I was very young when I first became aware that I was different to other people. At first it wasn’t clear what it was, that was different, but something wasn’t quite right. People would sometimes look at me with an angry face, when I thought they should be smiling. Sometimes they would shout when I thought they should be laughing. When I met new people I wanted to make them like me so I would pretend to fall over in a funny way, so that they would notice and engage with me. As I grew up, more and more I became aware that I didn’t interpret the world in the same way as others.
When I was little, so many adults would come and go, some would talk and play with me but most would talk about me, then leave. The ones that stayed, even for a little while, I needed more and more. I would hurt myself when I was frustrated or angry that they were leaving, even just to go in another room. I would scream and they would come running back. I thought it was a good way to keep them near me.
When I was put to bed I would make up excuses as to why I couldn’t go to sleep yet. ‘I forgot to brush my teeth’, ‘I didn’t brush my hair’, ‘I’m too hot', ‘I left my teddy downstairs’ or anything else I could think of. I would ask endless questions about anything. ‘When its time to wake up will you make my breakfast?’, ‘Yes’ they would respond ‘Why?’ I would ask in an attempt to draw them into a conversation about things I knew the answers to just to stop them from leaving.
Then one day some people came to where I lived and showed me a book. It had pictures of people, called ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, there was a house, a bedroom and even a picture of a dog. I liked the book because it had George (Peppa Pigs Brother) on it and I liked George. They told me that these people were going to be my Mummy and Daddy. I didn’t know what that meant but they talked nicely to me so I liked it.
I’m a bit older and I now know what that means and I now learning to understand myself. You see, I was adopted and it was in that process that my now parents chose to love and understand me and more importantly help me understand me and what happens to me when people leave.
For the first 3 months I hit my Mummy, often as hard as I could. I broke every toy I was given and woke every night screaming at the top of my lungs. But they didn’t leave. They stayed and they hugged me when I tried to hit them, they kissed me when I hurt myself and they showed me how much they loved me everyday. They talked to me about my feelings and asked me about how I felt. Gradually I was able to share what I felt when people left and they were able to explain.