Its been a long time since I had a meltdown like this. I remember that feeling though. Of not wanting to do something so bad that I would just repeat “no” over and over if not out loud then in my head. “No, I don’t want to go. Don’t make me go. I can’t go.” over and over and over. There was this fear that was so massive, I can’t even explain.
And it would be over something like going to a party or going to the shop. Something that seems so small now. Most of the time, I am able to keep myself in a space where I can hold onto my vocabulary and explain why I can’t attend a certain event today. Wether I’m socially exhausted or on the verge of a sensory overload and so on. But in my Dalek Days, that wasn’t always possible.
School was the worse. I had days that I woke up and just couldn’t go. I know now that I was in defense mode and even when my body was telling me that I was in the middle of a sensory overload, I didn’t realize it. Even if I did, I didn’t know what a sensory overload was let along autism. So I told my parents I was too tired to go to school. Of course they told me that I still had to go. Why wouldn’t they? They didn’t know what was happening inside me because I didn’t know what was happening. Then all of a sudden they became the enemy that wanted me to suffer. I had to fight what felt like a monster in anyway I could to not attend school.
It’s really scary this moment. It’s not a want, it’s a need. I needed to stay home as much as I needed food to stay alive. The only way I could convey this was with a series of “no no no no…” over and over again. It was my only defense against all the bad in the world.
The sad reality of this is that these melt downs are caused by a world that isn’t made for people like me. We have built a world that don’t build people up, it tears people down. Especially people like me. The world instilled this fear in me that was so intense, I actually curled up in a ball on the floor and shouted no at it. Repeatedly.
And parents are being told that these kids need more discipline. That they kids are manipulating them. These kids are labeled misbehaved and bad.
No one blames a child for acting out of fear and refusing to go to the doctors to get a shot. No one blames a child for acting out of anger and hitting their parents when they are forced into a time out. But yet, when a kid is petrified of attending school, the rules change.
Something needs to change. I wish I knew exactly what.