GayBoromir

451d

How to stop masking? I've noticed I repress a lot of my symptoms, such as stimming, and over expose myself to sensory input due to embarrassment. I also don't speak in a way that feels genuine to me. How do I learn to stop masking? I feel as though I have been burnt out for as long as I can remember.

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Top reply
    • BevBug

      451d

      It's hard to unlearn, but baby steps help. Start by allowing yourself to stim in a safe environment, around people who both know and accept your Autism. Over time, you'll begin to feel more comfortable letting down the mask in increasingly more neurotypical places. At least that's been my experience.

    • BevBug

      451d

      It's hard to unlearn, but baby steps help. Start by allowing yourself to stim in a safe environment, around people who both know and accept your Autism. Over time, you'll begin to feel more comfortable letting down the mask in increasingly more neurotypical places. At least that's been my experience.

      • GayBoromir

        451d

        @BevBug strangely I feel embarrassed even when I'm alone. That has been my main struggle so far.

        • BevBug

          451d

          @GayBoromir I understand. It can be hard to undo all the cultural stuff saying that having to stim in a bad thing, but we know that it's something we need. I know words aren't going to help that insecurity just go away, but like I said, baby steps. Let yourself have happy hands when a commercial you like happens! Tap on those hard surfaces when you're alone! Touch that thing because you think it'll feel cool! You've got a whole community behind you saying there's nothing wrong. And as soon as you undo the brainwashing, you won't be so tired anymore. If you need someone to talk to a little more in-depth, feel free to message. I've been down this road before and I'd like to help if I can

        • minime273

          450d

          @GayBoromir i was the same way a few months ago, for the most part. What helped me was to remember how much stimming helps me regulate myself, and how good it could feel. Eventually, alone was fine. Now I'm working on masking less in public, because around family and friends is not that big an issue for me anymore. You'll have to work on unmasking, but it will happen and you'll likely feel better for it. The mask as a translator is a tool that you can use but should not overuse. Good luck!

    • chihiro.sen

      451d

      I feel your pain, im still having a hard time detangling where my masking starts and ends. You mentioned you feel embarrased about stimming while alone, maybe you can focus on that first. Just try indulging in a stim and thinking about what it feels like and how it can improve your life. I have one thats extremely comforting and its nice to just indulge in it and reflect on how cool it is that i have an instant seretonin and de-stress hack programmed in, which helps push back against the internal stigma. the more i recontextualize these types of things as coping mechanisms that help me function, rather than embarrassing symptoms, i can kinda treat them like tools to make my life better. And like starting to let yourself do them in that positive context in private could make it a habit so you end up masking less?

    • duckiepluckie

      451d

      I started practicing this in VR, surprisingly. I found it's easier to be myself in VR Chat, and since then I have been slowly leaning towards practicing that IRL.

    • Chirp

      450d

      To me, stimming is something that I used to repress on accident, but it always happened, it was just a matter of how 'normal' it was. Listening to music over and over, watching movies I loved all the time. Learning to unmask meant I started with the 'normal' ones, like spinning in circles in my bedroom while listening to music. Then, the other ones slowly followed without thinking. Things I used to mask on accident unmasked without much effort, as they feel natural, practically instinct. It's never something I thought twice about, and it still isnt

    • leafi

      449d

      I'm struggling with this too right now. So far what I have found that has helped me is playing my music and dancing the way I want to dance rather than the way I thought was "correct". Also, when I'm really overwhelmed and stressed, I would notice that I was stimming but just minorly so I leaned into that (quite literally, rocking feels so soothing).

    • Hayls

      446d

      Struggling with this and that internalized shame keeping me from unmasking when alone too. Super hard to recognize where the masking begins and ends, because it's now ingrained in who I am. Only recently have I even been able to identify how I do/did stim. So it helped me a ton recently to try and recall my childhood. And the things I used to do as a child. Through this, I was able to determine which habits/things helped calm me (turns out they still do today...) And from there was able to break down why I feel shame around them, whether that shame is necessary, and reminding myself that if I'm hurting no one else or myself, there is NO reason I am not allowed to feel good, feel safe, and feel calm. We owe that to ourselves. You deserve to feel safe and calm. Even if the ways that work best for you aren't "the norm." There's no harm. My stims are holding things up to my nose while I breathe in (smells...sponges are a thing for some reason) and holding something soft in my hands. I just discovered/remembered these a few days ago from my childhood (before I made masking my only presentation). I still struggle to allow myself to do them to self soothe, but this first step has already made a difference in my mental space. You got this 🖤

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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