UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.
December 18, 1993
Well. Here I am yet again. What I am doing here is still unclear, but you know … *** I guess I’m just horrendously afraid of the rejection and pain that accompanies so many encounters. ***
Acknowledgement: the next step in the normalization of rejection and pain.
After that comes acceptance, when I realize “so many” really means “every. single. one.”
What makes me saddest about this journal entry is it demonstrates I’ve finally accepted the course of my relationships: rejection and pain.
Before college, my relationships had followed a similar course but the difference was I also had a sanctuary. My room, my books, familiar foods, familiar weather, familiar smells. My dogs. Comfort and sameness.
Because all that was gone – literally no comfort or sameness while living on campus – I was in a constant state of of anxiety. Meltdowns in private. White-knuckling in public. I was at my worst around a bunch of strangers, making it even harder for me to maintain friendships when people could barely tolerate me at my best.