Living With Trauma

The ongoing chaos inside my head

Part One

©2023 Kelly Jeanne aka Catwoman=^..^=

Before I continue, I feel it’s important to clarify that in this series entitled, “Living With Trauma” I’m only addressing the mental health issues I’m dealing with. This has nothing to do with Asperger’s. I only mention it here to help people understand why I responded as I did after I was born. When I bring it up in future blog posts in this “Living With Trauma” series, it’s only to mention that those on the spectrum are up to 5 times more sensitive to stimuli than the average neurotypical. This is my way of explaining why any trauma I’ve been through in my life has been 5 times more profound, making life for me 5 times more difficult.

Before I continue, I feel it’s important to clarify that in this series entitled, “Living With Trauma” I’m only addressing the mental health issues I’m dealing with. This has nothing to do with Asperger’s. I only mention it here to help people understand why I responded as I did after I was born. When I bring it up in future blog posts in this “Living With Trauma” series, it’s only to mention that those on the spectrum are up to 5 times more sensitive to stimuli than the average neurotypical. This is my way of explaining why any trauma I’ve been through in my life has been 5 times more profound, making life for me 5 times more difficult.

Those on the spectrum who have never been abused or suffered any trauma will certainly still have issues in life, BUT this is not due to being on the spectrum, particularly Asperger’s. It’s due to the preconceived, stereotypical ideas that others continue to have about us, making life especially hard. I talk about this extensively in my memoir and I touch on this in my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


There were three factors involved at the time of my birth that has made my life particularly difficult. I call it The Triple Threat. Yes, it seems I hit the lottery when I was born. I say that with much sarcasm.

If you read the blog post titled, “Laying The Foundation”, you might remember that I was born pretty much unresponsive, with very little motor functions. When my mom finally took me to a pediatrican at the age of 6 months, the good doctor told her I’d be no better than an elevator operator. I’m tellin’ ya, that doctor should have been awarded top prize for his keen observation and capacity to care. This was the first piece of the puzzle.

I’ll go into more detail as to why I was born that way, but first I need to point out the other two pieces of the puzzle.

Because of the way I was at birth, my family was convinced that my mental capacity was practically non-existence and there was no hope for me. So, I was raised accordingly.

On top of that, I was physically, sexually and psychologically abused. As devastating as the physical and sexual abuse was, the absolute worst was the psychological abuse. That has left permanent scars that will never go away. Since it all began for me in my infancy and I lived in that toxic environment for 2 1/2 decades, I was well groomed and brainwashed into believing I was the problem. Everybody else was okay. I was not. My psyche had been seriously damaged.

During the course of my abuse, I sustained multiple concussions. This is very dangerous. Symptoms may vary in individuals depending on which areas of the brain have been affected. There isn’t room enough here to go into the details of my specific situation, but suffice it to say that my frontal lobe was damaged.

Each side of the frontal lobe controls different areas. One of the classic symptoms of someone who’s sustained a concussion, or as in my case, more than one concussion, is the inability to control the emotions, as well as not having any impulse control.

All during my childhood and up until my mid-thirties, I didn’t take any medication at all. I, nor anyone in the family ever consider concussions being the result of my outbursts. When you grow up having been abused since before you can remember, you think it’s normal. Nothing stands out as a red flag. You can only imagine the hell I had been dealing with since I had nothing to control my anger. I was literally at the mercy of my emotions. Okay, so the abuse and damage to my brain was the second piece of the puzzle.

The third piece of the equation ties into my lack of motor functions. When I was thirteen I had my I.Q. tested. It showed that I was (not my words) genius level. This completely confused me and I spent my entire childhood and the majority of my adult life wondering how I could possibly be above average in intelligence, yet at birth, be largely unresponsive. This really baffled me, and I didn’t know how to find the answers.

Fast forward to age 61. I decided to write my memoir. As I began my journey in writing it, I joined a memoir writing group where we critiqued each others’ works. One member wrote about similar life experiences as mine (minus the abuse) and after a visit with her doctor, found out she was on the spectrum.

After examining and comparing both our life events, I knew in my heart this was the answer. I finally understood why I’m so different, and why it had always been difficult for me to make friends. The signs were so clear that I didn’t need to be formally diagnosed. Besides, the cost to get a formal diagnosis by a psychologist is criminally prohibitive. How they can justify charging so much is beyond me.

Simply having an answer was a huge relief! It also gave me answer as to why my motor functions were practically non-existent when I was born, especially when I learned that one of the hallmark characteristics of anyone on the spectrum – no matter where on the spectrum they are – is having senses that are 3-5 times more acute than those not on the spectrum. It also explained why, at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with having an above average level of intelligence.

If you recall from reading, ‘Laying The Foundation’, where I mention not smiling, not turning my head, not waving my arms or legs, not crying, etc., I came up with a theory as to why this was. I decided to run my theory by those in an Autism/Asperger’s Research group I belong to. By the way, I should mention that the researchers in this group are on the spectrum. Anyway, here is the theory I came up with.

For nine months I’ve been surrounded by a warm embryonic fluid. I’m living in a very tight space, which makes me feel very snuggly and secure. It’s dark and quiet which adds to the serene and peaceful feeling. All my needs are being taken care of.

