One of the frustrations of my Aspie life is that I can’t get people to love me. I don’t mean I can attract a spouse or an illicit lover— I gave up on that years ago. But why can’t people love me as a friend? Or even as a family member? It’s puzzling, because I don’t think I’m a bad or cruel or hard-to-love person. People bond with friends who nickname them ‘fatty’ or ‘nerdbottom.’ I would never say things like that to a human being (or a cat!)
I have come to understand one reason other people don’t want to bond with me is because I am living in poverty. People are afraid they might be inclined to give me money or help me out with a ride to the local Walmart if there was some kind of loving bond between us. It’s easier and safer to keep people like me at a distance.
Another reason is that we Aspies don’t send out the right kind of non-verbal signals or psychic ‘vibes’ to let the normies know we would welcome their friendship. They assume we don’t want friends (or family members who actually contact us.) I’m not sure what, if anything, I could do about that. I don’t anticipate my Asperger’s Syndrome being cured anytime soon, and if I actually went around telling people I want them to be my friends and/or love or care about me, they would shun me as a hopelessly weird person.
So what’s an Aspie to do? We probably all know that we should put ourselves out more— go to church services, social events, and other places where we encounter people, and take the initiative and talk to someone. If we can even do things like that. But my problem is that I have accumulated a lifetime of painful memories of encounters with other people that did not go well. As in the case in high school when I was called into the vice-principal’s office with the boys who were daily throwing rocks at me, and the vice-principal said I ‘dressed weird’ and he seemed to understand how those poor boys felt compelled to throw rocks.
My reaction to a lifetime of bad experiences is to develop habits of avoiding people. Even back in school I tended to skip school a couple of days a week when I could. A few extra days with no kids and no teachers/school staff members mocking me, throwing rocks at me, or saying unkind things about me were something I needed. But human beings aren’t designed to be alone forever. I used to think of my life as being in solitary confinement for a crime I didn’t commit. But guys in solitary confinement can talk to corrections officers or the guy in the next solitary cell.
The internet is a big help for me. I have cyber-friends who seem to care about me, even once they know I am poor and can’t always buy and review their new books (many of them are writers.) I can interact with others— a little. I can even be in contact with my aunt and cousins in Arizona.
I don’t have any shiny new answers to the being-unloved problem. And, I suppose, some of the family members who are always angry at me, or are dismissive of me, may actually feel love for me somewhere in their hearts. They just don’t know how to show it. But as I can’t become aware of that potential love, it doesn’t help my problem.
Have you— whether you are an Aspie (person with Asperger Syndrome) or not— ever had problems with making friends or sustaining contact with family members? How does that affect you? Have you found ways to make things better? Let me know in a comment!