This Is Me
We go through high school dramas, attempting to fit in with the social normality of your peers, puberty and a whole lot of emotional rollercoasters (more issues than Vogue, am I right?) And being a teenager with Asperger’s doesn’t make the job any easier.
Something I really love to do is explain things through stories; something I also really love is Disney.
I don’t know how many of you have seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I think I can best explain myself through the use of this movie.
Now, before you start pondering to yourself, “why on earth is she bringing this up?” Today, while I was meant to be studying, I stumbled across the lyrics to one of the songs from this film called “God Help the Outcasts”.
For those of you who don’t know, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the story of Quasimodo the hunchback who is treated awfully because of the way he looks. A single person, Esmeralda, the gypsy girl, shows Quasimodo kindness and it changes his life. Esmeralda sings the song “God Help the Outcasts” as she wanders through the church where Quasimodo lives.
God Help the Outcasts, the tattered, the torn
Seeing an answer, to why they were born,
Winds of misfortune have blown them about
You made the outcasts
Don’t cast them out.
When I was younger, I always felt like an outcast. While I didn’t have a hunchback or a disfigured face like Quasimodo, I could relate to how he felt rejected to society.
People would laugh at me, call me names, whisper and tease me openly to the point where I’d run off the back of the school library and hide there until the final school bell went; and I’d come home in tears each and every day.
While I would be gutted and heartbroken at the words, which would pull at the metaphorical strings of my self-esteem, I’d come to the (wrong) realisation that this would be my life: an outcast. A frizzy haired, green-eyed girl who would rather chat aimlessly to the cat who would walk by on the footpath rather than even look at another child my age.
As I reached high school, and talking to stray cats and singing Disney songs in public places wasn’t so normal anymore, that’s when things started to change. That’s when I began to feel that maybe I did have some sort of hunch back, a limp in my walk and a disfigured face, because why else would I feel like such an outcast?
My name is Chloe, and I was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of thirteen.Finding out I had Asperger’s was a whole lot of confusing feelings and emotions. Ass Burgers? Asparagus? I’d never even heard of the word before, and now I’d been diagnosed with the damn thing! But that’s another story.
My psychologist told me that Asperger’s is basically a lot of different quirks and personality traits that have all joined up together. Everybody has different quirks and personality traits, mine’s just considered ‘different’ from other people.
And being different isn’t a bad thing. Everyone’s different in one way or another, that’s what makes the world so beautiful. But, for some reason, the sort of different I am just happens to have a cool name that goes with it, which I’m honestly quite glad about. I like putting a name to things.
And now here I am, at the age of eighteen. I’m still the same frizzy haired, green eyed girl who would rather chat aimlessly to one of my four cats, refuses to eat with a proper spoon, can’t eat red food, and breaks into Disney musicals in the middle of [the supermarket]. But I’m not worried about it anymore, because this is who I am, and this is who I’m meant to be.
Chloe Hayden is a local, artistic, fun loving, creative, sensitive and unique young woman and is also an Aspie. This article was first published on Chloe’s Princess Aspien blog: https://princessaspien.wordpress.com