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Masking...emotional dysregulation.

for those of us who didn't get diagnosed till late, or those of us who are actively trying to "Pass". do you ever feel like you are holding the real you back? like there's basically a whole other person who acts in ways the fake you would never in a million years act like?

like in my mind i play out an event thats happening in the real world, but instead of keeping everything inside, i let go. in reality i just basically shutdown. but inside i am blowing up, raging, breaking things. sometimes i feel like that. sometimes it comes out as a meltdown, but even then, not to the degree that it could/should.



Well, it seems that this "alter ego" i always fantasized about letting go might be the real me under the mask. i wonder if this is why i strongly identified with Bruce Banner aka The Hulk. i wrote a character for a comic im drawing who is truly a mess and volatile and explosive. he wears his emotions right on the surface. Ive often told people that this character is me. I feel this rage, grief, horror, anxiety inside of me always. Just bubbling barely to the brim of the pot and it stays there. It hardly ever over flows. There have been occurrences where i couldn't control it and i displayed rage. My spouse calling me immature. sobbing unrelentingly. biting into myself so hard its sore for a few days. scratching at my skin.

but more often than not, its just there inside of me, an uncomfortable pressure in my head. i think this is why i have the habit of clenching my jaw and biting my lips now.
I lost my train of thought i think. the whole thought made me think of more things. how does one even begin to regulate emotions that take over you passionately or violently? the emotion being happy, sad, anger, hopelessness, ect. how does one get comfortable enough to unmask when you've been wearing it since elementary school? how do i know which parts are the real me and which arent?? how do i begin to feel safe to stim openly, to cry when i am sad. to release pent up stress and emotions when i need to instead of shutting down?

Comments

I'm not sure how comments work on blog posts, JoyChaos, so please forgive me if I'm overstepping by commenting, but I think your screen name says it all. Neither the calm, joyful, nor the chaotically raging self is, usually, the entire picture of the "real" you. Generally speaking, both poles of your self-concept are valid, even if one seems overly controlled and the other, overly uncontrollable. I completely relate to your "pressure in the head" and the inner rage that imagines breaking everything in sight even when you're outwardly placid. I believe that sometimes we can keep ourselves from getting to that state and other times it feels entirely chemical and random. Or can be triggered by minor environmental overwhelm. My daughter and I call it "bees in the head." I'm finding that allowing myself to stim or rage doesn't necessarily bring the episode to a speedy close, but your mileage may vary.

There's a popular trope in the autism community that claims all neurotypicals are born with a manual outlining proper social behaviors. That's, obviously, untrue. Every culture's norms are different. We have laws and rules we ALL have to learn as we mature. It may be more difficult for us to learn, but these rules aren't specifically encoded in anyone's DNA.
So, everyone "masks" or acts in accordance with certain templates. We act somewhat differently with children than we do with our parents, our friends, or a boss, for instance. Authenticity is good, but not necessarily when it's destructive. As an extreme, somewhat ludicrous example, serial killers may be acting according to their authentic selves.

As for the other questions in this post, I can't even begin to claim to have the answers, but it might be helpful for you to create a safe space in your home where you feel free to stim and express emotions to your hearts content. While it's not 100 percent effective, I've personally found it helpful to do so. :)
 
I'm not sure how comments work on blog posts, JoyChaos, so please forgive me if I'm overstepping by commenting, but I think your screen name says it all. Neither the calm, joyful, nor the chaotically raging self is, usually, the entire picture of the "real" you. Generally speaking, both poles of your self-concept are valid, even if one seems overly controlled and the other, overly uncontrollable. I completely relate to your "pressure in the head" and the inner rage that imagines breaking everything in sight even when you're outwardly placid. I believe that sometimes we can keep ourselves from getting to that state and other times it feels entirely chemical and random. Or can be triggered by minor environmental overwhelm. My daughter and I call it "bees in the head." I'm finding that allowing myself to stim or rage doesn't necessarily bring the episode to a speedy close, but your mileage may vary.

There's a popular trope in the autism community that claims all neurotypicals are born with a manual outlining proper social behaviors. That's, obviously, untrue. Every culture's norms are different. We have laws and rules we ALL have to learn as we mature. It may be more difficult for us to learn, but these rules aren't specifically encoded in anyone's DNA.
So, everyone "masks" or acts in accordance with certain templates. We act somewhat differently with children than we do with our parents, our friends, or a boss, for instance. Authenticity is good, but not necessarily when it's destructive. As an extreme, somewhat ludicrous example, serial killers may be acting according to their authentic selves.

