Talk about passing and/or being out. Are you out as an autistic? How have people reacted? Do they treat you differently after they found out? Do you attempt to pass. If you do try to pass have you experienced autistic burnout from trying to pass?
Well if I wasn’t out as autistic, I guess I am now.
I’ve always been quite open about having Aspergers/being autistic, even before I actually knew what it meant myself.
In the last few years where I have learnt about autism, I’m a lot more open about it now. Mostly because I can explain what it is now. Rather than just saying I’m autistic and leaving in at that.
How have people reacted? Well the way that people reacts is strange really. The most common reaction I get after I tell people I’m autistic is: “Really? You don’t seem autistic” … I never really know how I’m meant to feel about this … Am I meant to be happy that I can fake being not autistic … Am I meant to be glad I don’t fit into the stereotypes of autism that people have formed?
Or the other favourite reaction is that they point out some child in their family also has autism … I also never know what to say to this … I don’t know if they want my advice … If they just don’t know what else to say … I’m a 26 year old man sorry mate … I don’t have much in common with your prepubescent nephew … Except that we have autism.
Do people treat me differently? Not really … You get the quick burst of recognition when you meet another autistic close to your age, and you suddenly think finally someone who can understand me … then you remember that mostly all autistics are about as different as all neurotypicals … Sometimes it works though and you have enough in common to become autism amigos (never use that phrase again).
Do I attempt to pass, Oh god how I attempt to pass. The real me wants nothing more than to hide alone in a warm dark room and shut the world out. But I can’t do that … I also can’t be the real me outside, it tends to offend, annoy or plain insult people. So I hide in plain sight, I blend as well as I can (apparently I do it too well).
But passing for that long and for that many people takes it toll. When I experience burnout I spectacularly crash and burn. I turn into a hermit and hide away in my house with all the curtains closed. No need to pass when I’m all alone… But then I miss people.