content/trigger warning: lengthy discussion of internalized ableism, ABA, suicdial ideation
I've been through a lot in my short 25 years. I was bullied, ridiculed, excluded, and made to feel like I was inferior to others.
When I was diagnosed as Autistic at age 3, I was immediately placed in special education, and that''s where my nightmare began.
I was also subject to ABA-like therapies. I was told not to hum, repeat phrases as part of my echolalia, or stim, among other things.
I tried really hard to fit in with my peers because I was ashamed of being autistic. I was ashamed of being who I was.
It really took a toll on me. I tried to commit suicide twice - once when I was 21 and again just a few months ago.
After my second suicide attempt, I had to be hospitalized. While I was there, I prayed, sang inspirational songs and read Joyce Meyer devotionals.
I started to grow stronger in my Christian faith, and not I realize that all the ableism I internalized over the years is the devil's lies to try and bring me down.
Today, my self-esteem is much higher than it was before, I'm grateful for the Lord for saving me. If I didn't have him, I don't know what I'd do.