Last night Sam and I watched ‘The Imitation Game‘, a great biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the mathematical genius Alan Turing, the man who with his team in WWII cracked the German Enigma code.

Due to his genius, Alan Turing was ‘different’ even at his public school, and was bullied by the other boys. The film showed him sending notes in code professing his love of another boy who had rescued him from being nailed under floorboards. His homosexuality also made him different from others in adulthood, and at one point had caused him to be arrested. He was eventually given hormone treatment as a ‘cure’, but could not function and eventually committed suicide by cyanide poisoning aged just 42.

Yes, being ‘different’ starts in childhood when you realise you’re not on the same wavelength as the majority of your classmates. Unfortunately they soon pick up on this, and I remember also being briefly bullied, as has one of my granddaughters. I was a quiet, introverted child prone to daydreaming, and for a year or so aged about fifteen I sometimes dreaded going to school. Thankfully I was never nailed under floorboards, but I remember hair-pulling, snide comments, and some of the more extrovert of my classmates following behind me and giggling as I walked home.

However, as an adult I’ve gone through life happy in my quiet world. Do I want to sit in noisy pubs every night? No. Do I want to drink alcohol? No. Do I want to smoke? No. Do I want to hold dinner parties? No. Do I cross the street in order to avoid certain people when out walking? Yes. Strangely enough our eldest son is noisy, extrovert, and his presence fills a room.

Okay, I’m still introverted and prone to daydreaming, but hey, I’m happy with that. I married a quiet man, and we can sit in silence for hours. Are we lonely? No. Do we want to be surrounded by people? No. We are what we are… different.