I am both Autistic and have PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There's a lot of discussion about the connection between the 2. I think you'll find many of us who are later life diagnosed or self identifying (which is perfectly accepted within the community) have PTSD. Mine is for a couple of reasons, but it boils down to this - trauma.
Sometimes PTSD and meltdowns in relation to Autism get all mixed up in each other. I find when PTSD is fuelling the sensory overload into a meltdown it is far, far worse.
This summer I went through a 2 day cycle of this. I couldn't seem to get myself out and no one could get in to help me.
So I had locked myself in the spare bedroom during a lot of the attack. I couldn't speak for many, many hours. I had no way to communicate in the way that a lot of people are use to.
I had my phone with me though. I've got an awesome art application on it and so I picked it up, and started using the way I know how to communicate more effectively for me - through art.
It may look simple enough, but I worked on it for hours. The letters aren't a font, all hand drawn. The border was added by an editing program afterwards, but the lines, letters, spirals are all from the depths of being trapped. There is such comfort in hyper-focusing. It's the gasoline for the engine of the Autistic mind. It stopped the spinning long enough for me to get my balance back.
I received some news yesterday that caused the PTSD to roar up from the depths of the sea. The suicide of a human I didn't know personally, but I advocated for with all my might. At times that almost swallowed me up, but in my mind we were in this together.
You hang on Ron and I'll hang on.
Ron let go yesterday. He couldn't do it any more.
I had nightmares all night. Voices calling out for me to come back to them, grabbing at me. Running, running, running. Packing as fast as I can, but no time, just run Patricia, run. And when I wasn't running, I was wide awake.
I'm tired today. But I'm still hanging on. I don't know how, but I am.