It is summer vacation now, and with vacation comes with long days with nothing to do. For the first couple months of my summer I spent in my room playing video games, watching TV, going to work, and playing around with my computers. But after a few weeks this got boring. I do not have anyone to hang out with and going places by myself is very stressful to me.
My parents noticed that I was not enjoying my summer and that I needed someone to help me go out and do activities with. Enter Kat. Kat is a smart, awesome, strong, confident, and kind adult who I had known previously from a youth group I used to be apart of in high school. She was happy to hear from me and said that she would be glad to become my mentor.
At first I was really nervous. I have never been good at hanging out with people one on one, let alone coming up with conversation topics, but I soon learned that this was not going to be a problem. Kat knew that I had difficulties communicating so she never scolded me when I did not talk for long chunks of time or did not make eye contact with here when she was talking to me. She was patient with me and respected me enough to ask me what worked and did not work well when in social situations so that I did not feel anxious or overwhelmed when we went into stores or restaurants.
I have been spending one or two days a week hanging out with her doing a variety of things. We have worked on my communication skills, talked at length about superheroes, watched TV shows, listened to music, and gone to some of my favorite stores that I had been to anxious to go into on my own. Every time we hang out I feel awesome, like a normal young adult instead of an alien dropped here to observe young adults. I have gained so much confidence this summer. Before this mentor ship with Kat I would have never been able to go into stores by myself and pay for an item without having a panic attack or experiencing sensory overload. Now when I go into stores I say “hello” to the person at the front desk and when they ask me how I’m doing, I actually answer!
I am so thankful to Kat for being a real friend to me this summer and for helping me realize that I am a capable guy who may just need a little more help when it comes to social situations and communicating with others.
So, thanks Kat for being a bad-ass mentor and friend!