It’s important I know I have Autism, not so that I define myself by it, but knowing I have it means I can look back on my memories and rightly place them with my Autism diagnosis.
It’s fair to say that I was never encouraged to think independently as a child. In a way that helped with my neurological issues, because I coped better not having to make decisions. Sensory issues flag up so many issues that you don’t always understand, and without the understanding, it’s easy to place those experiences elsewhere.
So memories like going to guide camp I am now able to recall my problems and place my experiences better. Even before I got to gamp, the whole idea filled me with trepidation. Having touched base with camp, I remember feeling incredibly scared. My stomach was in knots. Feeling panicky and being completely out of my depth, by tea time those in charge had already called my parents for them to take me home.
Since my diagnosis and for the first time now, I am able to place and understand my experiences. It was all down to my sensory issues that I didn’t know I had and I thought it was all about being homesick. Just thinking about something can send my mind into overdrive. The whole camp thing didn’t look or feel right and it not feeling right made me feel homesick.
The open spaces made everything feel and look scary. Everything about camp felt scary. I can remember those feeling as if they were yesterday. They are the same feelings I get when I work through anything new.
I remember being invited to stay with family in Grimsby for a few days and my mum dropping me off at my father’s work because he was taking me. But I froze because I knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t go.