I am still in the process of soulsearching what went wrong the last few days that I am so deeply uprooted again. I may have found a profound fear of mine that I want to share with all of you. It’s about the fear of failure.
You see growing up the way I did meant hiding and pretending. In order to pretend and hide successfully you preferably forgot what you are hiding and where. You believe your own pretense. I did all this because I knew I relied on my parents to survive, like all minors usually do. I knew life away from home might very well be much more unpleasant than life as I knew it. Given my parents did not want a mirror to show them the sides of their personality they wanted to forget nor were they at all enthusiastic about putting in any effort concerning child rearing that meant this special needs child hid their special needs. And pretty much everything else.
Feelings were a threat to my parents so they were among the first to go. To this day I never know how to answer if someone asks me how I am. I do not know. I have successfully separated myself from my feelings. So successfully that I can not find them now, even if I have spent a considerable amount of time and effort looking for them. If I really focus I can sort of see then behind a glass wall, wrapped up. By now some of the bundles carry labels, that’s what my efforts have lead to so far. I can name some of the feelings there but I do not truly feel.Being intelligent and autistic were threats to my parents as well. My parents are obsessed with appearing as normal as can be. Somehow being the most intelligent kid in school and on the autistic spectrum to boot did not factor in well that way. So I hid as good as I could. Thankfully normal includes a worship for academia, which meant for me that I went to higher education without facing adversity from my parents. No support of course but the ever present ignorance. My teachers either kept their distance because I unsettled them or they were supportive.
I never quite managed to hide it all of course. Hypersensitivity, autism, intelligence and abuse all have extremely pervasive effects on everyday interactions each in their own right. Even for the terrifyingly skilled perfectionist that I am this was a feat impossible to accomplish. But I did well enough to survive the first two decades of my life, which had been the goal.
At the end of my time living in my parents household a therapist of my fathers suggested I was academically gifted, thus they had me tested and subsequently ignored everything to do with it, because we can’t ever be understanding. Mother for a while was even outright offended that her child would choose to do so well in this test. This obviously meant I was an arrogant little despot waiting to overthrow them all. Obviously.
Obviously we are not talking about me but the little golem my parents saw whenever they looked my way. The one the can mold to their liking without ever considering whether the golem is fit for this kind of procedure. When I hear the expression “I broke someone” somewhere I am very much reminded of my parents. It does not sound all that flippant in my ears.
Anyhow I am rambling the IQ test did not lead to any self revelations until I moved out of my parents home. Over the years I found I likely also am autistic, hypersensitivity coming alongside both personality traits and suffered from a cPTSD induced severe depression. Reading about all of this helped me uncover what I could not fully lock away before. It helped me recover some parts of the person I may have been destined to become if the stars had been aligned differently. It was liberating and terrorising. So much is lost and I am still discovering more abysses, more ruins, more long abandoned battlefields.
As I am discovering the broken pieces and attempt to make some semblance of a connected whole out of it I find myself deeply scared. You see sometimes pressure creates diamonds. In a morbid way my parents have done this. I know I can pass as neurotypical enough. If I play my cards right, channel the intelligence and the sensitivity when it’s appropriate and even wanted I can be a very successful grey cog in the machine. I will need to forego sleep mostly and make do with vomiting instead of breakfasting. My psychosomatic pains and loss of motoric control are symptoms of me breaking free. I never had these issues when everything is neatly packed away. I would end up living just like my parents, in for an early death but blissfully unaware of all the pain we lock away other than a very dull throbbing.
By growing into my own skin my life becomes exponentially more complicated. I never had a meltdown before I left home. I was always able to speak. Not always able to control what I say but never in any way detectable as someone needing support or being different. I know it’s not healthy to do this. I find it hard to put the experience into words but I am actively injuring myself by playing this kind of charade. A bit like needing to break a leg to fit in with your peers. Over and over and over again. Since no one can see how I am mentally in pain (much opposed to broken bones) it is socially acceptable and when uninformed even predictable to expect me to be able to do all these painful “normal” things.
These days I’m realising more and more how far removed I am from myself. Ann I’m scared senseless about the prospect of what I might discover if I come closer. I’m scared about actually being nonverbal, stimming, rocking. I’m scared I’ll never get a chance to shine because people only see such thing and draw conclusions. I’m I’d have had a much reduced number of professors trying to convince me to work with them if I had been honest. I’m scared of rejection because I know people reject stuff like that.
After a lifetime of being ignored and doing impossible things to be seen I am now extremely visible to the right people. I could make a shining career in science if I pretended as I always did. Maybe I’d be one of those Einsteins and Darwins, immortality in trade for my personality, my sleep, my health…
If it only were rejection I would need to fear, I’d be fine. I can work on that. Rise above what others think of me and be done with it, I’ve accomplished much harder things already. The issue is rejection weakens me considerably. Triggers me, makes me unable to realise anything going on at all. I’m well aware that it’s rather possible for people like me to all of a sudden find themselves somewhere neatly locked away and heavily sedated because people do not like to hear uncomfortable truths, they do not like being challenged and they are to lazy to improve their character. They just lock everyone away who reminds them of this. Just like my parents did with me.
It’s easy to forget about someone whose pain you do not see. Easy to talk yourself into thinking this is for the best for the one suffering and absolutely nothing to do with their own discomfort. Knowing this is not the truth will only make the suffering worse for the one in chains. I’d rather just be killed, Socrates knew what he did when he emptied that cup while debating. I’d be fine dying like that, I fear living in chains with no way out, rejection everywhere I go. I have experienced the suffocating grip of the mental health professionals already. I am well aware they are most professional in silencing their priso… PATIENTS. In case you needed any proof that this is not the exception but the rule with people on the spectrum, here is what Sonnolenta had to say. This is who we are and this is how we live. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.