Through my eyes - by AnnaBelle

Published on 22 April 2023 at 15:16

As a child who grew up with a brother with neurodiverse conditions, I have a unique perspective on the world. My lived experiences have taught me to be more accepting, understanding, and kind, while also making me more paranoid and distrustful. I have no grudges or resentments because, in the end, we all did our best, and it was never my sibling's fault. Trauma, as well as these conditions, alter how your brain functions. I have been listening to the book "The Body Keeps the Score," and I remember hearing about how trauma affects and rewires the brain. This was something I discovered while researching at home because I wanted to understand why I felt so much pain and anxiety when I was away from certain people, which turned out to be attachment anxiety. That is also what my therapist told me when I told her about my problems. 

People with neurodiverse conditions may act in ways that they would not normally do. Someone who has traditionally been calm may become easily irritated, angry, or violent, for example. This can be the result of trauma or a variety of other causes. It changes you. And there is so much stigma around it that people don't understand this. People who do not understand neurodiversity may label someone as "crazy" or "insane," which is more harmful than beneficial. They do not understand that it is not the person's fault, but rather the way the brain works.  And this is truly something I need you to understand and recognize as you read this.

My experience with my sibling's battles is more limited than I wish it was. My PTSD has led me to forget things. And since these incidents were highly traumatic to me, I only really remember one incident. 

It began with a simple card game while visiting my father's house. I do not remember what we were playing, but I know it was not the first time we had an incident like this because I knew what was going to happen before it happened, as I am extremely aware of everything going on around me (sometimes too much lol). Anyways, I remember my sibling having a meltdown happening, and me hiding in the bathroom. It seemed to be a minor ordeal at first, but again, I noticed patterns and knew what was about to happen. So I hid in the bathroom. I was having some of my internal battles at this time, so I used to always do things to get attention. It's a shameful thing to admit, but it was because I thought people didn't care about me. So I was highly attention seeking, without intending it. I didn't realize that I was doing this until years later. Anyway, I had a panic attack and decided to call my mom crying. I could barely speak though, as I couldn't even breathe.

The police were called, and I know everything was resolved. Again, I do not remember much, but I recall running to my room and entertaining my younger siblings so they did not freak out like I did. But inside, I was terrified. I was terrified because I had not expected my sibling to act so violently.

We were close when I was very young (probably around 9). We would lie on the floor and watch silly YouTube videos. We would make movies with our phones and write short scripts in our heads. They were always jump scares. One of us would pretend to be a toy doll on the floor, while the person recording would say, "Oh wow, what a cool toy." Then the "doll" would jump at the camera. We would do it with more siblings, so there would be several dolls at times. 

As a young child, I believe the scariest part was witnessing someone with whom I had formed a close bond transform into an unknown. I was too young to understand that he struggled to regulate, and it was not him just lashing out for no reason. As a young child, I believe the scariest part was witnessing someone with whom I had formed a close bond transform into an unknown.