Why subscribe to God is My Special Interest?

I’m D.L. Mayfield, an author, primary caregiver, and all-around anxious and religious soul. In the past years I have:

1). been diagnosed autistic

2). deconverted from Christianity

3). started writing about both things, and how they are related.

a white woman wearing clear glasses is in front of a dark blue bookcase. she is smiling slightly at the camera, and she has long blonde hair with dark brown roots. she is in her late 30s, and is wearing a rainbow shirt and black overalls

When you think of an autistic person, you might think of a middle-class white boy who is really into trains. There is a reason this stereotype exists, but it’s certainly not the full picture of what autism is. God, religion, existential questions, and the end times can all be special interests or hyper-fixations, and this is a part of my story.

This newsletter be the place where I channel all of my reading, thinking, and exploring as I am going through the process of being diagnosed autistic at the age of 38 and what comes after. It will also be home to an occasional podcast where I interview various folks about being late-diagnosed autistic/ADHD and how that intersects with religion in their lives.

For paid subscribers, you get commenting privileges and access to an incredible community of curious, thoughtful folks who want to talk about neurodivergence, religious trauma, and building self-trust. We also have a few Zoom hang outs and conversations, as well as bi-monthly discussion threads and a new special Book Club! We’d love for you to join us :)

I grew up in white conservative Christianity and my special interest has always been God and the ethics of loving your neighbor

. Currently, I am realizing more and more that white evangelicalism is a form of high control religion, and that these kinds of groups can and do exploit neurodivergent people. I am in the process of deconverting from authoritarian and supremacist religion, but of course I strive to make space for all people who are seeking to understand themselves and the world better here at this newsletter. That includes people with a variety of faith backgrounds and current religious practices!

There are a lot of reasons why autistic women and nonbinary folks (and gender nonconforming folks of all kinds) go decades (or even their entire life) without being diagnosed and this newsletter will explore the unique ways organized religion plays into this dynamic through personal literary essays. It will also include monthly columns where we take an online diagnostic and compare results, various media reviews and recommendations, and chances to connect with other people on this journey in the comments.

My hope is that this can grow into a real community of people who are exploring neurodivergence perhaps for the first time and who also come from a faith background (and perhaps are exploring how traumatizing elements of this has been for them). My aim is for it to be a safe space for people to process, learn, and grow—and learn to unmask

, together. Thanks so much for being here.

Here is a bit more about why I am taking a break from traditional publishing and focusing on substack—both for community and as a way to pay the bills.

Thanks for reading along!


yes, it has been a rough time


don’t know what that means? don’t worry, we will talk about it in the newsletter!

Subscribe to Healing is My Special Interest

The intersection of late-diagnosed neurodivergence and healing from high control environments.


D.L. Mayfield 

Late diagnosed autistic born into white evangelicalism. Now writing about high control religions and neurodivergence. Current special interests: thought reform tactics, my dog, and sparkling water.