This has been something I always find myself doing. Anything I do or say, I need to justify it for some reason or another. But why do I feel the need to justify myself? That is the big question. It has only been recently that I have realised that I really don’t need to justify everything.
So why? The answer comes from my early years when I suffered social exclusion, teasing, ridicule and like in “He Was Weird,” outright bullying and it resulted in me believing that whatever I said or did, it was going to be wrong. Mainly because, someone else said that it was wrong. Therefore, out of fear of some reprisal, real or imagined, I would offer some sort of explanation to deflect the verbal and sometimes physical onslaught I perceived to be coming my way. What aggravated the situation more was as a child and teen, others coming up and asking questions about me or my life and why I did something. Some of these curiosities were genuine, however, there were others who simply wanted ammunition to use against me or they wanted to tease or patronize.
In “He Was Weird,” this sort of situation happens in the very first pages. On the first day of his new school, at his first at bat at kickball, Mark clears away some stones that are in his way before the ball is rolled to him. Then, like he did at his old school because he played for an American Football team called the Tigers, he let out a roar when he kicked the ball. Nothing was said at the time but at lunch, there were a couple of kids wanting to know why he did those things. Due to his autism, Mark was perfectly honest. Unfortunately, it is on account of his condition, he explains it in a way that children could use it against him. Instead of saying that the stones are in the way, he states that he was making himself a runway. To his future tormentors, this was all the ammunition they needed.
Like Mark, I often thought that I was always wrong or misunderstood and therefore, I had to explain everything or justify myself. At times, this may be warranted but often times it’s not. Now, I realise that I don’t have to justify things in my personal life or I do something that someone doesn’t understand because they choose to be narrow minded. However, if you ask and are genuinely interested and I feel that you should know, I’ll tell you.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467053292&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird