I did not write this, but I could have. This is my life! Since my autism diagnosis, I’ve been trying to be open about my struggles. I’m almost always met with disbelief and comments of “I never would have known. You seem so “normal!” Here’s the thing…I have had 33 years to perfect my “act.” I am constantly afraid. Constantly overwhelmed. Constantly trying to ration out my “spoons” so I can make it through the day.
From this article:
‘Where are all the adult autistics?’ they ask. I’ll tell you where. Hiding in plain sight.
I feel like a fraud whenever I discuss my Asperger’s, because here I am, this put-together, functioning, articulate woman who expects people to believe her when she says she’s autistic. “You don’t look autistic.” They tell me brightly, half compliment, half reassurance. But really… how could they possibly know?
They don’t see my brain seize up and shut down when I drive a route I haven’t taken before, even if I’ve been driven there a hundred times by someone else.
They’re unaware I work so hard to suppress the physical symptoms of a hair-trigger fight-or-flight response – the thudding heart, tunnel vision, and inability to process external stimuli that must be subdued before I get to the checkout girl, the receptionist, the client I’m meeting – that I give myself headaches and stomach pains.
They don’t see (or feel) the anger and frustration when yet another stupid, clumsy move results in a spill, a breakage, a bruise.
They have no clue the reason they haven’t run into me for a couple of days is because I’ve been holed up, burnt out, empty of the strength needed to be out in the world.
They don’t hear the voice in my head shouting, “noooooo” as I agree to playdates, meet-ups, coffee…
How could they know anxiety is my constant companion?