If you have read even a few of my posts, you probably noticed that relationships, social rules/situations, people, in general are my biggest hang up. I do not know why, but their actions, behaviors, and words, can cause me to spiral. It feels as though I lose my footing when all the sudden a person seems to be sporadic, chaotic, out-of-character, or they behave in a way that does not make sense to me.
I wish it were not the case, other Autistics may not have such extreme social issues as I do.
I know there was a period of time when I was not this confused, but I also did not have social media, or true revelation of how socially confused I was. I did have scripts that I could use; some of them were not good though. I learned many by trial and error. I do know that because I have been socially isolated in many ways for several years, it has caused me to lose some of my skills. Once I tried to step out socially again, I encountered many similar things as I did in middle school and high school. It caused me to gain a completely new set of anxieties, or possibly it rehashed those from adolescence.
I thought that period of my life was over.
What I discovered is that what happened during those adolescent years continues through adulthood. Insert, interesting read Why You Truly Never Leave High School.They may manifest in different ways, but they are still the same social situations. I do pretty well with virtual relationships for the most part. Unless, my “real” life social encounters have confused, hurt, or exhausted me. Many people in my real life seem to change suddenly and it throws me every time. While my recovery time is much quicker and my coping mechanics are healthier, it still happens.
However, I think that the main reason for this is my lack of identity.
My inability to come into fruition of my identity has led me to seek out others as my guide, seeking answers to who I am through them. This dysfunctional system is faulty, irrational, and is filled with detrimental beliefs that I am slowly discovering. I have made huge progress in this area in the last few months. I will still shut down and cut people off in order to protect myself. (potential rejection, cause me hurt, or confusion of some sort) I have discovered this past weekend I need to remove people from my life and it is ok. I can accept that certain people in my life do not intend to get to know me or have a relationship with me.
I know that I may sound like a broken record with this, but I am really getting a grasp on why I have been hurt. I am finally accepting that I had been holding on in hopes that one day I would understand myself through those relationships. I kept thinking that one day, if I did enough or tried to figure it out we could have a relationship.
I thought that I would have that “A’ha! I finally get me!” moment.
I will never find the answers that I have been looking for through others. I will not have the relationships that my other family members have together. I can move on and know I have done nothing wrong it is ok. It is SO hard to accept this! These continual confusing social encounters have caused me to be so fearful of being social that I have gotten to the point of almost throwing up just thinking of ever seeing or talking to them again. The ridiculous thing is that they do not know, nor do they care that I have been affected like this.
This understanding has helped me to see my reasons for wanting to be alone many times throughout my life.
I knew that if I kept limited access to people in my life, or controlled who and when people were allowed in my life that I was not confused. I have expressed this before, but many times, I ended up in relationships because I thought that was what you were supposed to do. I tried to make more friends because people told me I could not have only one friend.
My “one” friend would eventually grow tired of me, for various reasons.
One being I would not understand why they needed more than one friend. I understand this now. I thought I should have a boyfriend because the few girls I had as friends either had them, or were focused on having them. They also made me feel foolish for not having one. I did have crushes and wanted a boyfriend, but I did not want one at the same time, if that makes any sense. (I feel that way about all types relationships at times, because any type of relationship for me is a reminder of how inadequate I feel socially.) I did not want to think about it and I felt as though I was constantly forced to. I thought I should be more social because people told me that it was not “normal” to be myself.
“It is unhealthy.” Um… Susan Cain: The power of introverts
When I was unable to take anymore social stress, I would cut myself off completely. Several times in my life, this resorted in making moves to other states, so I could start over. In search of finding myself, I would get to a point of feeling so lonely that I desired someone in my life. It was normally during that vulnerable time that someone would “appear.”
I would somehow end up in the relationship.
Several times, I did not even like the person. Interestingly, people took the focus off “trying to find me someone” and I found that to be a relief. Because of that stress being lifted, I was willing to stay with a person. Just so, I would not have to hear “You need to find someone. You need to date. You need a husband. You need to have kids”
It was tiresome listening to people tell me that I needed a person.
I needed to date. I needed to “get out there.” I never wanted to do that. I did want to have children though. I wanted to find a person and be done for the rest of my life so I no longer had to think about it. I wanted someone that would be there, but that I enjoyed as well. I wanted what I envisioned as a best friend. A person that I shared many common interests with and that I could be attracted to. I find it difficult to be attracted to people as a whole. I was not optimistic of ever falling in love the way that the movies show it, or how books and poems express it, songs sang it, people told me about it…
I never thought it could happen for me.
I did not think I was capable of feeling that intense affection and I NEVER thought anyone would love me in that way. I did not have hopes for it, but I longed for it. I wanted it. I had hoped to feel it one day and my desire was to marry that person and live happily ever after. I think many people desire that, but I also think that it is an unrealistic expectation. I read this and it made a lot of sense. There’s No Such Thing as Everlasting Love (According to Science)
I am not so sure this type of love happens and lasts.
I do not know, maybe I have grown cynical. I do go back and forth in thinking that it is possible, but then, reasoning myself right out of it. I do spend too much time analyzing this topic – I have my many reasons. It has also been a special interest of mine since I was a child. None of the examples in my life have shown this type of love – although, many people have talked about it. I did not feel this in any of my marriages, the problem was that they thought they felt this way toward me, but I did not understand that.
I assumed that no one would feel that type of love toward me either. (abuse plays a role in that)
Insert, another interesting read Romantic love ‘lasts just a year.’ I thought to myself, How could they feel that way toward me? How could they love me when they do not know who I am? Quite honestly, I do not think they truly felt that way. I think they did for a while, but I also think they were intrigued by me because I was different from other women in their life. Intrigue and fascination is different than love. I have kept so much of my world hidden from people out of fear that very few have gotten a glimpse of who I am. Well, unless you read my blogs. I share a lot of me because that is how I process and it helps me to gain revelation of my identity.
I did not intend to hurt people I was in relationship with.
To be continued… Big Surprise! Breaking Social & Defying Relationship “Norms” II (It’s a three parter.)