Asperger's/Autism Spectrum parent who was also bipolar

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Lomita Momcat

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Asperger's/Autism Spectrum parent who was also bipolar
« on: November 18, 2017, 04:08:36 AM »
Hi all, my first time posting here.

In brief:  I'm 61 and for most of my adult life thought there was something wrong with me-- wrong in the sense that I was a defective or bad person-- and just had to cope with the things I now know are symptoms of complex PTSD.

I grew up in a family with a father who, though undiagnosed, I am certain was in the Asperger's/autism spectrum, and who was diagnosed and frequently hospitalized (both voluntary and involuntary) with bipolar mood disorder. 

During my early childhood, my father was unmediated, since in the lmid 1950's to mid 1960's, lithium was not yet standard treatment for manic depression, as it was called then.  Plus we lived in a small-town backwater without access to any real outpatient psychiatric treatment options.

On his best days, my father was emotionally cold, disparaging/punitive, emotionally and verbally abusive, neglectfully abusive, given to bullying, and misogynistic.  On his worst days, he was psychotic (literally), given to volcanic rages, physically and sexually abusive, and completely out of control.

I left home at 16 to get away.

I had never even heard of complex PTSD until three years ago, when a crisis involving my autistic younger brother caused me to seek therapy.  The therapist, after taking my history and several sessions working with her, told me matter-of-factly that I had complex PTSD and referred me to some websites.

It was a watershed moment for me:  I realized I was not weak, not bad, not crazy.  There was a name for what caused me pain, there was treatment, and I was not alone.

I've been on a journey of recovery since then.  Late, but I'm glad my therapist pointed me in this direction.

The most healing part of the journey is being able to talk about what dealing with my family situation has been like.  Realizing that the abuse I was subject to was not my fault, not deserved, not something I ever could have prevented, no matter how hard I tried to be "good."

It's a journey, and I just wish I had started earlier.

Thank you.


Three Roses

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Re: Asperger's/Autism Spectrum parent who was also bipolar
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 05:37:17 AM »
Welcome! I could have written your post. Just a few differences: My F had a traumatic brain injury, instead of the things yours struggled with; I'm self diagnosed; I have a sibling with an undiagnosed PD. But everything else is very similar. I'm even turning 61 tomorrow :D
The sense of community I've experienced here is the first I've ever felt. I always felt so different, so alien, until finding this place. I hope you feel the same. Thanks for joining!