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Featured Excessive Attachments in lieu of Friendship?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by OkRad, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    I have a big problem. This post looks longer than it is because I made sure to keep paragraphs short to avoid wall- text.

    Basically, this is a substitute my brain does since I cannot make friends. It is not attachment disorder or obsession. It's a true desire to be a friend and because I cannot, I get attached to someone and it's so strong since it's just one way because I cannot make friends.

    It generally, almost always, starts when someone else is continually kind to me. Like a professor or a pastor or even a person who sees my plight and starts to want to know more. Then I think I might have a friend!!

    I get excited, but then it all goes south for some reason or other because I cannot make friends, so then it goes into my head.

    I will think about them and have a friendship with them in my mind. If it keeps going, they become like my co-pilot, it can be so strong. Often decisions I make can be steered by them (If it's a prof, I could totally switch majors!).

    UPSHOT IS:
    I want to see them, even if its a glimpse and try to smile at them and want to make them happy doing little things. But..... I NEVER EVER cross the line. Once it goes into just Head Mode, I might give them a card on birthday or a note to say Hi. And I think sometimes they catch on, think maybe I am crushing on them, but I am not.

    They are always good people so they, even the imaginary them, never steer me wrong. In fact, the "Them" in my head are probably better than they are in real life because they are an always good form of whoever they are and half the time I DON'T EVEN KNOW THEM because I can't make friends!!

    It's like an imaginary perfect them that is leading me around and they make me feel happy, like I have a friend.

    DOWN SIDE IS:
    However, if I do not see them for a while, I get sad. And if, during this time they do not return a greeting or if they are sharp with me or if they ignore me as people often do when they are in a rush or something, I AM CRUSHED beyond redemption for days.

    My Brain Pilot is gone and I am at sea alone with waves all over!

    Then I start to realize I am in it again. Then I realize it has happened again, that I am alone in my head, that the other person does not want to be a friend and never did.

    It gets really complex and my brain starts to feel hijacked.
    ........and I try to get them out of my head which is almost impossible.

    I dropped out of a great school once when this happened. Another time, dropped out of therapy and T was like "WTF?" Another time, the other person kept leading me on like I was a friend then not then was then not. That went on 14 years.

    Now, here is the rub. If I could be a friend, these would all have been just plain friendships! All of them were people who I wanted to just be friends, not more.

    In one sense this is not bad at all. It gave me hope and friends when I cannot make them. But it hurts in then end.

    I hate autism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  2. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Aspies tend to think of friendships in the same way as they perceive themselves. Loyal, enduring, life-long relationships. At least, that's how I think of friendship, don't know if that's typical but I'm beginning to think it is.

    When others disappoint it's hard on our concept of loyalty and trust. Often, others do disappoint. We seem to have an 'absolute ideal' when it comes to relationships, and when that trust is broken; we end the friendship quickly, irrevocably. It's probably better, the way that you do it, creating them in your mind, less disappointing that way.
     
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  3. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    That is an interesting way of looking at it! It is sooo painful, though. I wish I did not do it at all. I wish I had even one friend.
     
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  4. toothless

    toothless autism & ID activist V.I.P Member

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    your best bet is to look for a forum [or here] that focuses on your likes or differences and find someone local to you,then you could eventually meet up.
    ive met multiple people this way from autism groups on facebook,they werent weirdos they were just like us lot here.

    id like to be your friend if you are searching for online friends,i think you are a fantastic person very interesting and theres no reason why you shouldnt have friends people need to look past your differences and see the real you.
     
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  5. hiraeth

    hiraeth solitude is an art V.I.P Member

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    Think I know what you are talking about...

    Honestly the most frustrating thing about it for me is that if you try to describe what is going on to "regular people" (I guess NTs) they will all be convinced that you're actually romantically attracted to the person. As if that is the only way to experience strong unrequited attachment like that.

    I think that, if one never experiences the feeling of being seen as who we are and cared about as such, coming across someone who appears to do so will upset quite a few things in our psychic system.

    It happens a lot less after I got used to the idea that no one will ever truly see the "real me". Appearing to.. doesn't mean they do.
     
