**TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING** circumcision, details about sexual trauma in childhood
This post is for mental health awareness, so feel free to share!
Sexually traumatized children can perceive certain ways of touching such as tickling as sexual stimulation. People claim I’m lying or they laugh in my face when I say this, but as a child, I remember being sexually aroused while being tickled in certain ways by adults and other children as well. I perceived touch in this way because I started developing PTSD from being circumcised at three years old due to an infection. My doctor misinformed and misguided my parents about the procedure being the only solution to the infection. My parents did not hide this situation from me. They were victims of institutional manipulation via manufactured consent.
My body and mind remembers and acknowledges the procedure as sexual abuse. After sexual abuse occurs and especially after a circumcision at age 3, the normal human sexual response becomes dysfunctional for life. So when people touched me in certain ways as a child, I would feel sexual pleasure and temporarily shut down and go on “autopilot” because my body and mind associates sexual pleasure with my bodily consent being violated. I would feel like I’m not in my body anymore. This disconnect to my body is what I now know as chronic dissociation from sexual trauma. And I know for a fact that it was sexually stimulating as a child because it was a more euphoric stimulation whenever it happened, different than any other form.
I’m 30 and have processed my mental health conditions at this point, so now I know that that sexual stimulation wasn’t intentional from most people who did it. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that I still felt sexual stimulation. I now live with C-PTSD, body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, and a general sexual disconnection from others all because a doctor decided to use his bureaucratic power to disregard my consent.
Take care and stay strong.
I used type out hyper-vigilant unsent replies in my notes app to people who triggered PTSD flashbacks when I didn’t know I had it. I literally typed out replies to conversations that never happened haha. It’s entertaining in hindsight but it was very real to me at the time. I also learned so much about myself and others this way. I think laughing at it helps me cope. This was going on for so long and my brain is tired of it.
At least now I know that the different social scenarios were just in my imagination. And now I can work through what’s going on in my head before I let my mind create ridiculous scenarios and create something else instead. Another benefit of this is that my writing skills are on point now. I wish I could speak like this.
If there’s one thing I have to say about that, it’s that getting a diagnosis is important, but finding psychiatric practices who actually are aware of autism and neurodiversity is even more important. Education is the most important of all.
If you’re ever diagnosed with a mental health condition or disorder and feel isolated, reach out on social media by typing in mental health keywords into the search box followed by “support” or “allies”.
The unfortunate tendency is that doctors and therapists don’t experience what we do outside of the allotted time slot. As a result, it’s important to connect to people outside of a clinical environment who actually experience what you do and know what you go through. Online support groups work so well in alleviating the contradiction of inconclusive mental health treatments that lack a balanced perspective.
“Be an adult” is an able-ist statement when people use it to dismiss individual mental and physical health support needs. In the human species, the status of “adulthood” happens when the body and mind is developed according to individual neurological, physiological, and environmental factors.
When someone tells another person to “be an adult”, they are essentially telling them to “be someone who doesn’t need support”. Human development into adulthood does not require a person to be socially and financially independent. After a person with mental health needs turns 18, they may still need support that is arbitrarily unavailable.
Most people believe that autistic people lack sociability and empathy just because we don’t tend to respond to social interactions in a linear manner with “correct” statements, replies, gestures, facial expressions, etc. From my life experience, this “social disconnect” appears to be due to a collective failure to acknowledge the relationship between Cognitive and Emotional Empathy and how the relationship differs in autistic people.
Cognitive Empathy is when people show what they feel from their Emotional Empathy. This needs to be understood when interacting with autistic people and people in general for a smooth social process. When an autistic person doesn’t “show” that they empathize with someone else, the case may be that they are not able to communicate Emotional Empathy as Cognitive in a manner that is expected, a manner in which is rigid and timely.
Haha. I need to point out the irony in this before I continue because… what are one of the traits that mental health professionals attribute to us autistic people? Sameness and rigidness in routine! Well, it turns out that autistic people aren’t the only ones who need rigid structures in life. It’s funny to me.
Anyway, I can observe this social disconnect personally when I don’t make the “right face” or don’t make eye contact when being told something important. Operating on the basis of what social norms are, I need time to react with the right expression or else my facial expression, or the lack thereof, will be questioned. I get asked what my facial expressions mean and I just learned to quickly give the “correct” ones. And with eye contact, I only appear to be doing so because I look at the area around their eyes in calculated intervals.
My compensatory way of socializing is mentally exhausting to do, and it ultimately results in the false perception that I have successfully been socialized. But am I truly socialized if my social interactions involve me consciously exerting cognitive resources in order to compensate for lack of “social skills”? Are any autistic people truly socialized?
Society as a whole labels us autistic people as “cured” or “mentally well” when our interactions are what is labelled as socially normal, but the cognitive efforts it requires to fabricate a social performance is rarely considered. It seems that mental labor is not considered when observing a percieved improvement in an autistic person’s mental wellness.
With all that said, global society and it’s constituents must shift how mental health in autistic people is treated and talked about in the context of modern life and socialization.
I can only be me in my head and I’ve learned to embrace it, especially regarding this year in general. I just realized something and I don’t know how “healthy” this is but I thought about why my mental wellness has improved and it’s because I’ve recognized and have accepted the ever-present division in my mind.
From my perspective, I have always experienced life as two senses of self, “Mike” and “Mike with PTSD symptoms”. I monologue in my mind with these two senses of self before I output a social interaction. Additionally, hiding PTSD symptoms is facilitated by the same process I use to mask autistic traits.
I should feel like my identity is false, but I know that I am not who I am in the face of other people. I am who I am when I am alone. I am who I am when i write these blogs, when I’m with people who understand how my brain works, when I play music, when I live on my own accord. I am not checkboxes on an assuming list of expectations.
I look back at my old free-associative blog posts and I just wanna hug my past self and tell him everything’s gonna be okay.
My posts seemed to be full of senseless anger at the time, but now it all makes sense. I am autistic and was projecting PTSD from a traumatic incident that happened to me in childhood. And I masked PTSD is the same manner as I do with autism.
It’s been a long ride.
Also, thank you again and again to everyone who has been reading my blog posts. I’ve learned a lot about myself by writing about my thoughts, and networked with some amazing people while doing so.
I feel well and loved right now 🙂 ❤
Can anyone relate to this phenomenon? I noticed with remote therapy, I don’t feel like I’m actually establishing real human connection to a digital representation of a therapist. It feels unnatural and isolating and doesn’t seem to help at all.
I feel like this phenomenon happens because I have great difficulty with processing digital representations of spoken language, let alone processing spoken language in general.
Also, my bedroom is the only safe and private space I have that is suitable for therapy sessions. It feels wrong and incredibly invasive for my only private space to double as a therapist’s office.
As far as masking goes, if your ability to do so gets exhausted easily, it is perfectly reasonable to let people know that it takes a lot of energy for you to “be social”. I do this and most people understand me. It’s nice.
The google keep notes app has a search feature so if you use it or a similar app, you basically have a personal search engine for your mind.
Lol should we be amazed or terrified?