Don’t shame us for being chameleon

I identify with much in this post.

Briannon Lee

I learned I was autistic in my 30s. Not long afterwards, I came across the word chameleon to describe how many autistic people change our communication, voice, interests, and actions to mirror the people we are with, or to fit in with the norms of a group.

Looking back on the way I had survived school, university, workplaces and early motherhood, I totally identified with this description of myself as chameleon. I had indeed skillfully navigated friendships and relationships by taking on the interests and communication style of others.

Having this realisation about my relationships with others was unsettling. I felt like being a chameleon meant I had lost something of myself along the way. It was as if the discovery of one part of me had made the core of me a mystery. I wondered, ‘do I even know who I am and what I like and what I…

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