Suddenly, without any warning, I’m violently torn away from this warm, quiet safety that I’ve been in for 9 months, and forcibly dragged down through this very tight and constricting space. In fact, it’s so constricting as to nearly suffocate me. Not being able to see only adds to my disorientation and fear.

The second I emerge from this nightmare I’m relieved that I can breathe, yet now I have a whole new set of nightmares to deal with. Someone or something grabs me by my head and pulls me the rest of the way out of what used to be my home, my security. The incessant noise all around is too much for my ears to bear. Additionally, it has no soothing, rhythmic cadence to it. It’s just a cacophony of different noises that are not pleasing to the ear. The shock of light is so bright. Even with my eyes closed, it’s able to infiltrate and assault every inch of my rods and cones. The shock of air hits my skin with a glacial chill that not only numbs my body, but my mind as well. The last vestige of what has carried sustenance to me these 9 months is cut and thrown away. And you wonder why babies cry upon being born?

The birthing process is hard on any infant being born, but for someone whose senses are 3-5 times stronger, it can be 3-5 times more traumatic and even life altering, as it was in my case.

“What do you mean, Kelly? You aren’t cognitive while all this is happening.”

First, let me say that every infant being born is very cognitive of what they are going through at the moment they are going through it. It’s just that because the average infant, whose senses aren’t that acute, their minds are able to quickly process the information and snap back to normalcy. Because my senses are so intense, the experience literally numbed me, giving me the appearance of being brain-dead to my mom. This resulted in her viewing me as someone who, along with the other family members, was backward, feeble-minded, and subnormal. This profoundly influenced the way I was treated by them throughout my childhood, resulting in psychological trauma that has deeply affected and scarred me to this day.

Now that you have my basic background, this is a good place to end Part One. This will give you a better understanding of what goes on in my mind and why. Thank you for reading and I hope you come back for Part Two!


2 thoughts on “Living With Trauma

  1. Although I know it isn’t the complete cause, genetics can play a part in autism and I wonder whether your mother was ever tested. Because one of my grandsons has been confirmed with autism , I was interested in a recent documentary about a family with autistic children. During the making of the documentary, the mother discovered that she too was autistic. She had never known and was so glad to have a reason why she felt different from other people all her life.
    My grandson’s skull was a strange shape at birth due to lack of space (he is a twin) and a doctor said that alone would have resulted in him being assessed for autism. (It has since developed normally.) Nevertheless, since his assessment, the family’s all been taking those online tests that now exist. My score is very close to borderline. One or two others have been notched up pretty high scores as well.
    I’m just pleased that my grandson will receive some understanding if he should have a meltdown at school and not just be consigned to the ‘naughty step’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right. Genetics definitely do play a major role in autism as it does with mental illness.
    I feel I need to clarify here that in this series I’m writing where I talk about why I’m messed up in the head, this has nothing to do with Aspergers.
    Asperger’s is not a mental illness.
    In this series I’ve entitled “Living With Trauma” I’m dealing exclusively with the psychological trauma that has permanently messed with my mind and the physical damage that the multiple concussions have had on my brain, thereby messing up my brain. Me so lucky…
    The only times I mention the Asperger’s is to point out that being on the spectrum means that my senses are magnified 3-5 times that of the average person. This alone has exacerbated any trauma that I’ve been through.
    As an example, I mention the process of being born. Everyone – unless you were birthed by way of a C-section – goes through the birth canal, but for a neurotypical, the senses aren’t so acute. This means that they’re brains and senses remain unscathed by the experience.
    Because I’m neurodivergent and my senses are 3-5 times stronger, this means that it will take my brain and senses time to adjust. That’s why I appeared non-responsive. My brain was traumatized and needed that extra time to heal from the ‘miracle of birth’.
    This is NOT to say that EVERYONE on the spectrum reacts like this at birth. We are all different, of course. Just as all of you neurotypicals are all different as well.
    I’m glad you mentioned this. Now I know I’m going to go in to clarify this point. Thank you!
    I seriously doubt my mom was on the spectrum. She was a narcissist with a capital N. Just a very evil person. My dad is a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Pervert)
    I did look up his last name and he’s from a very prominent family in England. What I mean to say is that surname is of the upper crust; upper echelon in England. A very snooty people. His family came to visit once when I was about 7 or so. Very distant, not friendly at all. I distinctly remember when my mom told me to kiss my dad’s mom (I won’t ever refer to her as ‘grandma’). I remember being extremely hesitant in doing so. As soon as I did I ran in the bathroom and threw up. I sensed there was something very evil about her. Definitely not good people.
    Can you give me the name of that documentary? I’m very interested in watching that.
    Does your grandson get punished when he stims or has meltdowns? Has his mom explained to his teacher that he’s not being naughty. That’s just how he copes.
    I would be glad to go there myself and unleash my signature American-Midwest vernacular on her. Even though I’ve been in California for close to 30 years I haven’t lost my touch! LOL!
    Regarding those tests. When you say it shows that you’re borderline, I imagine that’s because most of us have characteristics that are going to overlap into other areas that would make us appear to have certain traits of other factions in society. So, I wouldn’t put much stock in it. Why do you say you’re borderline?


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