“Your Kid is A Freak!”: It Still Hurts

A Young Author's Notebook
9 min readSep 15, 2023

Around this time of year, I get really bad panic attacks and sadly, my depression gets really bad. My overall health goes to shit.

Every morning, I call my mother and I try to keep it short and sweet.

But on one such call, my mother brought up an event that to this day, still hurts to even mention. As a kid, I never really had any friends. I wanted them, so very much. I wanted them. I begged for people to like me, well, not literally beg, but I guess you know where this is going. There was this end of the year party for the sixth grade. I knew that I wasn’t anticipating an invite, and I was right, I didn’t get one. It seemed like everyone was invited but me.

My mother, though she did everything she could to make my childhood great, but there are stories like these, that I hold, and they really suck. There’s not much I can do about it. I didn’t get one. I was crushed, but I knew that I had my toys to look forward to when I got home. I didn’t say anything to my mother about it, because though she was a good mom, she didn’t always listen to me.

If I told her that I wasn’t wanted, she would always try to “force” me to be invited, and when I went, I was ostracized anyways, so I would have rathered stayed at home.

Unfortunately, mother went to lunch with some of the moms, from the school, and was told of such party. When she came home, she was surprised on why I didn’t mention it: There was a reason: I wasn’t wanted there, and that was ok, I had plenty of DVD’s to watch and toys to play with, which usually filled my void of the loneliness I felt, but I tried to not let it hurt me so much.

My mom said, “Why didn’t you tell me about this party?” I tried not to look at her, and I told her I wasn’t invited and it was ok, that I wasn’t.

She of course, was beside herself, and told me that there was a mistake, and that she needed to find out why? She went into the living room to get the phone and I went into the kitchen and picked up the other phone to see how this was going to play out. She dialed the mother of the kid who was hosting the party. What started out as a very nice conversation, turned into heartbreak in about 30 seconds.

“No Kayla, there wasn’t a mistake,” The mother said. I could feel my heart drop. My mom made the drastic mistake of asking what the mother meant by “it wasn’t a mistake?” Then she said something I’ll never forget.

“YOUR KID IS A FREAK! She is not welcomed to my house or around my kid. All the parents agreed that she is not welcomed. She needs to be put somewhere! ” I heard her say. My ears repeated what she had said. My Mom could only mutter out, “Well, we didn’t want to come to your party anyways!” She hung up. I hung up as well. I sat on the kitchen counter for a few minutes, processing what had just been said. I guess I knew what people really felt about me at the time? I knew it. It solidified it: I was the freak and that’s all I’d ever be, but I knew I wasn’t dangerous? I then looked at my hands and thought, I had never hurt anyone, or never was violent, so I don’t know where that came from? I heard my Mom call my Dad and asked if he was home. He happened to be pulling in the garage. I still sat in the kitchen. I tried not to cry, but it was hurting me. All I ever wanted, was to be accepted and loved by people. I know my parents loved me, but I really wanted to be… I just wanted to have friends. I dreamt of having parties, where people would ACTUALLY WANT TO COME, not my mother BEGGING THEM to come. When I look at my home movies, and I see my birthday parties, I can honestly remember that those kids didn’t want to come, that their mothers made them come, as they told me later, that I was really not worth anything. It’s amazing that I tried to look so happy, but unfortunately, with my autism, I could never really tell who was “laughing with me” or “at me”. I still can’t tell. I feel like I put people through too much, that’s why sometimes, I don’t say anything on how I’m really feeling. I try not to cry in front of people, I cry by myself. Sometimes, it comes up again and and again, and I just feel sick all over again.

When I was young, I would come home from school, go to my room, cry on my bed for about few minutes and then come back downstairs, do to my homework, then return to my room, and wait until I was called for dinner.

I would sit on the floor of my room, and arrange my stuffed animals or my dolls in a certian way, that looked like they were talking to me or sitting with me. I would pretend that they were my “best friends” and I would pretend that they had so much to say to me, but even the silence, of trying to set them up, seemed to echo that I was really lonely. Loneliness, can be really hurtful, especially when you’re a kid. As I would take a break from playing, I’d look outside, and watch my brother play with his friends. How I deeply wished that were me.

But, sadly, for many years, it wasn’t.

After I heard that phonecall, I called my grandpa. I told him quickly of the situation and he told me I was not a bad kid. He told me that he couldn’t wait to see me in a few weeks. I hung up the phone and this time when I went upstairs to my room, I chenched my hands and beat them against the wall, so hard that I bruised my hands. I looked at the purple, and I figured this is what I deserved. That night, when I was called to dinner, my mother could barely look at me, and I didn’t ask her why, because I knew why. After dinner, I I sat on the stairs and I listened to the conversation that my mom and dad had. Mom was crying and asking what would become of me? Would I become a loner? Would I have someone I could love? Anything!? After I heard enough, I went upstairs to my room, and I put on the film, Stella Dallas (1937).

