Trying to understand

I have to always consciously check myself on this because I compensated as an autistic woman by copying others, constantly seeking validation and aiming to please to be accepted. At different stages of my life, I presented differently but the core was still the same. I was always codependent. Through the process of surviving coveted narcissistic abuse my self worth, self confidence and self value has deteriorated to an all time low. Self esteem and self respect is a memory. I have stopped living even before I realised. I’m a zombie who does the bare minimum, clutching at straws because I know I have potential but not really having a clue how to live again. In reality the only reason I clung to life was because of the guilt of leaving my kids. I remember the dark days I used to research euthanasia and the day I lost reason and tied a noose, had my son not cried, reason would have not returned. I hadn’t slept for 4 days and my mind was fried. I remember when I took on overdose of antidepressants just to numb the constant pain and constant processing of my mind. Self care was lacking. My body began to reject food because I starved it subconsciously as my appetite shut down and I usually eat when I’m hungry. It got to dangerously levels where I didn’t have enough energy for the whole day. It affected all my systems. Mental illness is a bitch. It’s a scary and lonely place to be I have better days since my diagnosis now I know what I’m dealing with, now I know who I am. My days are not so dark. Awareness and acceptance is allowing me to recognise the warning signs but I am not totally out of the red. I’m exhausted. I’ve totally lost all structure and my ADHD symptoms are severe. I cannot explain the emotion and feeling like shit feeling. The worthless feeling. The WTF feeling. The total loss of dignity in front of everyone including my children and the outside world. Someone I chose to love all my life and would have laid my life down for, I trusted this person, I gave allowances for this person and they treat me like “someone on road”. Now that’s a mind fuck . Everything crashed for me. I have always struggled but from a very young age I never developed trust. So Ego learnt to protect itself. I stole and bought friends from a very young age and was whipped at home as a form of punishment. Home was a prison for me and school was my refuge. I craved to be popular. I told stories often merging fantasy and reality. At home I sucked my thumb and read novels and became one of the characters. Stealing money for me became an obsession to feed the need for love and validation and acceptance at school. The kids loved me at school. I mean who wouldn’t love a kid with that much money. But then the blackmails started from older kids who sussed out I was stealing and that added the pressure of having to steal to meet their demands. On days I wasn’t able to steal any money, or on days I got caught and there were many occasions like this; after I had been whipped mercilessly at home, I was sent to school and I was a mess and lived with the anxiety of being “grassed” to my parents. I actually lived with a real fear that I could be killed. That was my perception as a young child. So no home was not a refuge or safe place. It was just somewhere I had to be and there was nothing I could do about it until I grew up. I was aware that I brought a lot of the beatings on myself; after all I was a thief and my mother was actually doing me a favour by not exposing me to my friends. She always threatened to do that, I wonder why she never did. Sometimes I wonder if it was a scare tactic to watch my breakdown. That was the only thing that would actually send me into intense fear and panic and melt down mode. I accepted the beatings as punishment. I expected it when I got caught. I understood I was bad but the thought of my friends finding out and not wanting to have anything to do with me then I’ll have nobody sent me into a frenzied panic. I already lived with the realisation and perception that my mother had told her friends and family what a problem child I was. I was sent to many deliverance services some of which exploited a vulnerable child. My friends were my everything, I did everything and anything to please them. I sought affection and validation from others. My brothers I took care of and entered a protection mothering role; not because they were in any danger but because I knew pain, I didn’t want them to know pain so I picked up after them and generally tried to make sure they were not in trouble. We all adopted different coping mechanisms and have presented differently as adults but this is my journey to healing and I can only take responsibility for myself. I also adopted the caring role from a very young age cleaning cuts and bruises as my mother was very squeamish and didn’t do well with blood and gore. I was a capable mini mummy and didn’t mind it. I guess it was a time I could actually be viewed as useful and I had found a place where I could be of use to someone else that made me feel good about myself. Looking after others has always made me feel good about myself maybe because subconsciously I have always felt bad about myself. I was also raised to put others first and with a service mentality. This probably came from my mother’s upbringing. I don’t know too much about her life becomes we never had that kind of relationship and anything she ever said about her childhood always shed her in a heroine light. She prides herself on holding onto God, he hears our suffering and eternity will be a better place if we believe. Her perception of her past is one of gratitude. She is a strong Christian and has always lived a Christian life and tried to raise her children in the Christian faith. She prides herself on her faith and is proudly convinced that this is the only way. That is faith but as I am going through my journey and starting to process my past, I am coming to realise that people use different things as coping mechanisms in their lives as a form of surviving their own demons. As I walk the path, I am coming to realise that the more damaged you are the more damaged your abuser was. My mother was separated from her family at a young age, I don’t know how young and raised in Covent schools. Therefore she was able to give us all the practical tools to survive and still does. Emotionally, things were different in my perception, prayers were her form of emotional support. Physical Punishment was in alignment with her faith but there was the degradation, humiliation, threatening behaviour, verbal abuse, she had a fear of sexuality or me having one which was an irony because I was being sexually abused from a young age. My mother and I have a warped relationship. I know she loves me to what her idea of love should be because that’s all she knows love to be. Going through all my mental health struggles, I mostly did it by myself and was so ashamed when I had breakdowns because I could see it and hear it from my mother that I needed to quickly get up and get on with it. So it’s taken a lot of courage and a lot of years and sheer desperation to conquer shame. Shame has been ingrained in me from a very young age. This is what keeps us in bondage. Shame of what people think. I let it fester and like a cancer it has spread over my mind and body to the extent I cannot function. I have lost skills I acquired along the way.

