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




July 31, 1994,

I just had the most enlightening chat with R [roommate]. I love her so very much. She understands the freaky, [self-]controlling aspect of my personality … the only aspect I truly allow others to see, for I am so vulnerable and dreamy.


Kalpita Pathak
Age 19


While I am not actually controlling or “freaky” (a part of me sobs at how often I dismissed my own experiences/emotions because of internalized ableism 😢), I am definitely vulnerable and dreamy.


Now that I know I am autistic, I can protect and strengthen those precious qualities while better managing my need for routine and same-ing. And I can also advocate for those needs rather than accepting other people’s interpretations of them. #informationispower


NT psychology convinced me I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. It convinced me I was self-controlling and in denial when in fact what I was instinctively feeling was accurate: I just wanted my same-everything, my routines.


The problem here is that everything about us is filtered through an NT lens. Even my own insights into my experiences were dismissed as “denial”. I ended up misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and medicated for twenty-plus years as a result of this NT filter.


“Dreamy”, “freaky”, “controlling” are all various ways to minimize my autistic traits as eccentric and annoying rather than reasonable and logical, per my autistic lens. To make me palatable and grateful for the “acceptance”.


This happens to autistic people all the time. We are reduced to adjectives that don’t really apply or make sense of “why”. We are reduced to personality traits or pathology. How can we be treated as human beings when we are constantly reduced as less than?