This post is derived from a post from November 2013 that came up in my Facebook memories this morning about the biological family I was borne into.
Because the holiday season always brings old family memories to the surface. Whether good or bad.
Some of us are blessed to have supportive accepting families.
Some of us…are not..so we create chosen families where we do fit in and belong. I now have a wonderful chosen family made up of my two current caregivers, and a handful of close Facebook friends.
And it is even worse when you were born fully neurodivergent instead of neurotypical. And you grow up feeling like you are an outsider, like you are never good enough, and you don’t fit in or belong anywhere. Because you’re thought of as too weird and too different. And yes, even the dreaded R word.
Othered. Less-than. It. Retarded. Please know why that word is a bad word and don’t use it anymore, even as slang, because it is a Disability slur. It is every bit as bad as the N word is to Black People.
I do want to say this: Part of my family do accept and support me—my mom, and two of my sisters: my second eldest one who lives with my mom, and my eldest one who lives in Arizona.
The one who live in AZ, I was very, very close to as a child, but then when I entered high school, she and I grew apart, and did not become close again until 1994 when, at the encouragement of my then psychologist I was seeing at the time, I wrote a long open letter to my whole family to let them know how much they have hurt me, and my eldest sister was one of the only ones who took my words to heart, and she was able to call me and fully acknowledge and deeply apologize for her part in all of my hurts from my time of growing up in the Fields Family.
The following is a post I wrote from November 2013 that came up in my Facebook memories this morning. It was written on Thanksgiving Day 2013, or rather what I now refer to as Indigenous People’s Day Of Mourning. Because even though I still celebrate it to give thanks for my many blessings, and to eat good food, and hang out with my chosen family, I now know the true, and sadly, very ugly history behind this holiday, and you should Google it too, just Google #WeLiveOnStolenLand, Indigenous Day Of Mourning, and what you need to know about what really happened on Thanksgiving Day.
But that is for another day for me to blog about. And I will.
My post, re-edited, from November 2013:
I am still seriously sorry I was born into my particular biological family….and wish I could just divorce most of them.
Today, trying to talk to my mom, she reaffirmed just how much my middle sister who has me blocked on Facebook still holds me responsible for her suffering all of her life. This sister thinks that I “act” the way I do on purpose, and seems to feel as if I am a burden to be ridiculed, shamed, shunned and ignored by my family.
They just seem to want me to go away silently.
I am not going to do that.
I still to this DAY, wish to God I could be adopted by a nice family who will help me by being here for me and helping me to finally get the help I need so I can work to salvage what is left of my health, life, and joy.
My middle sister never has liked me. But it’s totally on her. I did nothing to hurt her, except to be born the completely neurodivergent goofy silly Autistic me I have always been. Growing up, I was merely reacting always to the way she always beat me down with her words and her intolerance of me, all of my life.
She would never let me touch her hair, which was long reddish-copper-auburn and silky shiny. Shiny hair has always fascinated me to a level of excitement that only an Autistic person would understand. Shiny hair has always been one of my main go-to Autistic stims, and she hated me for it. Hated me for all of my goofyness. Hated me because of how I drew all the time, and how I was always drawing pictures of my imaginary friends. Imaginary friends I have always turned to to cope with a fully ableistic world that still to this day does not get autistic people.
All of my life I have felt I was the cause of my family’s stomach aches, headaches, and anything negative that happened to them. I was always told that too. My mother would often refer to me as her penance. Yes, there were often times when my own mom would turn against me. Which only added to my hurt and trauma.
I always felt like I had to apologize for just being me. My mom, whom I love dearly, and who, for the most part, IS in my corner, even was always very embarrassed by me. Because I have always had a loud voice, and have always been a very forward and outspoken person. Like, no filter outspoken.
My father? Was a monster who I both feared and hated, because he never accepted me. I was beaten, thrown in my room, screamed at, roared at, even for my likes, quirks, and opinions because they always differed from his narrow conservative intolerant ones.
Yes, he put a roof over our heads, fed and clothed us. But if he didn’t like you, he came down HARD on you with hellfire and brimstone and death. That is how I always felt around my father. Like I was always <thisclose> to death itself.
