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.

Letting Go

If you are a parent, especially a parent of a teenager, you will understand.  I have two sons, one who is nineteen and one who is sixteen.  And though one is an official adult and the other almost an adult, I still cannot cut those apron strings.  Why?  Because it is hard to let go.  The love a mother has for her children, especially if they are sons, is deeply rooted and unending.  No matter how old they get, or how far away they will move, I will always worry and wonder what they are up to.

Life as a parent is funny that way.  Never a dull moment when they are with you, and never a moment of peace when they are not.  I am especially having a difficult time of letting my younger son go.  When he was younger, we used to do many things together.  I enjoyed his company, and still do.  Just don’t tell him that.  I might cause unending bouts of embarrassment for him.  Being sixteen and all, you know.

But he is, a very independent young man.  When he was only eight or nine he had wanted to be off on his own already.  I laughed then, but worry now as he is approaching the age when he can legally leave and be off on his own.  I’d miss him deeply.  I’m not sure how far away he wants to go, but he has stated that when he turns eighteen that he is leaving home.  And that hurts me.  Because I love him and don’t want him to go.

Is it wrong for a parent not to want her children to leave the nest?  Oh I know that is part of our job as parents to get them to eventually leave the nest and be independent of us.  But it is so hard to do.  I’ll miss his laugh, his smile, the times we sit and talk, and yes, even his stubbornness.  My eyes well up with tears when I imagine that heart-wrenching goodbye when he packs his things up and heads out the front door for the last time.  My son, my heart, my life.

When you are carrying them in your womb, you imagine a lot what the child will be like.  When my younger son was little, I tried picturing him what he would be like as a teenager.  And he did not disappoint!  But I love him unconditionally, though at times when he is fighting with his older brother I want to smack them both!  Why is it so hard for siblings to get along?

Okay, enough of my rant.  Children are a gift.  Each one with their own unique personalities and looks.  So different in many ways yet so similar when part of a family.  I love my sons.  I hope that they know that.  I hope that I’ve always shown it.  And I hope that when they are out there in this big, intimidating world that they will remember that they have a mother at home that will always worry for them, always love them, and will always cherish her precious memories of her two young men.  I hope they know, too, of how proud I am of them.  Mom loves you both.  Stay safe.