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Autism from the inside


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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


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Autism, Alexithymia, Dissociative Disorders & Trauma

img_20200114_113354_0606894045460517763458.jpg

Note – This is from a personal perspective

Overview

In secondary school their was an isolated incident of sexual abuse which I was subjected to, this happened in the changing rooms and I have documented about how I had to get closure on this incident myself.

Alexithymia and dissociative reactions are two strategies that have been put forward as coping mechanisms to alleviate painful emotions. Adult studies reveal an association between alexithymia and dissociation. In line with the coping hypothesis, it was predicted that the relationship between alexithymia and dissociative tendencies would be partly mediated by current levels of stress and past traumatic experiences. Dissociation may also be related to enhanced fantasizing, although alexithymia has traditionally been associated with an incapacity to fantasize

Jennifer G. Schnellmann PhD, ELS 2005

Alexithymia has a common overlap with some people on the autism spectrum, in which the person has problems identifying, wording and extracting inner emotional states, having a language processing disorder no doubt hindered my ability to express (word finding and word losing), visual agnosias of varying kinds and degrees which hindered my to get gestalt perception and mentalise and thus extract the information and process it accordingly.

But imagine that as an autie you get tolerated in a mainstream school of bullying, exclusion etc…. so you try your butt off to pass as ‘non autistic’ or at least mirror others…. but on your own out comes your autie self… and over YEARS the ‘acting normal’ self becomes an ‘alter’ and has its own abilities, its preferences, its dislikes, the things its invested in, the things its disinterested in (like all the ‘autistic’ stuff… because it would attract more bullying, exclusion, etc)….

Donna Williams 2012

Dissociation Disorder & Repressed Memories

Coming to terms with my dissociation is to understand where it came from so here is the a list of events that interacted and caused dissociation and dissociative personas which then in tern effect the association of the “core self” which then in turn had an impact on my psychological and emotional development.

  • I was traumatised by children and teachers using functional speech and language at primary school because I could not keep up with it on an interpretive level (this wasn’t done on purpose nor was this anyone’s fault or intention).
  • I was put into adult situations at primary school with no advocate or caregiver present (teachers arranging meetings about “negative” behaviour prior and after functional speech so dissociation, personas and exposure anxiety were triggered).
  • Having body and pain agnosias meant without clothes on and/or pressure points meant I could detach and dissociate quicker.
  • Having prosopagnosia secondary to simultagnosia meant I bonded with the “person in the mirror” in toilets and washrooms.
  • Secondary school involved the use of three personas all with splintering personality types, learning and communication styles and “tasks” both motivational and/or otherwise to “protect” on a subconscious level the “core self”.
  • Only became self aware of being “different” at 16 and later was using word “autism/autistic” at 18, however lacked a self-awareness of my challenges to others and didn’t consciously change and/or suffer from avoidant and/or social anxiety/phobia.
  • PTSD in adulthood and repressed memories of sexual abuse came in later adulthood through nightmares and flashbacks in a distorted and fragmented fashion due to visual perceptual and language processing disorders.
  • Outlets for Alexithymia and emotional regulation came up more prominently in adulthood through art, poetry and creative writing and aided my ability to mentalise.
  • Being Mercurial and Idiosyncratic meant I could create novel, inventive and “odd” ways of distancing myself from emotional difficulties and pain.
  • Being in the “system of sensing” for far longer and still retaining aspects of it meant I valued the world and would sense the energies around me beyond their set interpretive “meaning”.

Accepting What “Brought me to the Dance”

I have no doubt that I have been coloured by my experiences, they mold people, influence, guide them, help them and sadly sometimes destroy them.

I have come to realise the value in experiences regardless of these being positive or negative I still learn from them.

They’re my teachers my reflectors and I refuse to live a half life in which my destiny is to be defined by things that were out of my control and contextual to the knowledge (or lack of) at the time.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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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


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Autism, Bullying & Mental Health – Personal Perspectives

This from a personal perspective on Autism and Mental Health 

SITUATIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL 

From as long as I can remember I was bullied – this came in many forms verbal, physical, emotional/psychological and one instance sexual.

