I made this quick diagram for you to ilustrate what I mean. It’s much easier this way than doing loads of writing, is it?
So basically, there is this trend in autistic community that tells us to ‘be more ourselves/be more autistic’ as this should help us feel better. But the problem with that is that for those of us diagnosed later in life the things that were working well for us became part of our ‘normal’ identity. I never thought, for example ‘I am so intelligent, what is wrong with me?’, instead I was pleased about it. So, even though my intelligence is most likely part of my autism, I never really thought about it this way.
However, those of us who were diagnosed earlier in life have different experience. If they learned to cook when they knew they were autistic, then their cooking skills are part of their autistic identity and possibly ‘being more autistic’ is what works well for them.
Yet, they seem to force their understanding on others, who’s experience is different. I am sure they have good intentions; they just don’t understand people like me see things differently. Which is just another example of how it’s not true that one autistic person can easily understand another (that’s another statement that is frequently being repeated on Instagram).
When I tried ‘being more myself’ what it meant to me was that I had to reject everything that works well in my life. I did make myself believe that is what is going to bring me happiness. And when it didn’t happen I tried doing the same thing even more – which is pretty much the same process that I was using when I didn’t know I’m autistic; only that at the time I was faking being neurotypical.
I hope that is all clear.