Before I start writing on this, I want to point out that I upped the severity of this trigger warning. Most of my work on this blog has the potential to trigger people, this post will trigger people more so. Please click the link to go to the actual article, and thank you for your patience.
How many times have I been nearly murdered? I do not know so I am going to try and count them. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I am also adding in a break down of which disabilities lead in to the excuses for why I deserved to die. You see, it is far easier to count the actual murder victims with disabilities and the general lack of sentence afterward, it is harder to quantify the survivors of multiple attempts. I want to give a catalog to show that these are not isolated incidents. I will warn you now, I was triggered and this is the end result. I don’t know how far into this list I will manage to go but it feels important. This link catalogs both the murders and the sentences of the murders of people with autism. Reading this caused some harsh reality to seep into my mind. I also am openly aware of my current difficulties, and if I wasn’t Sprite would make sure I was clear. She has draped herself on my good shoulder, the one that hurts less (I had to go to the bank and even sitting in the manual chair makes me ache) and has her tail on my hands, petting them to sooth me. She is unaware that the new caregiver is out getting a cat toy too, I felt safe enough with her that I could entrust her to pick a toy for Sprite.
I trust her. That was the first thing I realized yesterday, her first day of work. Every caregiver before her, except the temporary caregiver Tatiana left me with a sort of mental aftertaste of fear. There was nothing out of the ordinary about their behaviors, but in the end each one was let go for reasons related to endangering my life. They didn’t all try to kill me but their not caring about me as a person and just being here because it is work, instead of wanting to help people to be.. people… not independant but just helping people (there is a difference) nearly killed me anyway. From cross contamination on to ignoring the needs of my food, I am going to start at the most recent attempts on my life and work back to the Daddy Issue.
1. K as I dubbed her in the blog. K seemed so great, she was nice until the papers were signed and I was at her mercy. K would buy the wrong food, she brought foods that could send me into anaphalactic shock by breathing around them into my house, she blocked my access to the fridge so I could not eat when I needed to, and she often missed work so it could be weeks without food, this was the normal. On top of that she would steal my pills (how can I take t hem if she does?) and… the icing on this horrible cake (must have wheat in it hmm…) she set my kitchen on fire because SHE was late to work and I had to go do things without her so she couldn’t stay until she felt like leaving. My firing her while she was firing my kitchen also merited a statement about how much she has done for me, how worthless I am *in her eyes* and of course saying I had gotten what I wanted.
When I think of her it is not with Malice but regret. My regrets are the responses by the authorities to these actions. K is a person of color. She is an American Indian, First Nations, or whatever label for her indiginous identity she prefers. She is the only one of my horrible caregivers that has faced jail time. I believe this is because of her skin tone. The racism was blatant, the moment the agency was called, “Well you know her people are just that way, they feel entitled to things.” While I do think K was entitled, I think that had to do with the ability vs my inabilities, not her race. Just because a person is lazy, cruel, and mean does not mean this is based on their RACE. In fact, most of my abusers are white people. I don’t know how much time K will be spending in jail either.
2. Him. Him… starvation, entrapment, false imprisionment, just to name a few. I can’t put more about Him.
Him is still missing, the police still can’t find him. Him is still in my home town. I get regular updates from friends if they see Him or Him’s cartruckvan. Him will likely face jail time if caught but more for running instead of the actual abuses. If my being abused had mattered, then the first night Him faced the police they should’ve arrested him.
