Hey, everybody. Bear with me. I might be scattered.
Yesterday, I had a really unpleasant encounter with someone. I don’t mean like a stranger. This is a person who I have personal conflict with, but whom I occasionally work with in a volunteer organization. I don’t like this person, but I work with them and I don’t antagonize them. I did make a serious complaint about her behavior in 2017, but the leadership in charge at that time didn’t move on it, so I moved on when the new leadership came in and let bygones be bygones.
I still don’t have to like this person.
But yesterday, this person confronted me during a board meeting. She had a prepared statement about the disrespect I constantly show her.
I don’t smile.
I don’t make eye contact.
I don’t say hello every time I see her.
This individual is aware that I’m autistic. She wrote a prepared statement about behaviors I cannot control and presented it as me being intentionally “hostile” and “threatening.” She demanded to know why I don’t like her.
Did you know that if a neurotypical person asks you this question, they’re not actually wanting to know the answer? I learned that yesterday.
Also, I said, “I’m not obligated to like you,” which, judging from the noise that came out of her and the weird expression on her face, nobody has told the neurotypicals this piece of information before. I truly believe yesterday was the day that she learned people don’t have to unfailingly love her.
On top of being autistic, I have C-PTSD. A lot of people on the spectrum have both, due to how we were treated, even by well-meaning people, in our childhoods. This woman lost total control, shrieking at me, shouting over me, leaping to wild accusations. After being asked by the leadership several times, she finally stopped long enough for me to respond to her accusations, which I managed to do calmly. Then, I left the meeting.
I came home feeling fine-ish. I was aware that the incident had triggered my C-PTSD, and that I was in fight, flight, freeze response. I could rationalize every symptom, because they were all physical. I had the mental stuff on lock because, well… it’s easier when you don’t care about the person who’s been screaming at you. I didn’t internalize it as my own failing, and honestly she looked like a full spectacle while she was ranting about childish shit, demanding that I justify why I don’t like her, why I don’t have to like her, how I treat her so disrespectfully. She weirdly insinuated that I was racist towards white people. It was truly the most Jennie Jones, Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil fuckery and I laughed about it while describing it. She looked so ridiculous. She sounded ridiculous. She contradicted herself constantly, claiming not to have ever met me before 2022, then claiming to have objected to things I did in 2021. It was all so transparently bullshit that, frankly, if anyone believed her lies, it was because they preferred that to confronting the person she really is. She was out of control and looked like a fucking caricature. She was so unwound, like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum at a grocery store, that all I could on the way to my car was laugh at her.
I wish I would have laughed in her face, in hindsight. I mean, I was already disrespecting her by living, right? I should have just laughed at her the way I wanted to, because she did look truly comical in her impotent rage.
I’m not laughing now. I’m angry now. I’m angry because even though I can break my symptoms down and go, “This is the reason I’m feeling these things,” I can’t not feel them. I can’t turn them off. As a result of the interaction and the chemicals PTSD releases in the brain, I could not sleep. At least, not deeply. My muscles are cross-fit sore from trembling that I could not control, even though I feel like the entire interaction was absurd. Sitting hurts. Lying down hurts. Standing hurts. Even though it’s been over twelve hours, I’m still shaking and experiencing involuntary movements.
The mental effects are starting to catch up to me, as well. I want to lash out now. I want to inflict my rage on someone. I want to burn bridges and ruin established relationships and make everyone hurt the way my body hurts, and the way it hurts to be triggered by being shouted and pointed at, talked down to, and scolded for behavior caused by a disorder I can’t control. I want to call people up and scream at them, “This person claims to understand kids on the spectrum, claims to have all this expertise in ‘dealing with them,’ but feels like I’m disrespecting her because I’m autistic?”
That was the worst part. The scolding me for not masking well enough. It was a flashback to childhood. To every time I’ve been chastised and humiliated for breaking a social contract I was never informed about. That’s what the trigger was, and she pulled it hard.
And even though the incident was small, it’s affecting me badly. I need to take some time off. I can’t say how long. I haven’t been this seriously triggered since my massive breakdown in 2019. I don’t want another massive breakdown. I don’t want to have to rebuild everything. And I definitely don’t want that infected cunt lesion of an alleged “person” to affect my life. But having someone jabbing their finger at you four feet from your body does trigger you, whether you know you’re safe or not. I’m not well. I’m not sure when I will be. So, this is a long-winded way of saying I’m taking a sudden, unexpected, undefined hiatus. The Ogre’s Fairytale Bride will still be posting, because it’s already written. The ACOTAR recaps will keep posting, since they’re also written. I might make videos, to get out of my head a little bit? If I feel like it? Anything else has to wait. I need to focus on my mental health and my brain can’t do a work schedule and heal itself. This may be a week. It might be a month. I don’t know. But you’ll all be the first to know when I come back!