Re: Do people think I am mentally retarded?
I imagine there were a lot of classmates of mine who suspected the same of me. It sort of goes without say that basically everyone here was quiet in school, but I was more or less catatonic. Seriously, I would sit and stare right into empty space. I'd only speak when absolutely necessary, and there were probably even days when I managed to go without speaking altogether. I even remember my 8th grade math teacher saying that on the last day of school, she was going to get a big jug of water and make me stand in front of the class and say every single word I've never said - I hated that ****ing ****.
I really do think people may have suspected I was mentally handicapped. It's difficult to explain, it's just the way they carried themselves around me. One particularly instance stands out in my mind. I remember this kid walked over to a girl sitting next to me and whispered (but not so low that I couldn't hear him) something in her ear like "I wonder if he knows what sex is!" Clearly that is not something someone would say about someone they view as "normal", for lack of a better term. I tell you, I would've loved to grab that little ******* by the head of his hair and beat it against the floor until his brains started leaking from his ears.
I don't know what it is, but as of late, I've been unable to talk about anything without descending into rants about various childhood/teenage traumas. Anyway, I'm not going to do that here, but I do have one more, and I promise it is relevant to the topic. So during 8th grade gym class, we used to have to play this Sumo-esq (minus the revealing undergarments) game where we stood in a circle and had to push the person we were facing out of the circle. Towards the end of the day when the gym teacher was temporarily disposed, and most of the class was doing whatever "normal" kids do when they're not supervised, and usually when I'd find a nice corner to stand in in silence, I was challenged to participate in this game once again, by a girl. I remember pushing her right out of the circle and she fell straight on her back. I remember everyone who witnessed this got a good laugh out of it, too, and even more humiliating, the girl was among those laughing! She got up and had a good laugh, and then challenged me a second time (which soon turned in a third, fourth, and so on and so forth), and being too socially inept to even utter a simple phrase like "no thank you", I accepted and proceed to push her once again flat on her back. I'm imagined this might have started to hurt her back after awhile, but she insisted on continuing, probably because like everyone else, she thought it was an absolute riot to see the socially awkward kid who never talks or smiles or displays any other human emotion, continuously knock a girl (even if said girl was her) on her ***. I remember a male classmate of mine even sticking out his hand to give me a high-five (and I imagine in his head he was thinking about what a loser I was), and I actually slapped his hand, which made me come across even more pathetic, like I was stupid enough to believe that I was genuinely being congratulated on my victory, not being mocked for what a socially inept fool I am. I can't begin to tell you what a freak I felt like right then - I may as well have been biting the heads off chickens in front of an audience of carnival folk.
Now, I'm not sure if these incidents I named seem irrelevant or not, but these incidents, along with many others, do make me think that I was viewed as possibly being mentally handicapped, or at least "off" in some way. I don't know if that's coming through in the way that I've described them, but that's certainly the impression I got from experiencing them firsthand. Oh, and I just remembered right now, but some time during junior high, my sister told me that she heard a girl I used to go to elementary school with telling her that she heard that I was in a car accident and that's why I never talked. Yeah, so apparently, there were in fact people who thought I was brain damaged, but I'm not sure if they simply thought only the speech center of my brain was damaged or what.