3. Bantam Rooster. Bantam Rooster is a boss I had. I call him this because he was short. His shortness was not meeting the medical criteria for being a person of short stature (midget, dwarf) but it was enough to effect him. He had to look up to look me in the eye, though in my area I am tall for a woman. Bantam Rooster often yelled at me for the way I would do my job. I was working retail at the time, and he disliked that I would talk to customers. No one complained, but it was clear I was not “like the rest of the people.” Bantam Rooster also made me do his work, as if I was his secretary. I did his job, my job, and worked illegally without breaks. My disability became achingly clear at this time, and Bantam Rooster tried to get me fired based on that. He didn’t manage for a while, he was trying for my job for over three months before success was made He makes the list of people I frown upon for sexual harassment, and yet he tried to crush me under a pile of cookware. The cookware came in on flats and we had to unload (not offically our jobs but he said so) every box. I went in to find a small box, and he pushed the entire load over onto me. He got caught under it too and I ended up saving HIS life. I was too afraid, and too inexperienced to say something. He went to jail for illegal gambling rings in the break room. it made the news and everything! (Everyone on my floor at work the day of the raid actually was arrested, I had called in sick).
Bantam Rooster likely faced no punishment for this. I tried to write it off as an accident but, he made it clear that it wasn’t in many ways. These ranged from “Next time I won’t get hit with them” which is blatant, on to subtle things I didn’t quite get. That was the last time I went into the back room when he was in there, and that was also the start of my on the job nosebleeds. I think that the abscess in my sinuses ruptured from the solid thwapping my head took.
4. Grandma. She belongs on this list in many places. Grandma is an abuser. I suspect she may be a sociopath or bipolar but this is armchair diagnosing. The actual diagnosis the mental health professionals use is “Psychological Black hole”. I am guessing she doesn’t quite meet DSM criteria, or her age precludes her from diagnosing. I have noticed age plays a factor in a lot of the ways people treat her. She steals? She’s old… write it off. She’s been shop lifting since she was a teenager. She is mean, her moods are erratic, and unless you do everything to make her happy she will try to hurt you. If you do everything to make her happy… she still tries to hurt you.
My earliest memory of her is violence. She tells this story proudly, and makes a point to remind me of it whenever she thinks I am back talking. I told my mother no. I think it was about food, or getting in the middle of the car which caused me pain because my siblings would BOTh be poking at me and saying my fat rolls (I wasn’t fat even) were on them. Grandma punched me and I flew across the entire back seat. “It got you in the car didn’t it?”. Grandma has made a point to hurt everyone she knows. My grandfather’s post mortem showed he had broken bones, and she has admitted a few times she had beaten him with a cooking pan, because she could. When I was eight I chose to go back to the institution because grandma was strangling me and no one believed it was me. I’d seen her get both my siblings arrested through self harm. I remember the terror. I never wanted to be alone with her, but grandma was a primary care giver when my mother tried working. (This aspect is part of why I try and forgive Mother for some of the issues related to my being a primary caregiver in other aspects).
Even when I was homeless and was trying to get a job not knowing my back was broken, it was this way. Her paranoia meant she could endanger me at every turn, she also purposefully added things she knew I could not eat to recipes, where they DO NOT BELONG normally so she didn’t have to share. Any complaint my entire life has ended with her stating “You are trying to kill me” via sorrow or some other crap. She also has declared that no one loves her. Grandma has not had contact with me since Christmas 2009. She did send a text but I have not replied, she wants me to do medical research for her. I didn’t bother telling her to just ask her doctor questions or to look it up on her own. The reason that I cut her off? She decided to try and make me feel guilty on my mother’s behalf (mother didn’t know until I told her) for asking that she keep her word and come see me. This means of course that everyone was frustrated and upset. A visit that was meant to be one of PLEASURE was a chore. Grandma will not be admitted to my life again.
5. Mother. Now, a lot of the times I consider attempts on my life by my mother were not direct nor was that her intent. I want that clear. I do however count her staying married to my father for as long as she did (I would rather she’d left him than my being born) not protecting us from his violence, and ignoring diagnosis that were made because she worried the label might influence how I live as attempts. Yes, she did her best. She was raised by my grandmother, she has her own issues. Parents can only teach what they know. Many of my current detriments are related to illnesses that have gone untreated. From Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome to autism, she either flat out knew or suspected most of my 28 known, correctly diagnosed disabilities. She had diagnosises but it was more important that I appear normal than that I was healthy. This is partly society’s fault too.
