The struggle to unmask and be authentic is already an uphill battle, but the constant lack of understanding adds an extra layer of difficulty. The lack of understanding from others not only makes you question your own experiences but also reinforces the feeling of being an outsider in a world that doesn’t fully comprehend and even shuns the daily struggles.
Despite genuine efforts to unmask and embrace my authentic self, the skepticism i face from others leaves me feeling incredibly low and deflated. It is disheartening to be met with doubt and skepticism after being so open and trying to articulate feelings and emotions which don’t fall in line with neurotypical norms. The struggle to unmask and even understand my true identity becomes even harder when met with disbelief, which makes my experiences and emotions feel invalidated.
This constant battle between my internal journey of self-discovery and the external skepticism I encounter has a huge effect on my mental and emotional well-being. It becomes a constant reminder of the daily challenges that only add to feelings of isolation and loneliness. The lack of belief from others not only hinders my self-progress but also reinforces the societal pressure to conform and continue masking, which adds to internal conflict.
How is it that some people can believe they know more about autistic masking and autism than someone who lives it every day? To know more than someone who has seen numerous specialists, spent countless hours in therapy, and conducted extensive research on his own? Since my late diagnosis, I have dedicated my time and energy to understanding my life experience and navigating my complex condition. Yet, despite my expertise and personal insight, I am still met with skepticism and disbelief from those who claim to know better (often people I know). It is a frustrating and disheartening reality, how others can presume to understand my journey without having walked in my shoes. The lack of empathy and willingness to listen only make it even more challenging to unmask and be authentic in a neurotypical society.
I am currently having a documentary filmed on my journey, which will cover how I use art as a tool to express and channel my feelings and emotions. Throughout my late diagnosis and therapy, creating art has played a crucial role. It has given me a way to express and channel my feelings in a way that words alone cannot capture. The documentary aims to shed more light not only on autism but also on autistic masking and the impacts of a late diagnosis on daily life.
By sharing my story and promoting art therapy as a life tool, I hope to inspire others to look at art for its therapeutic benefits of artistic expression. Through this documentary, we aim to educate viewers about the importance of embracing neurodivergent individuals and their unique perspectives.
I am incredibly grateful to everyone who is taking part in this project.
A massive thank you to Eklectics for your dedication to helping raise awareness which I feel will undoubtedly contribute to getting the vital points across through your amazing filmmaking talents.