When I was younger, I had problems, that were caused due to abusive parents. They made me never tell, told me I would end up in a foster home, my mother told me she was a saint for not murdering me. My step father would smack me around, he let my mother boss him around and took it out on me. I ended up in special ed in the 3rd grade, so I never knew what a prom, first teenage kiss, even getting chemistry partners was like. I retook the SATs 10 times, so I could get a look at what a normal school looked like from the inside, that is literally the closest I ever came to a high school experience.
Summers they would not let me go to camp. There are things I have never done. Snowball fight, have a birthday party with friends, have a sleep over, hang out on some friends porch, go to a high school football game, have a graduation with parents proud of you, have a first summer job, have a senior trip, be in little league, roast marshamallows, easter egg hunts, science fairs, all those warm childhood memories other have, I have not. My mother was deeply embarrassed by me, I was her mistake. She would threaten me for ruining her life, for being the "albatross around her neck". What made it worse, is she would volunteer to help with children, but never with me. Once I was crying on the floor near the kitchen sink. She washed the dishes, and tried to ignore that I was there. As a young kid, I would read Calvin and Hobbes, that was my childhood, through the pages of those comics.
The put me on pills, that cause me even now off of them to have chronic pain, and I am still trying to lose weight from the side effects they caused. On them they caused me to hallucinate, not be able to stand still, some made me paranoid, others made me mentally not there. I still wonder what they took from me mentally, if there is still some void they created.
Everyone thinks I am this normal guy, heck most think I am a responsible really smart guy. My friends look up to me, in every course I take I am the smartest guy there. They do not know the shame I carry, the burden of thinking you are less, due to being a short buser, the insecurity of being labeled inferior. I lie to them.
For example, one professor said I "was a really special person" as a compliment, all I could think of was special ed, it made me want to cry. I lie, say I went to a normal high school, the only person who doesn't believe me is myself. I watch allot of teen and kids comedies, to try and sort of glimpse at an image of what it might have been like. This experience of high school , middle school and elementary school that almost everyone shared, is just not there for me. My family is not there for support. So remember that guy sitting next to you, chatting to you casually, next to you at the pub or the game. In the train station, of in the store. That guy might be me, a man with invisible wounds from a lost youth.