I am working on forgiving her for all of this, she and I are talking openly about these issues. I have gone so far as to tell her I am mad at her and why, and we actually talk now. A lot of what was in our way was other people as well as my need to focus on my health. Roommates, exhusbands, abusive caregivers all chose to put me up against choosing my mother or potential death many times over. She lost. I find I am less angry with her more and more, because when we talk neither of us is lying. I can say I love her and I don’t feel like a liar now. Broken promises, years of pain, that goes both ways too. I am trying to keep in mind that we both are hurt. I do feel slighted about my disabilities, and her fear that I would not be normal leading to constant overdoses of prescription drugs. I also may not forgive her for the institutions, even though the last one did save my life. The pain and fear that I feel when I think of them is far too great. It equals the fear that relates to my father.
6. Big Brother. Big brother, my older acknowledged brother (stated this way due to my father being promiscuous and having over 30 sons and somewhere around 33 daughters. The number changes all the time, I can’t keep up)… I love him. He loves me. He and I do not talk. He has been a source of pain for years. I try to write it off most of the time excusing the things in our childhood because he didn’t know better, but, it isn’t enough for me. I am more sad than angry at him but I am angry at his choices. Over the years he beat me up a lot, after our parents were seperated. There are other issues that don’t need to see the light of day. I feel safer with them closed off, because I feel they do not need to haunt the adult he is by my words. They haunt him anyway. There were times when he lost himself in what we thought was an acceptable rage and I would be bruised and bloodied for weeks. My mind and body learned to fear him.
As much as I love him, the last time I saw him he was punching my back where it is broken and I was villified for leaving Christmas, which I do not celebrate. I could not trust him to not hurt me. I was in pain and in tears. There was permanent damage. I don’t know if he was ever actually trying to kill me but the memory montage says he did. I also feel so afraid around him that I do not know if I will ever be alone with him. I do know if he wants to reconnect I will give him a chance, but NEVER alone.
7. Big Sister. She was gorgeous, she was THe girl I wanted to be like. She had all the friends in the world, I was lonely. After my mother married my step father, she began to act out cruelly. We all tried to fill the void of violence in our lives, because we had no idea how to function without it. She beat me too. I was easy prey. My body was so slow, and yet her cruelty was the worst. I smoked with her, stole with her, and we did drugs. Yes, readers, I have tried drugs. Sort of. I smoked pot once, couldn’t breathe, turned purple and fainted. Her response was to STOP her friends from getting help and to kick me into a corner. I don’t know why I lived, because that was obviously a SERIOUS reaction. This is just an example of many things.
I judge her harshly. I judge both my siblings VERY harshly. You see they are Nuerotypical, in some aspects. They think like “normals” do. They get all the jokes. They had friends. They had parties. They had everything. They were also allowed things that I, for being “weird” and “such a freak” were not. The jealousy still spikes when I remember having to hide in my room when their friends came over. I was an embarassment. Even so, I cannot say I believe that they are neurotypical when it comes to mental health. I don’t think anyone is. I cannot say what their needs are, but neither has had them met. I feel at times that they are in another world I cannot ever touch and that world holds more pain than I can comprehend. I do not want them to be punished in that way. I want truly for my siblings to be HAPPY.
8. Step Father. I still think of this man as my step father. I have trouble concieving of this rapist as anything other than an Evil Step Mother with a penis. Sometimes I feel odd trying to talk about my current Step Father who is frankly the nicest man my mother has ever dated or married (in some ways he is wayyy out of her league but not in others. I like Uncle Sam) and Step Father in the same period of time. Step Father married my mother, and from the first week he found a way to corner me and told me I best not make trouble or ELSE. I told my mother, and I began to act out. This man is six foot six, able bodied (he can lift a refridgerator without ANY issue with strength, with just his bare frigging hands). He terrified me. Yes, before they were married he took part in a rescue that saved me from being murdered at the hands of my biological cretin/father but he turned on me the day after my parents were married. He said he would get rid of me. I said “Not if I stab you in the penis and you bleed to death.” It scared him. He worked to have me locked away for my entire life in an institution. He made my mother choose between her child and him. I lost.
