It took too long but we eventually did get it: the diagnosis of mod-severe autism. Another assessment from a service provider reaffirmed the diagnosis of Dr. K.
All this stuff, this business of a diagnosis, it felt like a blow, it took whatever wind I had out of me. It was a loss, and it hit me hard. It made me numb. The world seemed to drain of its colours and everything went grey. I had trouble getting through the day, I was chronically exhausted. Every movement, every activity was accomplished with great resistance. It felt like I was partially frozen. At night I would collapse into bed but sleep would refuse to come. And when it did, I would be haunted by terrifying dreams of white dead babies and dimly lit hospital corridor rooms. I would wake up, often sitting bolted upright and drenched in sweat, with my heart racing like I had run a marathon in 5 minutes. I was in shock. I was in trouble.
I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. I had never suffered from anything like depression in my life, this was something new and entirely unwelcome. It felt like “crazy” to me, and it seemed risky to talk about to anybody how I was feeling. Who could I trust? After all that we went through? I decided I had to cope alone and by myself with what had happened to Nicholas, it was not going to go away, and probably not going to get easier.