I’m at the Intersection of AS and PTSD…

Last I checked,
I wasn’t born with apologies – though some would demand
that I wear them for the apocalypses in my DNA.
(From my poem, “Dear Earthling”)

After a bit of a hiatus, I am coming back to you with a post about something that has profoundly affected me for a long time, although I didn’t realize it until earlier this year. To put it another way, I live at the intersection of AS and PTSD.

Now, what do I mean when I say this? For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that I’ve spoken of my childhood and teenage years, which included physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect – most of which happened between ages twelve and eighteen.

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Stress, Anxiety, and the Aspie Woman: Part I

Understand that I am
already peeled open like cables, like
you can see the Morse code walking through me
in light-up footsteps.

(from my poem “Touch”)

By now, you may already understand that the nervous systems of people on the autism spectrum are more sensitive than the average neurotypical – because of this, everything affects us more, from emotion to stimuli. I touched on this in my last post, which discussed empathy and the Asperger person. Consequently, stress affects our nervous systems more and we encounter a very common ailment in our lives: anxiety.

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How Did I Get Here In The First Place?

I don’t mean literally. Yes, I know all about the birds and the bees. What I mean to tell you is how I came to the realization that I have Asperger Syndrome.

The very beginning of the story starts about a year ago. I had been struggling with outbursts, panic attacks, and temper tantrums on and off throughout my life. Somehow, I managed to get to age 26 with only a few major incidents (and this is even through an unstable childhood, plus physical, emotional, and sexual abuse throughout my teenage years — but that’s a whole ‘nother story). By this time, I had already met and been with my fiance for about two years. But some major events in our life began causing a great deal of stress on both of us. This is when the panics attacks and meltdowns began. Continue reading