0 Blogging About Autism: Life After Escape and Pregnancy

Monday, 16 September 2019

Life After Escape and Pregnancy

Withdrawing from the World 

After escaping I withdrew from the world and became much like The Grinch for a while. In terms of locking myself away and being depressed and full of self-loathing. I was blaming myself for everything and all the times when people would get angry at me and I wouldn’t even know what I had done wrong. I didn’t know I had autism at that point in my life but I knew something was horribly wrong. I wasn’t coping with living alone because I was never taught how to do a single thing for myself and I couldn't have learned it because my dad insisted on doing those things.
 I ate junk food all day every day and consumed more high-calorie fizzy drinks than I care to remember. When making an omelette for one. I used a whole box of eggs and almost set the flat on fire on numerous occasions because I kept drifting off into some sort of detached state of reality. I didn't know about portions and now that number of calories would make my eyes pop out of my head but then I didn't even question it. Flies were buzzing all around my kitchen and bin bags were EVERYWHERE. 

At this point in my life, I didn't care if I was alive or dead and this is close to when I contemplated suicide.  I had cats which I rescued from a shelter and they were the only light in my life but my mum showed up and took them all away. Apparently, she was concerned because they were walking over my countertops but of course, she ignored the amount of ever-growing rubbish that was piling up.   
It felt like "you want to live alone?  I am going to take away all of your friends - even the furry ones."  



Bank Accounts 

There were very well-defined roles and we were taught to be dependent on our parents for absolutely everything. None of the people living in that home has their own bank account except mum. I didn’t until I escaped and argued with my mum to let me get one and it was my fiancé who helped me get the courage to do this. I didn't get my bank account until a couple of years after moving out so I had to go to her for money.  Prior to this the person who encouraged me to escape also tried to help with regards to that situation but at the time the biggest obstacle was just escaping. I was extremely lonely all of my younger years and right up until around 4 years ago( following my diagnosis actually) and since then has been a slow journey of trying to heal from a life shattered into millions of little pieces and rebuild it somehow but I am still bewildered and wondering how I am going to manage it. 

 I feel traumatised still and I still often feel like one day my abuser will keep to his word and kill me. He lives close to my home and I wanted to move far away but my appointee mother wouldn’t let me because she told everyone she needs to keep me close. My family treated me as though they never expected me to be able to do anything. They doubted my adequacy in many of the important areas of life and had often given up on my ability to do things long before I ever had. My mum told me that my granda and her use to always have conversations.   

She told me that he didn’t think I could cope with being a mother. I take everything very literally and I trusted my granda very much.   





Autism, Doubt and Pregnancy 

When I got pregnant to my fiancé, we lost our baby and I blame myself for it often. I would sit up at night crying until I couldn’t cry anymore. I was in despair at the fact that I didn’t want to lose my parents and other family members excluding the abuser. I was worried about how it would all blow up when I told them they were not allowed to have their grandchild over because they certainly would not have been allowed to mind our child after what they let happen to me. Then most importantly the abuser still lived with them and they were convinced and still are that he is an archangel. I would never let someone as precious as our child would be to us near someone like that. I don’t know if they meant for those things to occur and I do feel that the abusive brother controls the entire home alongside my mother and everyone else is just subservient and trying not to piss them off.   It is a dangerous and dysfunctional situation and my dad was never let know about my brother's abuse until years after it occurred.    




Anxiety 

I became concerned that every little thing might harm my baby and I cried after eating stew that had something in it that I didn’t recognize. I felt a bit like I was losing my mind when I was pregnant due to extreme worry. On one hand, my social anxiety actually lessened which was amazing and it was nice to temporarily feel a break from that hell and oh what hell it is. I dread the fight to try to make myself look socially acceptable each day because I can’t make sense of fashion or anything that is popular these days at all. I stand and stare at a cupboard which only recently has more clothes in it and I tend to go for the ones that I saw put together on a mannequin or that my sister has put together for me. I have written down which ones were matched for me or on a mannequin. 

