He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odours of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror.
"the fall of the house of usher," edgar allan poe, 1839
so that thing about fabric textures, and! samefooding. sensory processing differences like wow. please help me go back in time so i can give edgar allan poe a pair of solid ear defenders and a weighted blanket. this paragraph is very, very specific, and written way before diagnostic criteria had even been explored, much less established. the man is writing what he knows, not what he has researched.
and then there's "the raven."
pretty sure edgar was an autie.
oh, and he definitely had CPTSD. hardcore, poe had CPTSD. just read a brief biography and you're soaking in it. just sit in a room with a print copy of any piece of his work and it's there, radiating from the pages. this past winter, ben and i visited poe's grave for the first time since i moved to baltimore. i could just feel that resonance saturating the limestone.
(i wonder if edgar's plate is so worn because of the elements, folks doing graphite rubbings, or some combination thereof.)
edgar and virginia are ancestors of spirit.
there's this extremely insidious misconception (think about it) that autistic people cannot sustain long-term trauma injury.
seriously: think about that.
lived experience within the adult autistic community will reveal that trauma disorders are rampant among our numbers. we've been subject to all manner of abuse. abandoned by the system. tortured by neurotypical schooling. our perceptions are repeatedly invalidated, even by our loved ones. our sensitivities shamed, same. too many members of the neurotypical community equate an inability to perform empathy to a neurotypical standard with not being capable of empathy, which is not the case at all. studies demonstrate that autistic children are significantly more likely to experience sexual abuse. shall we talk about ABA "therapy," aka "compliance training?" and then there's the fucking bullying. probably you don't want me to get started on that. probably there's not enough characters on the internet for me to get into it. as i sobbed to my therapist some weeks ago, "where were the adults?" but know it: it doesn't stop when you get to college. it doesn't stop when you enter the workforce, should you be allowed into the workforce. something like 80% of autistic adults are chronically unemployed. at least in part because of bullying. the bullying doesn't stop. there's always going to be someone who can't tolerate the threat you present in merely existing.
there's this fairly useless chicken-egg dilemma of: is it that the neurotype is more susceptible to being traumatized, or are autistic people subjected to more traumatizing experiences? probably it's both, but the latter is where we need accountability, because... seriously. "autistic people can't be traumatized," MY ASS. that's basically saying we are not human. it's basically saying we don't have souls.