It is hard to get into or out of relationship. Most people seem to struggle with this. Change sneaks up and surprises us in wonderful or heart-wrenching ways. Switches in interactions friendships, family members, or romantic relationships can be some of the most difficult but healthy changes we have in life.
People with aspergers have even more difficulty with change than most people. Trouble with social skills and rigidity in thinking led to confusion and great discomfort when others change their behavior or want to have a new type of relationship. After allowing someone into your world and trusting them, you trust that it will stay that way. The harsh truth is that others will change bringing difficulty and the need to adapt.
Looking back, I now can see how often I kept holding onto others, especially boys. People might call me names, show no interest in a friendship, or tease me. However, I clung to the relationship that I assumed we had. She said we were friends in the beginning, he used to smiled in my direction, so they must still want to be in a relationship with me.
This led to me following some unhealthy people and eventually ending up hurt. After time, our relationships escalated to the point where I felt like a kicked puppy or damaged luggage. I was utterly useless to them except for the purpose of enjoyment by further humiliation or doing small favors. Longing to leave filled me often, but fear and wanting to be a good friend kept me from breaking away and being strong.
Now, these people usually did not have bad intentions at first. In fact, most started out very kind. Warm smiles and encouraging words coaxed me out of my shell. However, once I became open and honest, some people realized I was too much for them to handle. Guys did not want to have to comfort me when I longed to die. Girls could care less about the scars that continued to reappear on my arms. No one knew how to interact with me and chose instead to push me away in search of normal friends.
I did not understand this change. Confused, I kept trying to keep our relationships the same as in the beginning. Shame over my actions and naive thoughts fills me when I look back on this time in my life. There was nothing too low for me to stoop to in order to keep people close to me. I became a servant bringing cookies, water, and gifts to all around me. I laughed as boys sneered that I was “not hot enough to be a girl.” Being ridiculed was a joy because at least then people were paying attention to me. The moments when I was ignored or forgotten were so much worse.
My confidence has grown over the last few years as has my ability to choose good friends wisely. Yet, I still find myself struggling with letting go of relationships. If someone promises me that they will be a certain way, they have my whole-hearted trust. I will hold them to their word. Although I struggle being honest about my feelings of anger and disappointment, I am honest about my love for others. Lying about friendship is just cruel in my opinion. Never will I intentionally let someone think that I care more than I do. Yes, I push myself to be kind and caring to all people. However, my feelings about touching others and wanting to be a good friend are pure and earnest.
Changes in relationships are difficult for most people. Aspergers or autism complicates the matter even further. I urge you to think about what signals you are sending to those around you. How do you disattach and attach from people? How do others seem to do it from you? What is your response? This is a painful topic but one that is important to address.