I have high functioning autism.
I am 44.
I also have meltdowns when I get overwhelmed. Some people interpret my actions to keep it all under control as rude. I am then often judged for being over emotional.
When I have a meltdown, I cannot properly communicate. I am shunned for this and encouraged to apologize for my behaviour even though I'm unsure what I've done.
This is really embarrassing. Has not improved with time or therapy. I feel a great deal of shame.
I try to explain myself but that makes things worse.
I don't want a pitty party. I understand I have a communication disorder. I just feel very ashamed of who I am.
Welcome to the club. Look,...emotions are a serious "control thing" with me,...for just the reasons you've stated so well. This gets into the topic "masking" and "being yourself" and the harmful psychological effects of "internalization". If I just let go,...frankly, I am not quite sure how to do it anymore,...but if I did, I would revert to my childhood days and the ways I behaved. Clearly not appropriate for a 55 yr old professional working with the public and a team that depends on me to keep my head on straight.
You're 44,...you're not a kid anymore,...and I am acutely aware of the social and communication delays associated with our condition. An underlying anxiety condition,...even if it is "subclinical",...can be a trigger for mental stress and emotional outbursts,...meltdowns,...shutdowns,...social and communication errors. I can say with certainty that maintaining an "even keel" and "emotional neutrality" is incredibly difficult,...it can be mentally exhausting,...to the point where all you want to do is nap the day away when you have a day off from work. BUT,...I have to do it. Self-awareness, having that internal monologue on, thinking constantly, pausing before your responses,...all of that is happening. BUT,...I have to do it. The moment you go "au natural" and let your quick wit get the better of you,...something flies out of your mouth,...and that's when people get offended or confused. That crap happens,...at least once a week with me,...and then I have to quickly apologize,...or worse, it might take me a few hours or days to process what just happened. "Well, I could have handled that better." "What did I learn today?...Don't do THAT."
Also: Take care of your brain. Seriously. People with heart, kidney, pancreatic, liver conditions,...all have to take certain special care with themselves. The brain is no different. Diet, exercise, sleep, supplements,...all have a role to play in having your brain operate as best that it can.