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When I began posting online I had a misunderstanding. Repeating words from Scrubs, a Disney TV show, when scripting. This is what led to my friend realising that I needed to be taught how to have a conversation and other things about the world I was unaware of.

I have mentioned that there was a misunderstanding at the start, but not the cost of it. I didn’t understand what was happening or why. Really didn’t have a clue. I’ll be honest I was ready to hide away from people again, because it didn’t feel safe to even try to talk to someone.

I was 42 and talking had always been difficult and uncomfortable ... but I was trying. People were rare in my life, so conversation was too. Understanding people and society does require access and unfortunately not everyone gets given that.

I wasn’t able to be touched or speak for three days when it happened. I was like a trapped animal, reacting to even the slightest movement of my wife or daughter. It was the first time I couldn’t tuck my daughter in or say goodnight to her which was part of both our night time routine. I still find that deeply upsetting.

I had only interacted with three people online, two of which I am still in contact with. So narrowing down the cause or person responsible for online rumours wasn’t hard. When my friend explained what had happened, what hurt the most is that I was completely irrelevant to it. The assumption was that all men are disrespectful of women. That all men see bodies as sexual. All men cheat (apparently). It was someone else’s words and the assumption based on someone else’s actions. So I was kicked out of groups, as well as lots of other negative implications and really had nothing to do with me. Who I am or the way I think. Instead it was a deeply masked autistic person who could only script and wanted to be able to just talk to people.

I only stopped physically shaking when interacting online a few months ago. Trying to just talk to someone caused almost a year of panic attacks and additional fear I didn’t need.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Curtis


Words – Ross Fraser

Graphic Design App – Canva

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Jan 20, 2023

Misunderstandings often come down to misreading the person due to assumptions or perceptions. However the pain that a misunderstanding causes is very real and can become haunting, especially if you already have PTSD. It did help me finally learn how to communicate, and I’ll admit I needed that, but it came at one hell of a cost. Unfortunately it also means that I still don’t know how to socialise online because every time I think of doing it, I go to bed and wake up in a panic (with my mind replaying the fear from that interaction).

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