This may be a very difficult post to read as it includes personal accounts of severe bullying and incredibly hostile behaviour.
If you think this may be hard for you to read, please don’t.
More than 60% of autistic adults have reported PTSD type symptoms at some point in their lifetime. I talk about my own life and experiences but there are common areas. Traumatic events definitely is one of those experiences that is, unfortunately, all too common.
I don’t remember a lot of my childhood, to be honest I think my instinctual side locked the door a long time ago. Keeping me from accessing entire years of my own memories. There are some memories I just can’t escape, because, put simply, they are just too traumatic to forget.
Honestly there are quite a few to pick from. My school was on two levels and I remember being thrown over the banister or down the steps on several occasions. There was one day I turned up to class with my uniform torn and bloody. This particular event began by tripping over someone’s foot at lunch, not realising it was sticking out. I remember being chased down a corridor and getting to a door. A locked door, I was completely trapped with 6 teenagers heading right for me. Like a pack of wild dogs, they all set on me, kicking me repeatedly. When they had gone and I got back to my feet, the only thing I could think of was that I was late for class.
The worst one I remember was on a camping trip with the school on summer holidays. I had fell asleep in my sleeping bag, thankfully a fireproof sleeping bag. Because I woke up to find out that someone had dragged me towards the camp fire. Placing the bottom of the sleeping bag actually in the fire itself. The heat woke me up and I was so incredibly scared. I didn’t sleep again until I was back home. I literally couldn’t risk closing my eyes. No one was expelled because the staff were told I was clumsy and kicked the fire when asleep. The thing is where I woke up was about 10 feet closer to the fire than where I was when I fell asleep.
Imagine waking up to realise someone had tried to set you on fire when you were sleeping.
How do you feel safe around people again after that? That took me a long time to figure that out because I had seen how some people treat others. I learned too young that this world could be a very unsafe place. So instead of embracing life, I actively ran from it, choosing isolation over interaction.
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All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Imagery – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva