Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


Leave a comment

Autism, Childhood Trauma Core Beliefs & Moving On

SAM_0498

Note – This is from a personal perspective 

Unpicking Trauma & Distortion Of Core Beliefs 

Defining Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is subtle – it comes in various guises and because there are no visible wounds or scars it is difficult to detect. Emotional abuse damages children’s self-concept, and leaves them believing that they are unworthy of love and affection. Emotional abuse is invariably present in all types of abuse, and the long-term harm from emotional abuse can be equally, if not more damaging, than other forms of abuse.

Childhood Trauma, Negative Core Beliefs,
Perfectionism And Self-Injury (2012) by Jan Sutton

Talking with my CBT therapist yesterday she described that young children are vulnerable to the projection and distortion of “core beliefs” if they are exposed to them from an early age, this no doubt can run into the sub-conscious mind and the person can then act out (with out knowing) these belief systems.

The memory came from when I was around the ages of 7 I was functionally non-verbal and I was told to have a meeting with the headteacher in her office at around lunchtime.

I was in this office for an hour, my parents had not been notified of the meeting, I was not fed or watered that day as a result. I shall bullet point the overall presentation of what she projected to me, during the meeting I had largely dissociated.

  • You do not walk properly
  • You do not talk properly
  • You cannot learn properly
  • You do not learn in the same way as the other children
  • You cannot tie your shoelaces
  • You walk around alone in the playground

This took due to visual-verbal processing and mentalising challenges not only a long time to sink in what she said, but also a level of self-awareness that this had an impact on my self-perception, development and functioning. Through out education my perspectives were often maligned, discarded, ignored or not acted upon in an objective, rationale manner. In 1996 I was sent for therapy at the Park Hill Hospital in Oxford.

The specialist in question had little understanding of my presentation or how I felt about the current situation, it was heavily implied towards the end of the assessment that my parents were abusing me and thus I was attachment disordered.

Sexual Abuse As Teenager

What to Expect After a Teen Is Sexually Abused

Being a teen is already a stressful and confusing time. Experiencing sexual abuse makes life even more confusing. Teens often act as if the abuse did not happen. The pain is too much at times so they work hard to avoid the pain. You may notice in your teen feelings of sadness, nervousness, guilt, and fear; changes in behavior such as withdrawing from friends and family, a drop in school performance, or trouble sleeping; avoiding reminders of the abuse such as people, places, or things; or engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as running away, substance abuse, self-mutilation, or suicidal ideation.

Melissa Reilly, LCSWBrian H. Williams, MD

I was around 15 at the time is came as repressed memory many years later in 2011 (night terrors) and I pursued counselling in 2013 I was made to believe that the repression was not real.

This not being believed and listened (by a professional) then lead me to make my own way to the place where it happened at get closure, I looked at the door for which seemed like forever and I walked silently away.

The incident itself was of anal penetration by a person older than me that was confined in the boys changing rooms and that is all I can remember on the subject, however I can piece to together problems it presented –

Perceived Self & Actual Self?

I am thankful for all my experiences that have happened in my life, positive and negative, good and bad, right or wrong. One has to thank people whom bestowed things onto you it has given me perspective, opened up the pursuit of a balanced self and objective happiness, the promotion of healthy boundaries and ethics has furthered my ability to be connected with myself as person as opposed to a false projection.

Paul Isaacs 2020

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Autism, Unpicking Trauma, Dissociation & Getting A Sense Of Actual Self

Note This from a personal perspective

Language Processing Disorder & Dissociation

It is normal for children to dissociate from their environments to up the to ages of 5 years, old and what I found interesting is that people with a higher level of language processing disorder may be more prone to going in and out of dissociative states. I was subjected to unintentional trauma through language and being spoken to directly this was secondary to exposure anxiety.

This meant there were pockets of both derealisation which is to separate from the environment around YOU and derealisation in which you separate from SELF.

This happened before I gained functional speech which again would on some developmental level have an impact my association with speech (echolalia was more fluid in phonics) and trying to speak on a “interpretative level” was stilted and laboured.

Dissociative Disorder Nos & Creating “Characters “

A dissociate disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) is a disorder that includes a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific dissociative disorder. “Not otherwise specified” disorders are those that don’t fit into any existing diagnostic categories and are generally rare.

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Belinda- The Strong Assertive Persona

This female persona came about and was “born” through the judgement and ignorance of others where I lived, although my verbal skills weren’t very good and people where blaming my parents for my behaviour on their behaviour as parents, and the school was very concerned about me.

When my skills persisted and progressed the first word weren’t be me, but her she was directive, to the point and would fight for me she was on my side, in world where nobody was on my side nor my parents. I often refer to Belinda as the Guardian Persona or The Keeper of the Gates“.

She is strong and assertive, she gets things done, she like problems resolved and also likes to help others in need, some of these traits are from the “core self”, but the person she is based on is my Mum hence the picture to your left. (she is wearing a tweed jacket which is multi-coloured she looks strong and confident).

