You Might Be Masking If…Part 3

Woman with pale skin and dark shadows beneath her eyes holding up a drawing of a smile in front of her mouth.
Yet 20 more examples of masking in real life.

Round three

Here’s another round of “you might be masking if…” posts from Twitter. You can find the first 20 here, along with some preliminary info on autistic masking, and the second 20 here.

You might be masking if…

(BTW, the pics are embedded links to Twitter, so you can click on them to like, comment, or read the comments if you choose.)

You might be masking if everyone leaves the house and you feel like you can finally take a deep breath.

You might be masking if you’re hiding a burnout from your supervisor or family.

You might be masking if you put your kids’ needs so far ahead of your own that you no longer know what your own needs are.

You might be masking if just the thought of getting together with family sucks all your energy (with or without additional trauma responses).

Unmasking your (autism/NDness) around family can be so hard if they were a big part of why you started. It’s okay to mask if you need to, to get through family time.

You might be masking if people tell you, “but you don’t seem autistic.”

To clarify, masking and high masking are verbs. They are things some of us do, not who we are. I see them as descriptions of how I sometimes get by in the world, not a label of who I am.

You might be masking if you’re constantly worried you’ll get fired, or people will hate you, or that people will react badly, for every tiny thing you do, even when you know that’s not likely.

You might be masking if you suffer through fluorescent light headaches rather than turn off the lights, even when you’re the only one in the office.

You might be masking if you start liking things other people like in order to fit in with them.

You might be masking if you really want to leave a zoom social meeting, but then when other people start leaving early you stick around because now there are so few of you left.

You might be masking if you are later diagnosed and you think your family won’t believe that you’ve been suffering for years because they didn’t notice.

We all have an essential self and a social self. Some of us also have a masked self that actively hurts us for others’ comfort. Unmasking is unlearning the damaging ways we learned to be around people.

You might be masking if you visit someone’s home and go so far out of your way to be an easy guest that it actually makes them uncomfortable.

You might be masking if you’re worried people will see right through you and find out that you’re really a very boring person.

You might be masking if you won’t, or can’t, engage with your special interests when other people are around, even when you have time and opportunity.

You might be masking if you can’t figure out how to break into a conversation “naturally,” and can’t stand interrupting, so never bring up your very important point.

You might be masking if you mentally explain why you’re doing what you’re doing as you go about your day as if you‘re explaining yourself to another person.

You might be masking if you rarely/never info dump, or are convinced that no one really wants to hear what you have to say, even when they explicitly ask for it.

You might be masking if you didn’t realize how many sensory sensitivities or sensory needs you have until you started questioning whether you’re autistic.

Which of these do you resonate with?

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Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Hi, I’m Heather. I’m an Autistic writer, advocate, and life coach, and I'm building a life I love. I help other Autistics to build their own autism-positive life. I love reading, jigsaw puzzles, just about every -ology, and Star Trek!

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