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Featured Does anyone hide their Autism?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Shaun-Junior Bishop, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Shaun-Junior Bishop

    Shaun-Junior Bishop Active Member

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    This may be a strange question to some and maybe not others but I've only come to terms, acceptance and acknowledgement of my autism within the last 3 years. Its feels like the more I look into autism and really start to understand it, I am noticing things about myself I didn't before. It feels like all my life I've been conditioned to not act the way I've wanted to and needed to and now i get urges to stim, make noises and the thought of me being autistic never leaves my mind. Everything i do, i doubt myself and i think am i making up stuff in my head and am I doing things I dont need to. I'm so scared to stim infront of anyone that when in public or even around my family I dont do it but on my own or walking yo the shop and back I tend to show so much more traits than i do normally. I just feel like it's a part of me I've hidden for so long and now i just want to Express myself but it makes me doubt if I'm just making it all up in my head. Does anyone feel this way or have any advice?
     
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  3. mn321

    mn321 New Member

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    Yeah, I'm masking all the time. Deep inside, I really feel I'm autistic but somehow try to hide it. I'm stimming only when I'm alone, because someone told me to stop. I tend to fidget with my hands a lot and tap my leg. Seems like the fear of rejection coming from it is way more stronger than the urge. I wasn't masking during my early childhood tho. I'm trying my best to look like the other people. I'm getting better at it. I learnt how to make eye contact, how to make small talk. Still long way to go.

    But you are who you are and no one can change that. You should be proud. We are different from NTs but that does not mean we are worse. We're beautiful and unique.
     
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  4. Graphin

    Graphin Cuddle monster V.I.P Member

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    I am sort of hiding, I am unable to but I try.
    I stopped developing on masking since puberty, it kinda became hopeless for me there.
     
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  5. Shaun-Junior Bishop

    Shaun-Junior Bishop Active Member

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    By that what do you mean actually? That the traits aren't autism related or that the obsessive thoughts are OCD related? I'm confused sorry
     
  6. Progster

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

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    I don't mask stimming and or my body langauge, but I feel that I can't be myself around most other people, meaning, I have to suppress impulses that come from my gut reaction to things, I have to filter my words and can't always say what I really want to say for fear that it might offend, be weird or be socially unacceptable. It means that I come across as shy and socially awkward. This is why interaction with people is so tiring.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    We're allegedly a 2% minority having to abide by a world of a 98% social- and neurological majority. Where in so many cases it's advantageous to hide our autistic traits and behaviors largely to avoid daily ridicule and controversy because we may not think or act in accordance with the social majority.

    Many of which default to a notion that we MUST conform to their way of thinking and doing simply because it is they who are in a vast social, and neurological majority. Often ignoring the likelihood that so many traits and behaviors of autism are "hard-wired", and that consequently we have only so much control if at all over such things.

    Being different in a society that craves conformity can be anything from difficult and frustrating to downright hazardous to your health. So yeah, you attempt to blend in the best you can. Acting "a part" in your own best interest, until you come home, shut the door behind you and can relax, recover and be yourself.

    Such is the life of any an Aspie. And that many of us, just attempting to mask our traits and behaviors is inherently exhausting. But we do it to survive with the least amount of social bumps and bruises.
     
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  8. Nihil

    Nihil Active Member

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    I generally don't tell people in real life that I'm on the autism spectrum, to avoid potentially being treated like a child or Sheldon Cooper. Instead I just tell them I have social anxiety.
     
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  9. Ken S.

    Ken S. Well-Known Member

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    I was never diagnosed until just under three years ago. I've always accepted the fact that I was somehow the outsider and never really thought or cared what others thought about my "odd" habits. Since my diagnosis it has helped me understand how I was different and why my life was the way it was but I still don't let others thoughts or opinions change who I am. This is not saying I don't care about others or have empathy for what they may be dealing with in life because I do. It is just saying other peoples opinion of me are irrelevant to how I live my life. If everyone were the same life would be too boring to deal with.
     
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  10. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed a little longer than you, 7 years ago at age 60. Do I hide my autism? Not really. Mind you, I don't broadcast it to the world, but I accept it is part of me and don't generally hide it. I admit to it when it is relevant or useful. You will find that the more you learn about autism, the more you learn about yourself and past behavior.

    The NT world is all around, and the urge to fit in can be powerful. Yes, you were conditioned to try to fit in, both internally and externally. There may be ways to stim unobtrusively. I touch my fingers in sequence with my thumb, back and forth. This can work especially well under a table.

    Part of the problem is trying to define "hide." I spent most of my life trying to fit in to the NT world. That was the only world I had. I knew I was different and didn't fit in, but I tried anyway. Was I hiding? Not consciously, but just attempting to be a part of the society I observed. And failing at it. I didn't know I was autistic until fairly recently. Was it in practical terms a form of hiding? Probably yes, sort of hiding by pretending. You will have to find your own balance, the level of hiding and and openness that suits you. This will have to be your decision. Best of luck on your journey of discovery.
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. In my 60s and retired, I really no longer care what people think these days. Though I certainly did when I had to interact with others on a daily basis.

