Outsiders

For as long as I can remember, I’ve seemed to attract outsiders around me.

This may be selection and/or confirmation bias(es): maybe I am only looking at those around me who are ‘different’ and in actual fact I attract everyone? I really don’t know.

In any case, I seem to attract outsiders. In grade 3, there used to be a girl in my class who had warts, lived in a trailer park, and had a compulsion where she had to have her legs wrapped around something (ppl used to say she was humping the desk). She had to eat alone for whatever reason down the hall, while the rest of us ate lunch with everyone else in class. I voluntered to eat lunch with her twice a week because I felt bad for her; if I had to eat alone, that would make me feel lonely and sad.

In grade 6 I befriended someone with autism? I remember that I was the only person in my class who got an invite to his birthday party.

In high school, I tried to befriend some people in my gym class that grew up in a rougher neighborhood of my hometown. I think dome of this was driven by fear; I was scared of them and thought if they got to know me they wouldn’t beat me up.

In my first year of university, I ended up hanging out with some first generation African Canadians who went to the college in the city my university was in.

I wonder why this is? Am I an outsider myself?

I also think my mom and her side of the family had something to do with it. My mom was an educational assistant in classrooms and I grew up being very mindful of others with special needs.

Written: November 11, 2020