I never expected to write this, but I think it's past time. I'm tired of being told that I am "lucky", and it might inspire someone who has lost hope.
I come from a family that has involvement with both politics and the military. I have always been the cog that refused to turn at the same rate as anyone else, and in fact, have apparently been running around as an undiagnosed autistic savant. I am almost entirely "selectively" mute - which isn't at all selective; it means that I will only communicate with a very tiny circle of "safe people", and spend most of my days trying to design an enormous mega engineering structure that would encompass housing, entertainment, work, and food. I read several languages and am well educated, but have always been emotionally vulnerable.
And since 2000, I have been under government surveillance - including a yearly security review - because of family connections.
For ten years I was married to a mental programmer and mad inventor/artist. It was an abusive marriage to begin with, and I almost left about five years in. Then he had a freak electrocution to the brain, wiping out all higher brain function and emotional capability. So I stayed because I thought there was nothing lower than a person who turned their back on someone in need. And, I confess, I had no idea that he'd turn into a complete monster.
Because he refused to let me out of his sight, I was more or less imprisoned. I could not do anything without being constantly observed. For a very long time I existed on almost no food, and for two years, without heat or running water. He used his training to try and turn me into a weapon using black ops psychology. My escapes were my garden, inventing, my library, martial arts, and street nursing. There was a time when all I had to eat in the space of three days was jello powder, raw.
Eventually I developed mass organ failure and acute fibromyalgia type symptoms, and began to develop seizures. I was investigated continually by doctors and even put on a transplant list for a new liver and kidneys, but my home situation went unnoticed. How, I have no idea, particularly given my unique situation as Big Brother's Little Sister.
My so-called selective mutism made asking for help impossible, even if I was not terrified for my life and other people's safety.
The day after he left me nearly paralyzed on my basement steps, I found the strength to throw him out. It was a brutal and exhausting war campaign in order to be free of him, but I decided if I must die, I would die on my terms. Six months later I moved home to recover. I barely knew my name anymore, but I was constantly reliving the experience. I am forever grateful for my parents' patience.
Because of wonderful, supportive friends, mentors, and business associates I have found online, I am now free of my mental prison for the most part. My fibromyalgia symptoms have more or less vanished, and the organ failure has reversed.
My therapists are my dog, cat, plants and poetry, and my best friend.
I can walk without a cane, and briefly dance or do martial arts, though I get exhausted quickly. I have become an advocate and a human rights champion online, and recently applied to work at an organization that fights human trafficking. My mind is much more clear, and I am teaching myself to overcome learned helplessness. After being utterly disappointed by a system which seems stacked against me, I have acquired a consultancy regarding PTSD and entrepreneurship, and have become something of an expert on human trafficking and slavery prevention, justice, and aftercare, and hope to find a way to put these skills to use to help other vulnerable people.