How the ingrained behaviours of family may clash with neurotype to provoke a chronic response in the body

How much do epigenetic components, mere accidents of circumstance, parenting styles, and other peoples expectations feed into chronic states of health, not least when you are autistic and have been entrained, all your life, to adhere to behaviours that fail to meet the preferences, abilities or sensitivities of your neurotype? Is chronic illness a form of demand avoidance that takes shape in the autistic body when it refuses to continue being ignored as before?

Unbecoming

Coming out as you truly are, to yourself and to others, can be so utterly monumental, so pivotal, to your own personal wellbeing; yet also something which cannot be adequately conveyed to anyone who has not ever had to feel like an exile fumbling about in the darkness of their own bewildering life until this point. Nonetheless, it's an experience that deserves celebrating and encouraging, as I do today in these few words on the topic.

Freeze response: the intersection of autism, trauma and chronic illness

What happens when huge amounts of energy get stuck in the body as trauma, leading to a freeze response or shutdown? How does this intersect with chronic conditions such as CFS, fibromyalgia, sensory defensiveness or other syndromes and does being autistic make you more prone to this? How can somatic therapies be used to discharge years of trauma? Exploring through my own deep-dive into the territory.

Autistic burnout and the dichotomy of “living to work” when your reality tells you it’s the other way around

All my life, I have struggled with the fixed cultural idea of "work", the ability to perform a job of work, to succeed at it as others do and to not burnout when I have one (having done so in every job I have ever had). I have discovered this is yet another common factor of autism and that it is profoundly linked to chronic health issues, to lifelong feelings of shame, of not belonging and of "being a failure", associated also with strong desires to work differently to mainstream and to get out of the present culture, change priorities around and do something different with life. In fact, an autistic viewpoint on some of these things could be of great value in these times, especially post-pandemic and faced with some of the current challenges. Exploring some of these things today.

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is debilitating, devastating, isolating and often quite unbearable and yet nobody that has not experienced it for themselves can imagine what it truly feels like on the inside; there is no point of reference for anyone that isn't wired that way since it is the product of particular genetics plus epigenetics combined with a lifetime of trauma. As a common experience of both autism and ADHD and something I experience myself, this important topic has been on my list of most daunting things to cover for quite some time...here goes.

“Let me share an example from my life” (neurodivergence in the context of relating)

Nurodivergents and neurotypicals are sometimes poles apart in their communication styles but imagine if we could just try to meet on some common ground whilst accepting those differences (that last part is key…nobody should be required to change themselves). Isn’t this exactly where the best hopes of humanity lie, as in, meeting across the so-called impossible divide?

Chronic environment

Environment is such a big topic when it comes to chronic illness, perhaps an obvious one too but I also think far too many people with chronic health problems get so wrapped up in their own situation that they fall into the trap of imagining all their problems stem from a faulty body. Even when they do realise the environment may be playing a considerable part, they don't seem to see what the issues are or they assume there is nothing that can be done about it, but that's not entirely true...awareness always leads to choices we may have overlooked.