Wearing masks, but not by choice

There were four seemingly disparate topics that I read, and/or that struck me yesterday. But then, as I thought about it, I realized they are not disparate at all. Not to me. Not to an Autistic. They are related, and intertwined.

The four topics, in general, are Autistic Masking, The Ego, Imposter Syndrome, and the (Autistic) relationship with God.

Autistics “mask”. Or so I hear. We are also very literal and very factual. So what does masking mean for an individual who is very literal and factual? I don’t mask, she says. (“She” being me) Or do i? Perhaps everyone does to a degree, but Autistics more so. Only we don’t put on masks to impress anyone, we mask out of fear that if we don’t, we will be ostracized. And that feeling is very real.

If I allowed myself to fully be all of what I am inside – the “overly” enthusiastic, openly affectionate, bouncy thing – I fear that I would be looked at with even more doubting eyes than I already am.

And this is where it fits in with Imposter Syndrome – at the deepest level. Many autistics, myself included, feel impostors not at our job, or at a talent, but just being human. We feel that way because the people around us do. Because most if not all of us are made to feel different from the time we were born. And for somebody who admittedly needs accommodations, being treated differently is a double edged sword. Yes, I understand that I take understanding, that I am asking something of those people around me just to be around me. Yet, as a human, as any human, I want that understanding to be given from a place of love. Not to be given as if I was a burden.

So the Ego, in assessing those reactions to who I am, just searches to be afforded the opportunity to stop being seen as a human imposter in my own skin. Autistics are human, fully human members of society who might take a bit of extra loving, but are willing to return that love in spades…

So where does God fit in all this? It’s just hard not to sometimes wonder why God would create this being – person – so loving, and yet hard to love, at the same time. But my heart wants to think that He did it on purpose, to help show all of us what love is

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