He is a rapist of adults, and at the very least a pedophile. I suspect he has harmed children. Each time a crime is reported the police in that “nice” small town lose the evidence, and he goes free. He has many stories of how evil and horrible I am, that he has told my younger siblings, the man has spread lies, and has accused me of attempted murder many times. I was eight, undersized, and apparently the most dangerous person on earth. He could’ve crushed me with ONE hand. He also lives with his mother and is nearly sixty if not already and tried to get us to live with her too. He actually has never lived alone despite being able to work and… well they have a special relationship… it’s… gross. By not appreciating his incest with his mother, I became a monster to them both. They added to my horror. I feared every minute around him he wouldn’t just yell at me or tell me how fat, ugly, stupid, and worthless I was. Everyone else told me those lies too. He saw me as a non sexual threat. He saw me as a threat to his hold over my family. He also tried to have my sister (who is Neurotypical and full of privilege by right of able bodied white blonde tall graceful birth) because he and my mother were told no ifs and or buts she was going to have Downs Syndrome. Oops.. they were wrong. He also was willing to let her suffocate and drown in her own pneumonia, because she’s a girl. If he does that with his own flesh and blood, what would he be willing to do with a “worthless freak” like me? He also blocked diagnoses that would have helped my brother to gain developmental assistance, he has a significant developmental delay and may also be Autistic. His threats and possible actions included poison, starvation, and locking me in a cellar until I died. ]
9. Evil OT. The Evil OT has been mentioned a few times on this blog. I remember her as particularly mean, though after her the OTs in school were people that made me happy, as they treated me like I understood, like I am a person, and gave me skills that no one else had (beading, some cooking, ) or at least I didn’t THINK they had. I felt like an asset with them. Evil OT may be two different people, I cannot quite tell. They are in that faceless shadow sort of memory. Even my mother is a headless legless armless torso in a twirl of colors as she advocated for me. Evil OT misused actual therapy methods and hurt me. I likely could’ve benefited from them but Evil OT gave me the association with pain, torture, and they triggered PTSD. She also insisted I use a swing device that was scary. My natural vertigo kicked in and I was terrified I would fall. I did. The swing was not installed properly and the roof came down. On me. Evil OT told me that I best not tell anyone about this, if I was hurt especially. (A teacher did advocate for me I believe and called my mother when I came into class with an arm that looked broken but was just dislocated) Evil OT or OTs were both female if they are two seperate people, and the danger involved with them was neglect, the force used, and in many cases illegal restraints. I didn’t feel I was having a tantrum, but if I did not want the scrub brush used on me (not the one for the actual brushing therapy but the kind to get stuck on food off in the sink) then I would be held down, with her sitting on me. I often had bruises, and heard the infamous “If you can talk you can breathe”. The evil OT from the ceiling incident did similar things, but would often insist I could not eat lunch and threatened to call my mother to have me “sent away” if I was afraid to do something or said no.
Not everyone should work with children. I have a lot of good memories in the OT montage, my memories are stored by person type not a day year, so I cannot be sure who did what at times with people who I knew for a short time. I don;’t know which one taught me how to make a *gluten free* alfredo. She had celiac and thought I probably did too. She told ME and my mother. I had one who paid attention to how writing hurt me and suggested that my teachers allow me to type my papers. When that helped this became a part of my IEP. In fact, the only reason I had an IEP at all was the institutions and my supposed insanity.
