Monday, February 25, 2019

My name is Kayla <3

45 - born in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England - I have mixed ancestry. I've lived in different parts of the UK and in Asia and Europe. So as to where I'm from I consider myself to be poly-ethnic because I've lived in Africa, Near and Far Asia, Europe.

I'm currently unemployed (since 2011) although I've been volunteering and studying to work in adult social care
- my trade is Commercial Facilities Services Contractor - I'm also a qualified and time served aicraft mechanic. In my spare time I'm a fine artist. I've been volunteering fora fee years and studying, so far I've completed a L1 & L2 in Adult Social Care, currently I'm studying a L3 Diploma in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and a L4 Higher National Diploma equivalent in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy- I would like to be an intervention psychotherapist in the future and I'm also interested in study Cyber Security n my spare time.

Something people would be surprised to learn about me is: I served 4 years in the RAF as an Aircraft Mechanic. I motorcycled solo 6,000 miles through Europe, I motorcycled the worlds highest mountain passes in the Himalayas.

My biggest accomplishment thus far is: Getting my diagnosis 4 weeks ago after battling the NHS for 16 years since they misdiagnosed me with BPD then refused multiple times to offer me any treatment unless I accepted their opinion, hence I started studying DBT, psychology, neuroscience and pharmaceuticals in the last few years.

I want to change the world by: More awareness and acceptance of Autism for a start. If I could change myself in some way, I'd study the last modules to get to L5 in psychotherapy and earn a degree.
- I've always struggled with structured classroom type learning - so I'm studying a higher diploma in CBT online. I studied a Diploma in Business Management in 2015 - from start of course to completion of exam took me 5.25 hours and I got a 95% pass

- I learn much quicker than neurotypicals, if it's something I'm interested in I can complete a course very quickly. I consider myself to be an anthropologist, self taught and independent study and travel - the ore I've learned about the people of the world the more I've understood my place in it.

I wish those who are not autistic knew: That's it's not a mental illness and we're not broken. That social constructs are performed and whilst they're real - their value is up for debate

- I don't understand why neurotypicals can't think outside the box - in fact - there is no box. And who is neurotypical? If neurotypical is real, there must be variables, a lot of neurotypicals can't understand complex abstracts, they don't understand Autism or Autistic people - disability is relative to being made disabled by a exclusive, neglectful system, neurotypicals seem to conform easier to vertical collectives of power relations, domination, submission, control and the environment in reeling from Anthropocene effect - also so called normal people - to quote the film Mad to be Normal (R.D. Laing) so called normal people were responsible to for the murder of over 100,000 million people in the last century all in the name of ideas.

Resources that helped me: Reading myself online, support groups online, connecting and listening to other autistic - ad NOT listening to neurotypicals, I read content online on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website often, it's a great resource. I'm yet to access any external resources in my community - they seem to be lacking actually.

I want to tell those who are autistic:

You can do anything you set your heart on doing. Being autism spectrum isn't a prison sentence
- don't believe neurotypicals when they say you can't do something - just get out there and try and try again. Autism does and can change during adulthood, I'm not suggesting that we have a cure - but we can be out personal best and there are untapped resources often inside each of us - we just need to turn this on and live our dreams.

I have always had - Restricted interests, repetitive behaviours, meltdowns, complex use of language, not getting jokes and sarcasm. I've been nicknamed 'little professor, Roger Irrelevant (a character form a adult comic Viz) and Zanussi 'the appliance of science' -really - the signs have always been there.

When first received my diagnosis: I wasn't surprised but wasn't ready for the dissociation I experienced.I walked away in a state of shock, disbelief, euphoria, all mixed feelings - fora couple of days I was on a high and the last 4.5 weeks have been a roller coaster - but I'm emerging now really focused, I've upped a tetra cyclic antidepressant, I've stopped drinking alcohol (not that I drank much) I'm eating a very healthy balanced diet, getting exercise, taking supplements and I'm starting to feel like I'm coming out of a very long fog which persisted for over 10 years - being told you're BPD every time you seek support, for what are actually symptoms of autism, is shattering, especially when deep down you don't relate to the disorder.

Today I feel about my diagnosis: t's helped a lot, I now have an official diagnosis whereas before I believe people thought I was just attention seeking

- I identified as a person with Aspergers for a year prior to diagnosis. Everything is falling into place and I actually feel motivation and drive again after many years.

Having a late diagnosis made life difficult I was taken advantage of, abused, neglected, victim blamed, told I was broken, mentally ill, a dangerous person. This affected my career, relationships both platonic and intimate, affected my ability to see my children, destroyed my health - not having the correct diagnosis manifested as many 'lost years!'.

I've been unable to hold down jobs, marriages breaking down, although I have court orders - no contact with my children. Barriers to treatment by NHS because of previous BPD diagnosis, being viewed through the lens of BPD meant therapists refusing treatment. I just want to put the past behind me now and move forward - hopefully I can eventually return to full time work in a profession that really suits me and I can start to thrive - this really is a new life now for me and I'm on the whole very happy.

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