The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective (fayanora) wrote,
The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective


Reading "Mockingbird" by Kathryn Erskine. It's about a 10 year old girl with Asperger's whose brother died in a school shooting, and how she "Deals With It." So far, the girl, Caitlin, is a serious case. No apparent sense of humor, takes everything far too literally, has occasional Tantrum Rage Meltdowns, and seems more on the autistic end of the spectrum. Intelligent, as is expected; reading at an 8th grade level in kindergarten, able to read anything her dad can by... I think she's in fifth grade. The writing style is hard to describe. Parts are choppy and jump around weirdly, which makes sense as a way of showing us how she thinks. Other parts, for the same reason, are long run-on sentences. But others are more normal. I like it so far. The author does a great job of getting us into Caitlin's head.

The main reason I started this entry is because of a scene where she refuses to join a group for a project because according to her, she's in a group already, a group consisting solely of her. This reminded me somewhat of my own childhood. Groups were... interesting... where I was concerned. In some cases, I didn't want to be in a group project because I wanted to do the entire project myself. And in other cases, I didn't want to be part of a group because I detested the very idea of the project and hated being forced to interact with other kids. But mostly, I didn't like other kids. Pretty much the only people I socialized with were adults, because no other kids were mature or geeky like me. A rare few people my own age were worth my time or effort, and most I couldn't abide. The few friends I had growing up weren't geeky either, but they were weirdos, so they were kindred spirits. About the only reason I tolerated group activities a lot of the time was if I could get others to do all or most of the work. I loved learning, and loved learning in school despite my issues with other kids, but I detested most homework. All that I cared about was myself knowing I had learned things. Most years, I only passed to the next grade because Mom and Dad pushed me to do enough work to pass. Even then, the subjects I actually got good grades in were a larger reason why I kept passing. I personally think, looking back, that homeschooling would have been better for me. Just give me books to read and educational TV shows to watch and I would have learned everything on my own anyway. In several subjects in school, I was usually bored silly anyway, as I was usually way ahead of everyone else. I might have been considered gifted if I gave even half a shit about homework. Tests, though; I usually loved tests. Not sure why. Somehow, they were different than homework. I wonder, if someone early on had told me to think of all homework as tests, if that would have made a difference? Would I have been an honor roll student instead of barely muddling through? I also wonder if an early introduction to codes, ciphers, and other cryptography would have gotten me interested enough in math to not be retarded at it. Seriously, I think most 3rd graders know math better than I do. Most of what I memorized in math to pass math classes vanished from my mind as soon as I felt I no longer needed it.

The same scene in the book reminded me of a time I absolutely refused to be part of a group because a bully who picked on me was in the group. In high school (or was it junior high?), no less, I was so adamant and upset by the prospect of him working with me that I think I gave new definition to the word "stubborn," and I was trying extremely hard to not cry, which considering I almost never felt like crying even at home (plenty of reason, not enough emotion, since I basically went Vulcan by then), this was quite a high level of upset for me. I don't remember if Mr. Hunt (the teacher) ever got me to give in or not, but the incident got so bad I was taken into the lunchroom for him to try to calm me down and talk it through. People probably talked about it. If they did, I didn't care. The only thing that would have kept me from stabbing the kid in the goddamn eyeballs with a math-type compass was the fact that the only violence I was capable of was being deeply repressed. And that violence inside me only existed because of the bullying. I was utterly nonviolent when I was really young. I killed a baby bird by accident once when I was around 7 or 8 and it still makes me want to cry sometimes to this day. It had already fallen out of its nest, and doubtless would have died anyway; I think I even knew that at the time, but I was still upset.

Come to think of it... I had some tantrum rage meltdowns of my own, always at home. Never in public. The stress of all those years of harassment and assault, loneliness and dislike of most of the people around me anyway that I had to put up with, all bottled up, began to boil over in the early and mid 90's. Some little thing would piss me off at home and I'd fly into a rage, throwing things and breaking things, even hitting people. They didn't last long, and they didn't help me at all; I think they even made it worse, because I'd try even harder to bottle things up.

I don't know how that incident in Mr. Hunt's class didn't trigger a fit of rage. Maybe I was too scared and upset to be angry. Glad it didn't, though. Not sure what would have happened if I'd had one of my enraged tantrums in history class.

Will report more later about the book when I finish it.

Crossposted from
Tags: about me, asperger's, assault, books, bullying is violence, issues, what i'm reading
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