Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I made this blog because I wanted to post on a blog that only allowed bloggers to post. But now that I've made it, I suppose I'll do stuff with it. Not sure what, however.
I'm 16 years old, and go by the alias Ettina on the internet. I have been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder and PDD NOS aka atypical autism. Complex PTSD means that rather than being caused by a single life shattering event, it's caused by trauma occuring on a regular basis, in my case in the form of my cousins/foster siblings sexually abusing me as a little kid.
I oppose curing autism. Our society is scared of differences, so we tend to reject different people, minimise their differences or try to make them just like us. Sooner or later we have to learn that two people can be extremely different and be equally worthwhile, and in fact that everyone is equally worthwhile even if some equation balancing "bad" difference with "good" difference doesn't even out. For example, a person who can't walk or talk and is at the cognitive level of a baby at 10 years old (which isn't autism but profound developmental delay) is just as worthy as a person who can walk and talk and is at the cognitive level of a 15 year old at 10 years old, and the first person doesn't need some "special quality" to even it out, nor does the second person need some surprising inability to even it out. They are both just as wonderful, but in different ways.
I also oppose the discrediting of recovered memories. I repressed most of my memories of abuse. I didn't have brain damage or anything, my only brain differences have been shown to make someone more likely to remember early childhood. I haven't recovered any memories, but I know people who have. The false memory theory doesn't explain why people recover memories of abuse starting at age 3 when their daughter turns three, even though they're not in therapy, for example.


Blogger Jenny said...

Hi Ettina,
Love your blog. I really admire your willingness to share yourself. I came here from the autism advocacy list serv. You have visited my blog and I appreciate your take on things. My kids are beautiful and valuable just the way they are. I keep getting comments from well-meaning folks saying they will overcome all their "problems". I really don't know how to address this without making them feel bad. My kids are different and that is great and I appreciate who they are even if they can't talk or walk or eat by mouth. So What? Does that make them less a person?

10:13 AM  
Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I came to your blog via Ballastexistenz, where I've often enjoyed reading your comments (including your recent one in which you taught me the term "allistic neuroatypical").

Re, recovered memories: I've read that in a high portion of cases (not all of them, maybe not even a majority though I'm not sure, but a pretty high percentage), people find independent corroboration for their memories after the fact. For example, there may be police records describing what happened, or a sibling or other witness to at least some of the events.

Also, it is well known from observing people with other types of traumatic events -- such as war, or well-documented car accidents and so forth -- that people DO suppress memories of traumatic events generally, not just with sexual abuse. And, yes, people do sometimes later on recover at least partial memories of these events, and not necessarily in therapy. It only seems to be with sexual abuse that these memories get questioned, perhaps in part because with sexual abuse either there aren't any witnesses or documentation or the witnesses are too scared to speak out too, or even with legal documentation there may be so much shame that no one in the family will allow the topic to be discussed or disclosed.


4:53 AM  

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