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The Silent Meltdown

July 28, 2018

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I often get asked this question a lot… “Peri do you still have meltdowns” and the simple answer is “Yes” however they have drastically changed throughout the years.

In the Autism community when we think of meltdowns we think of the person chucking themselves onto the floor, clawing at their face and screaming for hours on end. These are the meltdowns I used to have, I used to scream and cry, lash out at loved ones  while chucking myself into walls and anything else around me.

Nowadays my meltdowns are often silent and for me they are more painful than my “typical meltdowns” like typical meltdowns the silent meltdowns can be triggered by anything from change, sensory overload, misunderstandings, arguments, illness, pain and so on. Imagine letting out a blood curdling scream yet it’s silent? Your whole body is screaming but yet it’s all internal all you can do is sit there and scratch your face, hit your chest while everything falls down within. If the meltdown was triggered by a argument you would often find me repeating segments from the argument that was said to me and I will be repeating this over and over again like “your a lia your a lia your a lia”  even repeating thoughts I never got to express in the argument like; you said  that I remember I remember” Then the silent tears will start, I’m trying to regain my breathing but my mind grabs hold of me and brings me back to the meltdown so I lash out at myself willing myself to just move on. I scream again but again it’s silent I hug and squeeze my chest willing for it to stop willing for someone to notice me and pull me out of this never ending  torture cycle. I whisper comforting words to myself pretending I’m someone else yet knowing if anyone else was to say these things to me I would pounce on them as in this state I just can’t accept love. My head throbs and my chest heaves I feel like I’m going to pass out I feel trapped I can’t escape so I scream again whacking my head against the wall in the hopes to stop this internal pain …..yet no one heard because in reality I’m just sat there looking at my phone with my hands pinching into my skin. I’m drowning and no  one can see all I can do is hold my breathe and hope the meltdown subsideds soon.

Autism can be lonely and isolating especially for those who experiences these silent meltdowns..just because it’s silent does not mean it never happened. It happened and it bloody hurt…

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