It started at around 5 Years old this point I wasn’t functionally verbal it ranged from instances of verbal humiliation from the local place were I lived, taunts, swearing and so forth to more confrontational approaches such as throwing objects at me, taunting me with nails wrapped in a someone fist (this happened during an altercation at a “kissing gate” which is a gate in a field), threats of harm and death/being killed were even on the cards as well as my family being included as well.

This sort of abuse went on for many years on my local area – it also happened on the way to school via public transport taunts and set-ups were a way of getting my attention but of course it was much more than that.

Family Photo Early 90s 2SCHOOL – PRIMARY EDUCATION 

At Primary School when functionally verbal speech (in year 4) came I was subjected to humiliation by teachers this would include having one to one meetings with the then headteacher. This is were my dissociative disorders started as a way of “self protection” with no parental support (as they were not told of these meetings), being told to walk in “a line”  in a class of silent observant children as this would help with my “walking” and learnt with my first experiences of talking that is was to protect not that is was a way of having a interaction that was balanced nor “normal”.

The last year of Primary School was when I was being bullied by a teacher this cased severe mental disturbances such as anxiety and mood disorders, continued dissociative disorders, depression, somatisation, psychosis (imagining my body “was melting”)  (bad tummies,  stomach cramps, headaches, jaw-ache, toothache) these were perceived to be real by me but they were result at this point of over 7 years of bullying from different places people and origins some I dread to thing where they came from. This lead to me being in mental health services for the first time.

Holiday Early 2000s1SECONDARY EDUCATION 

In the first two weeks bullying started and this took a different turn it would be about my appearance (weight, looks, face, teeth, nose etc) so this lead my down the path of eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphia, emotional dysfunction due to alexithymia and bouts of mutism (due also to information processing and exposure anxiety) and further dissociative episodes  – it also came in the guise of two teachers commenting about me becoming upset and going to the reception in tears. Two teachers used humiliation tactics in front of my classmates with regards to this behaviour of course this was to with emotional processing and went on for approximately a year.

SEXUAL ABUSE

About two years I started having flashbacks (fragmented visions), night terrors and panic attacks what came to a head was an incident of a sexual nature when I was in my mid-teens a form of PTSD emerged with the “false memory”  being “unpicked”. I have no doubt this has had an sub-concious affect on how I view myself, my gender, my sexuality and the way in which I view sex but thankfully I through in this in both coming to terms with it and moving on.

Me Early 20s 1WORKPLACE

From the years of fifteen onwards I had been bullied in the workplace this came in the forms of name-calling, taunts, covert tactics, not being listened too, diversion tactics, gas-lighting to just plain insincerity and nastiness. This can have a dramatic affect how one perceives relationships both personal and professional. This has a dramatic affect on the way in which I viewed work and people in adulthood. I wrote a suicide letter wanting to the end the seemingly endless pain of existing this happened in the late 2000s. And was in adult mental health services.

DAMAGED “GOODS” TO BEING “AFFECTED”

Along with my Autism profile I have had sadly a string of negative situations. I no doubt that it has damaged me, it seems for the last 25 years I have had a torrent of negative behaviours that have affect my perception and my self worth but I live in hope that I can and will get through this and also learn from these situations. I want it to go from damaged to affected. I have the drive to do so.

BE BALANCED & FRIENDSHIP

I value being balanced the clarity in which it brings and the positively that it brings, agreement, disagreement and having a transparent and fluid view on lift – I still wear “my heart on my sleeve” which means I am open and honest about things sadly this can be a problem in certain situations of trust and can has has been used against me but it again goes back to my point of being balanced and regaining connections and perceptions of what true friendships and connections are something that I didn’t have in my early years.

A VICTIM OF NARCISSISM?

I have been from the perspective of being  honest and truthful – an reverse tactics (the “victim” of the circumstance becomes the “nuisance” & “enemy” and must be stopped at all costs! – however how that can be depends on the person in question it can overt to covert and passive-aggressive (via gossiping, mixing lies with the truth and blatant lies) such as avoidance by others or the person’s themselves, getting people “on side”, spying and gossiping and “getting information” this can also lead to the person who is in “right” by character to slowly become the person who is “wrong”.

This blog I can relate to this and the a blog about this entitled Are you being used as a flying monkey for a narcissist? There have been many a time were I have entrusted personal information to people who I thought I could trust only for it to be used against and spun.

Balanced and empathic people will not seek to to do this they will want transparency, fluidised connections and an openness.

