I am not really sure where I am going with this. I am planning to ask others to help me out here to gather words for what I am trying to describe and ultimately help myself understand. The goal of writing about this is to process and get to some sort of balance in my mind. Currently, my way of thinking about what I have deemed as “love blindness” is in a negative way. What is love blindness?
I suppose it would fall under something like the mind-blindness definition. (Wiki)
Mind-Blindness can be described as a cognitive disorder where an individual is unable to attribute mental states to the self and other. As a result of this disorder the individual is unaware of others’ mental states. The individual is also not capable of attributing beliefs and desires to others. This ability to develop a mental awareness of what is in the mind of an individual is known as the Theory of Mind (ToM). This allows one to attribute our behaviour and actions to various mental states such as emotions and intentions. Mind-blindness is associated with autism and asperger’s syndrome (AS) patients who tend to show deficits in social insight. In addition to autism, AS, and schizophrenia, ToM and mind-blindness research has recently been extended to other disorders such as dementia, bi-polar disorders, anti social personality disorders as well as normal aging.
Hm… I do not agree with this completely.
I have only had terms to use that are negative tone in nature. This definition sounds negative to me for some reason, but I cannot articulate exactly what it is. I have called myself a robot because I seem to lack some sort of emotion at certain times. I can feel like I have no feeling at all toward someone, but I do. Feeling it and acting on love are different for me. Acting on love means more to me than someone telling me the words. Anyone can say “I love you.” Not everyone means it. If someone loves me I need to see it, it helps to hear it too. Anyone who knows me knows that I am far from being a robot. I care deeply about people. I feel emotions deeply. I can read emotions in others in the same room, or even hundreds of miles away. (People I know obviously) I admit that there is a disconnect when it comes to myself. If the emotions are about me, I find it difficult to read. I need people to be very clear, direct, and not to mess with me.
I can be easily fooled into believing that someone has the best intentions toward me.
Ironically, I can pick up immediately when someone does not have the best intentions for another person. I cannot explain this phenomenon. It takes me a very long time to figure out if someone is manipulating me. It takes me a long time to figure out if their actions are deliberate, learned behaviors, insecurities, or unintentional all together. I found some interesting reads during the last week several of them are about self-haters and their behaviors. I will share this one. Self-Hate Patterns
I realized without a doubt that I am not truly a self-hater.
I tend to attract these types of people, which sends me into confusion and doubt about myself. It causes me to have a jumbled sense of emotions and intentions of others. The earliest memories I can recall are filled with this sense of I should not like myself. For some reason I should be ashamed of myself. I should not feel safe being myself. Thinking about it I am not sure how much of this “hidden” shame was because how people felt about my parents being teenage parents. Nowadays it seems to be the “in” thing, (Because they have reality shows on several channels and such, I am not judging only observing. I come from a long line of unwed teenage parents.) but in the 70′s it was still a ghastly thing.
Then there was the shame of my mom being a single parent, me not having a father around.
I was mocked and made fun of starting from Kindergarten to Elementary for such things. Something I had no control over. People made me feel bad because I was ok with not having my dad around. Quite honestly, I did hold my dad upon a pedestal, but I wonder how much of that was me trying to keep a connection in my heart. He was like a rock star to me, and I could adore him and forgive the pains he put me through because of that. That is another whole can of worms.
The point is I felt like I was not supposed to be all right with myself.
Between my living conditions, parental conditions, my appearance, and my oddities – I should not like myself. There is a family dynamic too that plays into this the unspoken rule that “you should never be proud of your accomplishments because it makes everyone else feel bad.” Never be proud because that is sinful! I have no idea how to be proud, or even recognize my accomplishments because of this and because I tend to have people around me who always need building up. They vaguely see my accomplishments, can down play them or constantly bring up their accomplishments as to make me feel inadequate – though they feel they are my biggest support.
I am sharing these to give an idea as to why I may have a disconnect with myself.
There are several reasons and I do know that abuse plays into this as well. I have been unable to trust my “gut” in this area because I have had so many people in my life tell me they love me, but twist things. Now that it is discovered that I am on the autism spectrum and have ALL of these anxiety/sensory/emotional issues it has been used against me. It has not been helpful in getting people to understand me. It has caused more problems with some relationships. I will say it has helped a great deal with my mom, my aunt, and my sisters that live near my mom. Maybe it will take time I do not know, I do know that some people are not going to change and I do not know what to do about it. My “issues” are only an opportunity for those who are self-haters to thrive and confuse me.
