Hello again, and welcome back aboard the autism boat. Today I wanted to talk about camouflaging. Camouflaging is sort of like having a normal mask. An autistic puts this mask on to avoid being spotted as different and to try to conform. This means that to others, the person seems like a typicality everyday functioning person. This is the intent of camouflaging. In my experience this is mostly done by female autistics and in my opinion is why so many autistic women don’t get diagnosed or are mis-diagnosed as they seen “fine”. In short, autistic female are usually better at hiding their autism which is why some to this day believe that females can’t be autistic or there are fewer of us compared to the males.
This is why I was diagnosed later (at 15). I had learnt to camouflage very well. People just thought I was a bit quirky, which was believable as so are most of my family, but it was more. To this day I still camouflage for most of the time especially in public and at school. This drains my energy very quickly which is why when I get home I crash Recently I have been trying to camouflage less as I believe people will like me for my quirkier self but this is going to take time.
The other aspect of camouflaging is that sometimes it can feel like living two different lives and its hard to keep up, this is another reason I wish to camouflage less is because I want to be more relaxed and not have to worry who I am in public compared to in a comfortable environment such as at home. However unfortunately, camouflaging is necessary to live and be accepted into society, in the work place and make friends.
Camouflaging is a big aspect of my life and everyone does it sometimes, just autistics more. It is one of the biggest tools in my autistic tool box and I am glad I am able to do it as it has helped me live a life in society even with its downsides. It has allowed me to “act normal enough” and to make friends. I am really happy as they are starting to see my quirky side and they are still deciding to be friends with me so that’s a plus. Going back to the diagnosing autistic females, if you think you know or are an autistic female that is good at camouflaging, this may stop you from getting a diagnosis so keep pushing until you find someone that has experience diagnosing autistic females.
So I have run out of things to say at this moment, so I suppose I will end this post here. See you later.