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  6. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Isn't having friendships something that's lauded and flogged over and over in regular read NT society? That if you don't have them you are a serial killer or odd or weird? Not necessarily true. Somewhat agree with Penelope Trunk, people on the spectrum really only need one friend.

    This is from her blog:

    People with Asperger’s don’t have friends.

    Someone with Asperger’s doesn’t feel a huge need to connect on an emotional level with lots of different people. They might think they are connecting emotionally. But it’s not how other people do it.

    Like, the Asperger father who never called to say he loves you, or the Asperger girlfriend who disappears for five days because she didn’t know you would expect her to be there. It’s a friend who never calls or emails because they don’t see communication as part of a friendship.

    There are a million different ways people with Asperger’s inadvertently isolate themselves from the world of friendship, but suffice it to say that while people with Asperger’s have lots of depression and lots of anxiety, you’ll rarely hear them say they need more friends.

    People with Asperger’s want one friend. The problem is that in adult life your one friend has to be your spouse. So if you know you have Asperger’s you need to focus carefully on finding a spouse. Theoretically, this should be easy because high IQ and good looks go hand in hand, and the definition of Asperger’s includes higher IQ.

    The thing that keeps most people with Asperger’s from finding a mate is understanding they need one. People with Asperger’s understand the theoretical need for a date for the prom. They understand theoretical desire for sex. They understand the concept of everyone has a house and kids and they don’t, but they don’t understand the leap you make to get there – you have to actually want to be close to one person.

    It’s overwhelming to be close to people. A lot of people with Asperger’s who are married sleep in separate beds or have sex with minimal physical contact but you need to find the thing that’s going to work for you so you can have that one intimate relationship. 3 Things you need to know about people with Aspergers | Penelope Trunk Careers
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  7. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tooth. Yes, I was part of the whole Meeetup thing. And it was always the same. I made no real connections but a whole lot of meaningless connections. When I was out for 3months, no one even knew.

    I agree we only need one friend or two. Aristotle says that, too. Maybe I can have a friend that is not around anymore. Maybe Aristotle, Who said friends have to be current? :)
     
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  8. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. But I am not relationship material . The one relationship I had nearly killed me. She is right, in adult hood, that one person is spouse or no one.
     
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  9. Astroganga

    Astroganga Well-Known Member

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    OkRad, I was just about to write a post on a very similar issue. In my case I start to annoy the person by messaging them too much or asking them why they are ignoring me, when they aren't, they just consider me as a casual friend or acquaintance and not a close friend. Unfortunately I have just done it again, and I suggested it is best for my sake and my friend's own, if I do not message him or speak to him again at all right now, and I am depressed at the moment but this is not his problem and I will be ok because I always am in the end. He took this as me trying to be emotionally manipulative, when I was not at all-and people who know me better say I could not manipulate anyone if I tried. I did become very attached to him platonically and he seemed to, to me, but then one day a few weeks back he said me being so intense and trusting him with really personal stuff has freaked him out, and it has all been downhill from there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  10. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    I know how that feels, too! I have been doing this since the autism hit which was 14. (Or at least when the autism materialized).

    Looking back, I have done that, but it's mostly been writing things down like notes and telling them they are great etc. It ALWAYS starts when someone picks up that I am suffering.

    They connect. This makes me feel a very wide range of emotions in response to their connection. I don't bring it on. They are just being nice but to me, it's life or death.

    Then I attach. I want to feel happy like everyone else. I send them notes to thank them for helping me, birthday, etc. Once I sent a long letter and never got a response. Another time, it started a bizarre correspondence with a disturbed women who did NOT have autism and was actually toxic, but harmless.

    Then I am stuck. I try to act happy to make them happy but I am not happy. Then I go back to being my sad self if I think they start to pull away. Then I wonder if they think I am manipulating them by being sad and try to act happy again. Then I get all confused on whether they want me happy or sad and I can't have my own moods ever. My thoughts and moods are totally hijacked even at home.

    In the end, logic conquers my feelings and I see they don't give a sh*t if I am happy or sad and that my emotions are totally wrapped up in how they are toward me. If they don't say hi, crushed! If they say it's good to see me, I am running on air!

    Eventually I get scared and angry with myself. I don't blame them though I start to hate that day they first said HI and run over and over in my mind what I should have done. Like not responded.

