When I was a little girl, I used to beg my mom to read “The Ugly Duckling” to me every night. By the end of the story I was sobbing my heart out, yet so strangely entranced by the tale, that I asked for it over and over again. There was just something about this poor little out-of-place duck that seemed to be a part of me…or like me.
I always felt different, like I just couldn’t fit in with everyone else. My mind’s train travelled in loops that didn’t even exist in other children’s brains, and their tracks were in lines I couldn’t fathom. I tried to find a box to fit into my whole life. I wanted a label for what I was – something to describe my oddness – so that I knew which parts of myself to scratch out and which fake parts to paste on. On that happy day I would be able to swim into the pond (with a very natural-looking feathered suit) and call myself a duck. [Read more…]