The Difficulty of Friendship

Okay, if you know anything about Asperger’s is that we have a difficult time making and maintaining friendships.  I just never got the hang o f it.  I probably can count on one hand the number of friends that I have.  And this isn’t an attempt to garner pity, but just sharing a truth.  Growing up, I always wondered why I was so different from everyone else.  I  wanted friends.  I just didn’t know how to get them.  I couldn’t maintain good eye contact, I was not proficient at small talk, and I wasn’t sure how to act around other people.  It just seemed to me that other women were completely into other things that I had no interest in:  scrapbooking, for instance.  I was attending a new members’ class at a local church when the discussion turned to what the other women’s hobbies were.  They gushed about scrapbooking.  I guess I just didn’t get the thrill of it.  I, for one, didn’t even have a large collection of baby photos of my two sons.  It just wasn’t something I thought of doing, as a woman with Asperger’s.  I didn’t know then what I know now.  Unfortunately for my sons, they won’t have a lot of childhood photos to look back on.

But I was always the quiet one.  Not that I always wanted to be.  I talked the ears off of people I knew.  And just ask my poor husband how much I talk to him.  He just tells me that I must be saving it all for him!  Lucky guy!  I’ve heard that us women have so many words that need to be used up in a day, and he gets to hear almost all of them.  I bet that he feels so honored!

Anyway, I am not a social person, not even with my own family.  I like to see how they all are and then I normally shut up after that.  It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, it’s just that I don’t want to talk period.  No offense to my family. 

It’s lonely, though, not having friends to confide in, though my husband is my best friend.  I’m thankful that he does listen to me, for the most part.  It used to make me cry, wondering why I was so different.  It doesn’t anymore, because now I  understand.  It is just the way that I am.  It’s not that I don’t want to change, but there are times that I much rather be alone with my thoughts and my books.  I love reading, because they help me with my fantasy life.  I have an amazing imagination, that’s probably why I love to write.  But I won’t go there this time. 

So, if you see someone who doesn’t seem to want to be the life of the party, it may not be that they are terribly shy or standoffish, it could very well be that they just don’t feel like speaking but would much rather listen to what is going on around them.  And that’s not such a bad thing to be.

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