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Spectrum adults coping with childhood trauma caused by others

Katleya

Sarcasm Lover
V.I.P Member
A common motif here is the bullying, lack of acceptance and often traumatic life events that we were subjected to in our childhoor/teenage years for our lack of conformity to the NT world. So I have a lot of questions today, and I could use some help with those.

1. As an adult, how do you cope with that?
2. Do you still get intense flashbacks of those times?
3. Have you found peace with that, or do you occasionally get bitter?
4. Any PTSD or depression that you think can be directly traced to those events?
5. Do you ever feel that things would have taken a completely different turn if you had had a diagnosis in your childhood or teenage years, and had gotten the adequate assistance and trainings/therapies?
6. Do you ever feel guilt over times when you didn't stand up for yourself enough, even though you couldn't have in reality, or guilt for times you went too far in defending yourself?
7. What has helped you make up for what you couldn't receive before adulthood?
8. Are you satisfied with the social skills you've developed by your own means?

I usually get the revival episodes when something clicks and I have this "Oh." moment (not an "aha!" moment), and I realize that it was more than just kids or adults being mean to me; it was them trying to shove their system of belief onto me, beat it into me, nag me into it, etc. It happens often when I read books on autism, and I see the past events in a new light. It also happens when I'm minding my own business & not reading anything in particular, of course.
I think coming here has enabled me to let go of "what could have been", but sadly AC is not a magic wand that can erase the memories, and at times I can still get very agitated over the things that come back to the surface from their deep place of burial. I swear those memories can be like zombies, impossible to keep away, yet sucking the life out of me.

Therapy hasn't ever introduced any meaningful change, but I think it's because we weren't tackling things from the right angle. Actually, most therapists I saw made me feel guiltier still that I didn't fit in, and that no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't successful. It took the diagnosis for me to understand that it was not about how hard, it was about how I tried. Most of the progress I've made was on my own... A different, personal approach has proven more helpful than persisting in the mistakes my quest for normalcy induced. And while the self-diagnosis helped change views, I still had this lingering idea that maybe I was reading too much into those signs, and having several psychiatrists reject the idea on the grounds that I was a woman really made it harder. So I'd say the official diagnosis was not only a confirmation or a relief, it also became a weapon to fight old demons. It makes me sad that it is still so complicated to get and so expensive, and that public health authorities in most countries are perfectly fine with leaving most people suffering on the side of the road if they can't afford the cost in money & time. Certain aspects of my anxiety became much more manageable almost overnight after I realized those things (but only certain aspects... you can still count on me to come up with 21 horrendous worst case scenarios if, say, someone is 15 minutes late, or to get cripplingly tense at the mere thought of my soon-to-be-former boss). I still have a lot of guilt to shake over the fact that I would have needed to be my own advocate, but it's not exactly like you know how to do that between the ages of 5 - 16...
 
I get flashbacks all the time from bullying, being called a freak and not fitting in with anyone. I remember most vividly "Hey look, there's the guy that argues with himself."

I spent seven unproductive years with a therapist to try and piece myself back together, and I know this might sound like a generic answer, but my music (Amon Amarth specifically) has helped me deal with flashbacks and other things related that I try to repress.

I still get bullied about the same stuff even as an adult though, so coping is still a daily struggle.

A lot of the bullies I faced didn't just do psychological damage, but physical as well, and having cerebral palsy, I couldn't do much to fight back.

I'm still learning social skills to be honest, and when to say something and to keep quiet, I like to think my filter has improved quite a bit.
 
I have found peace with the bullying from the past. This is because even the worst of them has, apparently, reformed. (At least that's what some told me.)

To jump to #8, maybe someday I'll turn into a real boy, or at least one who wants to socialize.
 
I'm connecting the dots, in the present (this year) of many unfair situations that happened to me many years ago and that had affected my life deeply (even from when I was a teen). When I finally do, I get as mad as if it had been yesterday.
 
I was brutally raped and firmly believe that if I had known I was autistic when I was young, things would have been very different for me. Instead, all I knew was child abuse and extreme violence all my life. I used to tell people that I had "VICTIM" written across my forehead, b/c I was always the one who got beat up, either at school, by my dad, or as an adult, by complete strangers.

I now know why: my autism was obvious, and plain and simple, there are men who will prey on that, esp. if you're a woman because we become easy targets.

I was raped when I was 18 years old. It was a "stranger rape," which is always horrifically violent as compared to an "acquaintance rape". It was also a hate-crime b/c I was at a gay bar and the guy attacked me in the parking lot as I left and then abducted me and actually took me to another State! I was told by the police that whenever a victim is taken to another State that they are going to be killed by the assailant. I got away twice - the first time, he caught me, but the second time, I managed to escape.

