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Keep yourself out of it.
I learned to lock away parts of me inside, so people wouldn’t see me messed up again. As I witnessed people’s reactions to my social awkwardness, I strove to disguise more of what I called, “the ugly.” I’d already been overexposed enough as a teen and in college. I understood I was different.
Mom said, “Everyone’s different.” That—to me—is like saying, “Bob likes music,” and “Sally likes to run.”
I was different as in unable to read social cues and communications. I easily disappeared into my imagination. It has taken me decades to understand myself. I thought—as a teacher—I could not expose the disaster within, but I needed dress down my personality into a sense of beige normalcy.
In fact, it took the oozing of my anger, sadness, and anxiety before the holiday break to help me realize: It’s no longer enough for me to…
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