Today I am posting about something that I am finding a little hard to speak about but, I find that blogging helps me to get things straight in my head and I know I can’t be the only person who is going through this as well.
From a previous post you will know that my mother and I helped out on 14/06/2017 when the Grenfell Tower fire happened and for years following I hid what I was going through from even myself. Until I basically exploded last year and I realised I could not go on ignoring it any more. I have now been diagnosed with PTSD from the fire and am starting a long journey to deal with this.
As I have started bringing the symptoms into the foreground I have found that I am noticing things more. I think I always noticed them but, my subconscious held onto it so I was less aware.
This has lead to an unfortunate incident at work which mortified me. On Thursday I was on the early train to London from where I live. I have done that journey so many times that I didn’t think that there would be a problem. Unfortunately, between two stations there was a large spark. I don’t know if it was large because at the time I was travelling it was still dark outside or whether it was because something had happened but I went into hyper-vigilance mode. Then at the next station someone who smoked got onto the train. I didn’t hear this person get on the train because I had my music on but smelled the smoke that had lingered on her. Hyper vigilance went up once again.
I finally got off of the train and was so anxious that I had to sit down. I finally went onto work and started work there. What I didn’t realise is that I had started the day off at an 8 or a 9 on the over stimulated side of the autism side. I did not make the connection. Because I did not make the connection I was unable to do things to calm myself down and by the end of the day my Deputy Directer pulled me to one side and said, “I think you may be over stimulated”. It finally clicked that that was happening. I realised that I was cranked up to an 11 or 12 for most of the day and I was soo tied. I honestly felt mortified because when it is just a normal over stimulation I am able to take the breaks I need and be OK but, because I had started the day over stimulated due to the PTSD I was blinded to it.
When I got home I agreed to start work after I had seen my therapist on Friday and that is how the link was made and I explained it to my Deputy Director when I logged in.
The next couple of weeks with my therapists we are going to look at coping strategies for me. Things that might help me click that PTSD and Autism are co mingling again and ways to get out of the “nowness” of these symptoms especially whilst I am at work.
What I want to say to all Autistic people out there who are struggling with PTSD too is to not blame yourself when these things happen. You can deal with the symptoms and you can survive. It does not make you weak asking for help and it certainly is not something to be ashamed off. Be strong and know that you are not alone.
Thank you for reading