The Neurotypical persona that some Aspies and Autistics create to fit into the Neurotypical world takes years of study and practice mimicking everyone around you to create and many more to master. Many of us were forced to create this persona for survival. Through bullying, forced isolation, and people who felt like we needed to be “taken down a peg” or “taught a lesson” we were forced to learn to be “Normal” through years of constant oppression.
We learn to mimic voice intonation, facial expressions, body movements, what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. We learn to “read” the people around us constantly to adjust every single aspect of our personas to fit the situation well enough to not raise suspicions, and keep the people around us “at ease.” As you can imagine, keeping up this persona is physically, mentally, and emotionally…exhausting. (Even more so the more people you interact with, and the longer it is active.)
When you finally get home to a safe place to drop the act, you are often drained so much that you are unable to function as yourself until you recharge. This leaves you unable to show emotions, or react correctly or at all to the people around you, causing some of them to be genuinely worried that something may in fact be seriously wrong with you.
But the most dangerous thing about donning this persona on a daily basis is that the more you wear it, the harder it is to take off…It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish your true self from the persona…and you lose your ability to recharge causing some of us to “malfunction” and do illogical things, have autonomic reactions, anxiety, depression, become agitated, and remain exhausted until we can regain control, turn it off, and recharge again.
The best case scenario would be to be accepted for who we are without having to wear this extremely and increasingly taxing persona on a constant basis. While we should strive to learn how to reach and understand Neurotypicals and fit into this world, they should strive to reach and understand us as well and recognize us for our abilities instead of our idiosyncrasies.
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