UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals  (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.




January 28, 1994,


I am terribly naïve, terribly trusting. I don’t see it as a fault. Instead I see it as youth, freedom, innocence. I am definitely not meant for the “real” cold world.


I guess the reason all of this happened was to show me the truth. I realize that after withdrawing into myself and remaining so … young, perhaps I am not meant for the typical life.


“Typical” is not meant in an inferior manner – I just am … different. Although I am able to uphold a wonderful social atmosphere, it really cannot go beyond the superficiality. I don’t regret this. Quite the opposite. I have never been able to open myself up …


Kalpita Pathak
Age 18


Ah, the irony of explaining that my use of the word “typical” was not meant to be denigrating in any way … 😇


My three takeaways from this entry:


1). I am even overexplaining myself to my journal (see: “‘Typical’ is not meant …”)! Many autistic people overexplain because we are so very deeply misunderstood so very frequently.


2). I know now I was good at masking but at the time believed everyone else was better at it . I thought they were also upholding “a wonderful social atmosphere”, not realizing it came naturally to them! I didn’t even realize I was masking – I just thought that was how socializing was done.


3). I knew I was different but in that moment, I didn’t think that difference made me worthless. Wow. To be clear: since my diagnosis I no longer think that difference makes me worthless. There were just decades in between that had me convinced otherwise.