autnotes 002: (un)masked

I feel closer to my cat than I feel to humans. I’ve always felt closer to animals than to people, probably because I don’t have to speak to animals to communicate with them or wear a faux smile or hide entire parts of who I am and what makes me myself.

Right now, navigating autism burnout and coming to terms with unmasking my autism, I have no idea who I am — and that’s saying a lot, because I have DID. I have zero sense of myself during autism burnout. I don’t know what is entirely me and what was the autism mask.

And I get the feel that I don’t deserve to form relationships of any kind, with anyone, until I have a better idea of who I am. I mirror the people around me because they’re typically non-autistic I’m constantly being reminded that I’m 31 and should have my shit figured out by now. I’m told by people who literally fail to comprehend that autism burnout is complete physical and emotional exhaustion with a loss of skills that I “need to just do what needs to be done and push through”. Because I’m “strong”. Because I’m resilient.

I’ve run out of ways to articulate how literally incapable I am of doing certain things — of how autism burnout happens to anyone at any age.

Of how much I don’t want to be one of the average autistic people who don’t make past their 30s because of suicide, because no one fucking understands them.

I’m running out of ways to explain why I am the way I am, how the past does affect who I am, how I’m not the one who brings up my trauma the most, and how impossible it is for anyone to claim they know me when they don’t understand the DID system and autism mask bits.

Am I a DID alter? Or am I the autistic mask?

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