“You are going to wind up in jail, an institution or the morgue.” –Neuropsychiatrist at the University of Illinois at Chicago Campus, January 2006
“You are a fraud.”
“You are just spoiled.” –Behavioral health worker @ Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Hoffman Estates, IL 2005
“It isn’t my job to understand autism.” –GP, circa 2005
“How much did (X) cost?” Ongoing suspicion from AID (the association for individual development, headquartered in Aurora, IL) each time I have worked with them, despite full financial disclosure on my application form.
“Well, that’s because they get so much fraud.” My one and only friend (during a conversation on 1/1/17) who used to work at AID, despite my telling her a person is innocent until proven guilty in this country.
Add to this sexual assault (Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL 1999-during a free gyno exam -included in hospital stay). Would not pull out speculum when I told the doctor and his assistant (both male). No nurse present. They laughed at me instead.
Also add the tearful begging and pleading to hospital staff not to expose me to small children or barking trainee therapy dogs in a small space I could not get away from being an inpatient-only once getting that accommodation made (at Alexian Brothers, nonetheless).
Being personally blamed for the shower in my room overflowing, despite repeatedly reporting it to staff. (Alexian Bros.)
Having a hospital worker-a male, stand over me, in my hospital room, tell me my drawing was “ugly”. (Alexian Bros. 2005)
A doctor forcing me to remain seated in front of the nurse’s station despite having a migraine, because I fired him, which a patient has a legal right to do. (Good Shepherd, Barrington IL, 2006)
There is no excuse to abuse someone, just because they don’t understand them. These acts would remain unforgiven if it weren’t for my Christian faith.
I won’t go into the first responder abuse lasting from 1997-2014. I will say it was just as devastating and included physical as well as emotional/psychological abuse.
I am left with the tormenting thought that no matter how much autism awareness there now is, I will always be mistreated by those I should be able to trust.
I have endured the nightmare of abuse so long, I don’t expect anything different. I expect disbelief, judgment and put-downs.
I have no more trust left. I only go to a psychiatrist to get the meds that physically sustain me.
Having others push me and, subsequently pushing myself to act “normal” lead to so many violent meltdowns (which I also was judged for) that hurt both others and myself.
This ongoing judgment along with having very little connection to the outside world lead me to think both myself and my family would be better off without me.
I have attempted suicide at least 5 times (from 1997-2005).
I have managed to avoid psychiatric institutionalization since 2006 having 2 emergency visits, in 2009 & 2014. I was abused in 2009, yelled at and almost given Ativan, which I am allergic to and is in my medical information for screaming due to the physical pain of a nearby screaming baby. The only thing that stopped the nurse was calling one of my own while she went to get the poison-my (late) mother.
I have 110% reason to fear the medical community. I have read countless blog articles written by autistic adults who tell nightmare tales similar to mine encountering first responders, GPs and Psychiatrists.
The distrust is so strong, just walking into a doctor’s office elicits panic. I do not feel safe. I feel like at any moment my freedom could be taken from me.
I think my own truths may incriminate me. They have before.
Add to this that I am constantly managing my sensory symptoms, so my anxiety is already at a 10. Any confrontation could send me into a violent meltdown (I don’t get the girly crying and withdrawing-I’m not that fortunate) and it shouldn’t be a surprise that I loathe coming.
I only trust God. The only reason I go into any doctor office is because I have prayed ahead of time.
God is the only one I can trust. Only He can keep me safe. If I do get mistreated, it is for His glory.
I don’t always have words when anxious and upset. My fingers are more my voice than my larynx. Blogging is my translator.