Hello Everyone =]
As you can tell by the title, this valentines post will be about autism - love and relationships.
To be honest, if you follow me on twitter, you will know that I have been having trouble writing this, so bear with me if its all jumbled haha.
To start off with this subject, I'm going to talk about the myths and facts (these are my own opinions and experiences, it is different for everyone, but I'm sharing with you on what I feel)
1) Myth - People with autism have no empathy?
Fact - Wrong, we do have empathy, we just find it hard in expressing it but we do love and have full concern over anyone.
2) Myth - People with autism are anti-social?
Fact - Not all of us are, I choose to be anti-social for my own time by myself. Shyness also comes into this and we are so afraid of upsetting or offending anyone.
3) Myth - People with autism will never find romance?
Fact - We do, and in our own way, it just takes time.
Sometimes this can happen: "I don't want to do anything, I don't want to talk, I don't want to cuddle, I don't want to be near you, I need to be alone". But we still care and love you!
The points I'm going to make now are based on circumstances that may happen and how to approach it:
1) Hugging can feel claustrophobic - With time it will happen or like me, you could ask.
2) Communicating loving words may not feel natural - I rarely say it, but it doesn't mean I've stopped, the only way for me to express love is through writing it down or buying gifts that I know they will love.
3) Highly sensitive - We may take things you say literally and become hurt over jokey behaviour or innocent comments. We can be offended easily and become upset or emotion about things that may seem trivial.
4) Higher empathy - We feel things for others as though we are experiencing it ourselves - example: I always felt I had to protect people, friends, family, anyone, rather than looking after myself.
5) Eye contact - I can hold contact but not for long, we feel intrusive.
6) Heightened sensory perception - Bright lights, loud music, different temperatures, touching e.g. holding hands.
7) Meltdowns - I experience panic attacks, crying, shouting, throwing things.
This next section is some random things that I have experienced:
Falling in love too soon can become an obsession - including obsessive texting/calling.
Even though I need reassurance and comfort, I will back away when I need too and I can be quite cold about it.
Would rather stick to the same routine all the time, my last relationship, consisted of me, always wanting to lie in bed all day and do nothing.
Rejected for inappropriate behaviour - I think with me, because I started puberty at 9 years of age that I became more sexually aware and thought it was "normal" to chase girls around the playground pulling up their skirts and kicking boys in genitals.
Social withdrawal, fear, confusion about our bodies, mutism, awkwardness, ticks, lack of reciprocal conversation skills, embarrassment - these can all limit us to the person we choose.
Neglect our appearance - I have gone so many times with not brushing my hair, just washing it then tying it back and I don't wear make up either.
Not realising we are being treated badly and we can be easy to manipulate - this has happened to me all my life, because I thought everyone did it.
Emotional naivete - Walt disney view of romance, unrealistic pictures of relationships get us hurt. I thought I would end up all loved up in this perfect world where nothing goes wrong, unfortunately it doesn't work like that.
Sometimes scared of physical touch - I rarely hug someone, unless I'm upset then its usually my mum.
Act, feel, often appear younger than our age - I have a face of a 40 year old yet on the inside I feel 12, and sometimes it will show.
We change ourselves to be accepted and mimic the kind of girl you want us to be - I have done this and it never works they way you want it too, you always come around as fake.
First sexual encounter with someone can make me love you. I've never had a one night stand, I wouldn't want to get attached to someone who didn't want me in return.
Perceived to be cold natured, self-centred and unfriendly - I have lost people I care about because of these traits.
Doesn't go out much - This only effects me now, not much when I was a teenager as I had friends that I wanted to see and hang out with.
May choose to remain celibate or alone.
Often prefers the company of animals - I do love my cats, but they do get on my nerves haha.
I chose 2 examples from my life =
1) You can tell me I'm beautiful and pretty but I wouldn't believe you.
2) Becoming obsessed with someone from school, stealing a picture of him off the school computers because I liked him and wanted to be with him.
What I want: He needs to be confident, have a sense of humour, a little bit more intelligent than me, and very understanding of all the issues I have, can show sensitivity in his reactions to routines and obsessive behaviour.
Not every autistic person is alike!
I hope I did this post proud, any comments would be much appreciated =]
Happy Valentines Day Everyone.
Love, Emma xxx