I attempted suicide when I was 17, six months before graduation. I was hospitalized for the first of what would be over 20 spanning from 1997-2006.
More bullying and much more blame came from what was supposed to be a place of healing. I was told how spoiled I was, what a con-artist I was; manipulative (as if plugging my ears and screaming
at the loud toddler visiting was my way of wanting to “get” something from someone-other than quiet).
There were more suicide attempts. In 1998, I saw the next in a series of psychiatrists/psychologists. This man diagnosed me, wearily, with “autistic tendencies”. I was 19.
I went on to getting into trouble with the law and almost being imprisoned. I firmly believe if it hadn't been for my mom’s nursing sense and persevering spirit, I would have gone to jail and would not be here today.
I questioned God. I began to wonder if He really did exist. I decided that He did, but that He hated me, even was bullying me. How sad that seems now. I was so messed up on anti-psychotics for those on the schizophrenic spectrum, covered with boils that bled (and left scars) on my face, neck and back. I went to a few churches that told me mental illness was a fable and that all I had to do was babble my cares aloud. So much of my teen and early adult years were mired in perversion-that of undiagnosed alienation, persecution (amplifying the alienation) and encountering the most bizarre people. I also found out I had PMDD (Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder) which makes women who have it violent during their period. We still have to fight to get coverage for the birth control pill I take. It keeps me mentally stable during my annual 4 periods.
The light in all this darkness came when by 2006, I had exhausted every resource in the county which I live (Kane). My aunt had a friend whose son had been diagnosed with Asperger’s. She thought I should go. She is the reason I have my therapist. It is well worth the 50 minute car-ride and gas.
By God’s grace, the dedication of my late mother and the treatment team I worked with for 9 years, I have come out of the hell I descended into in my teens. It has been a long and intensely painful journey. Sometimes I feel like I am a sacrificial offering of autism and sensory processing disorder.
The whole reason why I am telling my story is so that someone in a future generation doesn’t have to endure so much of what I and my parents did. Perhaps this will also serve as a reference point to see how far the diagnosis and treatment as well as overall well-being of the higher-functioning autistic individual has progressed.