But I was not happy. I did not have the ability to speak my mind, nor interact with people. When I was a child, I had one real friend. I was so scared of humiliating myself in front of people that I my social interaction skills suffered. Intellectually, I was miles ahead of my peers. Socially, I was far behind.
When I was 16, I had the first in a series of total emotional breakdowns. For the first time, I had the courage to speak my mind and interact with people. I just didn't care anymore. I wasn't scared anymore because I didn't really want to live. I didn't really care what anyone felt: good, bad, or indifferent.
But I didn't really know how to communicate. Lots of people who did not understand thought I was strange, weird, or creepy. Our teenage years are uncomfortable and awkward, regardless who we are and whether or not we were popular. As such, I found myself mocked, feared, and reviled. And I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't resent the way I was treated.
Since that point, I have tried to advocate for people who do not have the courage, nor the inclination, nor the ability to speak out and feel understood. I certainly know what it is like to feel utterly alone. I want to be the sort of person for others that I did not have in my own life. No one reached out to me then. Maybe they didn't know how. Maybe they were too wrapped up in their own concerns.
But I wish someone would have. I have tried to keep myself honest and when I get too engrossed in my own private drama, I make a point to step back and do my best to inform and protect people. I know that we all have free will and I know that some will heed advice, some scorn it, and some ignore it.
But I feel as though I've accomplished something if I've made a difference in someone else's life.