Friday, 9 October 2015

I'm back from my hiatus.

Potential trigger warning for abuse and religion.

It has been 6 months since I last wrote in my blog. I have been going through a really difficult time the past 6 months. Lots of triggery crappy stuff happened. I had yet another professional treat me badly and try to bully me. It was a horrible and terrifying experience! My mental health issues got a lot worse and I had to go back on medication. I withdrew into my little cocoon and let go of a lot of things, including writing.  I was also falling into the comparison trap again, thinking I am not good enough because I am not doing all the things, then I started beating myself up about it and getting upset because I am not successful and able to live my dreams. It was upsetting and soul-destroying.  Everything got too much for me. So it was back to bare minimum mode in order to cope and survive. I did a lot of thinking, reading and learning in this time and I feel ready to do some writing again. 

Lots of past traumas came up in my hiatus from writing and I started to accept and realise that I have C-PTSD and need to do something about it to help myself. I am now in the process of being assessed for PTSD. It has been incredibly triggering for me to find the strength and courage to seek out yet another professional due to the horrific traumatic experiences I have been the victim of in the past due to abusive professionals. The abuse from a number of professionals has compounded my C-PTSD from my childhood and made it worse. It has taken me till a couple of months ago to come to terms with the C-PTSD, on some level I knew I have PTSD and have been doing reading about it for a couple of years, but it was only until a couple of months ago when everything was getting worse for me and so many things were triggering me that I started to really look into PTSD and start to process what PTSD meant for me. It was overwhelming as a lot of stuff came up as I started to really explore what PTSD meant for me. I chatted to a couple of friends about it online and discussed it in one of the fantastic autistic women's group I am. Talking about it with others really helped me start to accept and validate myself in terms of PTSD. I began to realise my struggles were much more than being Autistic. I worked up the courage to go and see a clinical psychologist who assesses for PTSD, it was triggering and difficult to do, but I did it. I am really glad I went to see this psychologist as they are really different to any other psychologist I have been to. They are very respectful, meet me where I am at and works with me. They appear to have no agenda either. It is a relief after all the crap I have been through with previous crappy and abusive professionals. I just had my second session with them and am due for another in 2 weeks time.

For so long I have beat myself up over a lot of traumatic stuff that has happened to me and blamed myself for it. In fact I recently realised that really struggle not to blame myself for everything that goes wrong in my life or interactions with others. I realised I have been blamed a lot in my life when I was growing up, everything that went wrong in my family or with my siblings was pretty much seen as my fault, by my parents or siblings. I was the scape goat. My Mum recently told me about my Dad picking on me when I was growing up, he was much harder on me than my two younger siblings. I don't remember this, but it obviously affected me a lot. I am now dealing with the after-effects of past abuse and constant blame from others. My default reaction is to blame myself for everything when it goes wrong. I am working on trying not to blame myself so much and let go of things which are not my issue, but it is a real challenge for me. The blame on myself has led to me internalising a lot of crap from others which I didn't need to take on. I can see this has added to my anxiety in a severe debilitating way. I really struggle with interactions with other people now because I tend to pick up on the slightest vibe that something might be wrong and start trying to figure out what I have done wrong. I used to try and fix it but it often made things worse. I ended up being a doormat putting up with whatever abuse came my way from others and had no way of being able to say no or stop. It was terrifying because I felt trapped in those situations. Being raised a Christian I took the Bible verses about turning the other cheek, the Golden rule and heaping coals of fire on one's enemies head very literally. I thought I had to be super nice, caring, kind and mean people would leave me alone or it would somehow turn them nice towards me. What a load of utter crap! It never did, instead it left me an easy target open to any type of abuse, which was horrible and confusing because I kept trying to practice these verses with no success. It is now really hard for me to know when I have really done something wrong or if I am taking on someone else's issues which are not mine and making it into my issue, then trying to fix the problem in the relationship or friendship. This led to me struggling with boundaries. I never knew I could say no to things, I thought I had to accept everything others said or did without question and just go along with it because I never knew I had any say. It was only recently I learnt that I was able to say no and not feel bad about or blaming myself for saying no. I am improving with boundaries, in particular on-line. 

I have recently unfriended a few people from my past for being rude and disrespecting of my boundaries. It was very difficult for me to do and the experiences were very triggering, but I did it and I feel so much better and safer on my profile. I am really proud of myself for setting boundaries and sticking to them. I realised that being able to set boundaries and practice being assertive on-line in written form is a lot easier for me to begin with as it is easier for me to process what is happening in real time. I struggle to process verbal input which means it takes me longer to process it and figure out what is really being said. I can so easily be taken advantage of in real life verbal social interactions. When I am on-line I have the safety of being in my own home and can so easily walk away from my computer or phone and do something else, leaving the difficult triggering situation to fester away on it's own allowing me the time I need to process how I feel about it, figure out what my boundaries are and what I need to write in response. I do not get this option when I am interacting with people face to face verbally. The pressure to respond and keep the flow of conversation going becomes too much in those situations and I am unable to allow myself the time I need to process and respond as I need to. I can so easily end up trapped in a situation I do not want to be in, unable to get the words out that I need to in order to put up boundaries and get away. Those situations are terrifying for me. I am hugely grateful for on-line socialising as it helps me learn about boundaries and practice being assertive in a way and at a pace which suits me. 




[Image is on a dark purple background with a rainbow winged cicada in the right hand corner with the words 'Resplendently Autistic' underneath it.
It has the text 'I have realised I need to be harsh about what I tolerate in my life and remove myself from toxic, triggering people/situations because the detriment to my mental health is not worth it. The old me would have felt tremendous guilt about doing this, worrying about hurting the other person's feelings, but now I feel relief because I have the power to walk away and liberate myself from toxicity and triggering situations. It is a relief!

~ Kezza.' on it.

I have realised I need to be harsh about what I tolerate in my life and remove myself from toxic, triggering people/situations because the detriment to my mental health is not worth it. The old me would have felt tremendous guilt about doing this, worrying about hurting the other person's feelings, but now I feel relief because I have the power to walk away and liberate myself from toxicity and triggering situations. It is a relief! I no longer take on other people's crap and try to fix it, in the first moment I do because it is my default reaction, but when I think about it and analyse what I think/feel about it, I get angry or  feel hurt by yet another abusive triggering situation and need to keep myself safe by putting up boundaries. It is in that moment that I know I can walk away.

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