Do autistic people miss others?
One thing I find very different about my neurology is that I do not miss people that I stop interacting with.
I mean absolutely no one.
There is a reason I find it peculiar. My feelings for a person are like a light switch.
They are on or off—I have no middle ground.
That is not even the part that I find the most unusual. When someone is my friend, I can not imagine my life without them. I love them with abandon. I am super attentive.
But when I get to the end of my rope, or if someone moves away, etc. Then my feelings for them cease. I have neither bad or good feelings, just no feelings.
Over time I have come to accept myself this way. It eases my sadness or sore heart (which I experience physically) when I remind myself of this when someone I love is leaving.
People become special interests to me. Or they are required in my life for one reason or another. I guess I am pretty black and white about it.
As a therapist who works primarily with trauma, it helps me because I care deeply and fully without distraction when I am with a person, but do not get burned out when away from them.
Some people that I have known break the contract that I have given them. And that for me means no contact. I am not judgemental and I am a good friend, but if a person breaks a boundary, life has taught me just to let them go. I get way too hurt, and if a person does not get me, then it is very very unlikely that they ever will.
Because I am autistic I have space for only a very few people/beings in my life.
- I find socializing with anyone but Martin exhausting; and
- People become my special interest…
I drove Martin slightly mad in the beginning. I wanted to learn everything. Endless questions that I think felt invasive at times—what are you eating, what are you thinking about…but Martin understood, well that I was autistic and that I wanted to understand him so that I could understand him.
I do care about people, like the man at the corner store. I know his wife has cancer, and I remember asking him how she is doing. I feel very sad for him. My empathy is on or off. If I am with you, it is on, if I am away from you it is off. I simply could not exist in any other way. No one could exist feeling as much as I do without some mechanism that turns off all the care.
7 billion people that I want to be happy—an impossible task!
The people that do occupy my mind when I stop interacting with them are people that I have had in my life and had to remove because they have been unkind to me in one way or another. I never want them to be unhappy. It makes me unhappy. So I tend to obsess a fair amount about them.
My life is pretty perfect right now. I adore Martin. I adore him like crazy. I love how he looks smells, smiles, thinks, walks, dresses, interacts…yes he is my special interest…and you know he is what I had hoped and wished for when I was 16 someone who would treat me kindly and adore me and for whom I would matter more than anything.
Then there is my son who I care for, and my dog also.
And that for me is more than enough people/beings that I care for.
So long answer short…I don’t miss people who I stop interacting with—I have a good cry and then turn my attention elsewhere.