The first post lays the foundations for everything that follows and sets the direction each post will take after that. While that might be true for fences, this is a blog, the first I’ve written, and it’s about me, The Unmasked Autistic, Glenn to those who know me, so who can say where we’ll end up.
Why The Unmasked Autistic?
Well, at the end of 2022, at the age of 51, I received a diagnosis that altered the view I had of myself and my life when I discovered that I’m autistic.
For me, in these early days at least, autism has become an explanation. For the endless questions in my head, my lifelong crippling doubt, my gut-churning ruminations, my tics and peccadillos, my ability to hyperfocus and rapidly analyse an inordinate amount of information, and so much more that has on so many occasions left me feeling alien and, at times, paralytic (and no, I don’t mean drunk).
Throughout everything life has thrown at me (and some that I’ve thrown back), writing has often been my salvation, a bottomless well of rejuvenation that I return to when all else falters. And that’s why, after more than 15 years of umming and ahing, I’ve finally decided to jump and start this long-time-coming blog.
(I had initially wanted to blog about everything in the world that pissed me off. Glenn’s Gripes, I was going to call it. But I thought reading it might just end up pissing everyone else off too.)
The point of this blog – The Unmasked Autistic – is to document my experiences, take you on a journey, and, hopefully, set a course for what currently feels like an uncertain future.
It’s a blog I hope other autistic people (particularly late-diagnosed autistic people who, like me, have most likely sometimes (often?) felt cast adrift on foreign waters rather than at one with the world) will be able to take something from – that you can learn from as I indeed learn.
But this blog isn’t only for autistic people. Yes, it will of course focus on my late, late autism diagnosis, and everything that comes with that, including my next steps, my ‘unmasking’, my efforts in disclosing my new-found status (I’d say putting my name to this blog is a pretty good start!), and even reflections on my childhood and life up until this point.
But it will also include posts about some of my passions (think food, gardening, sport, the weather – yes, the weather will get a run – and various other ramblings), as well as my general interactions with the world, which means, yes, it will most likely include stories about some of the things that piss me off too.
Basically, it’s life uncensored, through the lens of this here middle-aged autistic man – a filter that, until recently, I didn’t even realise I possessed.
My curiosity knows no bounds, my ability to delve into the minutia of life’s trivialities is legendary. Just ask my long-suffering, support-giving, infinitely-understanding wife (who has asked me to preserve her anonymity here and so preserve it I will) who noted recently some of my most-used phrases: That doesn’t make sense, It’s strange to me, and What the hell are they doing that for, the dickheads?
In short, I hope The Unmasked Autistic will be of benefit to anyone who reads it. It is my form of autistic advocacy – advocacy that will highlight the amazing benefits that come from inclusivity and variety and tolerance of our intrinsic differences (as well as our similarities). Something that taking a cookie-cutter approach to life usually fails to accept.
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