Being heard is a fundamental aspect of keeping healthy. Mentally as well as physically.
Imagine, you had a gapping wound and the doctor said it’s only your perspective, everything is looking fine to us. How would we as a community react to that?
Yet, so many of autistics, women, people of colour, and God forbid you are all three like me, are left with the trauma and devastating consequences of not being believed.
Gaslighting of the privileged, be it gender, race, position, abled/ allist, has become so common that those with the best intent leave people like us feeling helpless. Why do we need to reassure our self that our perceptions aren’t flawed and they don’t need to revaluate theirs’?
I haven’t written on my blog for some time now and the reason is precisely this. The consequence of schools not taking me seriously about my autistic boys, or the police about the coercive control. And the damage caused by the trusted imam who, after one meeting and phone call with him, dismissed my 16 years of experience of his narcissism.
It doesn’t hurt me that bullies bully. That is a fact of life. What I cannot digest is the lack of care and seriously to their own responsibilities of those with position of power and influence.
For years I told the primary that oldest has additional needs, not being qualified or knowledge to ascertain what they actually were didn’t make a difference because when I did dive in found my own answers, I still didn’t get far for support. And now that history is repeating itself with the youngest at the same primary, I am left with renewed wound, but this time the trajectory already laid out in front.
This episode of Red Table Talk really surfaced a lot of experiences that have led to me always needing to evidence my statements. If you need to prove”, as Dr Raman states, for every little belief or thought, “then you have been gaslighted.”
And that explained my endless emails, documents and questions for reassurance that my perception isn’t flawed. Imagine that being your permanent state of mind. And still I AM NOT BELIEVED.
Many autistics have the need to know every detail, cross referenced multiple times and checked again, on subjects that matter to them. The possibility of rejection is devastating, more so for those like me and my teen who also have rejection sensitive dysphoria which makes us extremely susceptible to gaslighting and easy narcissist victims.
How do we move forward?
The pain of living the consequences of neglect of authorities will never be erased. The approach I have taken is to be well connected with people who do believe me to cater not just for need for constant reassurance, but also to build my army to support me in my battles. This is an unfortunate but vital aspect of social capital that disadvantaged people ironically lack.
I am not believed by authority when I need help, however, that will not dampen by determination. And for that I thank Allah for making me autistic. I am not alone.