Sadly, rapes are everywhere and hit most everyone somewhere along their life. Statistics and personal stories from the ASD world show people on the spectrum are at great risk for at least one sort of rape, if not all. The comeback and recovery from any vicious pounding varies from person to person. For people with an ASD, the recovery can take a lifetime. Why? Because we think in pictures that turn to movies that form a cognitive loop incessantly powered by obsessive perseverating! That loop is dang hard to cut, but it is really good at cutting our self-esteem and our joie de vivre.
I wish I had some full proof ideas on how someone like me can get through the crusty bits of life quickly and safely, intact and prepared to move on. But I don’t. I have my own cognitive loops that will not stop playing. Sometimes they play loud orchestra style. Usually they play just loud enough for me to subconsciously hum along. Either way, I can’t escape the trauma for very long.
There are many great things about having AS. Perseverating can even be among those great things, but when it comes to recalling bad memories, bad situations, and the myriad of rapes that will inevitably occur- perseverating is one nasty predator. I don’t know of one full proof strategies to stop the painful looping, though cognitive behavior therapy seems to be the most promising. Frankly, I believe this isn’t a do-it-yourself kind of fix. In my ideal world, everyone joins forces to stop ominous scenarios. The mighty power of society can do much to protect us (and everyone for that matter) from the stuff that causes the bad looping. Think: truly effective anti-bullying education, stiff fines for slander and libel, peer advisors/helpers, wide spread sensitivity training held within corporations to schools and beyond, cultural awareness campaigns that promote kindness and respect, mental health courses taught as frequently as physical education classes. These aren’t new concepts, but they tend to happen in piece meal. What if influential people and institutions did everything possible to help protect the vulnerable all at once, all the time, beginning at a young age and continuing through out our lifetimes?
Just a simple thought here, but maybe if the media, civic groups, business leaders, governments, and each and every one of us spent more time on positive living thoughts than discussions wrapped around devastation and despair, we’d be able to take a giant step forward toward a culture of mutual concern.