    An advantage of old age? Maybe. :cool:
     
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  12. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

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    Yes. I have kept my autism hidden most of the time, and I don't really like it. I am always focusing on how I am moving my body or what I am doing with my hands. I am always trying to keep stimming to a minimum in public. It's not really good for me. It only stresses me out. It takes too much brain power to focus on trying to keep my autism hidden and do whatever task at the same exact time. I am only able to be myself when I am alone in my own room (I'm 15, almost 16, BTW), the only time and place when I don't have to hide my autism. It's just too much for me to handle, and I hate it. I am sick of hiding my disability. Just makes me feel like the world just doesn't want to see people like us around. I am tired of it. I was taught to hide my autism basically when I was in elementary school, and I have been so used to hiding my autism, that I never really stopped unless by myself.
     
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  13. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    I relate to this hard. I'm also 15 about to turn 16 this year and I'm trying my hardest to avoid any "autistic" behaviors at school because it seems all my classmates are really anti-autism and believe in all of the negative stereotypes that people attach to autism. I have to hide it if I wanna keep my social life and it sucks.
     
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  14. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

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    Can you give more details? This is not enough for me to base a conclusion on.
     
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  15. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    Like I try my best not to stim or to act socially awkward in conversation and at my first days at this school(I transferred at my current school during the school year.) I would deliberately not speak at all unless spoken to first because I was paranoid about being socially awkward and alienating all of the other students like at all of my other schools in the past.
     
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  16. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

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    Yeah, I get that bit. Not how your classmates are anti-autism. Can you give more details?
     
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  17. Zolang Green

    Zolang Green New Member

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    For me it's more the other way around. I often try to assimilate and fit in. I developed somehow a very effective self-observation, which actually takes a lot of energy. But even with that I end up hearing people sometimes saying, that I'm offensive, emotionless, self centric or obsessive. Funny is, that the same people saying things like this, they know just a little more about myself than this. It feels often I'm camouflaged, while I know a lot about other people and I have an open attitude towards them. At the end of the day, most people are not interested in other people too much, I guess. I think you should use this degree of freedom to make your experiences.
     
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  18. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    This is gonna need some context.

    I go to a school(Tobinworld) for children and adolescents on the spectrum and ones who are emotionally disurbed.
    But the thing is, the classes are split between the classes for the autistic kids and the ones for the ED(emotionally disturbed) kids. When I first went to that school to interview for it, the principal said that he is having trouble in placing me in one or the other since I have been diagnosed with both.

    But I was ultimately put in a class for ED students. I first discovered my class was anti-autism during a conversation I overheard my classmates having.
    They were insulting the students from the autistic classes behind their backs and one of my classmates told me more when I asked why they were doing that(I made it look like I was asking the question out of mere curiosity).

    They said (paraphrased) that the kids in the autistic were stupid retards(Which made me assume in my head that they were low functioning but this is just an assumption as I haven't actually met an autistic student there yet personally) and one of my classmates began flapping his arms around spastically to mock stereotypically autistic people.

    That's all I know due that being the only time autism was mentioned at class however but it was still enough to make me be more cautious than I previously was at school.

    Sorry for the tl;dr btw.
     
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  19. Shamar

    Shamar Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but is it really YOU that is fitting in? If so, than you have achieved something most of us here can only dream about.
     
  20. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    I tend not to talk much In situations involving more than one other human because of my communication difficulties that are part of my being autistic.

    From an early age in school (at a time when autistics were routinely institutionslized) the emphasis of the adults around me was for me to "blend in". I could not do this successfully. Oh, I learned not to spin around and things like that. I did not learn much in the way of social skills.

    I specially remember adult strangers on the bus telling me to "quit staring" at them. That stare is still my default for expected eye contact so living in an urban area, i don't ven attempt eye contact with strangers. I guess staring is considered to be rude or aggressive. It isn't my intention to stare but I seem to be unable to make my eye contact look like eye contact. I have been told to "quit staring" even when I wasn't looking at someone!

    School was also problematic because fluorescent lights. I can still to this day hear them buzzing, see them flicker, and can tell when one of them is,about to burn out. As an adult, I was diagnosed with Irfen syndrome which is true photophobia.

    I spent a lot of time alone on the school playground and I was consistently last to be pick for gym teams or if we had to pair up for any reason.

    High school was not a whole lot better.

    I never got good at blending in and I have now officially given up. I rock when standing, cover my ears for ambulances and fire alarms, wear floppy hats and sunglasses all the time.

    Blending in to such a degree that my own health gets messed up is simply not worth it.

    Somehow, quiet and shy have become what I do in order to remain safe in public. That, along with a certain way of walking, keeps strangers from interfering with me. I suppose that is a way of masking but it is for my own safety.

    I hate that I live in a society where being different is a cause for bullying and worse.

    As I age, I have found that my oddness is tolerated by people i know and rarely celebrated. It is my own way of being and moving in a world that is not prepared for me.

    I value the people that I can be myself with.

    I talk about being autistic a bit more these days to people that I trust. Finding out that someone is anti-autistic or an autism curebie (those who want to cure us or behavior mod us to death) results in me not self-diagnosing and in keeping them distant from me. What i do is listen for clues. If I bring up an Autistic in the news, emwhat is their reaction? If it is an okay reaction, then over time I may self-disclose. If it is anti-autistic or curebie, then I Don't bother to define myself to them or try to educate them.

    Educating others about being autistic can be draining. When people want to remain in their ignorance, it can be unsafe to attempt to educate them against their wishes. I frankly don't have the energy for it.

    Self-advocacy is something else. I find that I get angry at myself when I don't advocate for something I need or for my human rights or the human rights of my community.

    I think you are wise to think about your welk-being and safety. Best to you.
     
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