom about “my new friend who came and helped me wipe my poopie” and she got furious and said I should never do that again and she wouldn’t let me go back to school until a principal conference the next day around lunch. I told Mrs. Lett about it and she said that people never let themselves wipe their butts because it was nasty and that only your parents do that when you’re a baby. God, I was so embarrassed and I felt like a dumb person that day but my Mom told me that it wasn’t my fault and that I didn’t know (again, continued in high school in another way D’:) that it was bad. Thankfully I was excused to go to my class and I wasn’t in trouble since obviously she knew I had Autism because I had special ed. classes, so when I got to class lunch was over and Julie and Diana walked me to my special ed. math class and asked about what happened and I told them that Akissa was going to be put on the wall for recess and an orange warning in class. After Akissa got in trouble though, she was my main bully…. she got so mad at me that she started to make fun of me and make me feel bad in front of other people by telling them lies about me and I’d get in trouble a lot because she would lie to the teachers and tell them I did stuff when I didn’t and I’d be put on the wall at recess time which would tick me off so bad because SHE was the ONE who bullied me to death every single day and wanted me to be miserable. My friends would go off on her all the time and tell her to leave me alone except for Sarah because Sarah was her best friend which caused chaos between our friends. Diana didn’t know what to do, Sarah was on Akissa’s side since they were best friends, and Julie on mine. Sadly though, it seemed like Diana was on Akissa’s side because at lunch the following day Julie was all like “OK Diana, Sarah or Sheri?” and Diana was all like “Sarah!!! :D” and hugged her and I came home crying, I was losing my friends one by one because of that awful Akissa who tricked almost everyone into being in her own little social club and I wasn’t a part of it because I was “the girl who told on her”. Julie tried to talk to me and make me feel better, but I was so ticked that I wouldn’t talk to anybody and I’d walk around the playground with nobody to talk to, and I started sitting only with Julie at lunch because Diana was in Akissa’s “trance” and Julie didn’t want to leave me because she knew something was wrong hence my Autism, we just didn’t know what and she wanted to be there for me. Sadly though, after she moved to Wartburg I was all by myself again because of stupid Akissa.

When fourth grade rolled around, Diana started talking to me again and said she was sorry about Akissa and that she shouldn’t have been such a jerk after Akissa trying to trick her into her little social group “Anti-Sheri”. Diana started sitting with me at lunch again and basically ignored Sarah and Akissa and said that they needed to shut themselves up just because I told on Akissa for helping me in the bathroom. Diana even agreed that I didn’t know since I had some type of special need and had problems learning things and that Akissa wasn’t very bright to see that. When Julie came back we all had our own table far from Akissa and Sarah, and we were all BFFs again. Akissa still bullied me, but Diana and Julie would take up for me and help me deal with her at recess which made me feel like I was cared about. I really wanted to be able to defend myself but I wasn’t sociable enough to do that and my Mom was so upset about it because she didn’t want me to HAVE to run away crying with Diana and Julie running after me, but I didn’t know why I was so different. We still talked to Sarah on days Akissa wasn’t there, but we weren’t really best friends anymore because of Akissa and she even told me that I was stupid enough to not grow up and learn to ignore the past with Akissa. At times I even got in a fight with Julie and Diana because I’d start to hide from them and tell them I feel like I was in the middle between everyone and I hated it, but they’d tell me that they wanted to be friends with ME, not AKISSA but I’d just start crying and we’d argue until one of us were like “STOPPPPPP” and we’d talk it out with them basically saying “Just listen to us Sheri, you’re not doing anything wrong.” and the fight was over and we were still friends.

Fifth grade Akissa tried to get me to be friends with her but I was smart enough to tell her “NO! You’re mean to me so why should I be” but we’d always fight and she would STILL bully me. Basically that was what fifth was all about…… :( and Mom took me back out because Akissa wouldn’t leave me alone. Except, I wasn’t sent back to my old school…. I was homeschooled again. I was homeschooled for sixth grade.