I am not blind to love. There is a scene in Forrest Gump, hold on let me see if I can find it… here it is.
I see both sides and have felt both ways that Forrest and Jenny express here. (Jenny’s is unspoken and I get it.) Something tugged at my heart years ago when I would watch this scene and to this day. I cannot place words to it, but somehow it explains something for me. I have an understanding of what love is, but love for me has been so wrapped around manipulation, abuse, conflicting actions/words, nonacceptance, abandonment, none of those have felt like love. Creating the idea that I am unlovable, unless… Unless I am someone else, but still I am rejected when I am not myself. I have learned a deeper type of love with my children. I am learning a deeper type of love with my aunt and mom.
They know that it is going to take many confirmations and continual acceptance for me to “get it.”
I am doing that for them as well. They both suffer from this love blindness type of thing. It has been the only way to protect ourselves because we have been so terribly hurt. However, it has not been purposely done. We did not sit down and say, “Now I will stop feeling.” It does not work like that – I always assumed that something was seriously wrong me. We have many commonalities here, but something that needs to change in order to move forward is negative self-thinking. Another commonality we share is absorbing the emotions around us. We begin to believe that we are the problem, or the “bad” person. That is why self-haters need to be identified, sometimes it not possible to get away from them. That means there has to be a way to protect oneself from absorbing their negativity. I am not sure how, I am only now seeing and understanding all of this.
I read these and thought they were good.
I need to gain enough confidence in my abilities to trust my feelings.
Part of that has to be that I accept that people do operate like that and I need to learn the ability to not allow them to manipulate me. I need to learn to stop being confused. I need concrete scripts. I have talked about this before, I know, but my brain has to go through its process. It is layer by layer. I have realized that with the negatives that are around me I need positives to counteract the words and actions to help me keep a perspective.
I have changed some of my patterns.
Instead of looping and trying to figure it out, I am calling my aunt or mom and asking them to help me. Neither of them gives “fluff” answers. They will tell me if I am being emotionally sensitive. They do not play games and though sometimes they sound very harsh, there are many times that I need that. They are not harsh toward me – it is a directness that others may deem as harsh. Sometimes they are not the best people to go to and I am discovering that I need to rely on myself. I will also send a quick email to my internet friend, (she always helps when she can) or read blogs where I know I understand the people. They help remind me that the way that my mind works is acceptable, and that I am not doing anything wrong for being myself.
Well I have tapped the first layer of this.
I know there is more, but I am not sure how it will manifest. I need to define what love means to me – what I see as positive and acceptable behaviors toward me. The problem is that it is too broad for me. I cannot define it. I have a very hard time so I am going to ask you to help me. Does anyone else have a problem defining what love is, or how it should be expressed toward you? I seem to fine expressing love to others fairly easy, though I have to explain my actions at times. (And they are not always well received.) Still I know what love is and how to express it toward others. Please email me or comment here and give me some ideas as to how you know people love you. Please! And I am on facebook you can email me there or comment on my page.
Some other links that I have found very helpdful.
I must say WTF? (fudge) Why is so much of the information about romantic relationships? Shouldn’t we focus on being able to have relationships with people in general? What about family relationships? Why do we have to be considered inadequate without a romantic relationship? Relationships are with everyone, not only a significant other partner! Shouldn’t we know how to deal with people better before adding romance and physical issues into the mix? Not that it is not an important factor, but I see an imbalance of focus. We need all kinds of information not so single minded on the topic.
Maybe I am using the wrong search words.
Humph… I can guarantee that I have not used only a few, try a few hundred and still the same thing. It’s a good thing I can apply these principles to all relationships, but I would really like more about relationships and ASD as a whole. AND it really irks me that when I type these things in Aspergers and relationships, sociopath comes up! We are not sociopaths. Urgh! That is all I will say about that. Ok, that was my little side rant. Now on to some links.
(Asperger related links)
I Don’t Feel Love…Aspergers, Alexithymia (Wow! This one made a lot of sense.)