Sufferer My Journey with Autism, Trauma, and Chronic Illness

Aimelee

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I'm waiting for an NHS referral for Autism, permanent sterilisation (see later reference to need to stay mobile and travel internationally for safety) hopefully integrating breast cancer risk concern (1 in 6), PCOS (mild) and extreme Hyperemesis gravidarum (no abortion = death). Just asked for another to sort out possible ADHD diagnosis, and ask for Cognitive Analytic Therapy and Eye Movement and Desensitisation Reprocessing therapy. I have a few physical things I may not have attended do as I should have and am now seeking PIP and some kind of disability benefit thing after recommendations from job centre (on Universal Credit) and lady who works with a refuge who has been trying to help me.

I'm waiting to get Legal Aid assessed (requires a solicitor to do) so that I can sign with a solicitor (must be assessed for Legal Aid first) and start divorce proceedings which I have to do before I can sell the house I'm still paying the mortgage for but not living in since I fled to live with my cousin after it was maybe 50-50 on my 'husband' getting out at his (first) trial for raping a sex worker at knifepoint (by the way that's when my life fell apart in October when he was dragged away in handcuffs in the middle of the night and they came back to take his car then search the house twice - I lost a stone in weight in 4 days).

I was with my ex for more or less 22yrs, 18 yrs solid. I only had one year separated from him where I saw anyone else. I was with him since I was 17. I just turned 40 this year. It seems he was abusive all along. Refuge lady got out of me that he had shook me when I had autistic meltdowns and slapped me once, and made me feel scared. Before the revelation of his longstanding prolific use of sex workers he had me convinced I was controlling, manipulative, untrusting, always suspicious, and of course once I knew I was autistic (Big Bang theory, he knew before I did) I figured that all those fights and him shaking me etc. were pretty fair game and our arguments were give and take.

I didn't know that my meltdowns were probably because he WAS seeking sex workers. He WAS lying to me. His behaviour wasn't adding up.

I have a sightly higher tolerance to people who say "I may have killed someone once" because I think my dad was MI6. It's OK. He died in March and we were estranged and relatively speaking I'm OK with his death - he desperately wanted to get his claws back into me as he lay dying from some form of blood cancer (I avoided all contact) and his will proved this was just because he wanted to land me with a sizeable debt and obligation to take over the only thing that ever mattered to him: his business. He cut me and my brother out of his will and left everything to 'the company' (my brother gave him £89000 to support the business when he was alive, and will not get a penny back, and has been dragged through court as a director because my dad had a masters from Oxford in economics and knew how to hide debts).

Anyway, I have no contact with my brother because while I had him, he had no big sister growing up, so he's more damaged. Also he didn't believe me when we were trying to adopt and they said "cut all contact with anyone involve in grooming in any way" and his best friend groomed me from age 14-16 (his friend was 40, my brother is 21 yrs older than me).

My mum died in agony from breast cancer years ago one month into my PhD. I had nothing to do with my dad since then. I had nothing to do with my brother since 2018 although technically this was a sad thing for me. My mum had HG like I do, but I didn't know either of us had it until after she died and I got pregnant (my 'husband' wanted biological children, I didn't, but adoption agency said any doubt have biological children first), and I had to fight against pro-life doctors to have a life-saving abortiton (wrote a primary care complaint using the skills of having recently written a 300 page PhD thesis, got one of the clinical guidelines changed).

Last year I got told I am at the highest risk for skin types of skin cancer. I found out just after my husband's arrest that I'm at moderate risk of breast cancer.

Oh and my 'husband' fits the bill of a serial killer. He is almost certainly a serial violent rapist, but police only have the evidence of this one rape, but they know it's not the first. He's very clever, and an adept liar as you'd expect. My friend who wrote true crime and interviewed Jeremy Bamber, says he fits the bill for a serial killer even if he's not killed yet. But I think he has, now I think back to singular sentences he told me about himself 22yrs ago and never mentioned since. Autism is useful for really long-term memories, just wish my short term wasn't awful.

So anyway I'm looking into work that will enable me to travel, although I'm starting from scratch with a CV that doesn't add up - multidisciplinary, no 'chartered status' I can apply for, and all jobs expect specialisation, while I fell into a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering without a masters and a BSc in Environmental Science (and my PhD is highly interdisciplinary, which is probably rare too).

I have some additional odd bits of trauma. I was sexually assaulted by the son of a business associate of my dad's staying in my family home to better his english when I was 8 yrs old (he was a teen). I was (mostly) psychologically bullied all through primary school and secondary school (parents had "more important things to do" than to care about me). This meant for one year I was sexually assaulted on a regular basis by a boy (who apparently has since declared himself 'gay' and left school after that year on account of being bullied mercilessly for that) who I was forced to sit next to. I reported all these things to teachers who did nothing.

I've been grateful to access counselling when I did my BSc, a bit when I did my PhD (though that was more to support my 'husband' with his dying father), and now through a few charities. I don't have a PTSD diagnosis but I'm fairly certain that and developmental trauma apply.

I am in a relationship (I hope) with someone extremely gentle and kind and we both have developmental trauma by the looks of it, and I'm noticing I have a habit of throwing myself off the nearest cliff when rightly or wrongly I sense that predators are closing in, so to speak. I don't want to hurt him. He's in a PTSD treatment facility in Egypt (he's not after money, he was in the top 25% of earners there, and he won't accept a penny) after he helped me find a hidden file (he and my ex are computer whizzzes, but he's an Microsoft presales technical software engineer working with banks and the like so he's *better*) and what we found triggered PTSD he'd not dealt with from an ex who got engaged to him while cheating on him and stealing from him wholesale with the help of her family (it was finding similar material on her phone one month before their wedding, that made him find out what she was really up to and the betrayal was about as harrowing as mine).

