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Out Of The Shadows & Into The Light & Back – Officially Autistic

Marja (pronounced Mahrrr-ya) West is an author, mentor of The Hermetic Natural Law Principles, and a leading expert in Energy Mastery, Reality Creation, and Trauma-Based Mind Control DeActivator focusing on handholding survivors of Human Trafficking, Rape Camps, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Cult/Tribal, and NSP Abuse (Narcissistic-Sociopathic-Psychopathic), to evolve from victim to victorious. Well-known for her zero-filtered-laugh-out-loud humour and disarming, electrifying presentations.

Executive Contributor Marja West

Hello, hello, my beautiful Waking Gods & Goddesses! Happy June already! My apologies for being remiss in my contributions to Brainz Magazine for the last eight months. I had envisioned my renewal with Brainz Magazine as a Senior Level Executive Contributor to be fruitful. Still, it was not, as this is only my 2nd installment, having been inundated with life and death events, filled with surprising heartbreaks and closures, abrupt endings and purgings, the likes of which have left me feeling the futility of living on task—uninspired to write, witnessing so much negativity being compensated with bland and coma-inducing regurgitation of pop psychology and quick fixes that do nothing to solve problems or offer a solution, but allow them to prevail in a sea of hopium.

Collage photo of Marja West

I’ve never wanted to give up and throw in the towel concerning my writing. Never, until the last six months or so, even questioning what I’m doing here on this platform where the subject matter of viral popularity is more on the tedious cultured productivity business end of things, along with lifestyle mindsets drenched in overused clichés, not very interesting, appealing, or inspiring for me, who was officially diagnosed with Autism last year—at age 63.

On the spectrum

In hindsight, I’ve always known I was different: a bit odd, eccentric, a “geeky weirdo with striking good looks,” as my longtime best friend Lisa would often repeat, usually as she covered my mouth with her hand, imploring me to tone it down, as I upchucked expletive-laced orations regarding my observations of the willful enslavement and dumbing down of humanity.

I had always suspected that I might well be on the spectrum, especially when my youngest stepson was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2007. Lorna Wing, a British psychiatrist, grouped certain traits under the diagnosis in 1981, naming it Asperger’s Syndrome, which was added to the DSM-IV in 1994. Dr. Wing named the syndrome after the Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger.

At that time, I was 47, and although my curiosity was piqued by noticing I mirrored certain similar behaviours of my stepson, I didn’t want to go there, the Matrix world was in the middle of a huge banking fraud shitshow, so I avoided the subject entirely.

Sixteen years later, at the gentle prompting of an esteemed colleague from my Survivors of Complex PTSD Supervision group, to undertake the Autism diagnosis process for shits & giggles, and because he recognised something extra about me, to be honest, the official diagnosis came as a shock. Autism is a broad spectrum, and my diagnosis was not just definitive but laid out some tricky truths that were hard-hitting and difficult for me to take in, not to mention the complications of Autism in combination with Complex PTSD. Nowadays, the term Asperger’s is no longer used and has been replaced by the term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

My reclusive nature seemed to be laced with rude, sometimes belligerent, zero-filtered anti-social behaviour, not necessarily malignant in any way. Still, I admit to taking it as such. Given my life’s history of being constantly shushed, corrected, or criticised for being way too loud and abrasive, even by my partner, I took offence. My sensitivity to another’s volume or tone being too loud or aggressive has always been irrelevant and entirely dismissed by others.

Post-autism diagnosis shame

In secret, and often with my hands covering my eyes or ears, I painfully devoured YouTube videos on Late Autism Diagnosis made by so-called lay experts and professionals alike adept in the world of the neurodivergent like myself. These videos were beyond cringe-worthy. They mostly made me nauseous and uncomfortable. Often, the top of my head, my crown chakra, tingled and buzzed. I wanted to disappear into a remote corner of the world, never to be seen again.

I tried to function as if I was ok, but clearly, I was drowning in post-autism diagnosis shame, which is an actual thing akin to PTSD. For over a year, I’ve been undergoing super expensive therapy with an Autism + Complex PTSD specialist who has helped me face myself in the cover of darkness, a veiled shroud of my own psychic design, if you will, erected for my protection and vulnerability. I was too embarrassed to share the thunderbolt lightning bit of news with my partner, so I didn’t. Instead, I defaulted into a typically autistic mode (and Complex PTSD mode) of doubling down on remote and distant, which only made our occasional communication disconnects even more frequent and painful, each of us crawling into our respective corners, disengaged, disillusioned, and severely triggered and avoidant.