The diagnosis of Autism finally allows my life to make sense. Pathological demand avoidance makes sense. I have developed extreme avoidance and found ways to manage myself subconsciously.

After the breakup of my marriage which didn’t make sense, I needed the separation to understand what the fuck was going on. I needed space to reflect. Living together under those circumstances especially with the latest betrayal of leaving me to go and have our child by myself, going to work instead because we had an argument finished me. That was the nail on the coffin I thought but the way he tried to absolve himself from this fuck up was the start of the what the fuck. This man had never been there for the birth of any of his children. I had 3 by him and another woman had 2. He totally separated and alienated both families and was happy with the alienation between his family and me. I slowly detached from all my friends because it was easier and my time was spent trying to work to keep the family afloat and quarrel and him not pulling his weight and I was always in a state of confusions. He played mind games. I’ve only just found out about narcissistic abuse so it makes sense now, but in the heat of the moment his mask used to slip and it used to leave me confused. Then he would straighten up again and be all sugar and light. It was during our separation that the demon appeared and the demon appeared only because he had been caught red handed. I didn’t know this person. My head was fucked with the realisation that I had been in love with an illusion. This man treated me like the shit under his shoe and degraded and humiliated me in front of everyone and anyone that cared to listen including his new flame. I had recently had a child and became pregnant very quickly with another, his father was dying of cancer and we were separated. It was a difficult pregnancy which I was not sure I wanted to keep, not because I didn’t want another child but because I didn’t want another child for him with all the drama it would bring. I had a consultation for a termination and the lady said after o had explained the situation. What would you do in the ideal world whether he was around or not? I said keep my child and I walked out of there knowing I had made the right decision. It was a high risk pregnancy and I was bleeding but I had regular scans and everything was still intact. I told him at his fathers funeral when he told me his son was going to be a dad. As his father got sicker and sicker, he kind of started to distance himself and I allowed him his space. My rationale was he needed to be with his family and grieve. When I told him about the pregnancy, he responded with a it can’t be mine but he would come and discuss. He never came and I didn’t pay him no mind. Babies when they are born don’t hide. Unfortunately my waters broke at 18 weeks. Too much stress on my mind and my body. He was called to take care of the kids; he offered to be there with me through the trauma. I was grateful. He was kind but he was also shifty. My intuition said “another woman”. Subconsciously I must have known he is a pathological liar because I’ve always gone detective on him and every time I listen to my intuition and my intuition has always been right. So when I went detective on him, he was indeed seeing another woman. I was not mentally prepared for this and that’s when the mind games started in earnest. 4 years ago wow. I didn’t have a clue in the world what I was dealing with. I’m only beginning to understand narcissistic abuse. I didn’t have a clue with what I was dealing with a parasite who sucked me dry until I was able to break free. With a lot of damage and a life that’s completely fallen apart. My survival instincts have kicked in and I have developed extreme avoidance to life. My systems have shut down and I need to fight against my natural instincts if I have any chance or hope of recovery.

#narcissticabuse #mentalillness #autistic #adhd #traumasurvivor #understandingtrauma #ptsd #depression #breakdown #burnout #releasingtrauma