I was never allowed to talk at the dinner table, other than to say “Please pass the salt, please pass the potatoes” type of thing. I would get sent to my room, and / or spanked. Worse yet, he would pull hard on my ears, or my hair really hard to get me to mind him. He would also hit me on my face and head. If I didn’t do as he said, he would beat me and throw me in my room. I couldn’t even joke with him. Or show him a drawing at the dinner table. That would get me beaten and thrown into my bedroom with the door locked—from the outside.
He hated it when I would walk in front of the TV when his football and baseball games were on, even though the bathroom was in the path of the family TV.
In sixth grade, through the end of my Freshman year in high school, I went through a long period of time where I was quieter, and more afraid to talk and be myself because I was tired of being chastised and told how weird and different I was.
This was from 6th through 9th grade, then in 10th grade, I began running away and having explosive temper spells, and meltdowns. I would regularly break chairs and kick holes in doors and walls…..because I was never being heard and listened to.
It was unbearable frustration for me to be in a family with so many hierarchies, so many unwritten rules, and do’s and don’ts, that it caused a great volcano of anger in me. Anger that stemmed from all of the hurt and rejection of me as the person I was.
I ran away four times that year, because I longed to find a family who would see me as a human being and take me in. I felt in a new family, I would finally be loved, finally be accepted and that I would finally be popular at school too.
Also when I was a sophomore, right when school began for all of us kids, my little brother suddenly without explanation or reason, became a literal angry demon towards me and began glaring at me every night at the dinner table.
He would growl diabolically at me, and say things like “Huuuumphaaaaaa!” and call me names like “Pig-aaat!” And say, over and over again, that I was not a part of my own family.
His whole face would contort into such hate it frightened me to pieces. It got so bad, I began to eat my dinner every night in my room. I had to literally beg my mom to talk to him to make him stop this. And he wouldn’t. He was eleven. I was a Sophomore in high school.
I couldn’t even watch TV with the family at night anymore because of how he began treating me. I had to miss shows I loved, like the new “One Day At A Time” show that came out that year on CBS, that had Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli who starred as two teenagers of a single mom who lived in Indianapolis, Indiana.
At Christmas that year, I did participate with the family, but my eldest sister, the one who now lives in AZ, who I was NOT getting along with at the time, placed a huge box right in front of me, cutting me totally off from the others when we were all talking at our dinner table after dinner and the opening of our presents.
Deeply hurt, I went into my room, in huge heartbroken tears, and my middle sister who has mostly blamed me for all of her suffering, the one who today has me blocked on her Facebook, actually saw my eldest sister do this, noticed how I immediately got up from the table to go in my bedroom, and she came into my bedroom along with my mom, actually FULL of compassion for me, and promised me from then on, she was going to be kinder to me, and not do things to make me feel left out anymore.
I got along very well with my middle sister from then on, until 1991, when she moved to Idaho. From then on, she has slowly turned against me again. No, it didn’t happen all at once, but as I kept calling her to complain about the bullies next door, and across the street, it seemed to sour her on all things me again.
The majority of my Sophomore year of high school, I continued to have to spend most of my time in my bedroom after school, and still could not even watch TV with the family because of my little brother and how mean he got towards me, with the awful looks and awful remarks he would make.
To this day, I am fully estranged from him. Even though he did realize how mean he was being the summer after my Soph year, and he stopped for awhile, when he got married to his second wife in 1989, he began to shun me, and began telling my mom, his new wife and his two kids even, that he was afraid of me because of how I began to pick on him after he got mean to me. He says that I was mean to him.
It was my reaction to how he was suddenly treating me, because I literally couldn’t handle it. It was too much for me to bear being in the same room as him when he was in demon mode.
Remember, he was eleven when this happened, old enough, I felt, to know right from wrong, and he chose to literally cause me to have to self isolate for one whole year of high school and then again, the first semester of my Senior year, when he again went into demon mode on me. When I was a senior, he already knew what it did to me when he would go demon on me. He already knew how it literally sent me into a full mental tailspin. He was thirteen then, and he knew.
This time it wasn’t just me, but he also went full-on demon on my sweet angel of a friend Kathy who would have never hurt a fly,….and treated her mean too, when she came to stay with me to go to a family reunion with us.
In 1999 when I drove all by myself to visit my family who most of them had already moved to Idaho, my brother avoided me completely.
