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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Aubin, LCSW

We Were All Sea Monsters And Hiding It From Each Other

Online autism support group

You know that scene in Luca where he learns that there were people in the town all along who were disguised as humans but were really sea monsters just like him? For me, being a high masking late-diagnosed autistic person has felt like this. I am realizing that this whole time there have been millions of us undiagnosed folks growing up pretending to be allistic and the whole time were hiding our autism from each other.

I recently learned that a person from my high school has been following me on social media. They realized they were autistic recently and they found my content. Thinking back to high school, there was no way I knew they were autistic. And I bet they didn’t know I was either. We were both playing our versions of what we thought humans were supposed to be and we never knew that underneath it all, we were both struggling autistic people.

In my role as an autistic therapist to autistic people, I make it my mission to show that I am a sea monster from day one. There’s no guessing games or attempts at being someone I am not. I am not disguised anymore and therefore, my clients can bring their full sea monster selves to our sessions and let go of the need to be anyone they are not.

Sometimes I wonder about how many undiagnosed autistic folks are walking around in the world, still pretending to be allistic, still hiding who they are, and experiencing the pain of feeling broken and alone. This is one of the main reasons I feel so compelled to post and share about myself and my experience. It was so life changing to learn I was autistic, and I want to pay it forward by helping the next person learn about themselves.

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