My son looked at me deadly seriously last night and said ‘Mummy, I’m a bit worried about you, since lockdown you’ve turned into a Granny’.
He’s not wrong. I was walking around in six layers, two of them crochet. Actually, I wasn’t walking, I was doing a kinda shuffle/hobble thing, which I’ve been doing for well over a month since I collapsed quite spectacularly at home. No physical cause. So what is causing a measurably perfectly healthy mid 30s young woman to be this way?
I clocked up the other week, it has been twenty years since I first entered the world of romantic relationships, and began learning I didn’t have a clue how to negotiate this landscape. I now know that’s Autism, and my journey is typical for undiagnosed female Autistic young women. But it is one full of abuse, being stripped of self worth and self esteem, learning my only inherent value is based on what I will give to someone else, and a whole raft of horrors for various reasons can’t be written about here … for now.
Trauma that seeps into the way I respond when someone doesn’t hear my concerns in a meeting. Trauma that informs my reaction when I cry out in pain at the minor injustices I experience, because they are the tip of the iceberg of so many more unresolved ones. Trauma that means I cannot ever, ever go into a situation with a blank slate for fear of what curveball my inner state may throw at me when I least expect it.
At least I’m aware right? At least I can do something? At least I can get help? It has taken two years to get NHS help, through no fault of the incredible practitioners but every fault of the systemic and deliverate underfunding of services by politicians to suit their own ends. Now I am receiving some therapeutic support, it is generalised, and not specific. It may help. But will it help enough?
In the meantime, I hobble. My period, that wonderful barometer of a woman’s heath, is a monthly minefield. I take a multitude of prescribed and supplemental pills a day and I pray, oh how I pray. Sometimes I cope. Sometimes, I really don’t.
Sometimes, I get pragmatic. So I am now the proud owner of Sally Stick, to help me feel able to get to the shops and not be scared of leaving the house. Enabled, not disabled. I am not the equally proud owner of Billy Ball (I had to pursuade the children away from Bobby…) to help me build up my core and feel like I am actively doing gently but persistent and upbuilding exercise which will help. Enabled, not disabled.
Because in so many ways I am feeling very disabled by society right now…
Peace be with you