Probably appropriate that on Samhain my thoughts drift to the obits. Am I the only person who logs onto Classmates.com to see if anyone I knew in school has croaked?
My elementary school days were very unpleasant. Back then, people had barely recognized autism as a legitimate condition, never mind Asperger's. Needless to say, my social malfunctioning made me a target for scores of kids who needed an outlet for their hostility.
One of my chief tormentors was a girl named Karen. She was fairly low on the social ladder herself, so perhaps that is part of what drove her to be particularly venomous towards me. I just remember that 5th and 6th grades were comprised of an almost constant barrage of harassment from her, from verbal denigration to physical abuse. Funny thing in retrospect...I was a big gal--not fat, just very tall and very physically strong, so if I had ever taken it upon myself to fight back I probably could have easily cleaned her clock. But that was the trouble. I never fought back. Never. I felt then, and to some extent still feel, that fighting back against people who are weaker is wrong. I still find myself making excuses for their actions. I still take the high road, although I have found it doesn't seem to get you anyplace that the low road doesn't also go.
So, here I am , looking through the Classmates obits and I see that Karen has died. 51 years old, and dead from complications of diabetes. Jeeze Louise. And I see a long, nicely done tribute page written by her sister. Now, here is a person I probably would have voted "Most likely to grow up and torture kittens", but the things her sister wrote spoke more of a person I might actually have been friends with. It seems we ended up with the same philosophy of life, the same political leanings, the same interests in film and literature, and we both ended up with a love of writing (her spec fiction screenplays, me spec fiction literature). Totally weird. On the surface, at least, it appears she morphed into a human being.
Maybe it was one of those epiphany moments; she was struck by a blinding shaft of reason that told her what a psychopathic lunatic she was, and she instantly turned her life around and became all sweetness and light. Maybe she just grew the hell up and quit blaming other people for her own inadequacies. Or, maybe her sister was a bit biased when it came to creating a tribute page for her sister.
I'll never really know...because now Karen has moved on to the worm farm and there will never be an opportunity for me to face her at a reunion and evaluate her reformation for myself. Asperger's makes it unlikely that I would attend anyway...I have learned to be a shadow on the wall in such social situations (hence the title of the blog, in case you were wondering) and I avoid interacting with people as much as possible. I have found over the years that it is easier than people think to be invisible. And I don't even need a magical cloak.