Peter- The Passive Introverted Persona

This male persona was based very much on the passivity of both my Grandfather and Father both whom have had issues with dealing and managing issues in a similar ways. It was at this time at CAMHS, this alter was evading and would not be able to accept help with issues and would presume, respond and act like everything was OK.

This alter is shy and retreating doesn’t open up to people easily (as opposed to the confidence and drive “Belinda”), this would cause problems with understanding on both sides during my time at CAMHS in late childhood, they didn’t recognise the Autism nor were they recognising that as coping mechanism for the situations that I was dissociating.

The picture on the left is of my Grandfather in late childhood (sepia toned picture, my Gramp with a worried grin on his face), he is about 10 years old. Many of the personality traits of “Peter” come from him and how he dealt with problems.

Mr.G – The “Child/Elfin” Persona

“Mr G” is a child/elfin persona which was created very early through observations and just looking at my surroundings during the time between early and late childhood.

“Mr G” became very prominent as a coping mechanism for the bullying in the workplace during my first job at the age of 16. He has many traits which are to do with being free and expressive, he likes to copy in an echolalic and echopraxic fashion and enjoys “silly” humour and have fun. He is an expression of many things. The other two personas do have very strong characteristics but perhaps “Mr.G’s” sense of being and why is the most poignant.

Personality Types Across The Characters

As you can see by all three descriptions all three “characters” have a function in terms of personalty types, traits, and functions. The female character fits the idiosyncratic personality type, the male character fits the serious and self sacrificing personality type, the child character fits the mercurial personality type.

ADDICTION TO TRAUMA

Some traumatized people remain preoccupied with the trauma at the expense of other life experiences137,141 and continue to re-create it in some form for themselves or for others. War veterans may enlist as mercenaries,128 victims of incest may become prostitutes,47,120,125 and victims of childhood physical abuse seemingly provoke subsequent abuse in foster families53 or become self-mutilators143a Still others identify with the aggressor and do to others what was done to them.21,39 Clinically, these people are observed to have a vague sense of apprehension, emptiness, boredom, and anxiety when not involved in activities reminiscent of the trauma. There is no evidence to support Freud’s idea that repetition eventually leads to mastery and resolution. In fact, reliving the trauma repeatedly in psychotherapy may serve to re-enforce the preoccupation and fixation.

http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/

Sexual Abuse , Night Terrors & Trauma

An isolated incident of sexual abuse happened to me when I was teenager, this went and was buried deep in my unconscious mind until I developed nightmares in 2013.

Prior to this I was repeating the act on my body for during my late teens with no connection to why. I used to cry in overwhelm as my body and mind (conscious and unconscious) were in disconnect other information processing challenges such as a lack of internal mentalising, visual perceptual disorders, alexithymia and body agnosias aided in this problem with making this important connection.

I was referred to mental health services and dismissed these “nightmares” as anything “real” this meant that closure had to be done on my own terms. I decided to go to the place in which it happened, stood there for some time head bowed in reflection then I walked away and slowly felt a sense of validation and closure.

I have not doubt that this incident has had an impact on the way I view my identity and sexuality, because in many ways it has and to come to terms with that is very difficult but is was a necessary effect on my part to come to a point of complete closure.

Conclusion

The positive news is that I feel more “connected” these days it has taken me well over ten years, since I was in my early twenties to understand and be introspective to myself and gain a greater understanding of not just how I work but most importantly why I work the way I do (imperfections and all). I would not change a thing as life is teacher and I took the time to learn from it.

“Remember be the person you ARE, not the person you were TOLD to BE.

Paul Isaacs 2020


Is Bullying “Normal”?

Here is an interesting observation, many people who bullied me at school and during my time in education I have heard have always said they “observed” the acts never instigated implying overtly they were witness’ not people to take part in the act.

Let’s be frank you did on a daily basis commenting on my appearance.

  1. How I talked
  2. How I walked
  3. My weight
  4. My lack of friends
  5. My lack of intelligence
  6. My emotions
  7. My parents, my grandparents
  8. My social status.

This would happen at class, during breaks/lunchtime, waiting for transport home/during transport and at the place were I live from the ages of 5 to 16 years old.

This also included parents and teachers.

However just because I have made conscious and dedicated effort to see and take the good out of your actions, to not let them define me, to not be bitter or hold on to reductive actions of revenge or futile bitterness of the past that doesn’t not mean your acts were correct.

I can be objective and say it was your homelife, your sense of unfulfilment socially and/or academically, clashing of personality, the chemical imbalances that come with teenagehood, the peer pressure etc.

To which is true, however in terms of projection and hurt you flung on me was vile, cruel and cowardly you made me feel worthless and at multiple times I wanted to not live.

Bullying isn’t a “normal” part of growing up, it isn’t a right of passage, it isn’t a phase and the word itself trivialises the actions which is, psychological and/or physical abuse and projected trauma onto another human being.