I knew I could cry it out while watching Barbara Stanwyck cry, or watch Anne Shirley cry. “They must know my pain-” as I thought, and watched.

My mom and dad didn’t come up to ask if I was ok, nothing. I was alone, and I knew I was alone with my thoughts. I looked at my purple hands.

“How can I be dangerous? I would only hurt myself,” I thought, as I looked at the purple on my hands.

I continued watching the movie, it was the only thing that seemed to comfort me. I got up and I looked in my mirror. I hated myself, and I still do this to this day, I start tearing at myself, meaning, I start scratching myself, because I found myself to horrible to look at. I took one of my scissors and I rammed it into my forearm and I tried not to scream or cry, because that’s how bad I felt. If they didn’t want me, if they thought I was a danger, then I should start with killing the bad in me. I tried to stab myself through my arm, and it wasn’t successful though. I did have to bandage myself, and wear longsleeves so no one would see the pain that I tried to cut out. My parents never knew of my self harm, because I just wanted to “cut out the bad” that people seemed to think I had.

I try not to do anything to myself now, because I do have a husband, and I don’t want him to get concerned.

Sometimes, even now, people will say things such as “You need to be put somewhere!” Where? I’m not violent..I’m not dangerous? I wish I could cut out all the “bad” that people think that I have. I did a lot of “self -harm”- which usually meant, scratching myself until I bled, or slamming my hands or arms against a wall, until I bruised, because if I felt I’ve caused them “pain”, then I should feel it too. It sucks, but that’s how it is?

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and believe me, only Otto Wolf knows how many times I’ve tried to “leave.” With words like that, being said to me over and over again, it’s hard to stay. Even the words, “ I Love You” — I don’t even believe at times, because people tell me they love me, then fuck me over, like I’m nothing.

Love is hard for me to see or accept, because of being fucked over, when people tell me they love me. What is love anyways? I always wondered this. I thought I knew my answer, when I saw my grandparent’s love, that lasted for a lifetime. But, love, can die, but sometimes, when love is twisted, and they leave you, then what is love even really about? I don’t know?

When I entered 7th grade, it wasn’t much better. I stayed in my room, after school. I wished and dreamed of being popular, but I was never that way. I was hurt, mentally and sometimes physically (not by my parents of course). I was still harming myself, because I didn’t want anyone to suffer, I should suffer. I wanted to have a boyfriend, as I thought other girls did. The boy that I thought I loved, pitied me, and didn’t see me as a love interest. I wasn’t a pretty kid, and believe me, I wasn’t.

I never understood what was “wrong” with me- and part of me, still doesn’t.

Sometimes, people will tell me I suffered enough, but I still do. It’s hard to tell people about it, because I don’t want them to feel sorry for me, but I want people to know the weight of the words they say, could impact them and sometimes them question their own worth, like I do with mine. I know it seems awful, but I would pray to God, and ask him for one simple favor: Make me stop breathing, so.. I could make people happy, with being “erased.” I would ask him this prayer, and I would be very upset when I woke and I was breathing. I still ask sometimes ask him to do that, and the same thing happens, I’m still here.

Sometimes, people don’t understand, that there’s so much pain that people like me feel. We carry the weight of the depression and not to mention, the horrific words that we’ve been told, at least I do. I know my husband says, “Just let it go! Why do you care still?”

It’s hard to forget, even the things that happened when you were young. I know last year, when the girls online were gaslighting me into thinking I was a horrible person. Well, I responded by taking a half of bottle of Advil, to make me go-away, so they’d be happy. Sometimes, it still bothers me, and I don’t know why? I never really got to say my peace, and got to really tell them how I felt, but if I did, I knew it would be turned on me, and I’d be the monster. That’s how it always is. I’m never really allowed to express how I feel. I’m screaming, but no one can hear me. No one. I cry, but I can’t cry too much, I’ll be a cry baby. I’m emotional, and sometimes, when things like that happen to me and I don’t know how to re-act, I get upset. I don’t hurt anyone. If I did, it wasn’t on purpose. Sometimes, I could say things aren’t nice, but I didn’t mean to. I would never hurt anyone on purpose. That’s not my intention. I couldn’t do that.

But to say that I needed to put somewhere, my Mom still can’t get over that. I wasn’t dangerous, and I wasn’t hurtful. I was a good friend, I showed up, I stayed up talking to them, on Skype or the phone, either one. But I’m the Monster- usually am though.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to find good friends, who won’t leave you when you’re “too much”. When you’re upset, or when you’re gaslit into thinking you’re a horrible person, that’s happened all my life- nothing’s new.

In time, I’m learning to have some respect for myself- learning to love myself, because I know this much: I am a GOOD PERSON. I AM NOT TOO MUCH. I AM A GREAT FRIEND AND I SHOW UP.

I am. Me.

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A Young Author's Notebook

Kate. Autistic. I am a Jewish woman who doesn't have a clue of what's she's doing, so bear with me.