Monday, May 4, 2015

Special VS Intimate Friends and Autism Part 3

So, I'm going to touch on another bit of comments on this video clip. Please watch the video before reading. 
Start watching this video at minute 5:40 through the end of the video, around 4 minutes of content.

"Ask Dr Tony"

To see the previous entries on this topic, go here, here and here.

"No! It's the brain I'm interested in, it's the ideas that I'm interested in, not physical."
"But, no! I'm interested in, in his ideas, I'm interested in, in what he says because it's so fascinating..."
- Tony Attwood, from "Ask Dr Tony" link above.

People are quick to tease, to joke, to judge, to assume. I have thought about things a lot since first seeing this video, and more and more memories come up. Little things, like telling my friends something he said, and they immediately "Oooooo!!"... the teasing starts. And I remember, clearly, thinking "No! That's not it at all! You don't get what I'm saying/feeling/meaning here..."

It's lonely. It's really lonely. To not have anyone who listens, or "gets it".

I was teased pretty much my entire childhood for being the teachers pet. Frankly, I didn't care much, I'd rather be that than Regina George's pet! (Because you KNOW that "Regina" exists in every high school class, right?)
(You would have think that for senior superlatives I was a shoe in, but nooooo, they gave that title to someone who hated school? Really? Like, wasn't teacher's pet my NAME for the past 14 years? WhatEVER!)

Anyhow, I felt alone, in my own head. No one really understood what my "problem" was. I'm not even sure what they all thought, from the other kids to the other teachers, to THE teacher. Was I told what they thought? Once. Senior year. But what I was told did not match up with how I was treated by him. 

Man, I'd love to talk to him again. And now that I know this about autism, these intellectual attractions, I know why I loved talking to him! Intellectually, he made me excited to learn and talk about things. I wanted him to see me as serious and passionate as I saw him to be. 

He wasn't the only one. I feel like I talk about him a lot, but he wasn't the only one, nor the last one, to make me feel this way. I keep finding these people, and losing them too, and they are usually the ones I miss the most when they're gone.

There was a guy I dated. He and I had big dreams, bigger than our hometowns.  I was completely taken in by dreaming big and planning things that were likely to never happen. Ironically, we are both still there, choosing instead to live big dreams that kept us in our hometowns. 

Then, in college, there was the guy who I thought was my "type". Passionately musical. Great hair! Creative! Not afraid to dance, but more often was playing the music instead of dancing to it. Intimidating, because he must have been "too cool" for me, so I thought. What a surprise when it turns out we had more in common than I would have imagined, but sadly I spent all my first year of college being too afraid to speak to him, and missed out on what could have been so much more fun than the drama I was "friends" with back then.

Another guy who fit into my "type". Emotional. Poetic. Damaged. Musical. Creative. I almost thought I was in love with him, too. I just loved being around him. It made me felt excited and creative too. I had written plenty of poetry in high school and this only helped me create more. He encouraged me.

Then there was the guy who was in love with me. I was so naive, and could have gotten myself into so much trouble! I barely knew him but I felt excited talking to him. He was a distant voice I got to listen to 6 hours a day (on the radio), and sometimes I would call and talk to him for hours and hours. When he had to actually do his job, I would just hold and listen to him over the phone, and the airwaves. Ha! We were both so interested in music, and both loved things that weren't so mainstream. We listened to Little Big Town before they were.. Big. HAHA! He was just so diverse and interesting! Thinking back, it probably drove him crazy to talk to me because it is clear to me now (it wasn't at all clear to me then) how strongly he really loved me, without saying, and knowing that I had a boyfriend and everything, he probably didn't understand why I was spending my time talking to him. He was so genuine and peaceful and gave me something that was at a distance from college life, during a time when things weren't so stable (I started college Aug 2001, 3 weeks later BOOM 9/11). He was a friend I needed, one that wasn't dramatic and didn't ask for more from me than I could give, despite how he felt. But it was nice to share an intellectual bond there that I hadn't had in anyone else.

Time after time I got involved with people who interested me because their brains, their stories, their thoughts, their ideas, were all addicting to me. I just wanted to be around them and talk about something more than just boys or class or superficial stuff. These were guys who would talk to me about something more than just every day stuff, and never judged me for my crazy, and let me into their world a little. Sometimes I confused the intellectual passion for feelings of love and messed things up, but when I didn't, I think I had a good thing going! 

Most of these people have passed out of my life. That doesn't mean I don't think of them - I never seem to be able to forget or let go of people who wrapped me up in so much creative and intellectual passion in the time we were friends. Some faded away slowly, some more abruptly. Some I want back, some I'd prefer to stay at a distance.

My point is this: I'd love to pick your brain. I hate small talk. I hate talking about stupid news or current events. I hate talking about hot button issues. I want to talk about something real to you. I want to hear your stories. I want to talk about the deep stuff that you don't just tell anyone. I have a good friend who wrote a book, and once I got to visit with her at great length hearing stories behind the stories. I LOVE THAT! I want to hear your hopes and dreams! I want to talk about the times that changed your life and made you into something. I love hearing about what made you who you are. I love hearing how God played a role in your life, or when you realized He did. Whatever. I want to have a conversation about things that are deep and meaningful. Then I want you to stick around in my life. 

It makes me feel good to talk about meaningful things. I'm really bad at asking questions, but I'll listen to your story. I'll give you mine too, if you ask. I don't know what to share because it's like a dump truck, I'd share it all but I'm not sure what you want to hear. Because when it comes to friends, I'm usually willing to be all in. I can't stand that awkward feeling of maybe being friends, or almost being friends, or being superficial friends. Like, should I devote my limited and precious time to this person, or will it be a confusing waste of time? I really can't risk running out of energy on someone who won't end up putting any energy into the relationship on their end. It's confusing and exhausting. Basically, if I'm going to spend some of my limited social resources on you, I consider you to be a special person, a special friend. 

And I need you to stick around. I can't maintain any social life at all if I have to keep start over every time. It hurts, wounds, exhausts, and overwhelms me. It's a lot of work to be in a relationship of any kind, it's a lot of work to be in a friendship, and even more so with autism. I want what I give to be worth it, or else I easily feel used.

I had to stop in mid post here and unfortunately no matter how long I sit here I can't think of where I was going, if anywhere, after this in this post. So anyway, I'll close. I'm not sure how much more I can get out of this video, but I haven't posted after watching every portion yet, so there may be a part 4. 

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