How to Be a Failure (Part U)

Making the mistakes so you don’t have to

Annie Trevaskis
3 min readMar 12, 2023


Two oranges set against a pink background. Each orange has a cross, made from black tape, in its centre.
Cropped photo by Anna Shvets on Searching for failure photos only brought up ones I have used before, so I tried searching for “boob” instead.


I was all of four years old when my mother decided to dress me in some frilly knickers and send me off to Sunday School. I think you call it Bible Class in the USA. Neither of us had any idea that I was autistic with sensory issues.

The ruffled underwear was probably made from something highly flammable and now illegal, but this was long before they had invented health and safety. I felt as if a million spiky things were digging into me, and I couldn’t bear the sensation, so I did the only sensible thing and removed them. Halfway through the class. The teacher did the only sensible thing and had me removed from the class.

My mother tried again with the posh underwear the following Sunday, and I had a meltdown. Autistic meltdowns are like temper tantrums on steroids. My sister laughed at me, so I bit her, and she had to go to hospital for a tetanus jab. I may have failed at underwear, but that little stunt got me out of Sunday School forever.

The teacher was probably relieved. I was an annoyingly early reader with a precocious vocabulary. Just before I removed my underwear, she tried to sell me on the Adam and Eve story. I failed to Understand it was…



Annie Trevaskis

I came, I wrote, I conquered. That last bit might not be true, but at least I am putting up a good fight.