Marco Orlando

I didn’t really have much of a social life when I was a kid. A normal Friday night for me would often be spent at home watching VHS tapes. I could usually count on a movie or some other TV special recorded on a tape to help me unwind after a long week of “organized chaos” at school. Problem Child and Problem Child 2 were among my personal favorites. I related so much to Junior Healy back then. The challenges he faced in both movies hit so close to home at a time in my life when I really struggled to fit in. I had a really hard time being able to handle not being liked and respected by other people I went to school with. I wanted so desperately to be accepted and to feel like I actually belonged somewhere.

My mind keeps me so busy. I overthink things. I overanalyze things. I look and listen for holes in logic if something isn’t adding up like it should. I like when things make sense to me. That’s what I understand best. It’s hard for me to understand something that doesn’t entirely make sense to me. I also have a really hard time wrapping my head around an abstract concept with no concrete evidence to support it. If something doesn’t make sense to me, I pick it all apart until I can come up with something in my head to explain it all to me so it does make sense.

In my personal experience, dealing with other people has been a conundrum that I have tried my hardest to solve, yet never could despite my best efforts. If there was a way to take some of the guesswork out of dealing with other people, I would love to learn how. Having standards shouldn’t be a bad thing, and I don’t want to have to be mean and nasty to make friends and attract women. I appreciate when people can be honest with me. I like when they are direct with me. I like knowing what they expect of me. I’m not a small man, but I really don’t enjoy confrontations and I will often go out of my way to avoid them. Truth be told, I’m far more intimidated by other people than other people could ever be intimidated by me.

I’ll be turning 35 this year, and it shouldn’t still feel so strange to me when people who aren’t related to me do anything nice for me “just because” with no strings attached. I would love to be able to appreciate normal everyday interactions for what they really are. But this is usually where I start putting too much thought into things, picking everything all apart until it somehow all makes sense to me. Why can’t I let my guard down? What’s your angle? What are you trying to get out of me? In my more depressing moments, when I’m really down on myself, I often wonder why anyone who isn’t related to me would willingly put up with me after they’ve gotten to know me.

I may come off short or sound harsh sometimes, but I promise my bark is far worse than my bite. Beneath my gruff exterior beats the tender heart of a beat-up Bassett hound. I know it can be tough sometimes dealing with other people and not always knowing what to expect. But sometimes, I’ve had to remind myself that in spite of my own internal struggles, I’m still a genuinely likeable guy who’s been pretty lucky to experience a lot of new and different things over the years and gotten to know some pretty awesome people along the way.



If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at lcoldwell@sufumaine.org   


The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.

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