Aspie Shares Advice on How to Prevent Bullying
Having Asperger’s has given me a lot of good things, and I certainly have many good memories because of it. My grades were the envy of my peers, my teachers loved me, I can focus on what I have to do most of the time, and I know what I’m talking about when it is a topic of my interest. Blend it all together, and you can picture me as a good researcher under construction. However, before I figure out how to use this syndrome for my benefit and turn it into a positive aspect of my life, I have to share I was bullied in elementary and high school—a lot. Verbally and physically. It took me many years to process it, to really understand what was happening and why.
Things are pretty simple to us: we are here to do what we like, to do something we are good at and that we enjoy, maybe with even more reason if it helps someone else so we learn how to do it to the best we can. There has to be a reason behind our actions, even if it’s only for the pleasure it brings.
What makes us feel confused is when this applies to bullies. We don’t understand why they would find it useful to molest or insult someone. We see not a single point, not a logical reason, not a true meaning for wasting time in something that only causes trouble and harms another person. That’s how I used to see it.
Now, after all my school years, I can understand that some guys, and even some girls, feel the need to be in power, to control and raise their egos to atmospheric levels. There’s no polite way for me to describe what I think about them, but what I can do is give you insight on how an Aspie feels.
We feel lost in those kinds of situations—it’s totally alien for us because it simply has no sense, no reason to happen in the first place. If you ever see someone in this kind of problem, help us get out of there the best way you can. Stand for us, teach us how to respond, how to react, how to prevent it to happen again or speak with someone who can make it stop.
If it’s you, an Aspie, who realizes you’re under constant attack, do not remain silent. I know it’s hard to process and understand at first, but know that your teachers and rest of scholar authorities are there for you. Speak right away with them, ask the bully to stop, and don’t fall in the violent game of an eye for an eye—not if you can find another way out.
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If the harassment keeps happening, if he/she bullies you in and out of school, on the streets, on the Internet, if they pay no attention to teachers, then go to the police. Both harassment and bullying are illegal, you have the law on your side, and there’s nothing to be ashamed for fighting back, no matter how uncomfortable you feel.
Another option you may want to consider is to take self-defense classes to feel more empowered, more capable of facing bullies and in control of the situation. There is some truth in what our parents told us about strengthening character, and the problem of being bullied is that you lose yours, it weakens you at a point you hardly imagine, but self-defense could be the remedy, no matter what you may initially think.
If you have it difficult picturing yourself in that kind of environment, maybe then art could be a solution. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve drained my feelings and negative thoughts through drawings, poems, or even just listening to music and that makes me feel powerful. The effect is just the same; we only have to try as many things as possible in order to find the one that suits us the best.
Of course, it feels strange, of course, it has no sense, of course, there is no reason for someone just to hate and fight for the pleasure of feeling proud of him/herself, but that’s how some minds work. The best we can do is to stand our ground, search for the best solution and always, every time it happens, speak with someone. A friend, our parents, our teachers, whoever you find at your side, because we are the innocents, we are guilt-free, and for that, we will always win the battle.
Alan D.D. is a writer, journalist, and blogger from Venezuela. After years of thinking he was just introverted and shy, he discovered he had Asperger’s syndrome while doing what he loves the most: reading. Since then, he writes about the topic whenever he can, and when not immersed in a book of his own or from his favorite authors, he can be found most likely at the movies or playing Heroes of the Storm.
This is article was featured in Issue 78 – Back to School Success