Masking thread 1

27/12/2019

Just found two unpublished blogs about masking.

Masking part 1

Recent social media posts about masking have drawn mixed opinions, and made me think about my thickest masks. I can’t help masking to impress at job interviews, selling skills I don’t really have. Oh, I’d revolutionise their HR systems, affect culture changes. The resulting job offers send me into a state of panic.

But the ultimate for me is “girls nights out”. That group chat “We haven’t been out for months. Let’s get the gang together. We’ll go to that new night club!”

I only accepted about 4 years ago that this is living hell, and I only ever got through it with copious alcohol. Now I decline.

So many things are wrong with girls’ nights out clubbing. For a start, I do not naturally prefer the company of women, prefering a mixed gender group if any group at all. I’d rather have my husband with me.

Busy pubs and noisy night clubs are sensory hell, and auditory processing hell. There’s only so many times I can say “pardon” and “sorry I didn’t catch that”. After a while I just pretend I’ve heard, and mumble some vague response.

It’s almost always me who catches some creep who tries to chat me up. Wearing a wedding ring does not help ward off the creeps, not at all. They tap into some vulnerability that I inadvertently project, and come at me with their “smile, love” and worse.

I’d get so drunk I’d be falling over, sometimes getting myself into dangerous situations, then have a tearful meltdown when I eventually get home. The rest of the weekend would be a gloomy haze of hangover and post-meltdown shame.

My 40th birthday present to myself was to start saying “no”, to explain to my friends I just don’t enjoy the same things they enjoy (or claim to enjoy). I’ve never looked back, and have not set foot in a night club for four years now.

My social life is side-eye conversations over a run in the countryside. I don’t want to ever have to deflect even one more drunken stranger saying “smile love”.

Author: Charlie Hart

Late-diagnosed autistic working mum, attempting to write an amusing semi-autobiographical novel with a twist.

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