Congruence in the making – how to live autistically in a socially hostile world?

It wasn’t until I was home again and took off my handmade brooch (pictured above) that I made the connection between the powerful congruence I felt at #InsideOutAutism and wearing it on both days. I’m still processing why this act of making and wearing felt significant. I’ve never been one to wear text on my body in any form, perhaps because my identity has been at times uncertain and under siege.

But my self-fashioned brooch was different. Here was an artefact, crafted over time and without conscious purpose, redolent of my journey as an autistic woman in reclaiming the language used about me, and my people. So antiquated is the text that I am unfamiliar with some of the words, and it acts as a curio, or something I could have inherited. I feel I have. It holds a familial feeling, and when I peer at its loveliness I hear the ancestral whisper – we were once like you. If an object can be joyful and witty, it has those qualities. Have you ever bounced on a trampoline? My brooch is the rebound which tosses your heart in the air. It gives me abnormous joy. It trumpets confidence. That zing-a-ling feeling that I’m A-okay.

Masking and caring – an #actuallyautistic perspective.

What I do have is a complex relationship with masking – which I want to be honest and hopefully nuanced about.  Stigma exists, often we don’t have a choice (those of us who’ve learned masking as an adaptation).  For myself as a bilingual person, I have come to think of masking as a bilingualism wrought by the necessity of living between worlds with different cultures.

I hope to write more about masking and caring as my situation evolves. 

Autism, masking and ageing. A personal view.

I’m on the cusp,  in the run up to a brave new decade. Contemporary culture demands I declare it the new something. Always something younger than, always more energetic than, and ever more ‘positive’ than before! 

I simply feel old. This is desperately, desperately unfashionable. I do know this. I should be scaling mountains and learning to yodel.