If I acknowledge that masking wasn't always necessary, it means that I equally have to acknowledge the mental turmoil I lived through as an autistic masker. And daring to even go down that rabbit hole within myself means acknowledging how truly emotionally broken I was. How emotionally cut off from life that I was.
"But I do also cry when I open up and connect with people who love me, my family and husband. When I am overwhelmed with feelings of understanding and genuine caring from others. When I read other people's experiences that nearly mirror my own. When I feel like I can finally communicate and express caring towards other people without feeling weak or sensitive or immature and know it will be received and understood by others."
I want to know why my school doesn't care about disabled students. I wish I had cared sooner.
Whenever I talk about myself, it's usually to make other people understand, not because I like talking about myself. I actually hate talking about myself verbally to other people. I fear that I may be perceived as cold, arrogant, uninterested in others, or smug. It's so befuddling to me that other people think my internal motivations would be to gain sympathy or attention...
I started tearing up, looking at the ground, and didn't speak. They got out of their office chair and walked up to me slightly and quietly said "This is a safe space here. You're okay." I really, really appreciated this one gesture. It made me tear up more in relief, because literally no one has ever said that to me. They didn't ask me why I was crying, or why, or how I was feeling. They just said "You are safe here." I was suddenly less worried about expectations to speak verbally or act a certain way.