In 2005 when my mom was here visiting me from Idaho (she moved there too in 1996), she was talking to him on my kitchen phone one afternoon, and him just hearing me in the background, yes, I was having a meltdown that afternoon because of a thing my mom had done to my bedroom drawer–she had gone in and rearranged it without my consent, and him hearing me upset, he literally told my mom that if I moved to Idaho, he would have to stop having the family barbecues. Because, as he told my mom that afternoon, my being there would ruin the family BBQ’s for him. In other words, even in 2005, he still did not consider me to be a part of my own family.
The ONLY things I am guilty of with my baby brother, is becoming hypervigilant with him after he suddenly turned on me my Soph year of high school–meaning, yes, I did begin picking on him to make sure he would not be mean to me ever again, and when he would get mean behind my mom’s back then lie to my mom about it–well, that made it all the worse for me. Because my mom would believe him.
And, also, when we were kids, I loved my baby brother. He was my playmate, my best childhood friend. And yes, when I began going through puberty, I did start pushing him away…..because, well, puberty was happening, and I wanted to be like all the OLDER kids in my family, not him anymore. If only I could go back and undo me pushing my baby brother away, when all he wanted to do was play with his kid sister. Because he had been so used to me playing with him all the time….when we both were children.
So yes, I am guilty, of pushing him away, when he wanted to play, and then of picking on him after his demon mode began manifesting.
And to my baby brother, I am so, so sorry for pushing you away, when you still thought of me as your kid sister. Can you ever forgive me for my cruelty, for shutting you out of my life the way I did?
My sister, the one who has me blocked on her Facebook? Has reverted back to hating and blaming me for all of her suffering. To my middle sister, whatever it is I did to cause you so much agony…I still don’t know or understand to this day, but If I ever did do or say anything to hurt you in our times together as a family, I am also sorry and ask for your forgiveness.
I’m not writing this, nor writing my life story, to maliciously bad-mouth my family. It was NEVER my purpose in going online first on Tricia Kenney’s BlogTalk Radio Embrace Autism Show, and then in blogs, and more radio shows and YouTube videos. My reasons for telling my particular life story, have always been, and are, purely to educate you who read and listen, on how it is to be Autistic, and also so my bio family finally gets why I was the way I was, and will finally stop hating and shunning me for it!
I didn’t find out I’m Autistic until a week before I turned 39 years old, in May of 1999. Back then, I got labeled as having Asperger’s, and now I hate that term and reject it as the one who invented the term, Hans Asperger, was a Nazi who hated Disabled people.
I am also non-binary, and queer. I have always felt sexual attraction to all genders, not just cis hetero male.
Today, I also have end stage stage five kidney disease, and have been on in center hemo dialysis for three and a half years now.
As I have grown, I have had many more traumatic experiences with past caregivers, and past friends, who either could no longer handle being friends with me or just were total douchebags. Many of these experiences were very scary, and they have also contributed to the C-PTSD trauma that I walk with today. I have deep trust and abandonment issues today and am ultra sensitive and hypervigilant because of how so many still don’t get Autism or Autistic people.
So, this is why I write. Because my pain, this pain I carry, is so deep, pervasive, and never-ending.
I am not a monster. I am Autistic. I was born Autistic. I am going to die Autistic. There is no cure or fix for my Autism…and no one should try to cure and fix us.
Every holiday season I mourn for what I could have had with my biological family all those years and seasons—for what I still could have—if only we could sit down and have the hard conversations that it’s going to take, and not walk away, but face it all, once and for all, what was done, what was said, what we all felt, just get it out in the open.
I am willing. I don’t know how much time I have left on Mother Earth, and I want to make the effort to try to heal what happened between me and my middle sister and the two brothers I have left on Mother Earth. I now that my eldest brother who is now in Heaven now knows, because I know he comes to visit me now that he is on the other side. I think he has become one of my Guardian Angels.
I feel my late brother Ed’s presence quite often ever since his passing in May 2018, especially when I am in distress, when I’m sad, hurting and depressed and I just feel like I want to give up on everything.
It is because of him, my mom, my two sisters, my two caregivers, my one caregiver’s son, and the friends I have made through Facebook’s Autistic / Disability Community, that I have not yet given up.
Thank you, and Happy Holidays.