Friday, December 21, 2012

Life with Tourettes in the Theatre Chapter 3

Chapter 2: Depending on the Cruelty of Strangers

The kids never really understood what Tourettes is. I grew up in the world where not that many people heard of it or knew that it existed. Even having a diagnosis and all of that never helped. People had never heard of it and therefore I was a freak. A lot of people say that kids can be very cruel and they are very right. I could get blamed for just about anything in class (someone makes a rude noise and I must have done it) and kids often felt that they got carte-blanche  on making fun of me because there was no way I was normal like them. There were often times where I would walk home and kids would be there ready to throw rocks at me.

I don't often relive these moments and as time passed I learned how to have compassion and live again. But it formed this irrational fear in me in my adult life. When were they going to start making fun of me again? When were they going to start excluding me? Were they getting close to me just to hurt me or were they really trying to be my friends?

This affected my early theatre career in a weird way. I felt that I had to be better than everyone else in my college department. I felt I had to be the super student. When you have a disability you can often feel that that's all that people can see. So I tried to excell to hide  my disability, rose above all of the other people. But because of that I didn't have that many peers in the department. The teachers knew and loved me but most of the students thought I was shy, withdrawn, or awkward. Being the super student meant that I was excluding myself, in effect bullying myself. in order to keep people from bullying me.

After time I corrected this behavior. I let people in and started educating people about my disability and focused on just being a person instead of a superman. It took a lot of doing and trying but it eventually all turned out well in the end.

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