Abuse, Autism, and Co-Morbid Conditions

Author’s note- I don’t mean to bash neurodiversity or to change anyone opinions about it, this is just my confused view.

     I am an abuse survivor.  I have my triggers and limitations.  I also have autism and mental illness.  I accept that too.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Not that abuse is a good thing, but I’ve accepted it because everything happens for a reason (I think?).  This is my life and I’m going to live it and hopefully make a difference in the world.

    But with this a problem arises- I’m afraid if I heal I won’t be who I am anymore.  I am supposed to heal from abuse right?  Autism on the other hand is permanent.  I think maybe I’m comparing trauma to autism too much.  I’m a very black and white person.  It feels like since my autism is permanent my trauma is permanent too.  I mean, my trauma is permanent in the sense I’ll never forget it.  But it gets better, I think.  It already has gotten better in some ways.  Come to think of it my autism symptoms have improved with time too.  It’s just that this whole neurodiversity movement amongst the autistic community about embracing who you are makes me wonder if that can’t translate to trauma too.

But come to think of it if a person had cancer you wouldn’t say to embrace cancer. Or would you?  But you’d still go for cancer treatment, you wouldn’t embrace cancer to the point you’d let cancer kill you.  So maybe I’m not supposed to let trauma kill me emotionally.  But then what about autism?  The thing that is different about autism though is I feel autism isn’t deadly.  Trauma hurts.  Trauma is terrible.  Autism has its limitations, I can’t go place due to severe sound sensitivities and such.  But autism also has its ups like my great attention to detail.  Trauma has its ups too though like my greater empathy for people.

Having both autism and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is like a big puzzle.  They intertwine and confuse the heck out of me.  Not to mention I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which only adds to the mix.  I’ve just got to try to make the best of this life without letting it be all consuming; I’m just not sure how to do that.  Have I been wrong in embracing my autism?  Maybe I’ve made a mistake there that is causing me trouble.  Or maybe integrating diagnoses into the psyche is just not one size fits all.  I’m not sure, I’m still learning.