In this podcast, Tony mentions the migraines that result from too much social interaction and stress – am currently in the middle of one. He also uses a phrase that I think sums up a lot of Aspies, particularly those of us who are older and have learned to fake and/or carry out real social interaction: “The mask of competence”. I wear one! My real self wants to stay at home and never speak and play Farmville and write books at Nazis and read stuff about being a Mormon, but I know that in order to get through my life at the stage it is currently at, I must interact with people. Sometimes my mask of competence slips and I make mistakes. I still don’t know what to do half the time. I got in trouble just yesterday for doing something against the rules but socially acceptable. I sometimes feel like I can’t win. I wonder if my migraine is a reaction to the new job and constant social interaction, coupled with the stress of realising that it’s always going to be like this. My mask is exhausting to keep up. How long can I keep it up? How long can you? Should I have to? Why shouldn’t I? Should I just shut up and get up with it?