I get knocked down, but I get up again …

“Domino” by Jeff Pioquinto, SJ is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Personality or condition? What is it that has built my resilience and determination to keep going on no matter what …

My life has been far from easy.

I know many of us get dealt things that we feel we can not handle but somehow manage to make it through and life then settles again. But for me, it seems that there is no break and yet I still get up each day, get dressed, put on my makeup and face the day with a new perspective.

I cant document everything I have been through in my life as it would take forever but here in brief is what is relevant to this blog.

Since I can remember I have lived with daily anxiety, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, I now know why this being part of my condition as a PDA er. I also have had eczema since I was small and any other sufferers will know how annoying, frustrating and physically painful eczema can be – especially with chronic flare-ups. I remember it being so bad at times that parts of my body were wrapped at night so I would not scratch. I now know through managing it throughout my life that there is a direct link for me to stress and hormones, however when you have another condition that makes you feel scared all of the time, you are kind of fighting a losing battle with eczema and your hormones!

Aside from feeling irritable inside my skin, I also have all of the sensory issues related to being autistic. I have a clothes sensitivity, meaning everything has to be soft. I can not wear jeans, or certain other fabrics. I can not even sit on something that could make me itch, or brush against it. I even have to consider if we were lets say to get a new carpet or something, I have to be very careful that I will not react to it. At one stage in my life I felt so bad with clothes I started wearing hardly anything at all which got me into all sorts of trouble!

Looking back through the years I consider myself to have been very vulnerable. Not realising it at times, as I have always just got on with things on my own, so really only ever had myself to judge. My parents were in my life up until around my early thirties – finally losing touch when I was 40, this is when I really only started to piece everything together about what had happened to me, this is when if you remember from my other blog posts I only started to be able to learn educationally wise. From then on I had begun to recall everything that had happened to me and realise that what had been done was not right.

I wont go into to much detail here but in short I was totally taken advantage of by my Mother and older sister who had convinced me at the time that what they were doing was for my benefit – even though my heart was broken and I felt so betrayed but couldn’t tell anyone as who would I tell, I only really had them in my life. When I was 19, I had my major breakdown and I think it was from then on that the main control and abuse occurred. I was seen as a weak link in the family, someone to totally manipulate, until I broke away myself with my two children when I was around 23. The things I went through in that episode of my life would have been enough to put someone back into a breakdown, but for me, I just wanted to get on with my life and enjoy my time with my children. Something urging me to just carry on, even in the darkest, loneliest of times. I still had my parents around but I was now questioning everything and my true feelings were coming out. It was after my 40th Birthday that everything changed. My eldest daughter spoke out to the family about everything she had been through too and how they had treated me, and it , well, put the nail in the coffin. I think hearing it from her made them finally think, a bit. We haven’t spoken since – its been over 5 years now.

“Broken heart” by TimOve is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I see things really quite innocently, but at the same time, I see everything. I can tell instantly If someone is not sincere or is lying. I could see everything my family were doing to me and my kids, but thought that maybe I was wrong but think that was a way of coping. I am very intuitive about people. My children are too and its nice to see that as they have got older – most all adults now, they carry my traits for understanding people on another level. I was told when I got my diagnosis that my Mother and Father are possible the genetic link for my condition, and she explained their behaviour and how they may not see that anything they did was wrong. Its just unfortunate for me I guess that they didn’t. I can of course forgive them, if they too are autistic.

Its not only the abuse and bullying throughout my life that I have dealt with and just carried on, but its also the physical stuff too. I get so many health related issues to do with anxiety that would put most people to bed for days, but something in me just says ” keep going”, I do try so hard to get on with it all.

Maybe its just a love for life. Maybe it makes you resilient as you want to enjoy every moment and not miss anything.

I have read that people who are autistic are very robust and I has seen this with my own eyes. There is a difference in that of the determination from someone who is autistic, I guess that’s what makes us hard to manage at times as we are persistent, and never let up.

I has also read articles from parents of children with PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance who say that their child is so determined to succeed in what they do and have such vision, and that they have really high standards and are deeply passionate, which are seen as some of the traits. I fit all of these traits which makes me wonder if it is due to my condition that I have this ability to just keep moving forward, maybe some it of it personality too …

If it is my condition then it is something to definitely celebrate. I would love to pass it on to others, so they too can be resilient in the face of life’s challenges. As much as my grit is a natural ability, I am sure that I can help others to learn to be this way too.

I am hoping to start with a new project soon that i am passionate about so watch this space and fingers crossed my determination to succeed pulls it through…

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