My Autistic Experience: Conway

I have come to learn recently that there is some remaining curiosity about a friend/bully I mentioned in one of my previous posts.

“I remember one friend in particular that I had who was also my bully. It was a rather unconventional friendship, maintained by the fact that this ‘friend’ was the only one who gave me the attention I expected from a friend. We would play card games together, and do projects together. He would also make up exercises that often involved tripping me, annoying me, sometimes even ignoring me altogether. I was the only one who was friends with this kid, and the others knew it to.”

I don’t remember exactly how I met him, other than that he was my classmate. I remember that we used to play the Yu-Gi-Oh card game together quite a bit. He would always beat me, although I came close a few times. Even though I lost, it was nice to be able to play with someone, to be given attention and treated as a friend.

When I was in elementary school, I had a special one-on-one teacher for a long time. It was well known that I was different, if not that I was specifically autistic. I did not make incredible efforts to make friends beyond the instructions of my one-on-one teacher, but in exchange I have a hard time remembering others making efforts to be my friend. It is possible that I just brushed off most attempts from others to make friends with me.

I think I was in vulnerable place at the time. In grade 2 or 3, I had a friend who I would play with more or less all the time. When she left, it was something I had some difficulty dealing with. When grade 5 came along, I made friends with the other guy who I spoke of before. He did not know of my condition, so he treated me like anyone else.

I have been to his house a few times, once or twice for his birthday. In his house he has always been kind and hospitable. When I was little I never saw him as a bully, and even today I struggle on certain aspects to recall anything truly nasty that he has done to me except for one thing in particular.

He took advantage of my gullibility a few times, convincing me that the millennium puzzle from Yu-Gi-Oh exists and was attainable. To attain it, he had me undergo this training regime that involved him tripping me and pushing me to do things I didn’t really want to do, often involving physical activity. When I told my teacher about this, it stopped, but then he would act like it never happened and would make fun of me about it. Thinking about it even today fills me with rage.

“Everyone warned me about him. My parents and other students knew better than me, but in my child mind they tried to separate me from my only friend. Why would anyone do that, especially the other students who would of course offer nothing in return for the lost friendship?”

Taking my autism out of it, how does someone do anything like this to anyone? Why would someone take advantage of another’s gullibility like that? I don’t know, but the fact that this has happened to me is one of many events that served to harden me. Writing about this, I recall more of such events that happened to me that taught me of the nastiness of young folk who don’t know better. I’m normally not one to believe in mystical forces, but it is moments like this where I hope there is a sort of karmic justice for them.

I wonder if I will feel bad if it comes?

A different person apologized to me in 2013. He wasn’t the nicest person or anything, but he seemed direct at the time. He didn’t much care for me, and I considered him to be more of an acquaintance anyway. He told me he was arrogant, and used other colourful words that are probably not appropriate for this blog. He confessed to me that he suffers anxiety and depression, and that he feels that karma is true and has turned on him.

But when he apologized, my immediate thought was confusion. I never felt that he made any serious transgressions towards me, so I forgave him. Its true he wasn’t incredibly nice to me, but I found it a little refreshing. He never said to my face he didn’t like me, but in his tone I knew of his disdain. I felt like even though he did not like me, he was at least honest with me, and I hold nothing in higher regard than honesty.

I like to think that as people get older, they will mature when it comes to treating everyone respectfully. It perhaps comes with age and experience. I suppose it is just something I will have to find out on my own, as I usually do.

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