As some of you are aware, I am very work-driven. I love my advocacy job. What you may not know is how I am when I am around friends in public, or even my family for that matter. The “real” me is far different than the person I am or portray when I am at work or in a professional setting. I have to almost adopt a different persona at work.
At work, I am very dedicated to what I am doing and stay focused, strange as that may sound coming from someone with ADHD. I am friendly, polite, and overall just, I guess “charming” would be the word. Yes, I use humor in my work life as well as my “real” life, but that’s just who I am as a person.

At home and when I am with friends, I let fly. If something is pissing me off, I get vocal about it and let you know. That would NEVER be allowed at work. If my boss heard me talk at work the way I talk with family and friends, I’d be out of a job real quick.
So does “work” me ever meet “real” me? Absolutely it does. I transfer my work life into my personal life all the time. I try to be polite about it, but when it comes to my line of work, I am what you might call a workaholic. I educate people both in my professional life and in my everyday life. I think at my core, I am eager to work, please, entertain and educate. I even do it when I do not mean to. I say something at home or to a friend in “work mode” and I have to stop and go, “Wow…did I really just do that?”

I have had jobs before where I got too comfortable and the “real” Tom has come out. Needless to say those jobs did not last very long. Now though? I have a great rapport with my boss at work. She is an inspiration to me. I am grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to do what I love doing anyway.

I am very comfortable with my job. Having said that, I do not take my standing lightly. I know one slip and I am done. I am very careful what I say about my diagnosis and to whom. I have had a lot of successes throughout my life. I take no regret in the fact that I am well respected in the Autism community in Baltimore.

As that is the case and most everyone in Baltimore knows who I am and what I do, I have to tread lightly. I feel I am constantly walking on eggshells. I hope to God nothing happens if “real” me comes out. I combine both work me and “me” me every day.

So do you have two different versions of “you”? If so what are they? 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

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