The tricky combination of complex PTSD + autism

I was told that the diagnosis of autism would bring me relief; however, the combination of autism + complex PTSD overlapping is a slippery slope and tricky for anyone to navigate and was not taken into account, in my opinion, during the diagnostic process. Rather than feeling relieved, I felt more and more isolated and alone. I cried a lot, immersing myself in my client sessions and teaching my online classes, strategically hiding the bags and puffiness of my eyes by dabbing Preparation H, an old standby from my dancer days in the late 70s, as an under-eye treatment before applying makeup to help conceal and de-puff my ongoing emotional extravaganzas in my endeavours to process and accept the diagnosis.

The process is so NOT a one-off, one-and-done.

Being saturated with guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, and a sense of worthlessness, of being cursed was not fun. Not only did I not want to write, but I also didn’t want to make videos, socialise, or leave my house—which isn’t all that unusual as I’m a hermit by nature—just like many on the spectrum, and just like my partner—so in that regard, we are two peas in a pod. Still, my diagnosis, being so official, filled me with the finality that I was indeed flawed and that all along, there was something very wrong with me.

Recapitulating child abuse

I ruminated down memory lane over the detailed memories from my emotionally, mentally, and physically abusive childhood, thinking, whoa, did I deserve all that abuse and neglect because of my neurodivergence? Did my neurodivergence trigger my mother into abusing me, thus leaving me marred with Complex PTSD? Was my mother justified in her always shushing me, her yelling, and her violent abuse? I was, after all, always told I was too loud, too this, too that, too much, too inappropriate, too annoying, too frustrating, too irritating, and a bad girl for having No Filters.

Stimming as stress management

Since I could remember, my default to manage feeling stressed was to rock back and forth, move my body in sensual circles, or take a wooden spoon and tap the end of my bed with it in a steady rhythmic groove. I eventually studied dance, piano, and percussion to train my bodily musical inclinations formally. I learned during my stepson’s diagnosis process that this behaviour is called stimming. Who knew?

Today, as a content creator/writer/hermit, my default to manage stress, instead of the usual binge-watching TV, shopping, drinking alcohol or getting high, is putting on groove-oriented music and doing deep dives into reading and researching, so it seemed like a natural fit and flow to focus my attention and energies on researching my condition. However, my research yielded very little data on girls and Autism from the 1960s-1970s, as the autism spectrum was considered to be primarily limited to boys. Even today, the comparison ratio of autism in boys and girls leans heavily toward boys, leaving us girls with Autism seemingly unnoticed or forgotten, lost and unincluded.

Masking as my child and senior selves

My very skilled therapist, who’s helped me in my journey of integrating my autism diagnosis and complex PTSD, suggested that I share with my readers insights from my awkward childhood self and insights and direct experiences from my current 64-year-old senior self through some non-scientific anecdotal offerings that peer into my painfully slow process of accepting the diagnosis and its integration into my daily life, shame-free. At the same time, I also refuse to be a public lab rat for one and all to prove or justify my diagnosis and experiences at the expense of feeling more ashamed and exposed to ridicule—just sayin’.

Because of my exceedingly abusive childhood, I naturally learned about masking not just to manage and hide the complex PTSD I’ve suffered, along with the bruises, contusions, cuts, sprains, and other injuries all over my body from the abuse, but also to hide my neuro-divergent symptoms to blend in in my attempts to keep a low profile and not stand out.

But in truth, such feats absurdly defied logic, as I clearly stood out amidst a sea of normal caucasian kids with my eurasian features and was already considered to be “gifted”—intellectually, oddly curious, multi-lingual, musically adept, a gymnast and ballerina, quiet, yet prone to sudden outbursts of forthright expressive enthusiasm for cosmology, the esoteric, pattern recognition-dot-connecting, and the sciences. My impassioned correction of Sister Mary’s assertion of Genesis via my assertion of The Big Bang was a humdinger to behold according to my 6th-grade classmates, who nervously giggled throughout my explanation, but I didn’t earn any brownie points with the Mother Superior, who sentenced me to a week’s detention in the hallway where I gladly practised walking on my hands, tumbling runs of cartwheels, front and back walkovers, leaps, flips, and other gymnastics tricks.

Masking as a superpower

Though I didn’t know it at the time, throughout grade school into high school and adulthood, I cleverly masked my autism and probably my complex PTSD in many different ways by staring into the face of my limitations, determined to function like everyone else, even if I had to pretend:

  1. I masked my awkwardness and social anxiety by studying people in various social interactions, making notes, and imitating or parroting what I saw, from body language mannerisms to physical gestures to eye contact, noting social strata and status, thankful for my bougie mother and my ritzy neighbourhood filled with all sorts of different people from different backgrounds, all accomplished. Coupled with my multi-lingual talents and well-read intellect, I became adept at forging conversations on various topics, faking being a social butterfly, and hiding my social anxiety and discomfort with greater and greater ease. Ironically, I became known as someone with exemplary people skills, which delighted me to no end!