It took me over 15 years to get over that violence, and I used to berate myself for "taking too long" to get over it. But I found out later that rape survivors DO tend to have PTSD a lot worse and for much longer periods of time than any other victim (including Vets), probably because it is so personal...

Anyway, I'm not trying to be a downer - I just wanted to answer your fundamental question, so YES, I do believe that if I had known I was autistic when I was younger and even in my 20's and 30's, I don't think half the bad stuff that happened to me would have happened. Why? because I would have known NOT to be so naïve about people and try so hard to be liked by everyone. I also would have been warned about men who prey on autistic women, and I would have been aware of the danger that I faced by going out alone...
 
I was bullied as a kid because I was different. As an adult I know I'm different which is something I did not know as a child.

Now I stand up for myself and everyday I strive to be a better man, a man of influence stature and balance.

Yes, lots of words unspoken.....
 
I was brutally raped and firmly believe that if I had known I was autistic when I was young, things would have been very different for me. Instead, all I knew was child abuse and extreme violence all my life. I used to tell people that I had "VICTIM" written across my forehead, b/c I was always the one who got beat up, either at school, by my dad, or as an adult, by complete strangers.

I now know why: my autism was obvious, and plain and simple, there are men who will prey on that, esp. if you're a woman because we become easy targets.

I was raped when I was 18 years old. It was a "stranger rape," which is always horrifically violent as compared to an "acquaintance rape". It was also a hate-crime b/c I was at a gay bar and the guy attacked me in the parking lot as I left and then abducted me and actually took me to another State! I was told by the police that whenever a victim is taken to another State that they are going to be killed by the assailant. I got away twice - the first time, he caught me, but the second time, I managed to escape.

It took me over 15 years to get over that violence, and I used to berate myself for "taking too long" to get over it. But I found out later that rape survivors DO tend to have PTSD a lot worse and for much longer periods of time than any other victim (including Vets), probably because it is so personal...

Anyway, I'm not trying to be a downer - I just wanted to answer your fundamental question, so YES, I do believe that if I had known I was autistic when I was younger and even in my 20's and 30's, I don't think half the bad stuff that happened to me would have happened. Why? because I would have known NOT to be so naïve about people and try so hard to be liked by everyone. I also would have been warned about men who prey on autistic women, and I would have been aware of the danger that I faced by going out alone...

I just wanted to drop a line to remind you that it was not your fault not to know. I read somewhere that "you can not blame yourself for not knowing before you knew". I remember that phrase a lot, in order to be compassionate with myself.
 
Though, everything that I have been through has helped to mold me towards the person I am today. I wou;d not wish my past on anyone, and I would not trade for anything.

I'm unique.
I'm amazing.

I have so much to offer.

I can influence destiny for myself and others.
 
As far as social skills, I'm amazed that I have accomplished that which I have. There have been times that I had wished I could have accomplished more, though I know I have utilized what I have to the fullest.
 
I may have perhaps trusted myself à little more if I had understood about high functioning Autism sooner.
Unafraid of the rage, (although getting a personal trainer to teach me how to box and setting a bag up in the garden helped with that.)
Less self critical and more self esteem over consistent social rejection. A head start on learning more coping mechanisms sooner. (There's nothing stopping me from doing something about that now though right?)

In spite of that, no way would I have achieved all that I have if I'd have lived my life within the boundaries of a diagnosis.
I am all that I am because of it.

As for bullies, abusers, manipulators - I can't go back in time. I can only deal with it in the here and now. Which I am doing.
 
I actually still struggle with the affects of abuse,yesterday while going for a walk a young guy followed me almost all the way back home and was walking close to me most of the way,when I got home I ended up having a meltdown later that evening because it triggered bad memories for me,I still have nightmares and flashbacks to when I was bullied or I got abused by my dad and also being taken advantage of by other people,I do have moments when I blame myself for what happened to me like me being very naive and gullible and not being able to assert myself or pick up on predatory characteristics but i have moved away from the area where a lot my traumas happened and I now live next to a river but sometimes small things can trigger me off and I'm that scared young girl again.
 
Recovery requires power that I didn't have as a fallen person nor could even drum up. (Having been a victim doesn't mean one is not fallen themselves.) Once I discovered God's love for me and His plan for my life, I was able to tap into that power. It is still an ongoing process, but a much more hopeful one.

Some churches have been more Aspie-compatible than others, too.
 
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A common motif here is the bullying, lack of acceptance and often traumatic life events that we were subjected to in our childhoor/teenage years for our lack of conformity to the NT world. So I have a lot of questions today, and I could use some help with those.

