Content Warning: This post is about self harm.
I’m sad. So, so deeply sad. I can’t cry. I feel like I should, or at least there is this sensation of heaviness in my chest, behind my eyes and in my hands. I also feel a blockage, like a barrier making it impossible.
I’m trapped. I’m in a vacuum without the air necessary to cry and move forward. I can’t go backwards either, because my memories are haunting me. My current life is haunting me. I can’t cry or process my experiences, and my childhood is mixing with my kid’s life on some weird level that I can’t grasp. I know that what happened to me isn’t the same as what is happening to my kid, but emotionally it’s mixing and I’m reliving events.
This is what complex PTSD is like. I know that what happened to me isn’t the same as what is happening to my kid. I’m not hallucinating, I’m perfectly aware. But the emotional mix up, and the impossibility of processing – these things are too strong. I’m just reliving my childhood all over, again and again. There’s no respite, it’s haunting me in my sleep and when I’m awake. It’s not just one or a couple of events, it’s like the underlying confusion and fear that permeated everything is haunting me.
I feel a need to cut myself. It’s probably around fifteen years since I did so. I’ve resisted it for such a long time, but the urges don’t go away. You may think that it’s great that I can resist it, but I’m not resisting it in order to care for myself. I’m resisting it because my body isn’t mine. I’m resisting it because healthcare owns me and I’m their object. If a nurse would come here to draw some blood and see the wounds from self harm, they would have to report me to social care and child protection. My kid could be taken away from me, or I could be forced to go through “treatments” that would harm me even more.
Because no, the actual support I need doesn’t exist. It’s not for people like me. I’m one of those adult autistic people that some parents to autistic people with visibly high support needs claim isn’t really autistic. I’m that autistic adult being invalidated for not being disabled enough to be allowed to call myself autistic or disabled. I’m the autistic adult that the autism parents think shouldn’t take up space.
I’m the autistic and multiply disabled and chronically ill parent who desperately needs more support. Instead of support, I’m reliving ableist, sexist trauma and I can’t even self harm to cope, because I need to mask to prevent my autistic child from being harmed.
I have to mask. I have to protect my kid from the harm I suffered. I have to be the autism parents’ punching bag.
I’m your object. I’m just a thing.
Please just let me cut myself. I need the respite.
Don’t worry, I won’t cut myself. I’m too traumatized to claim my body.