A trapezium is a quadrilateral that has 4 unequal sides and 4 unequal angles. Squares and rectangles are the most common shapes that people recognize, and they have 4 right (90 degree) angles. Trapeziums have nothing in common, and nothing that matches. Trapeziums follow no rules. But I am not really talking about a shape here,
Here is the real story of how I became a trapezium:
In one of my jobs, I am a math tutor. Being a math tutor is great! It ties in some of greatest natural strengths – helping people, teaching, and knowing a lot about random subjects. One day, some fellow math tutors and I were looking over a Geometry textbook, and discussing quadrilaterals (remember we are math tutors, this kind of thing happens daily for us) and a coworker noticed one called a trapezium. He laughed at me, and said that I was a trapezium because I was weird and didn’t fit in anywhere.
My coworker had brilliantly pointed out that I too had 4 uneven sides and 4 unequal angles. He meant it as an insult, he kept bringing it up again and again and laughing at me. But I didn’t really care, I have been called many names before. I kind of liked this one, I think he was right. I am pretty weird, I always have been. I embraced the Trapezium, because I thought it sounded cool.
But really, I embraced it because it was a symbol for me. The name Trapezium showed me that the rest of the world knew and recognized that there was something different about me. Not that I ever was very good at hiding it, but I felt like I was hiding it so well for a long time. But that coworker saying that I was like a trapezium symbolized to me that those around noticed that I was somehow slightly different, and to me it seemed to indicate that they were ok with it. If he can understand, or at least tolerate my differences, then maybe that is a sign. Maybe I can embrace my differences instead of hiding them away. Maybe I can lean into the things that make me unique and share them with the world, instead of clutching them away in the dark recesses of my brain.
It is my hope that these differences and quirks that I share will help someone somewhere. That some of these experiences will resonate with someone and maybe help them to gain understanding of themselves or of others around them who might be slightly irregular too. I truly believe that if we can all learn to not just tolerate, but embrace our differences, then the world around us will be immeasurably richer.
Just to be extra clear and leave no room for uncertainty (because I don’t like it when people are vague) I am using trapezium as a metaphor for a disorder called high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
I have not been officially diagnosed with this disorder, I am another ‘self diagnosis’ case. If that offends you, then feel free to leave. I have done extremely exhaustive research into this topic and come to the undeniable fact that I have this disorder. Those of you that stick around and read my writing will probably agree with my conclusion.
Someday, I would like to get an actual diagnosis. I hope to turn my stories into a book and I would like to be able to represent the community properly. The diagnosis process is very expensive and is not something I can afford right now.