Authentic autistic 

Authenticity is good.  It’s a compliment of character, a selling point for goods and services.  Whether we’re talking about food or people, it’s certainly sought after, at least the appearance thereof.  How’s that for irony?  😉

But in terms of people and ways of being, authenticity is not always wise.  It almost doesn’t matter; I mean, everybody claims to crave and seek and prize authenticity, pretending to hold it in the highest regard.  They’re lying, most of them.  The trouble is, they might be so convincing that they believe their own lie.

When faced with genuine authenticity, most people actually become uneasy.  They’re so used to bullshitting each other that they don’t recognize authenticity when it’s staring right at them, nor would they know what to do with it if they did.

Authenticity is risky, dangerous.  If we should pass each other on the street and I reveal my authentic self, letting it flap in the wind, the real me is exposed.  Should I expose the real me, it’s fair game, open to criticism.  Should the other person lob criticism at me, it’s my true self they’re criticizing.

Once I’ve revealed my true self, everything else is just a mask.  Letting the mask drop is a one-way movement; if there’s an “undo” button, I haven’t found it yet.  And you only know if it was a bad idea to drop the mask after the fact; by then, the damage is done.

So where does that leave things?

True to the stereotypes surrounding Asperger’s/autism, I often fall into the tempting arms of black and white thinking.  It’s binary, with only two choices: on or off, yes or no, all or nothing.  This mode forces me to make a firm, purposeful decision–in cruder terms, to shit or get off the pot.  And in no facet of my life has this been more applicable than trust, because that appears to be the prerequisite for revealing one’s authenticity to another.

What I’ve always known, but chosen to forget, and subsequently remembered, is that there are intermediates between that all-or-nothing road-fork.  And I’ve begun to give those in-betweens the time of day.  After all, they deserve it.  Those intermediates matter; they need love, too.

And here, again, this realization gets a particularly glaring spotlight when it comes to daring to reveal my authentic self.

I know I must proceed with caution, of course.  It’s a jungle out there.  Dog-eat-dog, eat or be eaten, and all that.  In a world of fluffed up grandiosity, where plastic people are incessantly trying to convince each other how cool and successful and desirable they are, letting your true light shine is a dangerous gamble.

But part of me is willing to try, at least some of the time, in the company of some of the people.  Not all of me, not all the time, and not with everyone, but hey, at least I’m thinking about dipping my big toe into the pool.  I’m taking a few baby steps here and there.

And once I find out the water is warm, I might just take a few more.

Time, that mischievous imp, will tell.  🙂

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36 Comments

  1. In the past, when someone would tell me to be authentic, to say what I think, to tell them the truth, my opinion, that they would accept me as I am, be happy to have my input, etc I used to believe them and, inevitably they would become angry at me for… being authentic. So no, now I’m not that authentic to people who specifically state that they like authentic people, as from my experience, these are specifically the ones so deeply in lies that they don’t even remember what being authentic is. Now, I’m authentic with people that I notice are authentic themselves. To the rest of the population, I serve the meal they’re really after : “white lies” (not to be confounded with lying for bad reasons – and that maybe is what is hard to understand for young autistic people, all lies are not equal). There is just one part of authentic that I no longer hesitate about, it’s telling other people that I’m autistic, because I feel that trying to hide my autism is as weird as if someone with black skin would not admit he/she has black skin.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Honestly, I think Curt Smith has some good insight here about being one’s true inner self (and this is applicable to all regardless of neurotype). Once you let the mask drop it is hard to put it back on. At least, I’ve not been able to make it fit anyway.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I do love your blog!! I hope you don’t mind, but I pinned this to my autism board on Pinterest. I’m trying to create a board so highlight and understand autism, I’m determined to understand it better after my niece recently being ‘diagnosed’ – i’m not sure if that is the correct term. I just want to see the world through a different perspective, you always provide me with glimpses of another point of view, another understanding. Thank you for sharing and I hope it’s ok that I pin you 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Omg thank you bunches!! ❣❣. I don’t mind at all; I really appreciate that! I love what you’re doing on Pinterest! That’s awesome 😁👍🏼🙌🏼. Please feel free to pin anything you like 💞. Wow! You never cease to amaze me in the loveliest of ways 😘😘💖🌟💖💚💙💜💗🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Laina. And I’m not just saying that, lol. Blogging is a good exercise in learning about authenticity. And location/culture is important too. Experiencing another culture (doesn’t have to be in person, can be books, film, etc.) and observing authentic people can help (like the Curt Smith vid above, and I find listening to Eckhart Tolle to be grounding).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re very welcome, girl! 💙💚. I believe the Likes are already enabled; I can see them 😁. These settings will vary by theme; different themes have different “amenities” 😊. But I think you’re good to go 👍🏼. No worries about commenting here 💞💞

      Like

  5. What I meant was that we don’t even have choice BUT to show up as our most authentic selves. There’s too much falseness out there and it is our duty to be true to ourselves. Thought I might’ve come across as saying the opposite in my previous commitment 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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