I am worthy

I’m stuck in a rut. This is how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve tried to write this pages so many times and it always goes back to where do I start. There is so much to say, there is so much to sort when everything has disintegrated. That’s literally what my life feels like. For the last few years it feels like I’ve watched it in slow motion but during the process of self reflection the process of unraveling started even before that. I have a few unpublished posts that where written in desperation at a time I just needed to get shit out of my head then I started an instagram page: identity4422 on 30 January 2019. I had to fight my demons. 22 January 2019 everything came to a halt for me. My body and mind became exhausted. My soul was exhausted and my body went into complete shut down and my mind was manic. My body and mind were so stressed that for the first time in my life I lost verbal communication. I could not talk. My body was riddled with a kidney infection and my limbs refused to work. I was experiencing what is known as autistic burn out. Prior to this I have been facing very stressful situations with little or no help from medical professionals who have a duty of care to help me. I have had many battles with my mental health through my adult life; including battling with my personal stigma of the disease and society’s stigma towards the disease. I have also been battling with the stigma of being a health care professional living with a mental health illness, knowing how these group of patients are viewed by my colleagues. I have discovered that when people don’t know you are affiliated to a cause, they are able to speak openly about their prejudices and biases with no fear of repercussions or fear of having to put on the professional script. I have also been battling my expectations of the current medical systems and I am currently struggling to understand why I am currently in the situation I find myself. I have been managing severe depression and anxiety more or less by myself with little or no input from medical professionals who could help me. For what ever reason, I have been bounced from pillar to post. I have had to pay for a private diagnosis of Autism and I was also recently also diagnosed for severe ADHD; also a private diagnosis. For the last 5 months, I have been sporadically managed over the phone as a goodwill gesture by the psychiatrist that diagnosed me for ADHD. This man has made himself available at crisis periods because he is aware that there is no input from my primary care providers. It’s almost like I’ve been left to rot. Myself and my family. And it’s not okay. When I think of the fight ahead of me sometimes I get overwhelmed and the thought of not waking up in the morning seems more enticing but I don’t have that luxury. I don’t even have the luxury of ending my life because I will leave 4 hearts beating with the same pain I am trying to escape. But at the same time, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am tired of living like this. Does anyone know what it feels like to forget what it feels like to live? I’ve completely lost my structure. I have executive dysfunction and I have totally lost structure which I heavily rely on. I have totally lost my confidence, my self esteem, my self worth, I am at an all time low. I actually have been blagging it for a long time and truth be told I hate what my life has become including how I’ve let myself go. Self care is lacking and I just hide myself away at home not really achieving much but too scared to go out into the real world. I have cut myself off from the real world (in hindsight, that’s how I’ve lived most of my life; fantasy, mimicking, copying) because now I know my truth, I am aware that my prior existence in the real world was based on fantasy. I am a 40 year old black woman who navigated life without an autism diagnosis. I recognised I was autistic when in my professional capacity, I recognised symptoms and my struggles in this client group. I could have wept with elation when I started recognising my struggles in these females and suddenly my life began to make sense. At last I felt I could work with my GP and finally a magic wand will be waved and all will be well in my life again. Again this is my naive self and mind always ready to romanticise a situation but as most things in my life reality always gives me a rude shock. I owe it to myself and my family to get better and get the help I need to get better. My fear and anxiety of professionals is another reason I don’t really engage with them. I am fully aware of the power relationship in the doctor- patient relationship and how professionals have abused their position either due to their egos or lack of understanding. As a professional one of my major issues with the system was its fragmented delivery. This in my opinion is due to the lack of understanding of policy makers in not taking into consideration how mental illness affects the family unit. While the current mental health campaigns places greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention, in reality, the current systems are not designed to promote recovery. And when you actually look at it, there is no money to be made from total recovery. The system is designed to contain and treat symptoms. In treatment of symptoms, the pharmaceutical companies are able to find more research into better ways of keeping symptoms at bay; longer and longer. While I recognise that at present I need medication because I am a place where I have fought for so long that as part of recovery, I have to treat the chemical imbalance with medication until I am in a better place to substitute with healthy alternatives. I am even content in the knowledge that I may have to medicate for the rest of my life if needs be and that too is okay. This has been a journey for me. A process; a process of self discovery, a process of self acceptance, a process of finding my identity and conscious awareness. A journey to finding and living in my purpose and falling in love with my authentic self. I have fought this process a long time and the only thing I achieved was a broken mind and body. So it was wise to surrender. Surrender to the process and learn to meet and love my authentic self. I have decided that it is within me to change my life and I will try my hardest one day at a time. I am not happy how my life has become but now talk is cheap and I have to do something about it. It’s called personal responsibility so tomorrow I will register myself to a new GP practice. I have health issues that need attending from since I had my son 4 and a half years ago. I will document my fight to health and my fight to be treated like a human being. My current experience of the health care system is that I have been treated less than human and I have been left in compromising situations due to the lack of care; the worst being when I had actually tied a noose at the lowest point in my life. Had my baby not cried at the right time, logical would have not come back and my story would have been told from someone else’s perspective. This is my story and I get to tell it and in telling it I get to write the ending. I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy of a healthy mind and a healthy body and I am worthy of love. Yes even autistic me. I am worthy of love. #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #autism #actuallyautistic #newdiagnosis #ptsd #midlifecrisis #selflove #mentalhealthwarrior #blackmentalhealthmatters #blackandautistic #consciousawakening #processingdiagnosis #righttotreatment #humanrights #autismact #poortreatment #selfadvocacy