Why my childhood was probably quite different to yours

  1. My parents are orthodox shi'ite Muslims from Pakistan
    We grew up in the north of England
  2. We weren't allowed to watch TV/listen to music for around 3 months of the year
    This was a period of mourning during the months of muharram and safar. Based around the massacre of Kerbala.
  3. This meant we were at the mosque practically every night during this period
    And quite often at other times of the year too.
  4. I had to go to the mosque after school for extra Islamic classes everyday
    And Islamic school was also on Saturday's too.
  5. I have never had a sleepover
    Well unless going to watch wrestlemania at my cousin's once counts🤔
  6. But I never had the thing of going over to a friend's house with lots of us together
  7. I was never invited to any birthday parties by people in my class until I was 17
  8. Never had girlfriends/boyfriends whilst growing up
    Part of my parents being so strict, and being an outcast at school.
  9. I've never played spin the bottle
    And didn't even know what it was until my mid 20s
  10. There was never any alcohol at family gatherings
  11. So I never drunk until I was 18 and at university
  12. I was very rarely allowed to stay up late and watch TV
    I had to try get away with reading in bed.
  13. All my grandparents died before I can remember
    My mum's parents died years before my birth. My dad's parents died before I was 3. I've always been so curious as to what its like to have grandparents. The type of thing I'd see on TV and be envious about.
  14. My parents never talked to me about anything sexual
  15. My mum disciplined me by doing spelling tests and copying sections out of books
  16. My dad disciplined me with some violence, but more the fear of it
    Although this is something a lot of you will probably understand
  17. If we went to McDonald's we could only get a fillet'o'fish
  18. Because the meat wasn't halal
  19. There was this world I used to see through the soaps my mum watched
  20. It seemed so far from my experiences
  21. All the shows I used to watch
    The kids always seemed to have so much more going on in their lives.
  22. It seemed like their parents cared for them whereas mine seemed to want an academic machine
  23. I could score 97% on a science test and still be told it wasn't good enough
  24. I could consistently be a high academic achiever
    And it was never good enough
  25. I was always made to feel like I was useless
    Something I'm sure plenty of others will understand
  26. I never really had friends
    There were some people I talked to at school, but never had actual friends.
  27. I'd get so jealous watching shows where kids had friends that lived on the same street and would play together all the time
  28. So I'd never have people over to my house
  29. And it was super rare I'd ever go over to anyone's
  30. I'd never eaten macaroni and cheese or had a roast dinner
    Again something I didn't have until adulthood. You can probably add a whole host of meals to this that were staples to you.
  31. I always felt completely isolated
  32. I always thought it was the cultural differences of my upbringing
  33. But as I've got older I realised a big part of it was because I have ASD
  34. That was something my parents would never have believed in
  35. But at the same time they'd constantly ask me what was wrong with me because of the way I acted
  36. I didn't understand
  37. But I still literally beat myself up about it
  38. I used to bang my head against the wall to try and 'fix' my brain
    They'd made me feel like I was wrong
  39. I never went on the type of holiday that other kids would
  40. The only place we went to, was to visit family in Pakistan
  41. And I just got a different kind of isolation there because I was born in England
  42. So I was always treated differently and didn't ever feel comfortable there
  43. And this would last all summer
  44. I never went on any school trip where there was an overnight stay somewhere
  45. I never went to the under 18s club night that people in my class went to every week
  46. So basically I had a very isolated childhood
  47. The combination of that and my ASD has made it very difficult for me to deal with people
  48. And means I always feel quite isolated in comparison to the world
  49. I had to fast every day for a month
    Which meant waking up before sun rise and not eating or drinking until after sunset
  50. I had to learn Arabic to read the qu'ran
    But I don't understand it, I can just read it which is confusing.
  51. I was trained to be suspicious of everyone by my parents
    Especially those outside the faith
  52. I was told to never have faith in friends
  53. In fact I was made to feel like only religion and academic achievement had any worth
  54. And that this world was pointless crap
  55. And that it was only the 'next world' that I should be concerned about
  56. I also had to hear again and again about how my dad used to lock my mum inside the house for days without food before I was born
    The same story over and over again, whenever she'd be angry at me, to try and make clear to me what effort she has made for me, and how I was failing her by not doing exactly what they wanted.
  57. Due to how well known my mother and father were in my home city
  58. It meant people would always tell them if they'd seem me outside the home
  59. Even if it was me walking from the train station to the bus stop to get home from school
  60. There's other stuff
  61. But it already feels like this list is longer than most people would read
  62. So I don't want to carry on because at this point it feels like I'm whining