I have just finished reading ‘A friend like Henry’, it is a big book so it took me from Sunday to this morning to read.
The book is also a film called ‘After Thomas’ which is often showed on Television, and the film and the book are very similar as they are from a true story.
What the book shows is that parents’ love and care can make a profound difference to a child with autism.
My parents, especially when I was younger, did not believe in learning difficulties or disabilities, and corrected everything with punishment, usually physical. Thus I not only had autism but was punished for it regularly, and the Church of England pretty much followed in the same vein.
So I have grown up ashamed to be me, I have been 100 times more ashamed to be me since Jane Fisher’s whipping and defamation of me in Jersey and Winchester, she reinforced JM’s message that I was as bad or worse than an abuser for my disability intolerably and concretely.
I am glad for Dale and Amy, the children in the book ‘A friend like Henry’ that their parents, under the terrible stress of denial from authorities and having to cope daily with their children’s problems, persevered and did wonderfully well for their children and in turn their children thrived.
Credit to them! 🙂
Since my bad experience of Autism Jersey, of which my side remains untold. I do not see any point in autism societies, I cannot bond with them or engage with them and they lean towards unhelpful actions which add to my stress, for example the NAS threatening to set social services on me, when I am council house trash, abusing children or need a leech hanging onto me, I will agree to social services making my life worse, until then, I am already overloaded and do not need an extra burden.
I have to live my life as best I can now, and I do it by keeping routine and keeping known stresses to a minimum.
Dale, despite his incredible and admirable progress, that he and his parents and Henry deserve a lot of credit for, did not stop being autistic. And despite my increased social and communication skills, neither have I.
When I was younger, living in Hampshire, until I was diagnosed and even after that, I did not know what caused me stress or how to control the stress, I did not know how to act in social situations, but since most of my socialising was in the wealthy middle class Church of England setting, I fell into the role of coat-taker and waitress at the parties that my friends held, although I still suffered exhaustion from the parties, having a role and being focussed on it gave me the ability to interact with people.
I guess some of those parties would make a happy memory later?
In my life now, as you may have seen from the Day to Day blog, although trying to run a low-stimulation life does not completely dominate my life, it does help.
Socialisation and human contact are stresses for me, hence Sunday, Monday and Tuesday being my social days, and me being a bit put out by having to interact yesterday.
Being in my own little world is the most calming and healing thing there is, especially after the battering my life has taken in the last few years.
But equally, being alone with the continuing harm from the Church of England is not good for me, so I do need my social days.
I try to keep my environment at the right temperature as I can get very sick if I get hot, my Dad, also on the spectrum, used to get very sick if he got cold. This is why I comment sadly on losing the winter.
I do not like some noises, sharp or loud or sudden noises and I am very noise sensetive, and I have learned even in the last month to cope with wearing earplugs at night to help me to settle and sleep. I have great difficulty sleeping indoors but I know it is safe to wear earplugs in here even if I don’t like to, and though they tend to help me sleep, they tend to have fallen out during the night as I am so busy in my sleep.
You see some autistic children with ear muffs to help them cope with noise.
So, in the old days, when I had no understanding of what was wrong with me, I did not know that I reacted too strongly, did not know what I reacted to, and did not know how to help myself, but these days, I am much more aware of what is wrong and why, so often I change a situation or leave it in order to avert a meltdown.
But it remains that I have been misunderstood by the world and especially by the Church of England, for my actions all my adult life, even though I am quite high functioning and these days careful not to overreact if I can help it.
Eye contact, a classical sign of autism is lack of eye contact, or in Asperger Syndrome sometimes you can end up with too much eye contact, staring, looking through people.
I never made eye contact when I was younger, I used to stare at a mirror for hours and still not see myself.
It was JM who taught me eye contact, she used to put her hand under my chin and get me to look at her, all the time, which would be completely unethical and crossing all counselling/clerical boundaries, but she did a lot more than that that crossed boundaries and it wasn’t a bad thing that she encouraged eye contact, although it was uncomfortable for me.
She achieved getting me to look at people, although it remains hit and miss, but this is when I discovered faces, and started drawing my little cartoons, I had had no idea about people having eyes and faces before, I was fascinated!
