Before you read any farther, watch this video starting right about minute 5:45.
I cannot believe what I heard there! I heard that my special fascinations with people actually make sense, and they actually aren't crazy and insane like I thought my whole life (because that's what I was told!)!!!!!
If they hadn't have used the specific example they used I may not have made the connection. But that was exactly what I needed to hear. I am in awe and amazement and I wish I wish I wish I had known this stuff in school!
As I have previously mentioned, when I was in school, I had a particularly strong attraction to a certain teacher, or a few of them over the years. And as I watched this video it all came back clearly and specifically. I never intended them to be considered "romantic" or "sexual" in any way shape or form.
However, quite upsettingly, it was specifically mentioned that I must be doing specific things with these poor guys in order to have, maintain, and not necessarily be discouraged in my affections and interest in them. It was rumored there must have been something else going on for it to look as it did.
Naturally, it didn't make sense to the outside. And honestly, based on hearing here or there, I may have been told it wasn't always understood by the recipient either. For that I am deeply sorry because it seemed to them that my attraction was more than it should have been, and I did not intend it to be! I did play into that, but because that's what I was told to believe. Not because that was how it started out.
Of course, once the suggestion was made that it must have been romantic in nature, I from then on suspected that they were right and I made a fool out of myself on more than one occasion. (I'm hoping strongly that so many little pieces of paper made their way to the garbage!) I won't say I didn't enjoy myself but as an adult I can look back (without brain damage relating to hormones), I can see how ridiculous some of it was.
That all being said, I was, and am, attracted to intellect!!! I am strongly attracted to that kind of thing! I like to learn and discuss things, especially if I feel that I am heard. That is one thing that stood out to me - these teachers I adored actually made me feel heard. They made me feel almost as their equal, as if I was as important in my thoughts as they were in theirs. They included me in their world and they joked and played along with me all those years.
These teachers were brilliant people, who taught me more than just school lessons, but about life and people and friendships. Trust me, I learned nothing from other kids about friendships except that friendships can be thrown away when you're done with them. But the teachers, they were my constant source of my love for learning and intellect! They protected me and treated me like a person of value. They treated me like an adult and not just a student. They trusted me with things they didn't trust others with. They told me things that helped me remember to protect myself before I went out in the great big world. Priceless information that maybe they didn't even realize at the time that I needed it so badly. Or, maybe they knew me enough after 6 years to be unafraid to give it to me.
I wish I had known about this principle of intellectual friendships/obsessions/interests/relationships when I was a teenager. I wish someone had been able to tell me that it's okay to adore my teachers, that it didn't mean I wanted to BE with them, but that it was okay to have, what Tony describes as "intellectual orgasms". I will agree to that description because it feels REALLY GOOD to have a relationship like that. And to be honest, I miss them.
I'm realizing how most of the people that I cling to in my life, both past and present, qualify for this intellectual relationship description. Each person has a passion that motivates me or greatly intrigues me in a certain way. This is why it hurts to be apart from them or it hurts to lose them to the natural progression of life and growing.
Just as sexual orgasms bond you to your spouse, intellectual orgasms bond you to your friend. And it has nothing to do with sex!!
I feel like, in part, years of my life were a "lie" because I bought into what others thought and how others defined my passion for these brilliant people I knew.
And this is nothing that is in the past either!! This opens up a whole new world of why I still find myself fascinated with certain people! I realized that I'm still telling myself what I assumed was true from high school about relationships!! I must be having a crush on so and so because I love talking to them, for example.
It's a lie!! I love talking to them because intellectually I am stimulated by them! Because I love to learn and stretch and grow. Because they make me feel good in my mind! Because they include me in their life and treat me like an equal. Because they know something I desperately want to know or they have a certain personality that I want to be or have in my life.
The problem has been that I keep people at arms length because I'm afraid I'm crossing a line. Which hurts because the one thing that makes me really happy - interacting with these people who's intellect I adore - I've been avoiding fearing that it means I'm treading on some kind of dangerous ground.
(I still have to balance that with truly keeping intimacy with my husband alone and not leading anyone else on either because it's likely they won't understand this themselves.)
This is HUGE. I don't even know if Tony Attwood himself would even have realized how important this one little piece is to me, and I assume other aspies as well.
This is going to be my big focus moving forward for quite a while as I rearrange and replace the feelings that I was told must be somehow romantic or sexual with this intellectual attraction! This is life changing. I can't say it enough. This rocks my world! I will write on this again!