I have some masking skills but I try to avoid using them by default. If I mask I loose the opportunity to fix something.
Some people don’t like my views on masking. They think autistic people should act as normal as they can.
A common view on masking is that it’s a ‘coping skills’ but it’s not really. It’s really a type of debt.
It’s a debt against my identity, self value and confidence. Who I am becomes brittle and disjointed.
I stop being me and I start being the mask. I value myself by how others react to the mask. Then one day, when the debt gets to high the mask collapses and I need to rebuild.
Masking is a tool. Sometimes being able to ‘cope’ is fine but only when it’s judged against the true cost of the debt.
When considered this way masking is rarely the right option which is why I avoid masking by default.
Rather than mask I am upfront about my needs and I find good sources for help. I find better solutions to challenges. Long term the need to mask vanishes and that’s better for everyone.