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




July 07, 1994


I am finally settling down and getting used to my life!


July 10, 1994


If I was living alone I could be happy! But, it doesn’t mean that I don’t yearn for love. Not by anyone at all, though. By someone who’ll hold me silently and understand, if not relate. No longer crying for I now that I am my love, my truth, my soul & heart 🙂


July 15, 1994


I am so content and happy with my life right now. The solitary life is quite pleasant – I am nurturing my body and soul, something which, as you well know, I kind of neglected to do … I am excited about living on my own! I come home – & it is so welcoming with Belle & the Beast dancing over the doorway, flowers everywhere, romantic bedsheets, everything!  


Kalpita Pathak
Age 19


These posts remind me of a line from a Simon and Garfunkel song: “Home where my love lies waiting silently for me …”


At nineteen, my autistic dream for love: silence and understanding.
At nineteen, my autistic dream for life: solitude. And people thought I’d grow out of it 😂


It can be hard for autistic people to live with others. Sensory management, routines, the “order of things”, etc. are easily disrupted with roommates.


This series of posts was written when I had a few weeks to myself in an off-campus apartment. That solitude helped me find balance – no more sensory overwhelm, meltdowns, anxiety. I was able to go to class, turn in my work, and come home to a safe space, adorned with items revolving around my special interests (Beauty and The Beast , purple flowers, and Victorian decor topped the list then).


Had I known I was autistic, I could have tried to live alone in the first place or, barring that, known how to better support myself and advocate for support from my roommates. This is one reason why diagnosis is so important.


Without the diagnosis, I was dismissed as high-maintenance, selfish, controlling, and “hysterical”. I wasn’t able to find the balance I needed for my health and to be a good roommate to others. It was a negative cycle I couldn’t figure out how to break.