For World Autism Awareness Week we are amplifying the voices of autistic survivors on our blog.
This post has been submitted by Skye.
Content notice: Abuse
I grew up being an undiagnosed ADHD autistic. Many people use this fact to conclude that I must be “not severely autistic”, which to me is a really strange conclusion. As a child, I was often overwhelmed and helpless. I forgot most basic things, I was disorganized, I was lost in social situations, and sensory overload as well as all kinds of emotional distress put me into meltdowns quickly. I was unable to handle my meltdowns in any way.
However, my parent did not see this as a reason to help me, or to reach out for external help or a diagnosis. (Considering how abusive the psychiatric system is, I don’t think this would have improved my life much, but still.) Instead, they used it as a welcome excuse to abuse me.
Throughout my life, many people insisted that I was “normal”, or “extremely smart” or “talented”, refusing to see how disabled I was. At the same time, the exact same people used my disabilities either as an excuse to abuse me, or as a way to manipulate and exploit me in various ways.
They would put me into meltdowns on purpose, but if I had a meltdown, this was interpreted as a malicious act.
They would give me tasks that I could not carry out and then punish me for failing.
They would shame me for being disorganized and demand me to change, which is not in the realm of possibilities.
I was always easy to lie to, easy to convince and easy to manipulate. I’m a gullible person. I’ve had an abusive relationships in which my partner used those traits to make me stay with him for years.
But, I’ve always been a pigheaded fighter too. It took me a while to learn enough about the world before I could escape the abuse, but eventually I did.
Since then, I have recognized that I am neurodivergent and have learned to embrace my neurotype. For me, this was the most important step towards healing and living a really fulfilling life.
If you have been affected by this post, or would like help to find accessible services in your area, please visit our support page by clicking here.