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Do you think it is normal to not disclose autism or even try not act like it?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by HappynessMad, Aug 13, 2019 at 11:05 PM.

  1. HappynessMad

    HappynessMad Uncertainly...

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    I am a soon to be college student. (Guess my age, just graduated high school)

    I was diagnosed with autism at age 4 and was enrolled in public education until graduation... On to the point, I did not know what was it like to be autistic until age 10-11 when I read some confidential information about myself (e-mail on parent's laptop). I was 14 when I fully realized it. I didn't really pay too much attention to it until I had annual IEP meetings in my high school career. Teachers and Special Ed Educators never disowned me and offered me the best of support. However, I still suffered from this inferiority complex that made me feel that I should be ashamed of even having it... the notion that NTs are better. I learned to just keep on moving but at the same time, I just didn't even wanna talk about it. At least two times, a relative close to me nearly told another relative about my "support systems" that I needed for autism. I had to tell them off to not talk. (I'm the youngest of my family, so combine autism and my age will get me in a rather unique position)

    I do my best not to act like I am autistic, not to show a hint. I still get friends and people that I can talk to. Even other family. I still feel terrible some days, because knowing its permanent, it will always be a part of me. Because of how invisible it is, I guess it can be easy. It's difficult to know that people still get stigmatized or ashamed just for having a "disability" that does not even impair you physically... a person with physical disability and a person with a mental one can get treated differently. My case, I look well and normal outside in society.

    But I just wanted to get your input on if it is normal or not to camouflage your autism-related aspects. Does it hurt you to "assimilate" in a society predominantly neurotypical? Does it help or not?
     
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  2. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What you are describing is normal for us. We call it "masking." Some of us can do it well, others, such as myself, do it very poorly. The problem is, unless you are really good at it, the NTs will know. It is virtually impossible to hide all the autistic characteristics, and this will come out. When it does, you get put in the category of "weird," and then the shunning starts. You are probably best to just be yourself, and avoid being Pistachio Disguisey.
     
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  3. 8398

    8398 Well-Known Member

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    I'm noticing that it especially hurts when family members don't get it, because when I have moments of not being able to fake it, they assume something negative. Like I don't like them, I don't like being at their house, or I'm uncomfortable around them. Now that I'm not a kid anymore I'm not close to them due to misunderstanding. It feels like a forced relationship now.

    For me personally I don't mind what strangers think. It being a blank slate and I'm usually proud of who I am. Not around my family though, for some reason.
     
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  4. HappynessMad

    HappynessMad Uncertainly...

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    I am good at it... but yeah I would feel bad for those who would do the same thing as I did and failed. My traits are just invisible. Barely able to witness. Cause I felt like I needed to blend in.
     
  5. KennQuiet

    KennQuiet New Member

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    I havent been able to mask it since i was young lol. If you can, power to you broski.
     
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  6. HappynessMad

    HappynessMad Uncertainly...

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    I know how it feels. And yeah, because you see tons of faces everyday in the streets, does any of em' even remember you next time? It must be really tough just to feel guilt tripped by a close group of people who you live with.
     
  7. HappynessMad

    HappynessMad Uncertainly...

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    Does your family or friends know about it and respect you as a person? Just askin'
     
  8. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I find this ever since joining that those who were diagnosed as a child, live feeling that it is a burden and those who discover as adults, live with relief knowing what is wrong finally.

    I was a child who perplexed people and was just told that I was extremely shy and would grow out of it lol and even got a pat on the head and told to stop all this nonsense and left me feeling that my self esteem was non existant.

    Now, as an adult, I feel relief that I know what is going on and open about it too, because I do not see it has a negative. Albeit, when I do talk to nts, I do get the sense of I am the odd one out.
     
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  9. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I disclosed to all my friends and family. I am what I am and I won’t hide it. I’m not ashamed.
    I mask a lot at work though. I told my closest colleague about my autism and my comorbid disorders, but other than that I put on my mask. I don’t want my other colleagues to know because I’ve heard some of them say pretty derogatory things about autism.
     
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  10. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, it's normal to want to mask autistic traits in order to fit in, either socially or in the workplace. I would say that this is a skill needed to survive and get ahead in a world which is geared towards the need for financial success, establishing social connections and working together with people. NTs also often need to hide aspects of their personality, and there is nothing to be ashamed at in this. NTs are not any better, just more suited to one particular kind of work style, whereas we are more suited to another. Also, each person, whether NT or neurodiverse, has his or her own strengths and weakenesses, so try to focus on you and what your personal strengths and weaknesses are.
     
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  11. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    I have and still feel shame about it. Usually when I find myself unable to help my family. I remeber being told by eighteen. I was supposed to be moved out. Have a job or be in college and have a girl friend. None of it happened. Not even the driver's license part.
     
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  12. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's a NT world and we've got to live in it. Masking is necessary when dealing with people in general, simply because there's a standard set of doing things that didn't evolve with us in mind, and not doing things the standard way often causes so much friction that it's more trouble than it's worth.

    You should definitely be able to be yourself more with friends and family, though. Maybe not completely, because their comfort matters too, but you should be able to meet each other halfway.
     
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  13. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    My wife and family know that I am on the spectrum, but that is about it. I have found that if you tell anybody, they either can not understand or will not understand. So my telling anyone is on a need to know basis only. Now, I like being a Aspie, so I do not really do any masking. The only thing that I do is eye contact. If I am having a important conversation with someone, I make myself have eye contact. People seem to think you are not listening if you do not look them in the eyes. Most people think of me as "That weird, old, smart guy."
     
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  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I tend to see masking my autistic traits and behaviors as something more akin to my own personal survival instincts. Whether this is "normal" for others I cannot say. That in many cases it's simply not advisable to socially stand out differently with those whose predatory instincts so often collectively don't appreciate or cannot relate to such diversity.

    Prompting me to make eye contact and occasionally pretend to emote on cue. Done primarily to avoid the unpleasant consequences of being rejected emotionally or physically in the present or the future. And with an understanding that such masking doesn't always work 100% of the time.

    That to fake such assimilation is to avoid being someone's "prey" socially speaking. Unless perhaps you have the impression that those immediately around you might be more accepting of who- and what you are, and that you are willing to take a leap of faith to pursue such a possibility. On occasion, it might just happen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM
  15. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    You might want to watch this...

     
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