Autistic Adult Find Healing From Abuse in Unusual Places


It is no secret I was an abused child. I was neglected, abused in almost every sense of the word. I was berated, beaten and made to think I was worthless. I was placed in ABA to change who I was. My parents favorite go to was that I was created to make them miserable. I was conceived on the same fertility pills as my 3 biological sons were. I treasure them and I cannot understand not doing that. 

I was controlled by being told I had to dress “girly” and made to get makeup in high school. As soon as I got to school, I washed it off. I couldn’t stand the stuff. I still can’t. When I was on Doctor Oz, I was in sensory hell. They caked on the makeup so thick and I had to mask to get through that segment. It was worth it because of why I was there. 

I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair if I wanted to. “Nice Jewish girls don’t do that. “This is funny because one of the members of the board at my Shul dyes her hair different colors and last time I checked she was Jewish.) 

I when I asked for something simple, I was told I didn’t deserve it. The 16th birthday in the US is a huge event. I was told I didn’t deserve a 16th birthday and it was not even recognized. They ignored my high school graduation even though I went from special ed to A track classes, which was almost unheard of where I went to school. They are awful people. 

When I graduated from high school, I went to college as far away as I could while qualifying for in state tuition. It was an 8 hour drive and it had freezing temperatures half the year. I knew I was safe and they could not come and get me. The Adirondacks is where I called home. This is where I learned the real meaning of family. I started to find out who I truly was. 

Healing With Buying Clothes

Fast forward to this past week. Goodwill was having a buy one get one free sale on their clothes. I was always controlled on what I was allowed to wear. Not by my husband, who is amazing BTW, but by my parents. When I went to look for clothes, I was able to look and see what I truly wanted. Not the floral or “girly” clothes my mother always made me wear. I did not have to pick what I as uncomfortable wearing based on what my mother would approve. 

I know I am 39 but I still have trauma to work through. I did not have to be scared that my mother was going to be mad at me or belittle me. “I thought I had a girl” or “At your weight you need to wear this or you won’t look good.” This last one, she never took me to the doctor to see why I was my weight. I didn’t find out I have PCOS until I had a few failed pregnancies. 

I found clothes that were neutral and I did not have to fear being judged. I cannot tell you how liberating it was. It was freeing but I still feel like I have to look over my shoulder even through she is cut out of my life. I could express myself in a way that I wanted and felt comfortable. What was even better, the cashier singed and I could communicate in a way that was my choosing. 

Healing with Taking J to Get Her Hair Cut and Dyed

Tomorrow is J’s middle school graduation. J is my ADHD half sister in law that my husband and I gained custody of almost 6 years ago. It has been a hard year for her, especially with the digital format. She really struggled. She did fail 2 classes BUT the school had packets for her to complete to take place of those grades and she did great with that. I am very thankful for it. She is too. 

She asked if she can get her hair cut and the tips of her hair dyed green. I had a great week as far as work goes, so I said that was fine. After work, I brought her into the place. I have never seen her so excited. The stylist was so sweet and went slow with her. There was an incident in foster care where her hair was cut without her consent so this is a must with her. 
J showed her the photo of what she wanted her hair to look like. The stylist knew exactly what she meant. She talked J through the whole process. She was smiling from ear to ear. 
As I was sitting in the chair next to her, I could not help but get teary eyed. Not only was she growing up and I only had her from 9 years old, I was able to do for her what I was told my entire life I didn’t deserve. I had pictures of my mother in my head and she was repeating all these horrible things but for the first time in a while, I was able to block her out. 
When the stylist was finished, she could hardly contain herself, and who could blame her? She is 14 and doing something that some parents have a hard time consenting to. Its only hair. 
J thinks I only did this for her. Part of this was for me too. This was a vital part of the healing process. This in a way proves I am nothing like the people who raised me. I did something for her that she truly deserved and no one was there to tell her she was worthless and didn’t deserve it. 
There was such a rush of emotions of her being able to experience this. This will be an experience she will remember for the rest of her life. This experience will replace bad memories of her horrible young childhood. She will never feel as worthless as I was made to feel. She will be free to express herself the way she wants to. She asked me to get her a man’s suit for the graduation and it is in her closet, waiting for my husband to iron it tomorrow before she goes. No gender roles. No making her feel like she is less because she is different. 
Saturday there is a pride event about an hour away. We are going. She came out to me as bi about a year ago, then she figured out she is an asexual romantic lesbian. Coming out to me was no big deal. She talks about her LGBTQ identity like she talks about her hair color. It’s not that big of a deal and no need to fear judgment. 
Because of all of this, I am overcome with emotions. I am doing for my kids what I never had. My kids will never feel as worthless as I do. Yes even I do when I have accomplished so much. This is what happens when kids are felt like they are supported. Sorry for the rambling, I am just so damned proud of her and all my kids. 

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