Friday, April 6, 2012

The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships 6: A Fog, Sort Of

What stood out to me in my reading yesterday of The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships was something that Sean Barron said on page 61, about when he was in nursery school:

"I remember a teacher's aide in Mrs. Kreidler's nursery school room, who assigned an art project that was unlike anything I had ever done. Part of the activity required us to use a pair of blunt scissors to cut whatever we drew on the paper. Before that day, I had never used a pair of scissors, and I was almost physically sick at being in a situation that required me to do so. I had no idea how to correctly handle and hold them, let alone cut with them. The aide must have thought I was being stubborn, and challenging her authority, because she yelled at me for not being able to cut whatever I had drawn. I also recall the other kids' silence as she made clear her scorn."

That sounds a lot like my own childhood: I was confused and in a fog, teachers were mad at me, and I did not understand why. A lot of the problem was that I was not paying attention, listening, and following instructions, since I was in my own little world. While I was aware enough about my surroundings to do my homework, it did not dawn on me to study for tests. It wasn't until I was in the fifth grade that I began to really study.

The other kids did not torment me when I was in elementary school, as they did to Sean (which Sean talks about). I was teased more in junior high school, but, when I was in elementary school, the other kids were protective of me because I was smaller than others. In elementary school, there were plenty of times when I preferred to stay indoors alone during recess to catch up on my schoolwork. (I was often behind.) But I also recall a number of times when I socialized with my peers----playing basketball, soccer, four-square, and tag. (I wasn't that good at sports, but people let me join in.) Unlike Sean, when I was in elementary school, I did not consciously think about whether or not I fit in. I did fit in, in a sense. My social struggles occurred more from junior high school up to today.


  1. I think a part of that fog has something to do with being a kid, a part of it has to do with trauma, and a part of it to do with other issues. I do remember being in that same fog - when I was very young, there was a children's choir in church that I was supposed to perform in. I had no idea what the song was or anything until they put me on the stage.

  2. I think trauma does relate to many people's fog. I didn't experience a trauma, but I know from others' stories that it was hard for them to concentrate when there were so many traumas going on in their lives.

  3. I'm not saying that you did - but I'm also going to point out that some traumas happen way, way earlier than we can remember, and are not seen as a trauma by anyone else. The one I know about happened at six months. I don't remember it, but 36 years later I'm still trying to get past it.

  4. I wonder if hypnosis can uncover what exactly happened.


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