can be read in it's entirety right here.
Life through the lens of Asperger's Syndrome.
by Lynne Soraya
October 20, 2009, Anxiety
Friends and Allies
What being bullied taught me about friendship
In the second or third grade, I remember being asked about friends. "Oh, I have lots of friends," I said, reciting a list that included all my teachers, day care providers, school janitors, and most of the kids I knew. Everyone was nice...at least I thought. I didn't understand the true nature of friendship - until I was bullied.
Girl with big brown eyesWhen I was in fourth grade, we moved to a new town. Having always felt different, I was always drawn to other outsiders. Which is why, on my first day of school, I was drawn to a girl who stood alone, off to the side, watching everything with big, soft, brown eyes. I liked her immediately.
But, I was soon to find out, others did not. One day, while I was playing alone on the merry go round, one of the popular girls sought me out. She wanted to be my friend, she said. But the conditions for her friendship were clear...drop my friend. I refused. Adamantly. That's when the bullying got serious.
But the bullies were in for a surprise...I didn't react the way they expected. The previous year, my PE teacher had decided to teach us the basics of Aikido, one of his passions. Deeply affected by Aikido's philosophy of non-violent self-defense, bolstered by my newly acquired church teachings to "turn the other cheek," I had become militantly pacifistic. So, I refused to fight. If they persisted, I'd use the Aikido techniques I'd learned to defend myself. But only that.