This Is What It Felt Like To Be Bullied as a Child With Autism
This is a fictional tale based on my experiences of being bullied as a child. I have Asperger syndrome.
Her name was Lullaby.
Each day Lullaby woke up and smiled gently as the sun peeked shyly through her rose petal-colored curtains.
Her name was Lilly.
Each day Lilly would wake up and for maybe ten seconds she would be at ease — until she remembered she had school that day. Then the butterflies in her stomach would start to flutter. She’d wonder if the bully in her class had a good morning at home and maybe would go easy on her that day.The sun would peek in through her curtains. She smiled. Maybe, today, the bully would only spit at her.
Lullaby stretched, then pulled her prettiest dress from her closet. She had fairy school that day, and they were going on a trip to the enchanted lake where she and her friends would go on little boats made of tree bark and laugh with the fish. They’d joke with the squirrels and fly with the butterflies. Lullaby could hardly wait.
Lilly pulled on her uniform. She likes her uniform; it makes everyone look the same and seem equal. In her pocket she carries a small pink pearl button that she handles when she gets nervous. She bites her lip until it’s bleeding as she thinks about the trip her class is going on that day. They’re going to a lake to go canoeing. “Wet and cold water,” Lilly thought, with dread. They would be expected to get into small groups for lessons on safety. Lilly prayed Tina would come in today. Tina is Lilly’s best and only friend. She’s also bullied. She likes to read. She’s quiet, shy and, like Lilly, has something called Asperger syndrome.
Asperger syndrome makes it hard for Lilly to say what she feels sometimes and makes some things difficult. She has a gift of being able to talk to animals; they always know what she means. Lilly climbs into trees sometimes, hiding and gently listening for the fairy folk she’s sure left her in this world. Her mother has told her the wiring in her brain is special and that’s why she finds loud noises painful, why too many words at once from a person make her want to run, and why she has always felt like she’s on the outside looking in. She knows she’s special and knows she has a gift the whole world will know about one day. If only the bully would know that.
Lullaby leaves her flower and swings down the stem. She flicks her wings out and flies up and over the meadow towards her school, where her friends cheer to greet her. She’s so lucky, she thinks, to be so popular and to be going on such a nice trip.Her best friend, Story, comes running over excited to be sitting next to Lullaby on the boat. They giggle as they plan their day.
Lilly slams the door and makes her way to school. She’s glad to see Tina up ahead holding her mother’s hand. She hurries to catch up and they plan their day. They decide to try to sit near the teacher. The bully won’t sit nearby.
The bus draws in and they pile in. The bully pushes to the front to get first pick of the back seats. Lilly and Tina get on, ignoring the bully.
Lullaby has finished her lunch and is dozing, the hum of grasshoppers around her in the grass is soothing and she contemplates jumping on one for a ride. She’s to tired, all played out, and Story has made her laugh so much.
Lilly tries to sleep on the ride home. Tina tries to smile and tells her it doesn’t matter; they will be home soon. She says that no one saw Lilly fall into the mud when the bully tripped her, and it didn’t matter her lunch was ruined. Their moms were clever, she said, to pack double lunches in case they somehow lost their first lunch.
Lilly didn’t answer.
She shut her eyes tighter and knew one day she would tell Tina that none of this was real. That it was all make believe. That she wasn’t really sitting on the bus.
She was asleep in a meadow
Her names was Lullaby.