CREATIVITY & POSITIVITY 

Through my poems, pictures and writings it has fuelled this aspect of my being and has been both my friend and confidant in all sorts of emotional tides. I am by no means perfect, I want no pity and I am  not a victim through this is what I have learnt the importance of trust, healthy relationships and friendships, failure, truth, being, living and having a laugh at yourself those things to me are important. 🙂

Toyah – It’s A Mystery 

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Autism, Dissociation, Exposure Anxiety & Understanding Criticism

Paul Long Crendon1

Overview

This is from my Personal Perspective of Autism, Dissociation & Exposure Anxiety

Autism And Information Processing

During my younger years I was in mainstream education despite having obvious early signs of Autism speech and language delay. receptive, expressive language processing challenges and visual perceptual disorders. My Autism wasn’t recognised until adulthood.

Primary School And Emotional Triggers

During my Primary School years after I gained functional speech between the ages 7/8 years old so this was between 1993 and 1994 (I had the expressive language of a 3 year old and poor receptive language).

I was subjected to heavy bouts of criticism and bullying – I now understand that was done in a unprofessional and unproductive manner the headteacher at school had one to one meetings with me during this time (with no mentor or advocate). Telling me all my faults, mishaps, wrong behaviours and problems with me.

Due to problems integrating and managing incoming information I was unable to take such comments on the personal.

Also one has to note that the teachers frame of refrence is all they could got by.

Dissociation, Exposure Anxiety And Primary School

For me this was too much exposure of self (something Donna Williams talks about Exposure Anxiety) I had a lack of awareness of “self” and “other” so I dissociated creating a “persona” to deal and cope with the barrage of information this “persona” would deal with this conflict because “I” couldn’t.

This went on up until the last year of school different teachers comment either to me or to my parents about my “odd” behaviour.

When I was referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in 1996 during my last year of school I was suffering from a “nervous throat” and childhood depression in the meetings.

I was to explain about why a particular teacher was bullying me this caused me to created another “persona” to deal with situation the exposure of self and the the information processing was too much however I tried my best to give her the information required.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Sexual Abuse At Secondary School

Until very recently I have to process and come to terms with PTSD with regards to an incident that happened at secondary school which resulted in sexual abuse through flashbacks and intrusive nightmares (this is all I can disclose because of personal reasons).

I have know doubt this has subconsciously had an affect on my self-worth, identity but I have come through this rather well and will continue to not be seen as an “object” or “thing”.

Criticism – It Is Needed

Now we come full circle I know that my negative exposure to extreme criticism during my educational years has had an affect on what I subconsciously associate with what criticism is.

In my head I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings it is about

  • Give and take
  • Other peoples views (not just you own)
  • Validity for all
  • Equality for all
  • Fairness for all

Dissociation & Negative Associations

However “my body, face and mouth” don’t seem to connect with my “head” and I would dissociate quickly with the “persona ” that wascreated over ten years ago to deal with the perceived attack (PTSD).

My Mum has observed my face changes as do my eyes. This doesn’t however mean I’m not challenged although externally that would seem to be the case.

How I Cope With This

Firstly recognising where it comes from and for me personally and staying true what is my “head” is saying I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings.

It is about give and take, other people’s views (not just you own), validity, equality and fairness and in turn dealing with therapy on how to cope with dissociation and what my body is doing and feeling like when my consciousness is taking step backwards.

By understanding this I can move and take a step forwards in a positive and productive manner. 🙂

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION PAGE

DONNA WILLIAMS’ DISSOCIATION PAGE

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION BLOG

PTSD

THOUSAND YARD STARE

Everybody voice deserves to heard 🙂 Everybody deserves to challenged in a productive manner too. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Donna Williams Fruit Salad Analogy- How it Has Helped – Autism and Asperger Differences

OVERVIEW

My Video on the differences on Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome (I’m an Autie). Donna Williams has helped me so much over the years using Donna Williams Fruit Salad  Analogy . 🙂 This could also help you sort out your “Fruit Salad” too. 😉

Thanks Donna! 🙂

DONNA’S BOOKS

AUTISM – AN INSIDE OUT APPROACH

THE JUMBLED JIGSAW

 

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Wiliams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

 

 

Paul Isaacs 2014