1. As an adult, how do you cope with that?
2. Do you still get intense flashbacks of those times?
3. Have you found peace with that, or do you occasionally get bitter?
4. Any PTSD or depression that you think can be directly traced to those events?
5. Do you ever feel that things would have taken a completely different turn if you had had a diagnosis in your childhood or teenage years, and had gotten the adequate assistance and trainings/therapies?
6. Do you ever feel guilt over times when you didn't stand up for yourself enough, even though you couldn't have in reality, or guilt for times you went too far in defending yourself?
7. What has helped you make up for what you couldn't receive before adulthood?
8. Are you satisfied with the social skills you've developed by your own means?

I usually get the revival episodes when something clicks and I have this "Oh." moment (not an "aha!" moment), and I realize that it was more than just kids or adults being mean to me; it was them trying to shove their system of belief onto me, beat it into me, nag me into it, etc. It happens often when I read books on autism, and I see the past events in a new light. It also happens when I'm minding my own business & not reading anything in particular, of course.
I think coming here has enabled me to let go of "what could have been", but sadly AC is not a magic wand that can erase the memories, and at times I can still get very agitated over the things that come back to the surface from their deep place of burial. I swear those memories can be like zombies, impossible to keep away, yet sucking the life out of me.

Therapy hasn't ever introduced any meaningful change, but I think it's because we weren't tackling things from the right angle. Actually, most therapists I saw made me feel guiltier still that I didn't fit in, and that no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't successful. It took the diagnosis for me to understand that it was not about how hard, it was about how I tried. Most of the progress I've made was on my own... A different, personal approach has proven more helpful than persisting in the mistakes my quest for normalcy induced. And while the self-diagnosis helped change views, I still had this lingering idea that maybe I was reading too much into those signs, and having several psychiatrists reject the idea on the grounds that I was a woman really made it harder. So I'd say the official diagnosis was not only a confirmation or a relief, it also became a weapon to fight old demons. It makes me sad that it is still so complicated to get and so expensive, and that public health authorities in most countries are perfectly fine with leaving most people suffering on the side of the road if they can't afford the cost in money & time. Certain aspects of my anxiety became much more manageable almost overnight after I realized those things (but only certain aspects... you can still count on me to come up with 21 horrendous worst case scenarios if, say, someone is 15 minutes late, or to get cripplingly tense at the mere thought of my soon-to-be-former boss). I still have a lot of guilt to shake over the fact that I would have needed to be my own advocate, but it's not exactly like you know how to do that between the ages of 5 - 16...

1. Alcohol. Living a certain way. Im fortunate that there is no 9-5 situation which would likely take me back to the first word more often.
2. Not any more but i did for years afterwards. Fortunately enough i have more recent traumas that make the distant past seem more insignificant! The recent traumaa are currently being filed under a large section of things that i cant talk about to people as it generally makes things worse.
3. Peace, i occasionally drink bitter - see 1. I wonder sometimes if denied feelings gain strength. Ie if you deny ylu are bitter you become super-bitter. But im not bitter and im thankful for that.
4. Ptsd disappeared eventually. Didnt realise i was depressed for about 20 years. Now succeeding in being less angry towards self and others.
5. No.
6. Not guilt but self blame. It took a lot of strength that others didnt see not to react at times. Far harder than reacting. Also worried about proportionality, react 100 times worse... do indulge in very occasional revenge fantasies,would not feel guilty if they became reality. Need tl e more active and do good things to replace the bad.
7. Time,,effort,thought,reading, trying to avoid people,not having relationships from the past.
8. In most ways yes. I can be 'jolly' and assuming but dont form larger social connections on a deeper level. But thats okay, i dont neccesarily think others do either... surface level is the NT world. The deeper level may be lurs bjt we are too i tense for them, ive found.

Aren't there supposed to be 20 questions? Can i borrow some of these for the questions thread?
 
Some churches have been more Aspie-compatible than others, too.

Speaking of aspie friendly churches. I attended a friend of mine's church and he shows me this room called at "nursing room". It's a room that is intended for use by mothers with babies. But it turns out that it was the perfect room for anyone who had sensory processing issues. It's a soundproof room with viewing to the outside from a double-sided mirror, has dimmable lighting and has its own sound system that you can control the volume with. Plus, it even has rocking chairs and yoga balls for stimming on as well. Every thing was right about this room, everything!
 
