Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism | Tags: AS, asd, asperger's, asperger's syndrome, autism, Christmas, friends, friendship
Prompted by the season and a book I was reading I have been considering what friendship means. During my assessment I was asked if I had friends, I said yes, after all I am in a quiz team. It was only when I was asked. “have you ever been to their homes?” followed by, “Do you know where any of them live?” that I realised I have a different interpretation of friendship from other people. I do not like visitors to my home. I am uncomfortable having my wife’s family visit even only a couple at a time. (My mother visited twice and my brother thrice in 30 years). I have one real friend (I had two but one died) who visits. I was asked at my assessment who initiates the contacts between my friend and I, of course it is my friend not I. It does not usually occur to me to contact people. I have no contact with anyone from my school or university days or previous employments but I think I got on with people.
I realise that I am not sure how one is supposed to behave or act as a friend. My wife is very good at prompting me to contact people when appropriate such as after a bereavement and she remembers birthdays and Christmas. I used to think those who bullied me were friends despite the things they put me through, I have done things for people – such as taking the blame for things they did – who claimed to be friends not realising until pointed out to me later that I was just being used. I think perhaps that for those of us who have an inability to understand people it is better to keep people at a distance. I think perhaps I realise that and so I don’t have friends the way normal people do, it’s safer this way. It might be nice to feel what friendship is like but how would I distinguish it? No, I’m better off as I am.