Accepting my Autistic Self – #TakeTheMaskOff

If I acknowledge that masking wasn't always necessary, it means that I equally have to acknowledge the mental turmoil I lived through as an autistic masker. And daring to even go down that rabbit hole within myself means acknowledging how truly emotionally broken I was. How emotionally cut off from life that I was.

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“Why Are You Crying?”

"But I do also cry when I open up and connect with people who love me, my family and husband. When I am overwhelmed with feelings of understanding and genuine caring from others. When I read other people's experiences that nearly mirror my own. When I feel like I can finally communicate and express caring towards other people without feeling weak or sensitive or immature and know it will be received and understood by others."

Neurotypical Worry

Whenever I talk about myself, it's usually to make other people understand, not because I like talking about myself. I actually hate talking about myself verbally to other people. I fear that I may be perceived as cold, arrogant, uninterested in others, or smug. It's so befuddling to me that other people think my internal motivations would be to gain sympathy or attention...

Update: Doctors Visits and (lack of) Judgment

I started tearing up, looking at the ground, and didn't speak. They got out of their office chair and walked up to me slightly and quietly said "This is a safe space here. You're okay."  I really, really appreciated this one gesture. It made me tear up more in relief, because literally no one has ever said that to me. They didn't ask me why I was crying, or why, or how I was feeling. They just said "You are safe here." I was suddenly less worried about expectations to speak verbally or act a certain way.