Even though autistic women are more prone to shutdowns, they may experience meltdowns in their lives even if it's only a handful of times. Although it often appears as though someone exploded over seemingly nothing, a meltdown is the result of a buildup of triggers; think of a shaken soda can. In addition to appearing to blow up over nothing, autistic women may very well be upset to the point of rage over something that doesn't even concern them, which is more confusing.
My last "real meltdown" was caused by a cptsd trigger. It was while I preparing a post I was sharing on my page about an abuse that happened to a young boy in my city, Ottawa. A school staff member recorded an autistic boy having a full blown meltdown at school and posted it anonymously on YouTube to humiliate and ridicule him. I felt fire rushing through my veins. I was seeing red. When I've reached this emotional peak, there's no deescalation; I just need to ride it out. I stormed off into my room and stuffed my face into a pillow. At this point, I don't have any emotional energy left. The most that may come out of my mouth before I melt into my emotions is a very calm uttered "I need to be alone". Once.
Some autistic women have reported a blind rage to linger for days after an attack happens in the world that caused mass child casualties. For myself, I don't think there's anything more enraging than having an adult hired to help a child, especially a child with special needs, who purposely causes them further distress than the one they are already in. It's sadistic. It makes me sick, literally.
The aftermath of a meltdown can last for hours, days, even weeks. For myself, it usually simmers down within an hour. Thank God. That way I can just move on with my life. I really wish there was a way of "going back" when I'm about to meltdown but no matter how much I try to explain myself out, I can't control it. I'm intelligent, rational, responsible, and mature. These things don't matter while I'm in the fire. I just need to let myself burn.