I have split my focus between my family and mylifeautistic since my diagnosis in 2020. So that I could give my all, in equal measure. It really was important to me to try to support the community. Equally, my family will always be my priority, because they are my world. Without them life would feel empty.
When I had my first interview I was absolutely terrified, every word felt dangerous. I didn’t want to be seen, because I had become too accustomed to hiding. I wasn’t trying to achieve for myself. In fact I said in the very first interview that I’d only take the spotlight, if I could turn it on the community as a whole.
I had no plans to talk about my life as deeply as I have. It opened doors that contained some hellish memories. A side effect of unmasking, but something that I needed to understand. Instinctual memories, once hidden, now realigning with my consciousness.
By creating posts, talking about these experiences, it often led to more memories, and more trauma to process. I don’t regret unmasking, I know these memories can’t hurt me any more. Temporarily they do batter and bruise. They can knock me to the mat, but I always found a way to get up before, that’s what I held on to.
I know that I’m lucky to have the right support in my family and friends. As well as encouragement and support through mylifeautistic, from advocates and autistic people from all over the world. Personally I would have been satisfied by someone like Kevin Smith sharing a single post. However, what has happened in the last two years has been far beyond anything I could have dreamed of. It felt so impossible that I genuinely never considered it.
To look back now, I used that pain from a heavily masked life, to create mylifeautistic. It had a purpose in the end, a reason that I can live with. It’s not unnecessary pain anymore, if talking about it, has helped others.
I never thought I’d say I was happy with my life but on the whole, I am now. So, that only leaves one question, what does the future have in store?
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva