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




September 26, 1993 


Well gee … if that wasn’t a hint, I don’t know what is. A HINT?!


“Don’t come back, we don’t want you here.”


OK. OK. Maybe not those exact words, but close enough. 



Kalpita Pathak
Age 18















A clearer hint there never was. 🕵️💡😢


What striking to me now is I wrote this the same day as my previous entry (re: suicide attempt). On that day, I reflected on my desire not to exist, went to spend time with people I cared about and whom I thought cared about me, and was told to leave and never come back. And this series of events was not particularly unusual or consciously impactful because it was normal for my life. 


This wasn’t a hint. This was a group of people so exasperated I wasn’t picking up on their nonverbal cues, they finally just said what they were thinking.


(💔 giving myself space to feel that pain & utter confusion again 💔)


If only they’d done that in the first place! “Kalpi, we want to have some suitemate time tonight – can we get together with you tomorrow?”


I would have happily skedaddled.


Alas, that is the friendship cycle: we bond, they want something but don’t want to be rude, I don’t realize it, they get frustrated, they snap, friendship over.


(hard to think about that frustration building over time while I blithely believe everything is great)


My inability to read nonverbal cues doesn’t mean I don’t want to accommodate people’s needs. But because I can’t read those cues, I end up seeming … clingy, weird, maybe creepy? And the flip side is when I say what I need quite forthrightly, I lose friendships for being rude.


So many autistic people experience this very same thing. It is truly traumatic.


The sudden, violent isolation is like being ejected into the vacuum of space and floating there forever.


Breaking the cycle means accepting that autistic communication is valid. In fact, autistic communication can be trustworthy, sincere, uncalculating. Safe, once you get past the discomfort.


Social conventions are deeply ingrained. It takes work to get past the conviction that being blunt is the same as being unkind.


The work is worth it.