Day 1: Birth and early childhood

In my bio you will see that I was born in Portland Oregon on May 14th, 1996. My family and I lived right on the border of Washington and Oregon on the Colombian river in St. Helens Oregon. I can’t say I remember much of it. I remember that it rained a lot and I remember the mountains, and then other tiny little specs of my childhood here and there. My parents tell me that when I was younger they had noticed something different about me. I was an expertise in memory. I could memorize songs, movie quotes, and SNL skits. Bu the one thing that stood out to my parents the most was that I couldn’t communicate very well, meaning I could say words and use sentences but according to them I couldn’t tell people how I felt.

When we moved to Minnesota when I was three my parents enrolled me in a day care. Funny enough my mother then started working for the day care she put me in. One day all of us kids were playing in the pool, and I was playing with a pool noodle that I found and was pretending it was a sword. I wasn’t hitting anyone or bothering anyone at all with it, I was by myself in the lounge chair area acting like I was Inigo Montoya. This little girl, we’ll call her Tabitha for the story’s sake, came over and wanted to play. Me being the young ignorant child I was still believed that girls were gross and carried all kinds of diseases like cooties and lice. I started to walk away, and she followed close behind. After making one full loop around the entire pool she decided that she knew how to get my attention, so she grabbed my pool noodle and ran away from me. I had to act quick. I tried following her to get my noodle back and eventually I just got so frustrated that I did what every other three year old would have done in that situation. Use physical violence. Once I was at a decent distance from her, I quickly grabbed my noodle back from her. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked at me. She tried grabbing her noodle back. “This woman must be stopped” I must’ve thought to myself, so without hesitation I shoved her into the deep end of the pool.

Now this story is being told from the perspective of my mother who witnessed the whole thing (and didn’t do anything about it) and from what she says, after I pushed her into the pool I had this gladiator look on my face. Something that said “There can only be one Highlander!” as millions cheered my name in an ancient Greek stadium. I felt pretty powerful, but for my mother it was the last straw. From there she took me in to get tested. They put me in observation rooms and watched how I interacted with certain objects. My mother filled out questionnaire, after another. After some time they came to the conclusion that I had a learning disability called Pervasive Developmental Disorder or PDD for short. From that time forward I could hardly tell that there was every anything wrong with me. All throughout my school age years I would be pulled out of classrooms to go to these special rooms where a teacher would teach us different things about life and communication. I just thought that it was something everybody did.

They told me one day that I had graduated the program and they were going to throw me an exit party. Again, I had no idea what any of that meant. They told my parents that I had met the requirements and that I had the skills necessary to make it on my own. That changed once I moved up to elementary school. I was struggling to get schoolwork done and I felt the teacher spoke too fast and I found it hard to complete tasks because of how stressed I was. So they put me back into this special ed program that I didn’t even know existed. This continued into my early years of junior high. I began to think that I was just destined to fail and that nothing would ever get better with my slow way of learning. I thought why I was the way that I was. Maybe there was something that truly was wrong with me. This continued until one day I finally discovered what was going on in my mind. All the secrets that had been kept from me since my childhood.

 

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