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F.r.i.e.n.d.s - I'll Be There For You

Warning, this is a long one because it's kind of like an autobiography

I used to love watching Friends. Like a lot of teenagers and older people it was one of my favourite shows. For me, I actually had a relationship with the characters on the show that would somehow make me think I was part of their world. I was probably another Gunther: not seen or heard but there

My mum used to think that I loved watching the programme so much because I was compensating for the lack of having a social life. It wasn't until I went to my phychiatrist (because I was dealing with quite servre depression at the time) that my mum said what she thought. Her veiw was I was obsessed with the show for two reasons; it wasjust part of my (recently diagnosed) Aspergers and the fact that I had no friends

Well, this made me think

A lot of people say that they can 'count on one hand the amount of...' and I can tell you that at the time of my mum saying this, I really could count on one hand the amount of friends I had. It's not necessarily fair to say that I had no friends because that wasn't true, but I definitly didn't have a lot of friends: two close friends at school, one friend in London who I had known since I was five and another friend who I had known since I was three who I didn't talk much to because we went to different schools and life just kept getting in the way. So, I didn't have a lot of friends but I certainly had less than a handful. As well as Friends I was obsessed with Neighbours (an Australian soap). With both of these programmes I would race home from my school bus dropping me off, sitting in my spot on the couch and watching the programmes. I would get so focused and obsessed with these television shows I started to talk about the characters in such detail that one would think the people really were my real life friends, hence why my mum thought I was compensating

Throughout my school life I had never been popular. However when you're younger you're not really popular are you, because social cliques didn't really matter before your were about eleven or tweleve years old. I went to three different primary schools and I think this is one of my problems. I went to a private school, a C of E school and a semi-relgious Jewish school

The private school was fine. I started in the kindergarten and left when I was in year three - so..I think maybe I was seven when I left? Like I said, you don't really have cliques at this age. I had imaginary friends - Barney the Elf was awesome and stuck with me a lot - but I had a lot of real friends. I had birthday parties and was invited to parties, I had sleepovers and play dates..basically a normal social life. I was a little bit teased and picked on because even as a child I was very quirky and typically different. Even at this young age I made friends who were younger that me, but again, that wasn't a problem at this age

The C of E school was completely different. The snob in me wants to say that it was because I had just come from this rich, classy, smart uniform going school and was now in this basic, one story, cheap uniform wearing place. I left the private school because my parents didn't like the headmaster. There were all sorts of alligations going around that I won't go into because I still don't know the full story

Anyway, these kids were a huge difference to what I was use to. These kids were rough and ready and I was intimidated and slightly scared of them. I was always trying to prove myself. As what, I have no idea but tried everything. First of all, we had pack lunches and so there was immidiate teasing with what you had for lunch, so I tried to be 'the funny one' and entertain the kids at lunch by telling jokes, making up stories and doing whatever I could to be funny. Secondly, we had a very big playground (not as big as the other one but big enough) and so after lunch, I would challenge all the boys to races, almost like a 'who can run the most before they vomit' thing. Thirdly, I tried to be accademically smart. Well that didn't work out to well. Where I excelled at everything creative or to do with writing, my maths was appaling and so I was made fun of because of that.

Finally, for some reason, there were these two girls who just had it in for me and another one who just loved to pick a fight. I have an older brother who 'taught' me to defend myself. How does a big brother teach his little sister to defen herself? Fighting of course. I don't know what it was, but these three girls just pushed my buttons in the completely wrong way. They made me so angry that eventually I would just spend my lunch and break times in the classroom (under a desk because we weren't allowed in there) reading, drawing or doing whatever else. Whenever they would have pushed my buttons too much I would chase them around the playground and try to..I don't know if I tried to hurt them but I would certainly so something to them

Eventually I left that school after a meeger one and a half years and went to the Jewish school. I would only have two years at this school, but I still had to handle that. At this school, I was still the funny one but also the creative one. I always made it a silent competetion to see if I could write the most pages of a story - of course, I would win! Where I started off having a few friends, that number slowly dwindled and by the end of my two years I can safely say I had two friends (both of who I haven't acknowledged for...maybe four years now)

We went off to high school and this is really where the start of my troubles really began

The world of high school, for me anyway, was a horrible place and I really wish I had slept through it. I was picked on from day one. There I was in my brand new uniform and in the hall in front of everyone, I dropped my pencil tin - not a case! A TIN! - and stationary went everywhere. I was the laughing the stock of not only year seven, but of the school. Once again, I would now try and model myself as 'the funny one'

I have been blessed/cursed with the voice of an animator and can therefore do 'wonders' with my voice. I can impersonate animals, tv characters and simply just sound funny. This was probably where more bullying came from. I have a slight lisp when I say 'sh' and 'ch' so that was picked up on. Also I have mild tourrettes - although we didn't know that at the time - and I have very loose ligements which means as I walk I practically flail my legs and flip and have a little bounce. I was told I waddlle and walk like a penguin..all sorts. As well as this, I was horribly teased and bullied on the school bus. I would sit by myself and read or play on my DS. Because I have a quick temper, people would try to get me angry and aggrivated. I would end up swearing at them and hitting them but of course, they would laugh and tease me more. I reported these bullies, but of course the school can only do so much

By the end of my first year of high school I knew I wouldn't have many friends. I was so sick of being terrorised on the bus - simply because they had to change the route because I lived in a different area and meant they would get home slightly later before I came to the school - my mum managed to convince the school to get me a taxi to and from school everyday and best of all, my mum didn't have to pay a penny. But that was only one problem

The halls were a nightmare. The classrooms were a nightmare. The lunch hall was a nightmare...simply, everywhere was a nightmare. Because of my Aspergers (again we didn't know I had it at the time) I wouldn't understand jokes or would say things in the wrong situation. This caused me a lot of trouble with my peers. I remember being cornered by the popular girls and basically telling them they were ***** because they wore make up. In hindsight, not the best thing to do

I'm going to jump ahead a few years because this is very long - but I'll do another story of my GCSE years where I truly felt alone and one particular episode that has still effected me simply because it only happened a few months ago

I will always remember my high school years of being the worst of my life. I was weird/creative and different to everyone else. No matter how hard I tried, the names would just keep coming and the ignoring would continue. I tried to change myself by wearing make up, putting on an attitude and simply just trying to fit in. None of this worked as I could try to look and act differently, I would still be me and everyone saw through that

The one thing that will always remeber however, is coming home, sitting with my cup of tea and turning onto the televison and singing along to "I'll be there for you..."
CarmellaDWinter CarmellaDWinter 18-21, F Aug 22, 2012

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