    Now, I am careful NOT to connect with anyone. I am 100% isolated and mute in public. If people reach out to say HI, I nod without smiling. I am now, basically, terrified of people. I have been very abused and much violence and neglect. It took me a while to catch on, but I do understand now.

    People are dangerous to me, even the safest, kindest, most noble souls are dangerous to me because I am a broken, burned out soul with a gift (autism) that I cannot tap into and which turned against me. It makes me sad because I so wanted to be part of the human race.
     
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  11. Vinca

    Vinca Speaking through Pictures V.I.P Member

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    There was a girl the same age as me whose house I regularly went round to after school all through primary school (from age 4/5 to 10/11 years).

    When we got to around 9/10 years old she would always sit next to and play with another girl at school and even before that, as social groups formed, we spent less time together. This confused me. I didn't understand the need or desire for any other friends as I would have always been content to play with her and no one else.

    For most of my life, I have had a strong desire/need for a best friend. I thought that desire was due to my buying into and taking the portrayal of best friend relationships in films/tv shows too literally but maybe it has something to do with Aspergers?
     
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  12. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    I have often wondered how much culture influenced the way my Autism was expressed. I am sure a lot. It would still be there even if I were raised by Buddhist monks, so it's more like I wonder how much my own culture formed a lot of the thoughts like you just described.

    I wish some people who work with Autism all day was a member here. Then we could ask them :)
     
  13. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It may Vinca. Remember that in my childhood, I wanted a best friend. Recall that when she began playing with other children I was hurt and confused. It was as if my trust in her was lost. The fact that I still remember that first best friend, fifty years later and you do as well must have had some sort of impact on our concept of friendship. That very first relationship with someone outside our own families seems to be one that helps to form our concept of friendship. Did have friendships after that, but none were as close as the first one.
     
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  14. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    I literally could have written this word for word, this articulates exactly how I feel.
     
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  15. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    I still remember my first best friend... I remember her name, her sisters name, that we went to see the Lion King for her 5th Birthday, that we would sit with blankets and eat pizza and watch Jem... I remember what she looks like, as if I am looking at a picture of her.
     
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  16. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    Again, another post I could have written... I do this all. the. time.
     
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  17. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I do similar, but not to the extent that you refer to.

    I do become a bit obessed with wanting to know what they are doing and where they are going and almost panic when what I thought was their habit, they turn upside down. But, as you say about yourself: I NEVER CROSS THE BOUNDRIES. i would never say anything, because I realise that it is not right.
     
  18. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Try on here for a friendship.

    I found my first real best friend online and although that has now finished, due to something on her part, I am in regular communication with a lovely female aspie on here and do consider her to be my friend, but certainly not the traditional kind, since we cannot meet up ie she is in America and me in France lol
     
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  19. Clintos

    Clintos Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can relate I personally stopped going to work because I am afraid they will find out the real me and then start to make fun of me.
     
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  20. ChurchTheArtist

    ChurchTheArtist The love child of Bob Ross and Batman

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    I can relate rather well but I have been working my way out of that mentality. After about 10 years of dealing with those extreme thoughts I decided to address them and change.

    Part of having friends is understanding that it involves two people and if your feelings are so extreme, you unbalance the relationship. I could fill three courses on the cause/effects of the ideals you describe and how it causes turbulence with others but I'll save it. You can either wait to find another person with such extreme feelings of friendship or you can learn to control your own thoughts, tone down some and come to a level more relatable to others thus making you more compatible in friendship with more people. But I warn you, if you were to find someone who will feel so extremely about friendship as you described to you, you may find that being on the recipient end feels like trying to ride an angry bull.

    We with aspergers often don't realize how volatile and unpredictable we are to others since 90% of our conversations take place in our heads. Our expectations create a moving platform we expect others to jump onto, and when they don't... well, we get disappointed. And that's why it's hard for people like us to have friends because most aspies can't recognize that being friends with them is like running an obstacle course with no reward other than the course itself.

    Learn to be a friend that enjoys people for who they are, not for who you think they can be. If it's too much work to be your friend, no one will want to do it. That's speaking from experience.

    *Shrug* I know your OP didn't exactly ask my opinion but you didn't really ask anything; you just voiced what was on your mind so I'm voicing what's on mine.
     
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