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




March 12, 1994,


Why must I sit here and shiver and shake like some child crouched in her blankets, afraid the noises she hears are those of the bogeyman? 


Kalpita Pathak
Age 18


Interestingly enough, the Bogeyman was a scare tactic used by adults to force children to be compliant. Sound familiar? Hmmm … I guess I was afraid of the Bogeyman, after all. 


Internalized ableism is real. I was not shivering and shaking like a child afraid of the bogeyman. I was shivering and shaking like an autistic adult who was in sensory overwhelm (and well on her way to meltdown).


Before I discovered I’m autistic, I used to tell my partner to talk to me like I was a child so I could better understand. Now I say, Break it down into steps using direct language or Show me on the white board what you mean.


Internalized ableism exists because ableism exists, deeply ingrained in our society’s perception of  neurodivergent and otherwise disabled people.  (Self-) Infantilization can be a lifelong trauma we have to unlearn.