Monday, October 12, 2015

An Anomaly, A Façade, and Vera

Trigger/Content Warning (TW/CW): this blog post contains mentions of ableist language, child abuse, domestic violence, and bullying. Reader discretion is advised.

I have had it with doctors for 2015.

My therapy appointment was earlier today. And it was there a proverbial bombshell was dropped on me: for the past two months, according to the psychologist, we have just been "chatting," and not doing what I was placed there for, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

That's one of my biggest pet peeves: someone wasting my time.

So what the hell am I seeing her for?

"Well, [my former therapist] said that she was in agreement with you doing DBT."

"But did [my former therapist] tell you that she transferred my case to you without my consent? That she told me that she should have done this three months ago?"

"No, she didn't."

So, instead of doing DBT, I started off with explaining to the psychologist the backstory as to why my former therapist transferred my case to begin with.  The psychologist nodded and understood why I was (and still am) angry at my former therapist for her betrayal back in July.

And then the conversation turned towards autism.

When we were going over what is in DBT and what should I expect in a session, there was a category called "interpersonal relationships."

My question: "how does that category help me with my autism?"

Psychologist: "Well, that's just a label. You communicate so well, you interact with folks from the congregation, and you have the ability to process information."

Me: "Let me guess, 'unlike some other folks with autism'?"

Psychologist: "Well, like you said about your gender, your autism is fluid. It's not permanently stuck at one end of the spectrum."

Yep, that was it.

I explained to her (what I am going to explain to you, Dear Reader) about my "autism".  And I'm only going to do this once. Or nah.

Ever wonder why I can communicate verbally with such fluidity and comprehension? Ever wonder why I am able to function without a set routine or schedule?  Ever wonder why I am able to attend social functions or understand basic social cues?  Ever wonder?

Here's why: it's a got damn survival tactic.

I had to teach myself how to walk, talk, feel - essentially act - like an individual without autism at a very early age so that 1) I didn't get my ass beat like my sister did and 2) I wouldn't end up in a group home, with no access to the Internet or any other part of society, like the majority of other autistic adults in this country.

Whenever my parents tried to attack me for something I was accused for, I used my autism to pretend that I was "stupid" and "couldn't comprehend" to avoid their methods of punishment. The only one who figured out my tactic was my sister, and damnit she couldn't get our parents to listen to her because of her own destructive behavior. One more reason for my sister to bully and ridicule me, because I was a better actor than she was.

For as long as I kept communications open with my parents, I kept up this "façade," if you will, to enhance getting what I wanted in life. You can easily make the argument that I had become a sociopath. For every job I had, for every school I attended, for every social gathering I participated in, I did my absolute damnedest to present as a non-autistic (even as I told people that I was autistic, it was brushed aside by so many as a "fluke" or "mistake").

And you know what that got me? Not a got damn thing.

Because I was presenting as a neurotypical, I didn't receive any more therapy for how to live as myself - the autistic - and not as myself - the fat loud mouth.

Because errybody thought that with me playing with my hair saw it as a nervous habit and not a sign that I was self-soothing, or stimming, I was treated as an outcast.

Because I missed a couple of crucial social cues, my relationship with some folks disintegrated. And I almost got jumped in wood shop class in middle school because of it.

Because I was so busy being "fixated" on surviving and breaking away from the abusive behavior that had followed me for most of my life, I missed out on a lot of cool things that other kids, autistic or not, got to experience and enjoy.

I will tell you this right now: that is NOT HOW A PARENT SHOULD RAISE AN AUTISTIC CHILD. To have your child be in so much fucking fear, that the only way to live is to "adapt" to the world around them is not only cruel, it is an abomination.

This is why when somebody tells me, "but you don't act or sound autistic," "you are doing so well in spite of your autism," "maybe you were misdiagnosed?" and think it's an offering of complimentary thoughts, they are absolutely dead wrong. It is a fucking insult to me because it not only does not showcase my autism - my true identity, it enables the tactic I taught myself as a way to survive and rewards my abusive parents and sister for what they done to me.

When you construct a "personality" based on 15-20 individuals and act as if you are a part of them, not only does it get exhausting as fuck, but you don't know who you really are because, again, you're in survival mode. This can explain why I hang on to labels (autistic, pansexual, genderfluid, Rolling Stones fanatic, etc.) so much; that is all I have ever known about myself. Everything else was just made up as I grew up.

This lead the psychologist to not only apologize for her stance, but to admit that she has no formal training in autism. File that under "No Shitski, Sherlockowitz." I asked her how does DBT work in autistic patients, and she replied that she didn't know.

And do you want to know why she doesn't know?  Because DBT is 1) done in groups and 2) has not been studied upon autistic individuals (go Google that shit; to me, autism and DBT look like oil and water together).

So now I am back at fucking square one on the heels of the 2-year anniversary of surviving myself. The psych team at my hospital do not know how to treat this anomaly of a patient because this patient has 1) autism spectrum disorder, level 1, 2) type I posttraumatic stress disorder, 3) type II posttraumatic stress disorder, 4) major depressive disorder, 5) generalized anxiety disorder, and now 6) borderline traits.

Oh!  And ever wonder why I am so afraid of being thrown into a group home?

In 2008, my sister said that I "wasn't autistic, but rather bipolar," and that I "belonged in a group home." In other words, in the event both my parent pass, my sister can file paperwork to obtain conservatorship over me due to my disabilities. I would then have to prove that I am capable of handling my own affairs and that I am not a threat to society.

Now, if you were a judge in a court of law, who would you believe?  The autistic adult with several mental disorders who manages to live independently? Or the surgeon physician's assistant with a Masters degree from an online school that works as an independent contractor for two hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth region?

A judge should listen to the autistic adult, right?  Then again, do even JUDGES know how to deal with autistic folks?

If I can't get a fucking doctor to take me seriously, how in the got damn can I get a judge, a rabbi, or any other professional to take me seriously?

So now where do I go for mental health treatment?  Physical treatment?  Any treatment?

1 comment:

  1. You should be proud of what you have accomplished. No one is going to file for conservatorship. Just focus on whats best for you.

    ReplyDelete