Have you ever wondered how would you feel if you found out that someone who you trust lied to you about something that you consider crucial? Maybe it doesn’t affect you directly but it shapes how you think about yourself in comparison with this person so it affects your friendship.
So basically I used to have a friend who was single like forever. She was helpful and treating me well, in general, although she seemed to like to moan a bit too much. She would often ask me strange questions about what men at work think about her; I’m apparently masculine so I should know. It would go like that: you know Magda, three days ago I was doing printing and the printer jammed the paper and that guy, he’s approximately my age, married with kids, came up to help and he said blah blah blah. And I then responded with khm khm khm. And today, as I was walking through the hallway he was looking at me. What do you think he was thinking?
I found those questions very draining, not only because I wasn’t able to answer them but also because I didn’t understand why she was getting so obsessed with what people think of her. A while ago though, possibly two years, I noticed she stopped asking and I thought she finally learned to cope.
She also seemed very interested in other people sex life, while herself not having any because she was single and not looking for 20+ years. She would frequently made comments about how a certain dating situation we discussed (either mine, her other friend’s or something we read online) didn’t go how the woman hoped because the man ‘only wanted one thing’. Sometimes it was obvious to me from how it was described that, although the man certainly wasn’t someone who you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, what he did wasn’t caused by ‘wanting one thing only’ at all, instead he was someone with issues that caused his needs to be rather complex.
She came to stay with me a few weeks ago and it was difficult for me, when I realised how negative she still is. Also, she didn’t like my blog too much – especially the bits that I think are the best, where I explain how people think.
I gave her this post to read https://autisticandme.com/2022/07/29/thank-you-key-workers/
where, in the second half, I discussed why non autistic people sometimes behave in ways that we perceive as illogical, but when we point it out to them, they get upset. I was especially happy with it because I managed to give two scenarios – one when the person we’re speaking with doesn’t tell us the truth because they think we’re judgmental, the other when they don’t tell the truth because of the situation that we met them in. I think this is especially important because it makes us aware that although sometimes it’s us who’s the problem, sometimes it’s the circumstances. So it’s good to reflect on ourselves but we shouldn’t be getting too self conscious.
She told me the rest of the post is OK but this part is ‘too long’. I didn’t know how I could have made it any shorter but still make it easy to understand for an autistic.
I now think she was worried that if I continue my ‘research on neurotypicals’ I may finally work her out too.
Anyway… a few days after she left I found that reel by Nazanin Mandi where she says that some people share from ‘their open wounds, not their healed scars’. It made sense to me so I thought I’d post about it and the easiest example that came to my mind was of a woman who was trying to date a man but he dumped her after having sex with her and how she’s now saying to other women to be really careful because ‘men only want one thing’. The question whether that’s what my friend was doing came to my mind at the time, although possibly it wasn’t enough for me to accept that.
Yesterday she messaged me to comment on my hair cut. She keeps reading my blog! What for if she thinks it’s too much and not very good? Because she is so obsessed with what I think about her and she’s looking for hints there? Now I can see why she’s obsessed about what other people think of her: she’s worried the truth will finally come out.
What she told me good few years ago was that she’s single because she met a love of her life while she was at the university, but he had an accident and died. She never gave me any details, other than their relationship was ‘different, not how people date now’, she also never reflected on how she processed the grief.
That was very strange to me. People may not talk about how they feel while they are grieving, but when they get over it, they are very open to share it. They will tell you how they felt when they first found out the loved one died, how it affected their routine and how long it took them to get over it. My friend never mentioned any of that.
Moreover, when she was saying that their relationship was different, she didn’t seem nostalgic at all. She seemed cheerful and happy, like if she was telling me about how she met her husband.
Also, when she was here, she gave me a different version of the accident, and I was sure I remembered correctly what I’ve heard the first time because my brother’s childhood friend died the same way, so it was easy to remember. And now she’s telling me something different.
It does feel very disappointing.
Ultimately, I know, she’s only lying to herself. If she wants this unfortunate event to define who she is for her entire life, then you could say, it’s her problem, not mine; but still, I’m autistic and experienced my fair share of drama while looking for a partner and I told her all about it.
I decided to learn from my experience, and it wasn’t easy. I still don’t know if my relationship with John is going to survive – I feel like I never know what’s going on when the relationship is already established and no one ever talks about this as a problem that autistics experience. It’s only the beginning of dating that appears to be a problem for autism researchers, so I feel like I have no one to turn to for guidance and understanding.
I do not feel upset in the slightest but it does feel to me right now like that person doesn’t bring any value to my life whatsoever and her limiting beliefs are preventing my growth. Possibly it’s time for me to learn to put myself first.