  2. A loner by nature and by desire, I was comfortable travelling alone. I learned to have courage by making travelling a game of sorts, to stay sharp and acutely aware of my surroundings, and to hone my social and survival skills in navigating the world and various social circles in many cultures and environments.

  3. My time at university began when I was fifteen; I had already taught piano lessons to my peers for several years. My jobs as an observatory technician and teacher’s assistant to a delightful Physics/Astronomy Professor, and eventually my corporate America jobs, taught me to waltz in and out of various Matrix communities and social echelons of academia and the business world.

  4. There have been many surprising and priceless skill-perfecting boot camps like learning how to apply makeup, my perfect colours and silhouettes to dress for success, which turned me into a polished couture-clad fashionista, landing me gigs leading presentations and fielding industry Q&As before thousands of people.

  5. As an adult, I’ve continued to this day to mask my Autism with high-functioning Confidence and Competence—always being in the power position, never subordinate, always the one in charge, the leader, the manager, the expert, the sales agent, the performer—the dancer-musician-singer, the teacher-instructor—whether teaching Astronomy labs-yoga-dance-piano-martial-arts, the Trauma-Based mind control DeActivator | De Armourer energy healing master practitioner, the keynote speaker, the mom/stepmom, and the tell-it-like-it-is author, YouTuber, and content creator.

On the outside, by design and by masking, I know there’s a veneer of having it together with an in-your-face attitude, but I am not superwoman. Even though my most excellent therapist calls me his little polymath, which I had to look up to discover its meaning, I’m often plagued with the proverbial Impostor Syndrome, just like many overachievers, along with having major f*cking meltdowns regularly that only my plants get to see, and the occasional panic attack that can take me down and out of commission for 24-48 hours until I can refresh, regroup, and reset. The pressure is very real.

The consequences of sharing

It’s one thing to accept this diagnosis as an integral part of me, along with the fall-out and shadow work I’ve had to engage in thus far continually. But it’s another can of worms sharing such vulnerable information with those I care about—those I feel connected to.

When I finally told my partner about the diagnosis a few months ago, I erroneously expected to be shunned. While that didn’t happen, what did happen was a warning shot across the bow, his suggestion to be careful 'not' to succumb to any hype. This surprising suggestion came from my man, who leans toward popular mindset neuroscience podcasts. I was butt-hurt and initially recoiled, ready in fighting stance mode to defend myself. Like all long-term couples, we are a work in progress, working the heavy metal of co-creating and cultivating undefended love—slowly and steadily doing our inner work, repairing and integrating all those crunchy, bitter-tasting morsalettes of vulnerability into our ever-evolving relationship. There are ongoing challenging themes we are facing together. One of which is my sensitivity to being labelled of all things. LOLS! And I asked for it, right?

We are noticing similarities between us, and while he doesn’t plan to pursue any diagnosis, he’s acknowledging a certain sensitivity to me that I appreciate, resulting in a softness and openness. I would add that we’ve gotten closer as friends and more intimate partners with our vulnerabilities of the heart as the 'first eye'.

I’ve told a select number of people, and half of them have either expressed indifference or have never checked in, contacted me or spoken to me since. All right, then. I’ve added grieving to my processing menu with extra patience, as I don’t know what they’re feeling. On the other hand, the other half of my friends have all rallied around me, offering love, support, kindness, and acceptance, many even saying that the diagnosis explained a lot of things concerning my quirks and eccentricities like my reclusiveness, ghosting tactics, and freak-outs in public places like huge retail outlets or grocery store parking lots where if I feel a weird vibe, I’ve no qualms about driving away and going home empty-handed.

Forward, ho

I continue to work occasionally with my awesome therapist, who is so supportive and encouraging of me to step out and share my journey through my writing and videos, but only if I feel inspired to do so.

With this article, I have made a giant baby step forward to share my discoveries and vulnerabilities and shed a little bit of soft, relieving light upon such a topic that can be so dark and scary, filled with judgments and expert opinions that can feel utterly de-humanising.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and visit my website for more info!


Marja West, Author – Trauma-Based Mind Control DeActivator

Marja (pronounced Mahrrr-ya) West is an author, mentor of The Hermetic~Natural Law Principles, and a leading expert in Energy Mastery, Reality Creation, and Trauma-Based Mind Control DeActivator focusing on handholding survivors of Human Trafficking, Rape Camps, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Cult/Tribal, and NSP Abuse (Narcissistic-Sociopathic-Psychopathic), to evolve from Victim to Victorious. Well-known for her zero-filtered-laugh-out-loud humour and disarming, electrifying presentations, Marja is the author of the book F'd Wide Open: The Rude Awakening of the Heart-Based New Humanity. She is also a medical intuitive, martial artist, singer, multi-instrumentalist-musician, dancer, and plant lover.



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