Slept about nine hours, interrupted of course by nightmares of the schoolyard. These, I know where they come from. If I ache all over and I am at the pit of my physical condition, the point where I'd collapse or bend over to pick up books and not be able to get up, then I'm vulnerable. I'm sometimes amazed I survived my childhood.
In that regard, it was as ordinary as it gets. I will never know, but I think if I'd been entirely healthy without any disabilities, I'd still have been a writer. I look at who I am and what I'm like, and I'd still have hated organized sports and gym classes. I'd still have thought shorts were the uniform of the damned. I might have done some things earlier in life. It wouldn't have taken me till twelve to turn and beat the bully up, thinking of some other guys I've known it's more likely I'd have flipped the other direction and become the typical schoolyard Batman, hunting down bullies and stopping them at the first sign of their bull. I sort of did anyway, because I *would* shred them verbally. I always had a Mouth.
They didn't offer dance or fencing or boxing, any of the individual or martial sports. I still would not have gotten into the sports they did have, because those tend to involve taking orders from the stupid. They are also allegedly fun, and I had a weird boundary as a kid that I hold to this day. Anything that is labeled "entertainment" and supposedly "free time" I expect to be able to make arbitrary choices on whether I like it or not or whether I'd rather do anything else. They never did imprint on me the idea that I was supposed to let the group decide what would be fun. Only that if I wanted to do anything fun with a group, it was up to me to find a group that was already doing what I enjoyed.
I was called "irresponsible" a lot. I think this happens to many kids who aren't, because the kids who are responsible are the ones who get mortified when they hear that word and go over the top trying to do whatever it is they were responsible for. I know that even then, in grade school, I did draw an internal line between things like keeping my word, when I'd given it - - and when it was coerced or responsibilities were imposed.
I had no patience for makework. I had no patience for repetition, because that obviously had the opposite effect from what was intended and I was always goal oriented. If something got repeated too many times, I noticed a tendency for me to forget it, lose it completely out of my mind. If I read it and didn't worry about it, I retained it. They didn't get this. They also didn't get it that if I'd read that chapter in a textbook, I had as good a grasp of its contents as I was likely ever to get, including knowing where to look it up again if I needed it for something - - like a flaming rebuttal.
I do not think I have to be embarrassed about how I behaved as a kid or how much trouble I got into. Half of it my body made for me, and they were so wrong when they said I wasn't trying. I was usually mad enough to try to show them and they couldn't have run me into the ground like that if I wasn't really trying. The rest of the trouble I got into was just that I did take them seriously about things like "tacit consent" and "freedom of religion" and "freedom of speech." They'd tell me childhood wasn't a democracy and I'd feel morally obligated ala Jefferson to stand up to the tyranny even if no one else did.
When I think about the anti-bullying programs they're finally putting in, I feel so glad they're finally doing something about it. Just because it was universal did not make it right.
Robert and Ari >^..^< (Why did he pack all my books? The bookcase has boxes on it! Mew! I'd better remind him that he has a cat. He is not leaving me here!)