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SHK: I’ve been on the spectrum since 17, I kept it hidden for more than a decade but am now living in my truth

Last updated on 2022-05-24

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For many years many people have tried to label me; stigmatize me, destroy me, and ruin my career, well you kind of get the point the list of things is awfully long more than 20 years after I started these online projects. When I was 17, I found out that due to previous childhood neglect and refusal(s) to allow me to see proper medical professionals I had high-functioning autism and didn’t know it.

Before we go any further I’d like to dig a little deeper so people understand the point of this article. I am often described as someone who is sometimes seen but rarely ever heard from. That is because socially I am unable to mingle in a lot of social situations because I struggle to maintain and make friends. Despite the way, it seems to a lot of people I can count on one hand how many friends I have and on one hand how many of them actually frequently see me. I am more often than not riding solo. I have never really been able to socially adapt; or read context clues (hence the phrase read the room), and I have often been told I appear emotionless or as if I don’t care about others or their feelings around me.

One of my biggest insecurities is that of my tics. They aren’t as common as an adult but they are still present. I first experienced what I now know to be tics (I did not understand what they were or what they were called when I was young) when I was about 12 or so years old. They got progressively more obvious when I had gone to summer camp but I was scared to tell anyone because I was already the outcast and the only Black child at home. Managing them did become easier as time went on because I learned to take life at a speed that didn’t send me into episodes. They are often seen if you hang out with me enough or just happen to be around. This is perhaps why I do not often come around other people out of fear of being judged or someone posting a video online of me having an episode. It is something I have deeply struggled with for more than 10 years.

The childhood neglect first began when I was about 14 and had begun to complain that I could not see very well. I visited an eye doctor that year with my adopted mother Amy and my aunt who had despite me telling the doctor I could only about 70% see clearly told the doctor that they had only brought me there because I was seeking attention and nothing was wrong with me. For years prior and even years after I had been struggling socially in school; among friends, and often had become deeply troubled even by otherwise minor changes around me. This is where I realized that something was wrong because I had and have always been strictly routine-based. Any changes or veering from a routine I am often unable to fully comprehend the world around me and it often sends me spiraling.

I would later find out that all along I had astigmatism among other common vision problems. Some of those problems have led to worsening vision as an adult (I now happily wear glasses for probably the first real-time in my life.) I was not allowed to wear glasses as a teenager because my adopted mother would not allow me to tell the eye doctor the truth and instead made it appear as if I had constantly been lying any and every time something was wrong. She would make it appear this way in an effort to convince social services that I was “disturbed” and “unhinged” so she could effectively on paper make it impossible for me to ever escape the hellish home I was raised in. The same cannot be said for my older brother who fell victim to the adoption system and to this day remains in her care convinced that without her he would not survive in the world.

At the time my doctors told me that it had likely been present for many years but because my adopted family often refused medical care it went undetected until I showed up at a doctor’s office that year with at least 5 different tell-tales signs of high-functioning autism. I am now 27 years old (almost 28 which unfortunately means I am getting old.) By 17, I was already on my own because as many of you know I had been kidnapped by my biological mother the year before despite active restraining orders against her for years of unwanted contact and falsifying e-mails and documents with my so-called name on them.

I’ve been living my truth since 2018 following the car crash that left me with a traumatic brain injury that uprooted the very idea of what I thought life was.

I decided to live in my truth publicly for the first time because I am tired of living in fear. My biological mother is dangerous. I had finally reached a point to where I was tired of being forced to live in secrecy because my Mom would (and I am sure she will) find some way to use this or that against me. She has done it to most of her, family members, for decades. My bio Mom has weaponized healthcare against me for years because she attempts to use any health diagnosis as means to push her agenda that somehow she was the victim of a government conspiracy plot to have her children “kidnapped from her.” The reason I hid this for more than a decade is for that reason in itself.

She is convinced that no matter what at almost 30 I am still 16 and am in desperate need of a “Mom” and if it isn’t her then I must be subjected to decades of harassment; bullying, stalking, unwanted contact, and constant threats of “legal action” to force m into a court room. That is just so she can take everything from me so I have no choice but to live with her and depend on her for the rest of my life. I have never actually done anything to her to warrant legal action because we don’t actively have a relationship despite her continued efforts to force and manipulate such to this very day. She is no different than my adopted mother Amy who many of you are aware of because I have spoken about her a few times over the years.

See my bio Mom has a host of mental disorders and conditions that make her believe the world is against her; that she is the ultimate victim, and that somehow she was the victim of a government-led conspiracy to have all of her children taken from her. As a result of this, she has quite literally made it her life’s mission to use any and everything she can find in an effort to force her way into people’s lives.

Living in my truth now as a grown adult living on my own and happier than ever has been vitally important to me as I’ve gotten older and learned that I have some impairments. Learning these things has helped me realize that no matter how many people know your name; how much money one may have, or how many red carpets you walk nobody is perfect. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable enough to admit that against the backdrop of a lifetime of pressure to appear as I am perfect when I am not.

I hope that others out there who may also be autistic or have other conditions realize the same. You are enough; you are loved, and admitting to yourself that you are not OK and that you need help is OKAY no matter what anyone else says to you. I spent much of my younger life in fear of that very thing because I’ve watched my older brother suffer in silence because he has no idea what the world is like outside of a gated compound guarded by security cameras and a step-father that once pulled a gun on me when I tried to surprise visit a few years back.

These projects were created because I had always knew I was a little different. These projects (aka the newspapers) are all I have ever known. My career and my entire life is/are owed to these papers and the millions of you who read them. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart and will forever be grateful for what you guys have helped me achieve.

Forever with love,

Mohammed

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