Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Having Aspergers and Being a Survivor of Sexual and Physical Abuse

This week I have been able to separate out my Aspie symptoms from my behaviors that stem from all the childhood abuse issues. They can mimick each other so well...but I think I have gained some clarity.
I used to think it was my Aspieness that caused me to flinch inwardly and outwardly when people moved near me, especially suddenly. Other observations: I have to have my back against a wall, not a door mostly because of the times I'd be sitting at the dinner table and my dad would come up behind me and yank me out of my seat by my hair. Just having that happen once is enough to give anyone a complex and it happened often.
I don't turn my back on people. I couldn't even count the amount of times I was hit or had something thrown at me when my back was turned.
I guess you could say I'm a little jumpy and maybe it isn't the Aspie in me.
I have bouts of serious low self-esteem...moments where I feel people just want to use me for some nepharious purpose. It's hard to find a sense of worth when one spent so much time being the victim that everyone liked to use.
I wish my parents had known what love was. I wish the "penalty" for abusing someone who had Aspergers was doubled...because that survivor put it bluntly, double-fucked and has to work twice as hard...every day.
I don't know exactly where the sexual abuse ends and the Aspergers starts.
Manfear...another product of the abuse. There are only a few guys that do not illicit a visceral fear within.

I don't much I want to address my "issues".... How much time and effort to put into that....the list seems long and almost endless. Idk if I should just let me be the way I am and work around them there issues.
Dang, being me is a full-time job...I've actually known that for quite awhile...just every now and then I get a respite...a break from incessant self-analysis and trying to fix and heal.
I'm safe now....surrounded by healthy, caring people and possessing a wonderful bunker called home.....if only the remnants, the tailings, the hauntings of the past could dissipate and I can find out who I am underneath all the survivor behaviors and remembrances.
Such is life


Shanique NewYork said...

Another relatable post, although our situations are a little different. I'm wondering how old you were when you were diagnosed with AS? I have yet to be diagnosed, due to financial issues and lack of health insurance, but I've discovered within the past few months that I'm extremely likely to have it. Once I realized this and began doing research, I noticed that many of my symptoms were things I just thought I did as a result of being raised by a sexually and emotionally abusive father and an emotionally and mentally abusive mother. I still definitely believe those things shaped my characteristics, but now I believe that they made certain Aspie traits even worse.

How long did it take you to figure out the differences? Have you spoken to other Aspies that have experienced the same thing?

Amy Murphy said...

Hello Shanique, it sounds like you and I had almost identical parents. I'm sorry you had to suffer so.
I do not have a formal diagnosis, yet. Like you, it's a question of insurance. I was fortunate to have the resources to have my 10 year old son diagnosed. And everything the neuropsychologist stated about him was true for me...everything. I am very slow to process information and it probably took me a couple of years to fully grasp what Aspergers meant.
Only in the past year or so, with the help of a very good friend who also happens to be an autism expert, have I been able to slowly separate what are my autism symptoms and what is from the abuse.
I do believe the abuse made it tremendously ard for my former therapists to work with me, especially because my autism was completely hidden within my abuse issues.
My healing from sexual abuse actually started with "meeting" an Aspie on line who had suffered abuse as well. Through his blogging about it..gave me the impetus to start acknowledging and blogging about my abuse. It has been very, very freeing to out my perpetrator father. I released so much disabling shame.
I recently realized how very much I the issues of my abuse impact my daily life. I am actively seeking a therapist to help me. It's a big job but I think I'll feel better.
I'm glad you found my blog. I hope it helps. Thanks for writing! Amy

Amy Murphy said...

I was around 35 when my son was diagnosed.

Maya Mitchell said...


I just wanted to say thank you. I have been wandering around my little "bunker" trying to pick apart my aspie symptoms from the sexual abuse that happened to me when I was little. I was molested repeatedly by my grandfather and raped once by my father (only once...I think). I was under the age of six mostly. I only figured out I had AS after years of therapy digging through the sexual abuse as well. Figuring out about a year ago that I probably had AS was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. I am way higher functioning because I understand the layer beneath the abuse - my brain chemistry. They put me on an anti-depressant that actually works (I have no serotonin but SSRI's don't work on me -they put me on Wellbutrin which raises norepinephrine). I also embraced my perfect pitch and weird paintings. I started working with small children because they are the only other humans that make sense to me (besides sometimes other aspies like my good friend who was diagnosed only a few months after me - we are very similar). FUNCTIONING IN LIFE IS SO HARD. Even now on an amazing set of drugs with the greatest therapist on Earth I am just managing to keep a part time job. Socializing with the girls at my work is like pulling out my own teeth. The flashbacks to things that have happened are semi-perpetual and I have this obnoxious visually photographic memory (it doesn't work on words because of my dyslexia although I often accidentally memorize long strings of numbers). Anyways, I was trying to find the breath to make it to work today - the bright lights just kill me and all the colors and smells and people, ugh, people - but reading your blog reminded me why this is so damn hard. It helps to know I am not the only one.

Amy Murphy said...

Hi Maya, you are welcome. I remember how great it felt to finally make sense of being autistic And a survivor.
Oh, you said it! Functioning Life is Very Difficult and Challenging!
The photographic memory is pretty common in Aspergers which makes the flashbacks even more difficult to deal with.
I'm so glad you found my blog and wrote! I rarely find other Aspergers Survivors.
Thank you sooo much! It sounds like you are working really hard and doing well!!! :) Amy