By seventh grade, we tried to send me back to public school and it was where Shelley went which made me EXTREMELY happy, but we couldn’t really stay close as we were since I was held back a grade due to me being autistic. Unfortunately, I was only there for half of the year because this guy called Austin and his buddy group always made fun of me and tried to get me to date them, so Mom took me back out AGAIN for the rest of that year and all through eighth grade………….

Oh God, high school…… this part is going to make me cry the most. I was sent back to the south school again for my freshman year…… and I did awful because I was too afraid to talk to ANYBODY because of my past. I was too scared to start more crap like I did back in Elementary school with Akissa and I didn’t want to earn friends then lose them to some jerk who doesn’t know how to listen when somebody’s trying to say what’s wrong with them. By this point, I knew I wasn’t normal and that I had Autism because my Mom told me….. I was distraught and I just didn’t want to be friends with anybody because of what happened. I talked to people, but I wouldn’t really actually be friends with them because I was afraid of losing them so I’d mainly just try to stay away from them because I was scared, but they didn’t know that….. they didn’t really say anything to me except for a girl named Shelly who I told about being autistic because I was crying over a guy who played my heart (I don’t wanna go there, please…..) and she said I could tell her everything and I told her about how I had problems with everyone because of being autistic and she said she was sorry for that and that I could talk to her anytime. We didn’t really become close, but we were friends enough that I wasn’t really afraid to talk to her and we even started texting each other. I really felt like I was going to actually pull this year off, but I was too shy to get close enough to Shelly to count each other as really good friends which really hurt me because I wanted friends, I really did……….. I was just so scared I’d repeat what happened back in Elementary school and I was too shy to tell anybody and I was ALWAYS alone at lunch, these sophomore girls and a junior guy let me sit with them but I was basically alone because I didn’t talk to them, I’d just sit there and be happy that it’d look like I was normal enough to be counted as everyone else to the jerks. In gym class though, that Austin guy was back…. he wasn’t who he used to be but he’d ask me questions a lot about what I post on Facebook and ask me why I never talked to anybody which made me feel uncomfortable. His friends though were WEIRD and would laugh at me because I wouldn’t try to participate when the basketballs were out or anything, and I almost got my arm broken and almost had a concussion because of them and I felt like total crap…………. I’d come home crying every night because I wanted to be normal, I wanted to have a zillion friends like everyone else……. but I just wouldn’t speak up even though people DID try to talk to me…. I was even socially isolated, me and Shelley weren’t that close anymore which hurt the most and I’d just lay in bed and cry and fear of the next school day because of everyone there……. I became socially isolated enough that I stopped texting Shelly, and we basically weren’t close anymore. I really did try to talk to people, I’d go up to them and try to join a convo but I didn’t know how to join in and I’d just walk away embarrassed. I did manage to talk a little bit but I didn’t keep a conversation because I was so shy to try to make friends. I’d basically vent on Facebook about stuff and I would just sit around and just do my work, and never do anything…… I was a weird girl….. :( I did nasty signs when Austin and his friends told me to because I didn’t know what they meant and I got laughed at for it and I’d get in trouble for it at home because I did it. Every single day my Mom and my older sister Ashley, who was a junior at the time would just try to push me to talk but I was scared. I was just lucky I managed to talk a LITTLE BIT…..

Now I’m a sophomore and I’m homeschooled again because of last year. Ever since school let out I’ve been starting to lighten up on the shyness and I’m wanting to make friends and I’m wanting to talk to people, right now I’m just trying to figure out how because my Mom doesn’t wanna send me back after all I’ve been through and she doesn’t want me to come home every single night with an anxiety attack…..

I’m kind of hoping people will read this and help me figure this out because I feel like total crap right now about everything and I just want to make it right………. I really hope after reading this people will understand why I was who I was………… :( I’m about to cry right now as I think about it…..

Thanks to everybody who took the time to read all of this. I really appreciate it and it took a long time to write it, and I hope it will help me change my ways and I’ll have friends just like everybody else.

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