They said to persevere. I began to perseverate. They discouraged me.

Be joyful they said. I flapped my hands with joyful feeling. Not like that they said.

They used alot of words whereas I had not many. They said I needed to speak like them and when I did they said it was the wrong words.

You need more friends they said as they forced me into the circle of bullies they called my 'friends'.

You need to be independent they said. So I tried. No, not like that. No, you cannot possibly do that.

Share your interests they said. So I did. We do not find that very interesting they said. Stop repeating yourself!

You are in your own world they said. And with that final statement it occurred to me- their world is not kind. Why is it better? Why must I be as them?

So whereas they refused to embrace or understand my world, I was forced to assimilate into theirs, each day giving up a part of my very being.

It was then I decided to be empowered, to embrace that which they refused to embrace, to be as I was, am, and will continue on to be. And I sought to share a piece of my world with those who dare might understand.

Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

The first members of any group are always the BEST:)
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