Trauma and life
Recently I came across a video of a little kid crying and pleading to not cut his hair while someone is recording him and the video has gone viral because people think it’s cute and funny.
For me, the video triggered a number of memories, of various traumatic events I had to face, where I pleaded for it to stop but no one cared because for the people or the abuser it was a casual thing.
I have always known I don’t fit in this world, that I was different and that there is something different about me when compared to the rest of the population but wasn’t sure about it till my diagnosis. The autism diagnosis was like a fresh breath of air but it brought along with it a number of challenges that I had to face. I realized a lot of things I had to go through or was going through was not necessary and were equivalent to abuse which the rest of the neurotypical world put me through on a daily basis.
I will share a few such examples of trauma, being overwhelmed and overstimulated and how the rest of the world laughed at it and made it sound so casual. It all came at the cost of my mental peace and recurring traumatic memories and dreams along with a lifetime of discomfort and pain.
I am an extremely private person from a very young age and I don’t like to share my life with everyone. I don’t like when people share information about me or talk about what I have been doing without my knowledge. I have been vocal about it with my parents to an extent that I remember being a kid I have also cried and screamed for stopping them sharing my life stories with others. Parents on the other hand love to share stories about their children and what they do with others. Till this date it makes me cringe when I hear people tell what their kids are doing or did because it always triggers those memories where I used to plead for my parents to not share things about me at least when I can hear them out. This thing continued when I learned that in a relationship also people do that even when I have made it clear how much I loathe this practice. The problem with trauma is that you don’t heal so easily. It takes months and years to recover, but the recovery only starts when the abuse is over. So, what happens if this abuse doesn’t stop? You end up getting hurt and living with a traumatic life forever.
I remember another incident where I have been over stimulated to an extent that I get extremely angry and hurt people. I have a very sensitive body and I am extremely sensitive to touch and because of this, I am extremely ticklish. For the rest of the neurotypical world, it is easy to accept and feel nice when someone does that but it sends my mind and my body into an overload mode and causes a lot of discomforts. No amount of pleading has stopped the other person from tickling me even after warning them that someone can get hurt. I remember, once on an over-stimulated, day at school, towards the end of the day I was walking in the corridor when a boy suddenly bent down to tie his shoelace and I pushed him thinking he is about to tickle me. It sounds funny to the rest of the world but for me it was a reaction to the trauma that I had to live through my life. The trauma didn’t finish in school but still continues. People now know and like to tickle me on purpose just to see me jump around and have their dose of fun and happiness. Even on repeated requests no one stops and the many ask me what will happen if I get in a relationship, how will I allow my partner to touch me. People don’t understand nor can they differentiate that there is a difference when a spouse or friend or family member touches you and poke you to tickle you. Both the touches are different and both demand different reactions.
It is extremely important for autistic people to speak up about these things and people to lend an ear to such voices. You cant grow or heal in an environment which constantly keeps you on the edge and overwhelmed.
Trauma is real, the person who is facing the abuse or the trauma only they know what it feels like. An autistic person’s life is filled with such sort of mental abuse and you may feel the abuse stops when they grow but many such forms of abuse become part of their daily routine. People like me have learned to mask them but it is draining. You cant survive for long in a stressful environment. No matter people snap, if you keep pushing someone out of the window, chances are you may fall along with them.