1. As an adult, how do you cope with that?
2. Do you still get intense flashbacks of those times?
3. Have you found peace with that, or do you occasionally get bitter?
4. Any PTSD or depression that you think can be directly traced to those events?
5. Do you ever feel that things would have taken a completely different turn if you had had a diagnosis in your childhood or teenage years, and had gotten the adequate assistance and trainings/therapies?
6. Do you ever feel guilt over times when you didn't stand up for yourself enough, even though you couldn't have in reality, or guilt for times you went too far in defending yourself?
7. What has helped you make up for what you couldn't receive before adulthood?
8. Are you satisfied with the social skills you've developed by your own means?

1. By trying to dwell on the past, is how I cope and my faith helps enormously.
2. Yes, but not as much as I used to.
3. Not at peace and when I think of it unwittingly, bitterness rises.
4. Yes, but not depression.
5. No.
6. No.
7. Nothing.
8. No.
 
I was brutally raped

The key to stopping flashbacks and becoming a survivor is to forgive YOURSElf. Because victims of sexual abuse always blame themselves for it. But once you lay the blame at the abusers "feet", you find a resemblance of peace.

I know, because this is what happened to me.
 
1. As an adult i drink boze or smoke tabacko
2. yes
3. still bitter
4. yes to PTSD
5. was in the speshal education system since 3ed grade and it did not help
6. yea there where bullies that i wanted to beat up but know that in an rct in nys i would get arrested so i did not one of my few regreats
7. living life like the self centered asshole that i am
8. yes
 
The key to stopping flashbacks and becoming a survivor is to forgive YOURSElf. Because victims of sexual abuse always blame themselves for it. But once you lay the blame at the abusers "feet", you find a resemblance of peace.

I know, because this is what happened to me.
some one tryed to rape me i almost killed them and went on a weed bender for 2 to 3 years to keep the anger and memories at bay and i never thought it was my fult it happened
 
Anyway, I'm not trying to be a downer - I just wanted to answer your fundamental question, so YES, I do believe that if I had known I was autistic when I was younger and even in my 20's and 30's, I don't think half the bad stuff that happened to me would have happened. Why? because I would have known NOT to be so naïve about people and try so hard to be liked by everyone. I also would have been warned about men who prey on autistic women, and I would have been aware of the danger that I faced by going out alone...
you are not alone in this dept. i have been prey many times in my life as well. it's just a part of my journey & i'm still learning the lessons from these experiences.
 
1. As an adult, how do you cope with that? Those past situations are past for me - now I am trying to sort fact from fiction of my current beliefs about myself and others, life, relationships, etc. that may be influenced by those past toxic experiences. Self-help books, healthy adult relationships, and relying on a faith/religious perspective that I believe in to sort the good from the bad, the real from the unreal is what helps me figure it all out. There was a time when I needed to take antidepressants and anxiety medications.

2. Do you still get intense flashbacks of those times? I have never experienced flash backs. I do emotionally re-experience memories rather than just remembering them if they are still unresolved. But most I have just let go of - there are just a few that I still re-experience because I still have that confused/betrayed feeling of "how? why?"

3. Have you found peace with that, or do you occasionally get bitter? I still get bitter over the unresolved experiences, but I am trying to heal those. It's not unresolved anger, rather, it's usually things that still trigger a sense of a current/present threat - like, what does that experience say about me as a person now, or how am I perceived now, or is that person still a threat to me now.

4. Any PTSD or depression that you think can be directly traced to those events? My anxiety and depression were definitely 100% related to those toxic relationships and events. My current traumatic after-effects are due to those things.

5. Do you ever feel that things would have taken a completely different turn if you had had a diagnosis in your childhood or teenage years, and had gotten the adequate assistance and trainings/therapies?

I think for me it was much, much more to do with our toxic family environment than whether I had an official diagnosis - but I do think an official diagnosis and private therapy (not known among other student peers) could have helped my relationships with my parents and peers - that depends on how good the therapy would be though. I personally think that learning from other Aspies is better than therapy for me. It has been suggested to me that rather than having Asperger's, that I actually am experiencing symptoms similar to Asperger's due to alienation and trauma during childhood. I have never been officially diagnosed, so it could be either.

6. Do you ever feel guilt over times when you didn't stand up for yourself enough, even though you couldn't have in reality, or guilt for times you went too far in defending yourself?

I always stood up for myself, and was treated like I was selfish or rude for doing so. All I gained was the feeling that nobody respected me or understood me or cared about me, that I had to look out for myself, and nobody else liked me. I never went too far - I just used logical verbal arguments, or if I was rude, it was as much as any other teen might have been - but maybe I did not have the social clout/standing or the timing or mannerisms necessary to be taken seriously.

7. What has helped you make up for what you couldn't receive before adulthood?

Healthy adult relationships, self-help books, independence - getting away from toxic people, and faith/spirituality.

8. Are you satisfied with the social skills you've developed by your own means?

They are a good start, and I continue to grow.
 
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