Neurodivergence

AWE-tism Acceptance – Day 11

After all that…if you still think that this world…society…and its rules…DEMANDS… are the right way to go, to be, then I honestly have nothing I can help you with.

But if you are beginning to doubt…if there are teeny tiny cracks in your paradigm…and especially if you are like me…with a pile of rubble, dust flying, and huge holes in the walls of your belief system…

Then it is time to start re-building.

To put it all back together…utilizing the useful pieces and filling in with new stuff where necessary.

But where do you begin?

For me, it was the same place I had left off…

My Child!

As you sat there looking at your child last night…what did you think of her? Of autism? Of Pathological Demand Avoidance?

Like we have been talking about…loads of it is your paradigm. Whether you see that young woman or the old hag…

Paradigm

And it is re-training your mind to think differently. Opening yourself up to new ideas and experiences…

WITH and FOR your child!

It begins with some re-labelling…

Is your child…

  • Naughty…
  • Trying to pull one over on you…
  • Wilful…

Or is she…doing the absolute best that she can to manage sensations and feelings that you may not even be able to fathom?

Fate gave me a bit of a heads up with this…perhaps and unfair advantage…but I want to share a very personal story with you…

When PanKwake was three years old, I had a miscarriage. It was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I had been dealing with PanKwake’s seizures, a failing marriage, the loss of three jobs in two years through no fault of my own…and living in a different culture. But I had held on…I had coped…until then.

I had what doctors now call a Major Depressive Episode, but I like the old-fashioned word…a mental breakdown. I prefer that because if something breaks down then it implies that it can be fixed back up.

And trust me…I was trying EVERYTHING I knew to help myself. I was reaching out for any assistance that I could find. Trying anything and everything to get back on my feet for my child’s sake.

One of the things that I tried was a service through the council designed to help parents get back into the work force. I thought perhaps if I could find another job…start making some money…and get me and PanKwake out of that bad living situation…then I would feel better.

So I had an appointment to meet with the woman assigned my case. It was a place not too terribly far from our flat, but one that I was not familiar with. So I got directions off of the internet and I left extra time to get there. Mind you at this point, I had panic attacks anytime I went further than three blocks from the house. But I was determined to do it. To take my life back from depression and anxiety…for PanKwake’s sake.

I got there…on time…even though I had a bit of trouble finding the place. I gave my name to guard at the desk and told him the person I was supposed to be meeting. He told me to take a sit…he would call her. And I watched him do so.

And I waited…

And I waited…

And I waited some more…

Over half an hour. I began to think I should speak to the guard again. Remind him that I was still waiting. But at this point…approaching people was almost impossible for me. The woman that I given speeches to rooms with hundreds of professionals, babysat drunk celebrities, and begged rich people for money (it was called fundraising). And it took me another fifteen minutes just to work up the nerve to approach a security guard!

He was very kind. He apologized for the wait and phoned her again. No answer. I left my name and asked him to let her know that I had tried. But I knew I had to get out of there…

I was losing it!

I barely made it out the doors before the tears came. I was shaking and trembling. My heart was racing. I could not seem to breath. My hands were cold and my palms sweating. I can actually remember thinking…No matter how hard I try, how much I ask, no one wants to help me!

Here I was a forty-five year old woman with a Master’s degree, had worked in a professional capacity dealing with mayors, Hollywood stars and even Dukes and Duchesses and I wandering down a busy London street (I was too shaken to manage a packed bus full of people)…crying…with people staring at me…and many others looking away. I had had Cognitive Behavioral Therapy…been trained in coping mechanisms…

And none of it helped!

So when I read Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance by Phil Christie et al…when I learned that my child’s meltdown was NOT a temper tantrum, but in fact a panic attack just like I had had that day…it was a light bulb moment.

I never again saw my child…or her meltdowns the same.

I remembered that day and thought…

If I could not control myself…a forty-five year old educated professional with mental health skills…how the H-E-double hockey sticks could I expect my six year old daughter to? 

It was that paradigm shift that I have been talking about. Putting myself in PanKwake’s shoes. And it was the beginning of my search for more…other options…and it all began with how I saw my child…

Her PAIN!

Not naughty…

But Auti.

And from there, it was not too far a jump to AWE-tistic…as in AWESOME!

But that sounds like tomorrow’s blog…

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