 It is the only way to ensure I don’t forget and if the acceptable clothes aren’t to hand my whole day is ruined. I am so shaky when I go out into the outside world not feeling equipped or at least close to wearing the same as others. My fiancé speaks to me and on those days, I am so troubled by my thoughts that I hardly hear a word of what he says. I am so afraid of people and always one second away from tears on those days and I am always so relieved to get back home and back to my safe place. 

My fiancé can be like this with me when his hearing aid battery dies and he has no more replacements to hand. He goes from happy go lucky to devastated and reminded that doctors have said his hearing will only get worse as he ages. People don’t see these moments when they assume someone is coping well with their disability. Disabled people often put on a front because we want to be like everyone else but all of us are suffering in different ways and the act of faking be OK in itself is exhausting. 

When pregnant I woke up some days and went outside without feeling afraid of how other people would judge my differences and I didn’t ruminate or slip into obsessive thought patterns as much. I also was able to be a little more flexible and less hard on myself and felt even a tiny bit confident for the duration of the pregnancy. Mainly I loved the baby even though I hadn’t met it yet and wanted so much better for him or her than what I had lived through. We had decided our baby would either be named Melody if it was a girl or Logan if it had been a boy. 




 I wanted our baby to have every opportunity that I didn’t and even though socialising is hell for me. I would have forced myself to do it if it meant our child would get the chance to have friends and a happier future. 

Going Downhill 

Once worries set in though it turned to intense dread and despair and not feeling I could cope. I cried hysterically and nothing my fiancé said could console me or put me at ease. I had developed a fear of pregnancy not long after I was abused and it stuck with me throughout my life and just got worse and worse but I wanted to be a mother. I had been having light bleeding and this was scaring me quite a lot. At our last scan, we were told everything was fine and we saw our baby and heard their little heartbeat. I left starting to feel more optimistic after having panicked so much.  I was still terrified and still bleeding but at the same time, I was starting to believe in myself just a bit more and hoped that our baby would be OK.  




Doubtfulness and Rumination Caused by Autism  

I can never believe things are really OK and I have a hard time convincing myself that is the case. I often have to check and recheck or count and recount or do and redo until I am certain. It was the following day after the last scan that the bleeding got much worse and we lost the baby.  I was distracted with worry. And I said to my fiancé we should get our groceries in Asda for a change. A person working there made a big deal because I couldn’t find something and had asked for his help. I felt like he was trying to embarrass me in front of everyone there. When I went to the bathrooms the bleeding was still really heavy and that night, we lost our baby. 

Throughout the pregnancy, I felt the worry of all of those around me whose opinions meant the world to me very intensely.   I remembered my nice brother expressing worry that I wouldn’t be able to manage the pain because I couldn’t even manage a dental cleaning.  




Drowning in Fear 

I was just encapsulated by all of these fears and other people's concerns and I couldn’t switch any of them off. The way I am affected by autism feels like I am locked inside my own brain. I don't just feel fear I drown in it often and it is not a choice or something I can stop from happening. My brain takes me on roller-coaster rides I don't want to be on. I am now receiving CBT and trying to take back control of my thoughts. I hope to be able to lessen their disabling effect on me. I still am having horrible unending days but I am starting to get more done in those days and that is a positive I can take out of all of it. After I lost the baby, I became afraid of everything and even little things like hair dyes or socks I was terrified to put on. I thought everything would harm me. My brain analyses far too much and as of yet, I haven't been able to stop it. I often felt unable to be pregnant because I had heard about doctors saying I would never walk or talk and that my bones were weak and in my head, it just felt impossible.   

Since then my partner and I have decided not to try for any more children because we both feel we have enough on our shoulders with us both being disabled but I do often feel devastated that being a parent will never be a part of my future and that we lost the only one we will ever have. 


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