Asperger's,Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friendship

Many friendships have ups and downs, sometimes you talk all the time and sometimes you go through months or even years without any contact. Some friendships are lost, new are gained. Some friends, even if you don’t see them for years, when you sit down with them again it feels like you met them only yesterday.

This is not really how my experience with friendship has been, but people always say things like that.

My personal experience is more like people exploit you and then they move on.

Okay, maybe not that dark either. Perhaps, it is something in between those two extremes?

What I can say without any uncertainty is that I have almost no friends. I have people in my life that I consider friends, but none of them are actually a part of my daily life. I talk to them once in a while, but none of them are really aware of what goes on in my life, just like I have no idea what goes on in theirs.

Sometimes, I feel like we are strangers who sometimes enjoys each other’s company. Sometimes, I wonder if people only talk to me when they are lonely. Sometimes, I wonder if I only talk to others when I am lonely. Most of the time, I can’t help but wonder why they even bother with me at all.

I know I am not easy to get along with – not because I am uncaring or mean – but because I often sound rude or arrogant. I have only once in my life said something arrogant and actually meant it as such and that was in 2006. Since then, I have never said anything mean or rude or arrogant and meant it as such, but people always complain that I am rude or cold or arrogant. I never understand why, and people never bothered explaining. They get mad or sad and either call me names or ignore me. No one has ever believed me when I say I don’t understand why something sounds arrogant or why I am being rude.

I know that I have what people call “a sharp tongue”. I curse, I am too blunt, I can’t help but tease people even though I shouldn’t because people never like it – in general all I can say is that my mouth moves faster than my brain sometimes and it’s never a good thing.

So, people I don’t have to get to know at all – like strangers on the street – I can be nice and polite and sweet to them. Maybe because I talk as little as possible. It’s just… when I am nervous I talk a lot so… well, let’s just say I end up talking about a lot of silly things or make fun of myself, but not in a good way. I always feel awful about myself afterwards.

I try never to get to close to people, because I know that if they get to know me better I won’t be able to hide myself from them. Then they’ll know that I am rude and arrogant and cold – not that I am that way on the inside, but my outside is like that. It’s not by choice, because I don’t even know that I am that way. I only know, because people tell me that I am.

A lot happened lately. I met a lot of knew people for the first time in a long time. A lot of those people seem oddly nice and that terrifies me. I was never good at making friends, and even though most people seem to like me at first, once they really get to know me that usually changes.

I also changed a lot though. When I was younger, I struggled so hard trying to make friends, but I don’t anymore. I am not saying that I don’t want friends, because I do, nor am I saying I am not trying to get to know people better, because I do. It’s just, it’s different now. I used to try to make friends with people, but now I try to get to know people. It feels different, less worrying and a lot less responsibility.

It also requires a whole lot less talking, which is really nice. I don’t like to talk a lot, so it is rather relaxing that I don’t have to force myself to talk. This also means that I don’t get as nervous and therefore babble a lot less.

I have no idea what people think of me, but I don’t think they dislike me. I hope they don’t. Maybe I am less rude because I’m less nervous? Or perhaps I just don’t talk enough to be rude enough for others to have noticed yet? Or it could just be that they all don’t care?

Of course, they could all secretly (or not so secretly, I would never know in any case) all dislike me.

I don’t think I really know what friendship is. I’ve seen the TV series, the movies and read the books, but those things are rarely realistic to me. Is that how anyone lives in real life? If you do live like that, please tell me. I am not sure I want it though, but I would like to know what it’s like.

To be as honest as I can, I have to admit I don’t know what I need or want in a friendship. I don’t have an ideal or even the slightest idea what I want or need most of the time. I do know that I want more than what I have now. I don’t just want to see people a few times every year, but I also don’t want to see people a few times every week either. That would be too much for me to handle, especially because I haven’t been social in… well, years?

The last time I made friends was back in 2015 when I was living in Japan and happened to meet some of the most amazing people in the world.

Now, if you’ve been reading my posts, you might remember that I left my last ex quite a while back. I don’t think we were ever really friends – I agreed to date him long before I even really knew him. Now, that is a mistake I will not make again. I envy all of those out there who became friends before you started dating, something I actually never experienced myself.

I think the reason for that is that I was never very careful in my choice of friends or partners, because I didn’t think I had the right.

This is going to sound really silly, but I hope you forgive me my youthful stupidity. When I was a child, I thought I was broken. I honestly believed I was broken beyond repair or even forgiveness. Of course, to a small child with some experience with other people, it was clear to me that anyone who was willing to be friends with someone like me would have to be quite mad or possibly just a really bad person who would want to exploit the brokenness of someone like me. Therefore, thinking anyone would have to be crazy to be my friend or like me, I simply accepted anyone who wanted to be my friend – and sadly, in time I would date whoever asked me out. I never really thought gender was something important in either friendships or relationships and I still don’t see why people care about such an unimportant fact.

What matters is the person in front of you – how do you feel about that person?

I don’t know when I will ever be ready to date anyone, but you know what I do know?

I want friends. Not just any friends, I want to carefully chose my friends and make sure that they are nice people that I like. If someone doesn’t want to be my friend, then I don’t need to try and make them like me nor care what they think about me.

If someone likes me for who I am and wants to be my friend, then I will ask myself that question: What do I want?

Friendship is wonderful thing, I am told, and the people I already have in my life are truly wonderful. I just don’t know if they actually know me. When they got to know me I was different, scared and desperately trying to make friends with anyone and everyone.

Do you think it’ll be different this time? Can I make friends the way I am? A bit rude, sharp tongued and sometimes very quiet? Is it possible that I can meet people one day who wants to get to know me better instead of people who want to control me and use me?

I think it is possible.

I don’t know if I already met someone who will be my friend one day, nor do I know if the people I already call friends are actually my friends at all or if they even care about me, but I somehow feel more hopeful. I feel like it might be possible to meet nice people. Maybe not friends who are exactly what we want, but maybe friends who’ll always be what we need? If other people can, why not people like us too? Some say autism spectrum disorder is genetically inherited, so that must mean that people like us can be very likeable indeed. It might just be a matter of us being more careful about who we chose to accept into our lives.

Kai

I graduated my masters in 2017 with a major in Japanese studies and a minor in international relations. Since my graduation I have focused on figuring out who I am, because I was diagnosed with Asperger's (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and it made me rethink my life and allowed me to understand myself better. Because I have always been passionate about writing, I decided to blog about my life in the hope that it can increase autism awareness.

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