My speech started improving with the help of a very good therapist who who worked with abuse and trauma, and made another leap forward in improving while I was suffering trauma in Jersey, for unknown reasons.
Autism still isn’t as understood as it needs to be, although most people know something about autism these days, but if I say I am on the autism spectrum, that can baffle people, and if I do as some people on the spectrum do, and ‘hide’ my autism, I seem to be much more open to being misunderstood and causing upset..
An example of this was the chef at work, always cheerful and loud, shouting hello to me and gettking offended because he thought I wouldn’t reply, although I was struggling to process his words and reply because of slight dyspasia linked to the Autism spectrum.
When I explained this to him, he stopped being cross and was kind.
People ask how I could live with being autistic and homeless, and that is understandable. It was easy, I felt safer from the Diocese and police out there, I could sleep comfortably on the ground and my spine was held in place by the firm ground, while sleeping in a bed remains uncomfortable, I was much more in control of temperature outdoors, I would wrap up in my blanket pile and breathe the clean air and sleep sweetly, and I long for that now as I battle to sleep every night indoors.
I was well looked after by other homeless, outreach and churches on the streets, and I could spend as much time as I liked alone and drifting in my little world out there.
I had my routines, that were easy to re-establish when I moved from one town to another.
Ah, I wish i could have one night of sleep like that on the streets! Oh the cold and the dark and the quiet, I want it back!
Anyway, to conclude, the Church pretty much has always denied my condition or made it equal to or worse than, peadophilia. Starting with JM’s statement that I would be judged the same as our peadophile youth leader by God.
God would judge me the same as an abuser? This is how JM put it to me, and refused to refute that.
And in everything Jane Fisher and the Bishops have done to destroy and defame me while protecting my abusers, they also state that.
I do not believe a condition like autism that someone is born with, is the same as a man knowingly targetting children and vulnerable people and using them for sexual activity.
I do not want to be how I am, and sometimes I see faint glimpses or have dreams, of a life where I am not like this, I wake from those dreams feeling devastated, because no matter what I do, I cannot change this and be how other people can be, living a life where you don’t have to avoid stimulation and worry about meltdown and prepare in advance for each journey and each change in life.
I do not know if Dale went on to be able to live without advance preparation for each new thing, or if he still had times when he could not cope or was not understood, he actually, with the wonderful support he had, seemed to go on to a much more successful life than me. I think he and his parents deserve medals, and I hope they do not mind me writing about them to facilitate my telling of how autism affects me.
In Jersey, being regressed by the Churchwarden and his ‘healing’ when he had no training and was supposed to be under observation from his church, was profoundly damaging, I remained regressed and wounded by their awful church, not knowing that he was supposed to be being supervised because of previous behaviour, but he was not only not being supervised, he was being allowed to separate me from the rest of the church and discuss my ‘problems’ in a way that left me isolated and shunned, he was being allowed to discuss ‘my problems’ with the vicar and his wife, in an intrusive way, and I reacted.
And when I left the churchwarden and his wife, he still felt me up when I went to see him because I was concerned about what he had done and his lack of responsibility, I still had not been made aware of his past.
I was left emotionally and psychologically damaged and without adequate support when I reported the churchwarden, I was shunned in the community, no matter how Jane Fisher denies it, and the stress was simply too much, would have been too much for anyone from a background like mine and having found her ‘family’ only to be abused and dumped.
As someone on the autism spectrum, the denials and shunning were simply too much, and it caused an uber-meltdown.
Which continues to cause me to be treated as worse than an abuser by the Church of England, or even as worse than their clergy who have behaved unethically and without a shred of Christianity in order to cover up the wrongdoing around me reporting the case.
Glaringly, the church have interviewed those clergy with their legal expertise and their lawyers and omitted my side from any report.
Again and again they state like that, that autism is a crime and wrongdoing by clergy and church officers is not and is excusable.
And apparently, according to Bob Hill, Dame Steel claims there is nothing wrong with me and I am just a troublemaker.
She didn’t interview me but interviewed someone with an interest in protecting the wrongdoers who has never even met me but is a trained lawyer as well as being a clergyman in the Deanery of Jersey.