My persona at work is different than my “real” self. When I am with friends or family, I am wacky, silly, inappropriate and more relaxed. At work and my agency, I can still be wacky and silly, but I feel I have to be more professional. I say things to and with friends I would NEVER talk about at work. Politics is one thing I try to steer away from at work. And even with my own family, I try not to discuss politics. Why? My dad is a Trump supporter and I loathe the guy so I know that it will lead to an argument if I try talking to him about it. I know my family better than my friends, so it’s almost like I “trust” them more than my friends and I can get away with more with them. Now there are exceptions to that. Allie and I let fly whenever we are together, and it has led to some really funny and meaningful conversations. Sometimes we joke around; sometimes it’s serious conversation. But I think it’s because I trust Allie more than anyone else in this world. My sisters, in my opinion, are the ones I am closest to in my immediate family. It’s sort of funny, but we got closer, I think, when they moved out of the house to go to college. I have told Allie things I have not told my own family, and vice-versa. When I am in the right environment, anything goes with me. There are few people who know the “real” me. Yes, they know the “me” that does public speaking about Autism, and they know the “me” that does comedy, and they know the “me” at my agency. BUT those are not the real Tom Whalen. The “real” Tom Whalen is actually maybe multifaceted. There is a lot more than just one thing that makes up who I am. I have a few different personas depending on where I am. At home, I am different than I am at my cleaning job or whatever. I think that’s because I know at work, it’s just that…WORK! They are paying me to be there and I know what is expected of me. I do not get paid to be home (But hint, hint mom) so I can get away with saying more there than I can at work. Not that I can’t be myself at work, but it’s just a different “self”, if that makes any sense. I think the worst thing I have ever said at work was, “What the Hell?”. So sue me. But you know what? If “What the Hell” is the worst thing I ever say at work, to me, that’s an accomplishment. I say a Hell of a lot worse around friends and family…especially friends. I am close to my co-workers and bosses, but that’s all they are…bosses and coworkers. They are NOT my best friends. We never hang out outside work, though I wouldn’t mind. My best friends are like an extended part of my family. We are closer than just “friends”. Friendship runs deep with me and my best friends. That especially holds true for Allie. Allie is my soul mate and my muse. I do not consider Allie my friend. I don’t consider her my best friend. I don’t even consider her my girlfriend, even though we have been dating since 2011. No, to me, Allie is all that and more. She is the most important person in my life and I have no idea what I would do without her. I love Allie more than anything and anyone else. She knows the “real” me. She knows I can be vulnerable at times and I feel I can let my guard down around her. So to wrap things up, I have a few different “me’s” that I display around different people and in different company. I want to hear from you guys. How do you act around different people? Do you act the same around everyone or differently based on the environment you are in? As always, thanks for reading!


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

One thought on “MY PERSONAS”

  1. Aw! I love you too babe! I am so lucky to call you mine! I can be myself around you! I love you more then you will ever know! You are my soulmate! You are my everything! I love you so much babe! ❤️


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