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Friendship   Leave a comment

My friend and I started the same job on the same day over ten years ago.  I was nervous, being in a new city and not naturally adept at friendship.  Well as we met she looked at me and smiled.  From that moment onward I knew we were friends, not because of the smile alone, but because of the openness and generosity of her spirit.

My friend is neurotypical.  This term is usually used as a slur uttered by disaffected autistics, but I am using it as a compliment.  She has always been able to draw me out when I usually wouldn’t speak.  It is her genuine enthusiasm and accepting nature that lets me speak openly with her.

These comments may seem odd.   And I should mention that I am autistic.

She has always been accepting of my diagnosis and, in fact, my discovery of it, which took place during the time of our friendship.

Well, I let her down.  Her son got married, I had said I would attend and I didn’t.  I said I had the flu, which we both know was a lie.

The truth is that I am genuinely pleased and happy for her son and his wife as they start their lives.  But another truth is that I can’t handle weddings.

Indeed, the weekend before I did attend the wedding of another friend’s family member, his brother.  I won’t digress as it would be the subject of another post, but when we discussed it after, he told me that he would rather that I had not attended.

So neither friend was happy with me and neither has spoken to me since the days of these two events.  Two weddings, two unfriendings, one because I went the other because I didn’t.

And I think I’ve figured it out.  I thought that they should understand that a formal event is unbearable for me.  If I go, I will be anxious and tense; if I don’t go… Well in retrospect I should have been more honest with my friend and told her that I would not attend.

But here is my realization…

… I don’t enjoy sharing these events with my friends and this is the problem.  These events must be more important than I can understand.   But my options are limited.  I do care.  I just can’t show it in a traditional fashion.  So maybe the cost of this is the loss of a friend.

My loss.

But I can’t be other than what I am.  I do care, but not in the way, it seems, that is of value.

Posted November 3, 2014 by androbot01 in acceptance, autism, friendship, loss

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