At university, I had a flatmate who once lamented, “Even you’re more popular than me.” An inadvertent slip of the tongue, which revealed a bit too much about how I was perceived by others. But it was okay, because I was used to that.
At college, other students would openly say to my closest friend at the time, “We know he’s your mate, but we don’t like him.” My face and form — not to mention the rumours — told others everything they felt they needed to know about me.
Those were tough times. Even then, I had a good idea that there was something wrong with me. Not just as a result of looking in the mirror, but in taking in the consistent reactions of my peers.
Many of those reactions have persisted throughout adulthood, but I have gradually learnt to manage them either by avoiding social interactions altogether, or by developing a thicker skin.
I have never fared well amongst crowds, so nowadays keep the company of a small group of friends. It helps that my best friend happens to be my wife and soulmate. My next closest friend I consider a guide and mentor on the path of truth.
Nowadays, I spend much of my spare time scouring research literature exploring the psychosocial phenotype of the chromosome disorder, hoping to make sense of the experiences that brought me to this point.
I would particularly like to understand what it was in my form and behaviour that caused others to take such an instant disliking to me. I carried the hurt from that formative period with me for years, no doubt misunderstanding much along the way.
Perhaps to know oneself is part of a higher knowledge. Hence my lifelong mission to better understand myself.