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Your Mask Has Just Fallen Off… Now What?

Susan is an intuitive healer who developed her own guided mediation and healing tools. She has practiced as a therapist for 35 years.

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Those on the Spectrum would Love It- Neuro-Typical would be Confused

Do You Like What You See?

Imagine standing in front of a mirror having dropped your society mask. Staring at yourself buck naked do you like what you see?

Do You See Authenticity or Duplicity?

Imagine the abundance of energy you would have if you didn’t have to put on your outer mask or show an expression that you want the world to see but is not necessarily how you really feel inside.

Dropping all Masks is the Dream of People on the Spectrum

People could say what they mean and mean what they say. It’s hard enough for a neuro typical person to decipher masks, never mind someone on the spectrum having to decode and decipher social cues. Add to the mix the games people play, their words and facial expressions. It can be a very confusing world.

Those on the Spectrum are first confused by the masks of their parents, then their teachers and then friends,( if they have any or should I say hold on to any.)

I remember being around 9 and a few of the neighborhood kids were playing and asked me to join them. I was so excited. Was this going to be the day I made friends? They said I had a beautiful voice and would I sing. I believed them. What they didn’t know is I was gifted with extensive peripheral vision and could see the girls behind laughing at me . Even though I couldn’t read their intent from behind their masks, there was no mistaking they were laughing at me not with me.

In all fairness I was completely tone death. But being part of the joke would have been a lot more fun than being the butt of the joke.

Literally Speaking

With everyone’s mask off and no need to decipher, everybody speaks literally. A dream come true for those on the Spectrum, free of frustration, anxiety and confusion. When I was 11 in the 60 's, there was no such thing as stranger danger. We had a lot of freedom and independence.

The first mall was just opening and I was going by bus to explore. I was so excited and was all dressed up. I had my brand new purse and wore hoop earrings that I picked out all by myself. I got on the bus and found a seat at the back where a group of girls from my school were going to the mall as well. They saw me and proceeded to tell me that I had to get off of the bus because I was a slut and wore hoop earrings. I got off at the next stop and walked home wondering, what is a slut? Whatever it is I thought obviously they are not allowed to ride the bus or wear hoop earrings.

When I got home my mother tried to explain what they said, but to me it made no sense. I left the conversation thinking, be leary of boys because they only want one thing from you and be leary of girls because they are jealous of you because you are pretty. None of it made sense to me becuase I still didn’t undertsnad why I couldn’t ride the bus. Being the literal me I couldn’t wait to tell my parents that I slugged a boy when he tried to kiss me after my first official date as a teenager. I thought they would be so proud of me.

One of my favorite television series is The Good Doctor. In one of the episodes it clearly illustrates how someone on the Spectrum took a girl literally and was totally humiliated by her and her peers. The main character Shaun Murphy who is autistic was about 12 or 13. He was approached by one of the girls from school and said she really liked him and was wondering if he liked her and wanted to kiss her. He said yes. She said okay and asked him to move toward the bushes where she repeated, do you want to kiss me now and he said yes. She started laughing at him while all the kids from school came out of the bushes and said I would never kiss you, you weirdo. Oh, if only people said what they meant.

Navigating Relationships on the Spectrum is Like Walking in the Dark Without a Flashlight

Relationships are difficult. Add to the mix being on the Spectrum and your looking at one heck of a roller coaster ride.

School was difficult. In grade 6 my teacher addressed the class and asked does anyone know who threw a rock and broke the window? Nobody ever told me what snitching was. If you asked me a direct question and I knew the answer (I saw everything as black or white) I answered it. By recess I was swarmed by kids threatening my life.I was very frightened by the kids and even more frightened because I had no idea what I did wrong. That would have been a mask I wish I had in my wardrobe.

Working with people was very difficult. There is a mask everyone wears called playing the game to not only get along but get ahead. As a person with Aspergers I didn’t have that mask in my tool box either. I remember my first full time job as a counsellor at an employment agency. My inate skill at matching people to jobs served me well. I was promoted to manager at one of their small offices. I discovered how they were cheating their employees on the commission. I phoned all the other managers in case they were not aware. I thought if it was a mistake they would correct it and everyone would be happy with me. Not so fast. Some other manager reported me to head office and not only was I fired but no other manager would speak to me again. The swarming took on a different style than childhood but felt the same when it happened as an adult. I didn’t learn the game and would continue to get fired from every job. Even though the infraction was different my lack of a filter or mask to play the game didn’t change.

After continual firings I asked my husband who at the time was just my boyfriend -why would you want to stay with someone that can’t even hold down a job? I don’t remember his answer but I do remember my mother telling me I was very pretty and boys would like me but girls would be jealous. Maybe that was why he was staying with me?

The Gift Of Encouragements

Luckily for me I met my best friend and soul mate when I was 16 at summer camp. At the time I didn’t know what a neuro typical was. What I did know is that he understood the games people play and could navigate life. Although I could see his mask, I also saw who and what was behind it. I knew by the end of the summer he was going to be my life partner.

Marriage is difficult to navigate. Just look at the statistics on divorce. I do remember saying, I wish I could tell my best friend(my husband) the problems I was having with my husband. I was determined to work at it and not being overly emotional worked to my advantage by not taking everything personal. I’m not sure my husband’s answer would be the same and I’m sure his story of what it’s like being married to someone with Aspergers could fill pages.

My husband always encouraged me to continue to study, find my passion and reminded me that I was very smart and gifted at reading what was behind people’s masks. I would go on to discover that I was an intuitive healer. I was gifted at facilitating and guiding people to seek their inner truth, that which lies behind their mask. I developed my own modality of chakra balancing, produced my own meditation tape and helped them channel their Karmic Pattern,(their true mission behind the mask). I went on to write and be published by a well known publisher and was distributed nationwide.

The Truth Will Set You Free

We’ve all heard the expression the truth will set you free. This is a misnomer, free implies no cost. However for one to reveal their inner truth behind their mask demands an investment in themselves. The X files would have you believe the truth is out there…when in fact anyone who has signed on and traveled the journey to truth, knows the truth lies inside each of us.

In our fast paced quick fix lives prior to the pandemic, even if one were interested in the journey to truth, most are looking for a quick fix : can we do this over the lunch hour? does health insurance cover it? is there a prescription to pop two truth pills and be on time to catch my morning flight? Better still can I leave my body with you and I’ll be back to pick it up after my business meeting?

Why can’t we look in the mirror and see the truth? Better yet, where is this truth that’s inside our body living or more to the point hiding? I don’t remember making this mask and have no clue where the layers of paper mache came from.

The manifestations of our collective masks have led to wars, hate, fears, abuse and prejudice that ails society. Imagine it is the day after the pandemic and all our masks have come unglued and we have the chance to see what’s behind.

I now understand that life is not black or white but shaded. There are times you can still be authentic and shade the truth not to hurt someone. Having full understanding of whats behind one’s mask empowers one to make the changes they deem necessary to be the best they can be and wear a shaded mask at other times.

When in the role of intuitive healer I am given permission to be free of any mask, mine or theirs and have finally found a home for my true self. I have now learned outside of the office that I never answer the question when asked “Do I look fat in this dress? ”

Susan Shienfield

Intuitive Healer

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