As for the other questions in this post, I can't even begin to claim to have the answers, but it might be helpful for you to create a safe space in your home where you feel free to stim and express emotions to your hearts content. While it's not 100 percent effective, I've personally found it helpful to do so. :)
thank yoiu for this long and thought out response. you are right, expressing some more wild emotions wouldnt be proper even if i were NT. Though to be fair, american culture is emotionally constipated.

and finding a room to feel comfortable in sounds like a good idea, but i mostly need to stim, pace, rage, cry where i might not be comfortable.
 
Little by little, begin doing one thing every day that feels like your “real you”, when you are alone. The key word here is “DO” , don’t keep everything in your head, find an outlet. Find a way to become Hulk without hurting people.

For me that outlet is creativity. I write everyday in my blogs. One of them (the one that I publish here) is my real/dark blog. The other one is my shiny/edited blog, which I publish for my friends and people who know me in real life.

My dark blog is very shiny these days because I have a new boyfriend. But if you read back, you’ll find a lot of rage and sorrow.
 
Little by little, begin doing one thing every day that feels like your “real you”, when you are alone. The key word here is “DO” , don’t keep everything in your head, find an outlet. Find a way to become Hulk without hurting people.

For me that outlet is creativity. I write everyday in my blogs. One of them (the one that I publish here) is my real/dark blog. The other one is my shiny/edited blog, which I publish for my friends and people who know me in real life.

My dark blog is very shiny these days because I have a new boyfriend. But if you read back, you’ll find a lot of rage and sorrow.
this sounds like something i could do. baby steps
 
I spent most of my life trying to "pass" as normal. I also realized from an early age that I was not like everyone else. Unfortunately, because I was manifestly not normal and did not understand society and social interaction, most of my attempts to pass as normal and interact socially failed miserably. This led to anger, stress, frustration, loneliness, and ultimately over 20 years of being suicidal. In another recent post I mentioned going deep into the woods, finding a big (club size) stick and beating rocks and trees while screaming at the top of my lungs to exhaustion. It helped some. Mainly it helped keep me from using that stick on those people who so richly deserved it.

If you need to get these things out, find a way to do it. A big stick in the woods, violent comics or art, SOMETHING! I speak from experience that holding it inside will eventually lead to disaster. The parts of you that are the real you are the ones that are not masks. The masks are not the real you. The difficult part will be trying to figure out which parts are masks after using them all this time.

As an aside, it seems like you should have had you evaluation by now. Let us know how it went.
 
i did get my test results back and they say i am autistic. kind of surprised but also screaming "I told you soooooooooooo!!!" from rooftops
 
i did get my test results back and they say i am autistic. kind of surprised but also screaming "I told you soooooooooooo!!!" from rooftops
Like I said before, the test results don't change you or who you are. All they do is give you a better understanding of how you became the you you are (now there's a sentence that should send my grammar teachers into convulsions). Hopefully, now that you can better understand what is driving you, you can make better decisions.
 
I definitely hide my self at all times, except when I'm alone of course. I was diagnosed at 46 and once autism was explained to me, so many events in my life made sense. I mask even with my husband, it's habit and my brain is always telling me it's just safer that way. I don't have anger issues or melt downs. But I can totally relate to your comments.
 
I've been looking for answers to these same exact questions, you've described the problem brilliantly. Thank you for that :)
 
The only things I can do is just be myself, which will annoy some people, or do the best I can to pretend, which makes me feel less visible but still annoys other people.
 
Hi Joy,

You did indeed describe this perfectly. There are times when I feel a rage bubbling away under the surface and cannot pinpoint why. And it does spill out verbally sometimes. Sometimes I will punch a wall unconsciously and hurt myself because I haven't released it in another way. I've found when I am regularly exercising this feeling is not so intense, or isn't there at all.

Now I've finally realised I'm an Aspie, I don't try to hide my stimming etc. but I'm in a crisis at the moment and meltdowns are happening more often.
 
Hi Joy,

You did indeed describe this perfectly. There are times when I feel a rage bubbling away under the surface and cannot pinpoint why. And it does spill out verbally sometimes. Sometimes I will punch a wall unconsciously and hurt myself because I haven't released it in another way. I've found when I am regularly exercising this feeling is not so intense, or isn't there at all.

Now I've finally realised I'm an Aspie, I don't try to hide my stimming etc. but I'm in a crisis at the moment and meltdowns are happening more often.
 
I can relate to this post strongly. Would you mind checking out my blog post? I feel like you would relate to it aswell.
I also bite my cheeks when I'm trying to heal my lips!
 

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