Part 23: Neath Shaded BoughsUpdate 24: Neath Shadowed Boughs
Its kind of funny how Ballonlea doesnt have anywhere you can go for a nice sit.
But I suppose therere far worse places to have a nap, you know?
You ran outta stall tactics a bit ago. s okay. You aint wastin my time an Im not gonna judge you. Go ahead.
Have you run into Bede, by any chance?
So you have. And you remember Hop?
I actually fought him part way to Hulbury. Gave me a run for my money.
But you won, right?
Hop Bede destroyed Hop in a fight a week back now, I think? But he didnt just beat him, he managed to worm his way into Hops head and actually mess him up. I was furious. He hurt my best friend, you know? I kinda fixated on getting back at him and did some deep dives on social media and such. The next time I saw him, I threw everything I found back in his face.
And, and he took it and, and
I need to start somewhere else.
I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at four years old. I was living with my extended family up at the Crown Tundra at the time, and Lets just say they werent supportive. I dont really remember what went down but me mum moved me out to a farm in Postwick. Dunno how she afforded it. The doctors said it was the ideal environment for me, and, you know, it shoulda been, but I was a little autistic girl whod just been moved halfway across the country and had no idea whats what. But I started to get a handle on it all. I dont know if it was the therapists or me mum or his parents that came up with the idea, but they put me together with the neighbors kid, Hop, who was struggling with some pretty severe ADHD. And We clicked. We helped each other out. And with the help of our families and the Magnolias we managed to get it all under control for a while.
I never figured out what happened exactly, but I had to change schools when I entered First Form, and Things didnt go well. The change was just Too much. Too much at once. I felt meself slipping. I was losing control. Id fought HARD for control, you know? But it just seemed to all compound and mix and swirl together
One day, I had a massive panic attack. I dinae remember what caused it I think it was something that kind of warranted some kinda panic but not that much, you know? Anyway, a few weeks before, Sonia you said you knew her through Piers anyway, Sonia got lost in the Slumbering Weald for a couple days and came out kind of harrowed. So I thought, if I wanted to leave everything behind, thats where I go, too, right? When I came to in th woods, another part of me just told me to sit down curl up and stay there. Just Stay there. Th whole town turned out to look for me and I heard them and just kept silent. You know what broke me out of it? I heard Hop walking by and calling me name while he sent me text after text after text, when I next open up my phone, therere like 70.
Things Things actually got a lot better after that. I was able to pull myself together and start doin things. Me grades climbed, I learned how to deal with things. Apparently Im a right success story now. And, you know, my issues, theyve been rough, at times, on the Challenge, but never unbearable. And then Bede hurt him and hurt me, because even though we arent related we may as well be brother and sister, and then he somehow managed to dig all of this up and throw it right in my face when I wasnt expecting it. Im not likely to roll back to it or anything, but I just wanted to be able to talk about it, you know? Just Tell someone about all of it, give myself a little distance, look at it from a remove It helps, it helps a lot. Thank you so much for listening, Marnie. Just talking about it made it a little easier.
I got my diagnosis when I was five.
Wait, you too?
Yes. Wed lost our mum an da the year before, so they werent sure if it was just me missin them for a while, but, eventually, evidence built up too much. Piersd already made it, but we still didnt have that much money, so we couldnt get much help or anythin. They ended up havin to crowdsource it, in a way. Thats why Team Yell keeps followin me round like that. They offer a bit of a smokescreen, I suppose; I always know theyre supportin me an not judgin me. You know those horns they carry round? I used to listen to em when I was little, they were the only loud sound I could tolerate back then. Somethin about them
Theyre giant stim toys! I KNEW there was a reason I liked the sound.
You too? Yeah. I mean, they all cn definitely be overwhelmin, but they dont know any better, even though they get in peoples ways so much, I cant help but forgive em, you know? I have made a lot of progress in social display an such. I wanna show em I appreciate em. But I keep scoldin em instead of thankin em because they just get so shirty, an I cant smile at them as I cant really smile naturally at all, an Im still strugglin with how to put up with touchin other people
Youre holding my hand right now
Gloria The first time we talked, yasked me to infodump an actually listened. Nobody else has. Lotta people try, but they get kinda bored after a while til even I can pick it up. But you just listened an listened an you asked questions that I could answer. An when you started talkin about things, they just Made sense. I aint never connected with anybody before like that.
Ive always known I liked boys, an at first I thought I just wanted you as a friend. But when you mentioned likin girls I kept thinkin, maybe shes the exception. An, an you are. Ive never liked ANYBODY like I like you. You just UNDERSTAND me bettern anybody I ever met. An, an youre STRONG. You had a worse experience than I did an you just waded through it, an now look at you. Youre amazin. I Maybe this is a bit forward, an I dont know if youre actually interested, so you can say no if you want, I understand, but I was, I was wondering if we could, you knowmmmf!
Gloria, I THOUGHT I saw your tent