This list is a good example I think, of how people who care about you or are obligated to work with you can be hurtful. I know I have some problematic elements in the above, because I have been taught it is all my fault. I victim blame myself, I try and excuse them because I am a burden. I did my best to self edit on that. I have spent my entire life being told I am worthless for various reasons, in fact the day I was told I am Autistic, my autism saved me from being locked away again. I had been overloaded repeatedly and had thought I was going insane, because it was out of my control so I gave up. The psychologist that “inspected” my mind was surprised at how stable I am. Stable is their word, and I know I am not normal by the average standards but I am able to function alone, I am able to fend for myself beyond many expectations of autism. Yet even without the label I was treated differently than the other kids in the institutions. We were segregated by category, “brain troubles” such as Autism and Cerebral Paulsey or Tourettes were put in one section, early onset schizoprhenia or depression were put in another section, and then there were those of us who fit in both, or no where and we were all lumped together. The treatment varied.
10. Institutions R Us. I think the institutions came before Dr.Baca with his drugs. So they come first. I don’t like to talk about the institutions. I feel afraid when I do. You see the entire goal of the institutions is to gaslight you into normalacy. You are told over and over your reality is just wrong, and at least the places I was sent to there as a consistent theme that a child has no business feeling things like anger or worry and we are too young to have these feelings so we are broken. This has the longest lasting damage, as this demonizes anger. Even feeling frustrated meant either restraints, drugs, or the quiet room ( a windowless bedless room) until we apologized for feeling angry. Sometimes all three went together. Any infraction could be turned against us with the use of emotions. I feel statements were mandatory too.
Grown men there were allowed to watch me bathe, piss and sleep. My nosebleeds were deemed psychosomatic, and I was told that it was my fault I was gushing blood. I was trained to apologize. I still find myself doing this. I feel something? I am so sorry. It becomes a reflex, apologizing for insisting. The biggest slip up for me on that is pain. I apologize too often for feeling pain. The institution was also the place where my inability to match emotions to what they should look and sound like was addressed. Instead of treating this via a teaching method, I was told that I was bad, and was punished for it. I struggle with this now, and remember being yelled at for smiling when angry. I still mess it up, but, not as much. When I do, I panic. I also was told no one has a “tone of voice” yet for me in conversations frustration, anger, and even sorrow can sound the same and often I feel people are yelling at me when they claim they aren’t. Staff would do this but, then the other kids would tell me they had been. In the institutions we banded together to preserve reality. We were told this was wrong, that this meant we didn’t want to get better. I didn’t think anything was wrong with me. By the time I was 13 I thought I was incurable, because no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop hissing at people and meowing. I still do this but now it is seen as a quirk. I can usually cover. Not always.
The only exception to the institutions being a place of brain washing and torture was Rancho Valmora. There the system relies on the bond that you share with your prisonmates. There, that bond is used to help you see when you really are screwing up, and the goal is not a perfect child ala the Stepford Wives, it is instead just a person who has the skills needed to navigate society and be happy. Even there though the adults told me I could never make it in “the real world”. I was told that when I failed to be a person, and yes it was said that I would fail to be a person at all, the institutes in my future were not nice, and there they could torture me. I was told there, I would be raped. I was told there that all of the mishandling of my childhood would become insignificant and if I was bad enough, they would just take my brain away via chemical lobodomization. It was very clock work orange, and when I said so, I was told that was proof of my inhumanity.
The two most monstrous things in my reality are the institutions and my biological father. One of them I can escape. The other tugs at me, trying to suck me back in. When I escaped Him, my options were intially an institution or the streets. I chose the streets. I had failed to be a person, accordingly, because I am not like everyone else. If this is all it takes to not be a person, it is not any wonder that I have been seen as disposable my entire life. From the playground on through my adulthood, it has been a rare moment to be seen as a person and not a thing (a job, a burden, etc).
I have been at this for several hours now, mostly because I keep getting interrupted by Debbie, who treats me like a person. I stopped to eat, and I know right now she is a good match. The unintended test of shopping is completed. She called me when an item on my list was not safe, because the recipe had changed. We found a solution together to that issue, so I still have something similar, too. Every other caregiver has brought in bad things because even if I was a person my idea of shopping must surely be exaggerated. Surely I don’t need to have ever ingredient checked, I am just making that up. Right?
