I wish that others would do the right thing and my take on campaigning for changes with an election on the horizon.

I’m technically free in comparison to the last couple of years. I don’t feel that I will ever be truly free though. I wish that others would do the right thing regarding what happened at the university. I don’t just mean in my own case but about everything that was done along the lines of abuse and bullying. Why should those that were involved in those awful scandals get away with it? The non-disclosure agreements (NDA) haven’t made the victims of that culture any justice. They may have merely got a lump sum to not go public about their experience but most of them lost their jobs. I can’t promise legal protection if people start speaking out because I don’t know the details of the NDA contracts. I’m assuming that it is the case of the university basically paying off any potential source of scandal and them agreeing not to speak about it. That is normally how these contracts are worded. I won’t be qualified in my degree until after six years. I am therefore not in the position to advise. I just want others to think about how keeping to their NDA long term is going to benefit them as individuals? It may have been okay for ensuring new employment and financially being able to manage during a brief period of unemployment. However, in the long term is it worth keeping your mouths shut?

We all know that what went on at DMU wasn’t right on many levels. There has to be a collective effort to break the NDA’s. If the majority of those with these contracts speak out then they cannot be punished so easily. Strength in numbers does work, even if everyone starts off as individuals. That is how those of us with first hand experience of pathological demand avoidance (PDA) type autism ended up being heard. Individually we were all sharing our stories and networking. Collectively we turned into a pressure group and subsequently got people to consider acknowledging that this form of autism does exist and that those with it have so far been completely failed by the system. That wasn’t a result that happened overnight. We all chipped away with our own efforts for many years. The same method needs to be used in the DMU scandal scenario.

I’m going to be tactically voting in the election. The person I met while walking the other week is running for the Lib Dems.  I have made him aware of the experiences we’ve had as those with PDA type autism and he knows me as a local person. I would rather have someone I know who is familiar with things I’ve told them regarding my experiences. He has never previously been in the running for an MP position but has campaigned for many local issues and has succeeded in a percentage of those issues. I don’t want to sound rude to any of the candidates, but we have to pick the best of a bunch of politicians that are available. There really aren’t many candidates that are even remotely useful in any shape or form. I’m hardly the type of person who routinely rubs shoulders with those with any form of authority or power in the local area. I grew up in the same town as this candidate.

There are other candidates I would never vote for around this local area. I have nothing against anyone personally, at least not anymore. I just feel that I cannot get certain people to understand what it is like to autistic and that means that they’ll never understand why myself and others are campaigning for changes. I know that I have annoyed others, stepped on people’s toes and not made myself popular in this local area in the past. I’m not going to apologise for standing by things that I felt strongly about. I’m not going to pretend to walk the lines and agree with others just to be friends with everyone. That isn’t me. I feel strongly about the cause to get changes for those of us with the PDA type autism. I have lived my life and parts of it has been absolute hell. I was left traumatised after the things I went through. I don’t want other generations to be let down in that way. Those feelings that I felt aren’t something I want the next generations to experience. We are trying to get reform into a system that is crumbling. That is an uphill struggle but it’s going to be the case of changing people’s understanding so that the community isn’t such a hostile environment for those with pda type autism. Alongside this we can campaign for changes in the system.

In either situation mentioned above, it won’t be an easy task. It can be compared to being on a battle field sometimes. I didn’t realise how much energy it would all consume when I first started campaigning for changes and speaking out. We may never get the changes needed in our life time, but our work may still pay off for future generations. I’m hoping that I will get to see substantial changes in my lifetime but we still have huge challenges ahead. I’ve had to develop a thick skin and not let anyone upset me. That has been hard but it’s a must if you’re potentially going to get back critical feedback from members of the public. I have been bullied both online and offline, also I have the predictable trolling and idiots that approach me online from time to time. I see these things as modern problems and I have blocked a lot of accounts from my online profiles due to those kinds of behaviours above. I have stopped reacting to other people attempting to cause trouble or trying to wind me up. I always used to get into trouble for rising to that bait or merely sticking up for myself when others were completely rude or misunderstanding towards me. I refuse to react because I don’t want to get into trouble. I also don’t want the hassle and grief from other people.