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Dissociative behaviours and Fantasizing in Autism

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Dissociative behaviours and Fantasizing in Autism

Postby KitMcDaydream » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:46 am

Has anyone else with Autism created characters/persona's/hosts who dealt with the outside world for them?

I'm not just talking about making one up in your head and pretending to be that person when you're in your bedroom, I mean the new person you create becomes a real person for you to learn through?

Eaxmple: For myself I (Kit) was severely autistic in childhood. I had extreme sound sensitivity and Exposure Anxiety, until I created my first 'character' to deal with a specific situation (school at the time) I was unable to learn anything in school. This first one (Bobby) wasn't full time I was still a child and they only appeared to deal with ordeal of having to go to school.

Later by chance I experienced a temporary hearing loss in my teens. This actually helped as it kinda of muted alot of sounds. They made me wear hearing aids but I could be a devious child when I wanted to be I soon learnt to swap the batteries for flat ones and to leave them switched off muting environmental sounds even more. After meeting someone who had been deaf from birth and signed I was fascinated and learnt to sign faster than I'd ever learnt anything else in my life. I'd always struggled to speak (due to verbal dyspraxia we think but it was never officially diagnosed) and because other kids had made fun of my speech I had phobia of speaking in public and was a selective Mute. Signing gave me another way to communicate with the outside world because people thought I was deaf and therefore didn't EXPECT me to speak. I went through the next 15 years as this deaf character (Thea) whenever I had to do anything like to college, work, university etc. My hearing loss did recover but I never told anyone as I couldn't go back to having to deal with the sensory overload everyday I knew it would be the end of what I'd achieved if I did. I learned many years later that my genuine struggles to understand speech in particular was infact called 'auditory processing disorder' and was part of the autism.

Later in life I had physical problems due to a rare condition I was born with and had to spend some time in a wheelchair. My original self (Kit - the one originally born into this body) who was only usually present when I as home alone disappeared. The deaf character (Thea) also struggled with the new issues and so a new character evolved (partly due to social media too which I'd joined by then) From just been a screen name 'Maddie' became a fully evolved character who was a wheelchair user and deaf. Both Thea and Kit disappeared for a couple of years as Maddie struggled to regain mobility.

When they both resurfaced (at seperate times) they found they were in a new house, and had another dog! With Kit and Thea using the body again , it has recovered some more mobility. Maddie has gone dormant.

Kit also does alot of intense fantasizing for several hours a day imagining different scenario's. Thea is still the one who copes with 'going out and dealing with people'. The physical body still has a few more limitations since they were last in it, so they're both having to learn to live in a new body that's not as able as when they were younger. (it's now nearly 50, Maddie was main host also for almost 15 years too).

I know there's a specific DID board on here but I wondered if anyone else out there WITH Autism who has made characters to get through life and had the intense fantasizing? (possibly Maladaptive daydreaming)

Thanks
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Re: Dissociative behaviours and Fantasizing in Autism

Postby pamelaperejil » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:53 am

Sorry, no. I've created dissociations/fantasies that represented an idealized version of myself, but that was really more of a retreat. It didn't help me learn, grow, or cope with the real world. It only provided an escape from reality and a little boost in self esteem, even if it was really only a pretend boost.
previously: pleasnpetrichor, perejil

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Re: Dissociative behaviours and Fantasizing in Autism

Postby KitMcDaydream » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:40 am

pamelaperejil wrote:Sorry, no. I've created dissociations/fantasies that represented an idealized version of myself, but that was really more of a retreat. It didn't help me learn, grow, or cope with the real world. It only provided an escape from reality and a little boost in self esteem, even if it was really only a pretend boost.


Ok, I know the author Donna Williams had a lot of different characters to handle different elements of life and I've seen a blog of hers where she's talking to someone else with Autism and DID.



Edit: I was looking for the blog I mentioned and came across another and this paragraph jumped out at me

" Some of them were ‘room children‘ (Willie, Anne, Esby and later Polly) meaning they only came fully into the body when nobody else was present with us. Some of them were only outside of the house (Shirley) or came out far more outside of the house than in the house (Da, Marnie, Lee) or came out around Italians (Rose). Two were consistently in the house but could also appear when outside of the house (Carol, Addie)"

I found the interview I was looking for these two paragraphs stood out for me:

"My autism fed into my DID by predisposing me to acute Exposure Anxiety, the sensory perceptual and health disorders contributed to delayed development and lead to my over investment in dissociation skills. My autism has shaped the nature of my alters, each one is differently autistic but each is still autistic"

The other lady she was interviewing said:

"I think my Autism led to my exposure anxiety and avoidance of the world and it’s people, not my DID. If anything, my DID allowed me to, at least appear to, connect to people"

I am wondering if my first person evolved for the same reasons that Jennifer said. Because they did allow me to 'pass off as normal' though with different (more socially acceptable I felt) disabilities (using deafness to hide extreme sound sensitivity and auditory processing disorder) and for more unusual ways of communicating to be accepted (ie signing, writing stuff down where I felt unable to speak) without the person thinking I had some kind of mental illness or learning disability .

it was the late 70's/80's when I was a child and autism was rarely known, let alone understood. I wasn't actually diagnosed until my 20's. It wasn't good to be seen as 'mental' either in the sense of being mentally ill or mentally handicapped (as they called it back then), you tended to get locked up for life in special schools/hospitals etc. It became my sole mission to achieve 'passing as normal' and staying out of those places! I wonder how different my life would be if I'd been born these days when disabilities like autism are more accepted and celebrity/famous people are starting to discuss mental health more openly in public? Maybe I would have just been accepted as I was without having to endure years of bullying, which did nothing to help my already sketchy social skills and inability to relate to people!

Here's the links if you're interested, long posts but fascinating reading.

first quote taken from this blog: "We’re all multiple – Legion Theory and my DID team"

https://blog.donnawilliams.net/2015/04/ ... #more-7151


Donna interviewing another lady with Autism/DID " Dissociative Identity Disorder, Autism and a conversation"

https://blog.donnawilliams.net/2012/06/ ... #more-4182
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