Debbie admitted she hadn’t believed it would take all day to get the shopping done, but she didn’t ignore what is needed. My tummy is full, and I am getting to eat good healthy food with no fear of poison. She is willing to experiment because my body is downright needy. She also has shown respect for my need to try to do it myself. “You’d do everything alone if you could, I can tell.” This is true. this also makes me fight the need of a caregiver, because caregivers are a sign of other. other means I am freely disposed of.
There are more people on this list, I think I could go on forever, and this is a bad thing.
I want to share a final lesson however, taught to me by the first person to ever try and kill me. My father. Steve. I asked him once, when I learned in school that if someone ever hurts you, you tell an adult, why he wasn’t afraid of being caught. He smiled at me, leering really and patted me on the head.
“Because, little girl, you are nothing. No one will believe you. You have an imagination and tell stories, you talk to cats, and I am a man. I am an upstanding citizen, and I haven’t been caught before. If you die, and someday I will kill you, then I will tell them that you forced me to do it. I’ll lie and tell them that you had a madness in you, and they will thank me. Do you know why?” I said no, “The only people that matter are just like me.”
I never forgot that statement. It’s rife with privilege. He was the monster who knew that his penis made him a better value than my brain. His violence was acceptable. We all knew there was something about me that wasn’t a perfect match for everyone else. This nameless strangeness. You see, the things he mentioned are a direct result of my Autism, nothing else. He listed other things, and most of them became reasons for my diagnosis. He was going to have me killed and his alibi was Autism.
Autism awareness month makes me feel more aware of impending death. I am proud to say that the Monster with the Penis aka my father is dead. His abuses are at an end. Others carry the mantle however. I see now that the reason my niece and nephew are so like me is likely Autism. It isn’t a quirk of fate to punish my sister for her cruelties like Grandma says, but the way we move, think and act is instead just not average, normal, and it is far from boring. I feel a seeping fear constantly that I can do nothing for them. I can only wait and pray that the predator doesn’t see them as victims with a built in alibi. I can only hope that their lives are free of the lists of people who tried to out and out kill you, some yes via “accidents”. Those accidents were seen as acceptable because I was deemed inhuman.
I have fought for so long to blend in. Each passing day, I am coming to see I never actually passed for normal. My ability to give speeches, my interactions with people, my way of selling things that made me a top seller? None of it was traditional and it made me stand out, in both good ways and bad. I am told so often I cannot be Autistic because I can look people in the eye. In reality I am looking you straight in the forehead. I am told that because I can string words together I cannot be Autistic. In reality, the words are an attempt to paint a picture in my head, and you may find them detailed or beautiful, but for me they are two dimensional and I will never be able to paint a vivid enough portrait of memory or imaginary.
I am told too, that being a great sales person means I cannot be autistic. My sales approach was honesty. If the more expensive blender is junk and doesn’t fit your needs, then I won’t sell it to you. Most of my sales came from people who were surprised to have service, and my service was always with a smile. I followed the rules given, as best as I could (except the rule about women shaving their legs) and my treatment of people as people no matter what race, ability or where they were from also made my sales higher. I just was a person. I also went home each night and cried myself to sleep from physical and mental pain. Every price every sale I remember them all. I list the prices still under stress.
I am told that my ability to help people by listening is not Autistic. This isn’t true either. I often struggle with not babbling, but when it is important I will FIND A WAY to fulfill that need.
Disability real or percieved does not give me less value than a dog. I am well aware that a person may be killed and be “perfect” and still have a denial of justice. My brother, is an example of that. It feels too close to his murder. It all feels too close. The names on that list, their methods of death… I have met them all. I have died in a way, for one of the traumas was enough that that day is the day of this identity’s birth. My mind fractured, and I lost something. I call it innocence, but it was far more. That name is the bearer of my past, that name is where my professional writing and speaking started, and most of that I did not carry over but started fresh.
She Who Was
May she rest in peace.