Monthly Archives: August 2018

Mask or Me?

Counting the Ways

There has been a bit of a buzz on the internet this month about ‘taking the mask off’. There is even a hashtag #takethemaskoff. I have read a couple of posts about it. And I have been thinking about my own situation. Do I mask? I would say, of course I do. I call it ‘putting on my public face’. I don’t know for how long I have been doing it, but at least since my teens. I remember coming back from parties or other social occasions, and my face would literally hurt with muscle fatigue, because I had forced it into appropriate expressions for hours. These days it manifests more in a painful, tense jaw. But the principle remains, I have to take control of my face when facing other people and hope the expression I present is acceptable and correct for the situation. ‘Arrange your face’, says Richard…

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A response to hatred


This is a very personal post on a very political topic: bigotry and hatred.

Yesterday I was on the receiving end of some horrific bigoted ignorance – a person peripheral to my life who had no idea of what autism is or indeed that I am autistic, telling me a number of things they believe about autism – ‘I am sorry people are autistic.’ ’I am OK. I am normal’ and the clincher ‘That’s like people who are criminally insane.’ I am someone who knows what they are doing all the time but at that point I honestly didn’t know what to do. The stress and horror that coursed through me in that conversation was at a very high level. I somehow managed to remain a responsible human being and told the person to go away but I think if I hadn’t done that I may have done something I…

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Taking or Leaving the Mask

Yes. Bravo!

Autism and Expectations

I am a guilty masker. I’ve always masked. It’s a complex creation with different weights and different angles. Each occasion has a different variation of it, a different material, a different pattern.

I have my work mask; professional, straight-backed, walking tall. She has a specific amount of makeup and specific hair. She keeps her outlandish sense of humour to herself and laughs at all the right moments. She does polite small-talk even though it grinds her bones to dust. She is least me of all my masks.

I have my wider family mask; she allows her opinions to show, and a limited level of humour. Her language is contained and polite. Her muscles tense against each other, and she smiles and fakes when too many people are talking at once.

She is a contradiction. She wants to be the one holding court on subjects she loves, and she wants to…

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Autistic Inertia

Autistic Zebra

I’ve wanted to write about Autistic Inertia for a while now, but ironically inertia was preventing me from doing so. It is something that almost every autistic I have spoken to has had to deal with, yet you won’t see it much in books or information written by non-autistics. And it is a very serious problem.

It’s also, as I’m finding out, very difficult to explain. I did find a good entry about it in Wikipedia

Stranger Darker Better has also written a great post on it.

Jax Blunt offers a whole series of posts on Autistic inertia as well as the closely related subjects Burnout and Regression.

How it effects me personally is that I get “stuck” on the sofa, unable to get up and do those important tasks I simply must do. I can mull over them, have them on my schedule or to-do lists, and know that…

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