At AutisMag, we receive many email from parents and adults dealing with Autism. Today, in our Autism Journal, we would like to share a story of Melissa (real name not disclosed) – a single (and possibly autistic) mum with two adolescent kids on the spectrum!
In this letter, Melissa shares her journey this far – and its a story worth telling!
…Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Both my children are autistic and it has been a struggle as a single mum at times. After much bullying at school I decided a few years back to pull them out and home school them. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Recently I was reading up on autism and have found that I also am autistic. I am not willing to share this with anyone that I know as they wouldn’t understand. Also I’m concerned that they wouldn’t trust the decisions I make for my kids.
All my life I have been bullied, abused and tormented, but thought it was because of my childhood. I was molested and abused as a child too. I live with a heavy burden of constant anxiety, but I use meditation as a tool to help me through each day. I don’t drink, smoke or take medications so I am doing all this on my own.
I have been able to pass through life by using what is called declarative memory. I can recall memories from when I was a baby laying on the floor to almost every moment of my life. I never knew how to ‘be’ so I memorized what everyone else around me said and did and emulated them.
I’ve survived two marriages (I’m 48) and both were abusive. I had to endure six years of family court to gain full custody of my children and get child support. Within six months I gained full custody, which made him very angry so he dragged out the remainder for years. It was a horrid tormenting time for me. It was only finalised a year ago.
Through it all, I have remained ‘normal’ like everyone else and hidden who I really am. Although it was only last week that I came to the realization I’m autistic. I wake up each day and cry, I’ve had a very hard life and never understood why. Now I know. Now I can take the time to learn about myself and how it is that I know when people are lying and when they are hiding behind a facade.
I’ve told my kids. They are supportive (13yo and 15yo). I will never tell anyone else, although I’m telling you now, because I know you will understand.
Thank you for listening to me. I’m trying not to fall in a heap right now and will continue to understand myself and where to go from here. I feel lost right now….