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When I Realized There's No Shame in Being Autistic

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There’s no shame in being Autistic, none at all. I know autism is often portrayed in the media as scary, taboo, ” ruins lives,” shameful, to be kept quiet etc. but I’ve learned that there is no shame in being Autistic.

Growing up, I didn’t know I was Autistic (I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 21) but I knew I had to be like everyone else as I had to fit in. Showing my true self and my sense of humor along with my special interests was off-limits. To avoid being bullied and ridiculed, I had to hide who I was truly was.

I would mask my autism to “fit in” as I felt ashamed of being myself. I often had to give in to peer pressure; after all, being bullied isn’t too good of a feeling!

I’m having to learn in my mid-20s that I don’t need to mask my autism. After all, you want people liking you for you, not who you pretend to be. I’m also having to learn who I truly am, which has been challenging at times.

If you are reading this, please know there is no shame in being Autistic, none at all! if people choose to shame you for being who you are, then that’s on them! I know it’s easier said than done to let go of shame, but what they do reflects on their character, not yours.

Getty image by elfiny.

Originally published: January 11, 2021
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