In some ways, life was easier when I was trying to hide the fact that I’m not quite normal.
I was scared that people would find out my secret. So I kept everyone at a distance most of the time. I used to get criticised for being too stand-offish sometimes; for not sharing enough of myself. But at least I felt safe.
I know I can’t hide any more. It’s better and healthier for me not to. But I hadn’t realised how difficult I would find navigating the world without my mask.
I am still scared most of the time. Although now, instead of being scared that someone will find out my secret, I’m scared that I will hurt or upset the people I’ve grown to care about. Because I don’t know how normal people navigate this world. The rules are unfamiliar to me. And every time I think I’ve worked it out, the rules seem to change. I’m left trying to figure out where I went wrong this time around and constantly playing catch-up. But I’m not sure I will ever be able to understand fully how other people work.
I know two things about this:
- I don’t want to hurt anyone.
- I don’t want to put my mask back on.
I’m not sure those two statements are able to co-exist in the real world.
So I keep on muddling through for now. Hoping it will get easier. Hoping more people will be able to accept me for who I am, and forgive me when I make mistakes. Because I never mean to hurt or upset anyone.
I didn’t choose to be like this. I’m just trying to make the best of the situation in which I find myself (I wonder if it’s the same for everyone else). But it’s so hard sometimes.