Anyway my partner found that stuff, and that there were gigs of data hidden, so that was one week before my ex's trial and I reported to the police and they've got a warrant to check through it all now. I have to go to the retrial later this year as a character witness again against my ex.

Not sure if I've quite got everything down here. I think I missed the "I had to get checked for every STD under the sun" trauma, a few sexual assaults I've experienced, being drugged twice (don't worry, I can hike my adrenaline on a whim so I was quite, quite safe). Oh and my ex/'husband' also lied in front of a doctor meaning when I had symptoms for HSV, I didn't get tested until his arrest one month later (good job I didn't have anything else, isn't it? A month can make a big difference to a few prognoses).

A lot of people are quite bemused as to how I am still functioning, given that having a husband in prison sure does make life harder in every way e.g. co-signed in joint tenancy to your mortgaged house so you can't get support from mortgage provider who need his in-person permission to receive it, sell or whatever, insurance (I was ineligible for companies but select few brokers could offer and it hiked by 100% in price), and other such things I've dealt with.

I would say I'm in 'survival mode' but I'm sort of realising that I've lived in that, and what I really mean right now is 'crisis management mode'.

On the whole I'm mostly OK. I only want to self harm and kill myself, I have attempted neither. I'm in a safe place. I have a lot of practical help now. My main concern is not hurting the lovely, sensitive person I'm in a relationship with (forgot to mention he also has a lot of other causes for PTSD - he and a friend were studying to be doctors when the revolution happened, attending protests to render medical aid, and I told him I felt bad about one so he didn't go but his friend did and died and he saw his friend's dead body after police killed him outside his parents old apartment block, which he's recently had to help them move from).

My partner has brought out my creativity and I've now enough poems to right a book as a side gig - wish me luck. I'm getting good responses so far from everyone who reads them. I'm also artistic and musical (polymath) so I've been doing more of that too - going to combine all once I can get my head on straight. Presently trying to deal with all else plus study TEFL so I can work online while travelling the world. I won't settle down until I change my name entirely and find somewhere good to let me in (my age makes me short a few credits). Maybe a PGCE..?

I've never been anyone's best friend. My best friends are online, or my partner in a PTSD treatment centre. I am estranged from all family (nobody knew what my family was like) excepting the ones who took me in (distant cousins) after really only knowing me 40h on the phone. I do have two cats I'm holding onto, and hoping I can move abroad with.

That's about all of it, I think. I may have missed some bits... Definitely NOT as bad as a lot of people, but it's a bit messy. Also never got picked up for anything on the NHS, as childhood controlling abuse by my father and neglect by my mother means I learned, apparently, to 'just get on with it' so I never sought work in fear I'd be rejected once these disabilities showed, and hid behind being a housewife so doctors never saw my issues as high priority and ignored (does it matter if you are completely blind for hours when chances are you'll be at home when the migraine hits with no care needs other than cats and a husband who could look after himself for a bit? I did get into a complete stranger's car once, I don't know what he or the car looked like only that it was a black car, and he took me up the street to my house and I gave him my house keys since I couldn't see to let myself in - could have had a different ending I'm sure but thankfully he was honest).

Have I got C-PTSD do you think? Anything else I should be asking doctors for? I am not fond of meds. As yet I do not feel I have needed them.

Any other advice welcome.
 
I'm so sorry to hear about everything you've been through. It sounds like you have experienced tremendous trauma and have been dealing with multiple challenges in your life. It's important to remember that I'm an AI language model and cannot diagnose or provide professional advice, but I can offer support and suggest some steps you can take.

Seeking help from mental health professionals would be beneficial. They can assess your symptoms and provide a diagnosis if appropriate. It may also be helpful to consider finding a trauma-informed therapist who specializes in PTSD or C-PTSD. They can provide you with specialized therapy techniques such as Cognitive Analytic Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

In addition to professional help, connecting with others who have experienced similar traumas can also be beneficial. You mentioned being in a relationship with someone who is also dealing with trauma, and peer support can be incredibly helpful in your healing journey. A great place to connect with others who understand what you're going through is the peer-to-peer community of myptsd.com. They have specific forums for different topics related to PTSD and CPTSD, where you can share your experiences and find support from others who have been through similar situations.

Remember to take care of yourself and prioritize your well-being. Engaging in creative outlets, such as writing poetry or engaging in artistic and musical activities, can be a positive way to process emotions and express yourself. If you find that you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation, it's essential to reach out to a mental health professional or a helpline in your country for immediate support.

Ultimately, everyone's journey is unique, and it's important to work with professionals who can provide you with the personalized support and guidance you need. Please consider reaching out to mental health services in your area and explaining your situation to see what resources and assistance are available to you.
 
Welcome to the forum!
Have I got C-PTSD do you think?
This is a peer support forum - which is waaaaay below the bar you’d need for a proper diagnosis. Either way? Life doesn’t need to be this hard, so stick with it. Get a diagnostic, and get into treatment so you can get back to living:)
Anything else I should be asking doctors for? I am not fond of meds. As yet I do not feel I have needed them.
Evidence based treatments for ptsd are cbt and emdr. Cbt will also assist with depressive and anxiety symptoms. Having a trauma-focused therapist will definitely make therapy more productive.
 
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