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About Me, About Us, About the Forum's Creation

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About Me, About Us, About the Forum's Creation

Post by Toshiro Hitsugaya on Thu 01 Sep 2016, 4:00 am

Well, each of us have our own experiences of life on the spectrum. My experience certainly wasn’t a pleasant one, from alienation, bullying, breakdown, twist of fate, emotional pain, effects of time, countless meltdowns, misunderstood, heightened anxiety, these are just a few keywords/phrases that can give you a window into what it was like.

From the moment I entered into nursery and school, it was like being surrounded by ‘aliens’. I felt totally alienated. Throughout the whole of school, or ‘prison’ as I like to call it, it was absolute torture, from total alienation, no one making meaningful conversations, and running about (which I felt was a waste of time), bullied to no end, by many different people, including teachers. Over time, the tension, stress and pain was building up and building up until I snapped and went through a massive breakdown the moment I was interrogated by the head of year over a cracked paving stone that was irrelevant and not my fault. I thought, enough was enough, I couldn’t stand it anymore! I refused to go back as I couldn’t stand the school, *cough* prison, system anymore.


I was diagnosed with ASD and OCD, late, soon after my breakdown at school, aged 14. I also have severe Sensory Processing Disorder, but unfortunately it is as yet not been diagnosed.

After a great deal of fighting, my mother along with IPSEA got the local authority to assess me for a Statement of Special Educational Needs. Following this I was taught at home, but I could not cope with facing the tutors face-to-face. I couldn’t trust authority figures, so I needed to shut my bedroom door to them, literally. I felt much safer, and I was taught that way for five and half years. As extreme as it sounds, I found it helped me a great deal. I could focus on my work with minimal distractions, I didn’t have to worry about penetrating eyes staring at me. Of course, throughout this time, it didn’t help my loneliness, but then, neither did school, *cough* prison. I was able to sit and pass exams which the two tutors had some knowledge of. Both of which were parallel opposites to each other. One had more training and understanding in special needs and was able to structure my lessons well, not only verbally, but written in a way I could understand. The other was hopeless, kept falling asleep, and had no idea about the coursework which caused me to fail in one subject, ICT, my favourite. He and the organisation that he was connected to (pupil referral unit) refused to allow me to take the ICT course again, despite my mother’s complaint and protest. I sat my exams with the help of my Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), who trained as an invigilator so that she could witness me taking my exams. She sat with her back to me as I took my exams, and my mother was allowed to be present as I was constantly worried the SALT would turn around and face me. I also achieved a distinction in photography and a merit in web designing. All of this, from behind my bedroom door with the help of home and hospital tutors. Anyway, after those five and a half years, my Statement of Special Educational Needs ended, and I was left with nothing, at 19 years old. No support was given, nothing from CAMHS, CMHT, or Connexions. Everyone disappeared despite my mother’s fighting and also looking for an educational solicitor of which was unfortunately unsuccessful.

My interest in photography originated from the time one of my tutors allowed me to borrow their camera. I experimented with the camera, taking photos of anything around me that I found interesting, everything from the natural world to patterns in everyday objects. My aim is to sell my photographs and designs.

Before long, I began writing to someone I spoke very briefly to at school, online. This proved to be successful for some time, but all of a sudden, I noticed something that didn’t sit well with me. She had too much connection to the past, school *cough* prison, and it was too close to a tremendously traumatic time in my life that still affects me today. Needless to say, things didn’t end well, and I was left with nothing. It cut me like a knife, right through my chest. I always knew, socialising felt extremely difficult, but to feel that pain first hand for the umpteenth time, it felt practically hopeless. I felt what was the point anymore, if this is what it takes to socialise to be battered from pillar to post by these painful experiences, what’s the point!

Through all this time, years went by and my depression grew and grew, my frustration rose through the roof, and my feelings of loneliness became stronger and stronger. For a long time, I had bottled up my pain from a traumatic emotional bullying incident that happened to me at school. Tragically, this pain came back to me twice more, reminders of what could have been, someone that took me back to those last moments of school, but was denied me by cruel classmates in my previous school. That pain grew into a canyon inside of me, a hole that stretched as far as possible. I have this gaping hole inside of me, and it’s so bad, I couldn’t take it anymore. I opened up to my mother about my experiences at school, about my emotional trauma. This felt like I could finally break out into the open and find a way to fill this emptiness inside.

I’ve tried to find a way so many times over the years, and I felt absolutely powerless every time I came across failures. I couldn’t find a place to reach my goal. I tried all sorts, from pen pal requests to dating websites, and none of them helped me. They all became totally useless, the pen pal approach was an interesting idea, but not when you’re writing to someone from around the globe, not to fill this emptiness inside. Not to mention, you can’t always be sure whether this pen pal is truly interested in writing to you or is simply trying to improve their writing skills or English language, Neutral.
When it came to dating websites, it was far too strong, dating is not my first target, I don’t wish to write short sharp messages, on a mobile phone or otherwise and then suddenly meet someone. This was not my wish. I feel that I need to write and get to know someone long enough before I even contemplate anything that advanced. Not to mention, the dating websites for those on the spectrum I felt were scams, scams to make money out of vulnerable people who find it difficult to socialise. I found websites where they charge you for simply exchanging messages. A lot of general dating websites allow you to message for free, so why won’t dating websites for people on the spectrum do the same.

I felt that there was something missing, I needed to find a balance, a place that would fit in between pen pal and dating, a community that could promote meeting friends as much as growing stronger bonds. This is what led me to the need to create a community where it could do just that, and that’s what led my story to the creation of this forum, AS & ASD – Building Bonds Forum. I hope this forum can give us all the chance to reach our goals, whether it’s simply to find trusting friends, or to find stronger bonds. I wanted to provide a community where we, on the spectrum, can find an online social forum that is safe where we could write about whatever interests us and make friends. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to socialise, so I hope it can help us all, Very Happy.

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Toshiro Hitsugaya
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