Reflecting on My Life: 2003

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I was looking for some link-up parties to join in and came across the Life This Week linky. In this week’s edition, host Denyse shares her memories of the year 2003. As this is my first time participating in the linky, I should really start my story from the beginning on, but for some reason, I can’t.

I may have shared this before, but in secondary school, I always had this superstition that life ran in circles. There’d be a year of struggle and crisis, a year of renewed hope and finally a year of disillusionment, after which I’d spiral back to struggle and crisis. The year 2003 was a year of disillusionment.

In 2003, I was sixteen. I turned seventeen at the end of June. I was in the tenth grade for the first half of the year and in the eleventh for the last half.

In the summer of 2002, I had barely moved up a year. My grades weren’t that good and I only moved up because I worked very hard the last few weeks of the year. I had been struggling with feeling like an outcast due to my blindness the entire 2001/2002 school year. That was to change by late 2002, or so I believed. My high school tutor promised me he’d help me feel better.

What he did was come up with a social skills assessment for blind students and have the teachers fill it out. That was no good for my self-esteem, as I showed considerable weaknesses. No-one knew at the time that I was also autistic, even though I suspected it.

The year 2003 was the year I started to learn about myself from a possibly autistic point of view. Even though I had started suspecting I was on the spectrum in mid-2002, I didn’t feel comfortable joining online support groups for it till 2003.

This was also the year I expanded my horizons where it came to using the Internet in general. I had gotten an Internet connection in May of 2002. By April of 2003, I started keeping an online diary on DiaryLand, which several years later morphed into my first WordPress blog.

In the summer of 2003, I attended the International Computer Camp for blind students in Switzerland. I had attended it the year before, when it was held in England, too. This year, I felt a bit disappointed in the end, because it didn’t provide me with the cathartic experience I’d felt the year before.

In 2003, I also explored fictional storytelling as a way of expressing myself. I was experiencing some significant selective mutism at the time, which I could circumvent by pretending I wasn’t talking about myself. This is how my “mirror image”, Kirsten, came to be. She is one of my main alters to this day.

Finally, this was the year I was first starting to explore future planning. Here in the Netherlands, students with disabilities attending mainstream education didn’t get any type of special transition planning at the time. I was expected to just get by and go to university straight out of high school in 2005. In 2003, I started to doubt this would be a success, but I didn’t voice my doubts yet. As it is, I didn’t actually make it clear that I wasn’t going to university right out of high school until April of 2005.

Where were you on the path of life in 2003?

13 thoughts on “Reflecting on My Life: 2003

    1. Yes, you’re right about that. My tutor did have some shortcomings, as do all people, but overall he was pretty helpful and he did the best he could given the limited supports available back then. He sadly passed away in 2016.


    1. Oh, thanks so much for saying that. I’m not that good with fiction anymore and of course the stories I wrote back then were really about my own life.


  1. Thank you so much for finding my link up, commenting and joining in. So good to read about you. Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek#190…I hope to see you back next week with the optional prompt: 22/51 I Saw 1.6.2020. Take care, stay safe, Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much fo commenting. I don’t know what that prompt is supposed to be about, but I’ll be sure to join in and read your post.


  2. Sounds like a tough year for you. It’s so interesting what you say about storytelling – my mum invented a girl called Barbara when I was little and Barbara always faced the same problems I did. She would tell me about how Barbara solved her troubles and I loved these stories so much.
    In 2003, I was only 9-10 years old and I had a really nice school teacher that year, so I really enjoyed myself. It was a good year for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad 2003 was such a good year for you. Your Mom also sounds really supportive. It’s good to know we’re not alone even when the people facing the same problems are fictional.


  3. Oh Astrid it is SO good to read about your life. As you know, I am blind too, but because I went blind later in life I have received no help at all. I am having to try and work things out for myself, which is real hard, especially with technology as the internet is my only access to other people and the world. I love storytelling too, and, like you, many of my stories are really about myself. You are such a highly intelligent person Astrid. It is so good to read you and to connect with you. My blindness cuts me off from other people entirely, since most do not want to know me now that I have gone blind. I grieve over that. I am writing my life story on my blog. I have written some of it before, but I am wanting to get it done properly now. In 2003 I was living with my husband in a different county. I loved it there, but my husband was to become disabled and so we moved back to my hometown as it is much cheaper to live here. We have no contact with other people at all. So my blog means the world to me. It is so good to connect with you Astrid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so very sorry you have no connections outside of the home except online. I’m also sorry you had to figure out stuff like technology all by yourself. That must have been so hard. Thanks so very much for stopping by my blog.


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