I thank you for bestowing these actions on me because you gave me a framework how not to treat people, I understand a lot of you have families and children.

I hope you have matured and changed as you have grown and I sincerely wish your young one’s do not go through what I went through.

I refuse to be a victim of the past, for I do not want it to live in my future.

Paul Isaacs 2020


2 Comments

Abuse, Identity & Not Being an “Object”

Paul and Dad 2005 2A Dark Secret 

I can remember flashbacks, the terror, the feeling of being small,  worthless, subjected and cold this happened not that long ago as the thousand yard stare raised its ugly head from the fold. The realisation that something happened to me in my past which was buried under years of dissociation and memory based fragmentation a memory of an event at the heart strung up by a mass of tangled spider’s webs it truly was the widow of the web at its heart, her dark secret and revelation

Face To Face With The Reality Of The Past

A sad realisation of one incident which was sexual abuse is not an easy task to talk about in any forum I was 16 years old when it happened, but if it can help one person then in many ways my job is done. I decided to deal with this one alone to me I needed no therapy or endless talks about the what’s and the why’s etc, I went to the source it is near to me so I took that step on to hallowed ground with memories ripe or which I could remember soundly. This was a cleansing  exercise and I was going to sweat this one out.

Looking Forward

Like some sort of scene in a movie I was there alone. I found the place I patterned it out and looked, simple just looked at the door that is all I needed to do I stood there for a few minutes nor more no less and made my peace with the past I had to because I knew if I didn’t this would eat me up inside.

Many A Road To “Rome”

Has this on a subconscious level had an effect on my personality? behaviour patterns, triggers and is apart of the package of my “fruit salad” I would say yes it has may I would have been a less vigilant person, a less closed person in some areas of my life. I have learnt that I will not let this mould me but I shall mould it and if that is the road to tranquillity I shall take it. I am no one’s victim.

I Am Person 

Some people may think because of the nature of the work I do that I am detached, not accustomed to feeling out control, feel sadness, anger, confusion or despair I have got news for you. I am a person – when you cut me I shall bleed.

I don’t mind disagreement, I don’t mind people coming into my life and out again (if they wish), I don’t mind people  deciding to not to be my my friend (they have their own path to lead), I don’t mind disagreement, I don’t mind anger or venom spilled in my direction, I don’t mind a lot of things believe it or not. Just as long as with me you know that any judgement is NOT made prior to knowing because that is when one fills up bullshit loaded with assumptions and preconceptions.

I wish you well in your ongoing journeys. I would rather pave a road full of positivism and compassion than a road full of gold and greed. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2016


2 Comments

Living With A Mother With No Boundaries -My Father’s Ongoing Journey

I have a lot of respect for my Father who has along with my Mother given my the stability, autonomy to be “myself”.

Nanny Janet Black and White

“Nanny” Janet in Ireland as an Infant

My Father was born in London in 1961 during that time his Mother had fled from Ireland and moved to the capital working in in pubs and living in small one bedroom holding in the old style basement houses. He had a traumatic existence with attachment disordered, borderline mother who had no sense of right nor wrong, instilled pitiful boundaries and was abusive to him from an early age working in pubs late at night and bringing lovers home and would have sex in front of him.

She would have parties also which were not monitored leaving my Dad to the whim of two female paedophiles at the age of three years old. They two women were on the bed asking him to do things to them what an horrific situation to be in.

My Dad was kidnapped by his Father and taken back to his house in which his partner said “don’t expect any fucking special treatment here”, he was recovered and later move to Oxford city were he resided on an council estate.

Nanny Janet Photo 7His Mother continued her existence of money and drink in either order and showed next to no parental love to my Dad from both an emotional stand point and also a sense of stability as he grew this became more apparent, no emotional support, not getting him the correct clothes, changing his surname without prior permission calling him, emotional manipulation, emotional blackmail, to other residents in the estate and so forth. She projected martyrdom to the outside world and would say do Dad on more than one occasion “Peter, I done my best”. Clearly this wasn’t true.  His absent Father’s last words time was a phone call in the early 90’s  saying “I didn’t  love you anyway.”  At the very least he was honest.

His Mother re married to a man who clearly had the same ethos as her and made it very clear to Dad that he didn’t like nor wanted him in the house.

Mum and Dad Early 80s

Mum & Dad Early 1980’s

My Dad’s life changed in the when he met my Mother in a club in the 1980’s I think that not only changed his outlook on life but also, it took many years of pain, discomfort and self-awareness for my Dad to become the man he is today, he freely admits he has made many a mistake and has a positive attitude towards life  despite having a horrific upbringing with no love, care or sense of commitment.

Both my parents have giving me the gift of having a stable upbringing in the family home, giving me good foundations of boundaries, friendship, failure as normal and trying I am thankful for that and even more so knowing the history.

Paul Isaacs 2016