I knew, at the age of four or five, that I wasn’t a girl, but I couldn’t articulate what I knew, and the world told me I was a girl, and I had to get used to that somehow.
I also knew, around the same time, that I was not like other kids, but not knowing I was NeuroDivergent, also meant not having the language to describe that experience either, and falsely believing that I was an inferior, lazy, NeuroTypical child, and then, eventually, a inferior lazy NeuroTypical adult. I held myself to those NeuroTypical standards, even to my own detriment.
I forced myself to fit into their boxes, at the expense of my own mental and physical health.
I held myself to CIS heteronormative standards, often feeling like I was living a lie and pretending to be someone I wasn’t, for the comfort of other people.
I hit for safety, to blend in, and not make waves. I hid to avoid being the target of bullying and harassment, though bullies still managed to find me. That’s what happens when you grow up in a violent, hostile place, where you don’t feel you’re safe, and you are forced into the peripheries of society.
Being invisible was safer and preferable to standing out, so I did my best to be invisible, and it almost killed me.
Eventually, I got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I came to a place where I could no longer maintain the complex social mask that had protected me for most of my life, and when it all fell apart, I found myself in a place of crisis and was diagnosed Autistic at 29. Continue reading Queer, Trans, NeuroDivergent, Autistic: The Human Need for Authenticity