Count On Me(3)

By: Melyssa Winchester



My mom says that I ‘started acting funny’ right around my fourth birthday. She took me to the doctor and after a little bit of a wait, there were even more doctors. There’s been so many since then that I’ve lost count, but it doesn’t change anything. I’m still autistic and there’s no quick fix for it. I’m going to be this way for the rest of my life. I think I’m the only one that’s okay with that.

My mom kept taking me to all of those doctors because she didn’t understand me and honestly, I think she wants them to put me back together, like I’m broken or something. I’m not broken, I’m just different.

I’m okay with the way I am, except when I get into situations that are too much for me. It’s only then that I hate it and wish they could fix me. The worst part has to be the accidents. I know how to go and I know what it feels like, it’s just a lot of times, I get overloaded and can’t control it. I hate that part because it’s embarrassing. It’s when that stuff happens that I wish my life was different.

Sometimes I even wish I was dead.

Those kinds of thoughts, I don’t talk about them. I know if I told my mom how bad it is for me, she’d only worry more and take me to another doctor. I know she means well, but I’m tired of it all.

Most kids, when they walk into their class don’t get freaked out by the lights. They go to their seat and move on like nothing is wrong. I can’t do that. I’m in a lot of classes with other kids like me, but there are some I wanted to be in that I have to take regular classes for. It’s those where my issues are hardest to handle. Turning down the lights is minor compared to what else happens.

If too many people are moving around real close to me, it makes my heart almost beat out of my chest and breathing is hard. The blood rushes to my head and I get overloaded which sometimes means I scream out or shake. For the kids at school, that’s what makes me a retard.

I’ve gotten control over a lot of it. I know my triggers and I do things in order to redirect, but it still gets me sometimes, which is what the bullying is about. This time is different though because normally, they just call me names and push me around a little. That’s not what happened in the parking lot and I’m scared it’s not going to be the last time it happens.

My mom homeschooled me until I started high school. She wanted to continue it, but I ended up telling her no. It’s not that I enjoy being picked on, pushed around and treated like a leper. I just can’t stand being more of an outcast then I already am.

Kayden Walker is my next door neighbor. We used to play together when we were babies. Well we did, until his mom took off and left him alone with Dean. He’s the only friend I’ve ever had even though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t feel the same. Kayden’s mom made him hang out with me, I know that, but it doesn’t change anything for me. Spending time with me the way he did when we were younger made me feel special and not in the bad way.

I’m not sure why he didn’t join in with his friends today. I’ve seen them do it before with other kids and he seems to enjoy it. Enjoyment is the last thing he felt today. I saw it in his eyes before he bent down to help me up. The last time I’ve seen someone look like that was when Dad fought with Mom.

I don’t like anger. It scares me. Whenever my mom raises her voice around me, I completely shut down and hit myself. I’ve been doing it since I was four. She tells me that anger is a natural part of life, but I just don’t see it that way. Why be angry when you can be happy? It’s why even now, walking toward his car; I’m still scared of him. I don’t want to do something and have him get angry at me the way he did with Dillon.

“Isabelle.”

He says my name so easily that I’m jealous. When I said his name earlier, it had taken every bit of strength I had to get the sound to come out. It caused me physical pain to do it, yet here he is saying mine like he does it all the time.

“Why didn’t you get on your bus?”

I have to answer him. I can’t let him stand there wondering. I just don’t know if I’ve got it in me to get the words out. When I’m home with my mom and Tristan, it’s easier to speak because they understand me, but here, now, at school and in front of Kayden, it’s too hard.

So I do what I always do when I can’t speak. I motion with my finger toward the school as if all the answers he wants are going to be answered with the simple motion.

“You stayed after school for something?” he asks, his eyes never once leaving mine as he tries to figure out what I’m trying to say while saying nothing at all.

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