I noticed I was different early in life (kindergarten) and I quickly learned my way of being was unacceptable.
I was often critized and questioned by class mates, teachers and other people.
It was apparently wrong to be shy, anxious and (as I learned by 35) autistic.
Since the questioning came from everywhere I had no other option than believing them. They could not all be wrong. It was not the words of a single or gang of bullies, it was from everyone around.
It was not just words, some people shook their head, sighed, stared or prentended I was invisible.
Children who learn they are wrong usually do not hate their parents/close adults/people – they internalize the hate.
And as I was apparently wrong I started to feel disgust towards myself.
I didn’t believe I was worth talking to or hanging out with.
I felt sorry for the adults that had to handle me (therapists, teachers, relatives, etc.). I was a disgusting kid. People who talked to me would lose their status/rank in the society. No one wanted anything to do with me in school since my low status was contagious.
By 11 I finally talked to my parents and a therapist and was matched with two classmates who started to hang out with me. I was not left out and bullied the following school years but the multiple friends I made throughout the school years always left me after a year or two so I was quite alone. (Possibly because of neediness, shyness or autistic traits.)
I studied how to be ‘normal’ (neurotypical) and learned how to behave socially. I could start accepting myself.
By 30 I learned I am an introvert and during therapy and after getting my autism diagnosis I have worked a lot with finding my true self and respecting her. I don’t love myself yet, but I may be getting there.