So here's a question of sorts that has kind of followed me around for many years and i wondered if other NDs felt a similar way or if it's just me...Ever since I can remember my emotions have been very confusing / vague I have 3 important people in my life my son, my mum and my ex wife (who I probably drove mad during our marriage with my behaviour though we get on great now and she is actually my carer so that's ok.) These three are the ones who I care about and who care about me but ive never really known what else I should feel and by that I mean love !!! I have never really known what that is I know if anything happened to one of these three I would be upset but that would most likely be in a self centred way as in how their loss would affect me. I often visualize scenarios in which harm befalls one of These three and to be honest my feelings are quite flat I know I should feel more but I don't know what that should be honestly there are times I get more upset when im interrupted or something happens that throws out my process or schedule or if I do something stupid like dropping something picking it up and dropping it again I feel like someone unseen is making this happen and I can get very agitated or angry...So i guess my question is do other NDs feel like this or am I alone in my behaviour ?
No, I don't think you are alone. I've experienced - we probably all have - that crazy feeling that comes when we first fall in love with someone else. 'Romantic' love, for want of a better term. Whenever that's happened to me, it has tended to completely overtake me. I'm thinking about the person all the time, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate. I'm literally love-sick. But then, once that's subsided, I've always been left with this strange vacant feeling. Almost, you could say, a kind of indifference towards that person. Time after time, throughout my handful of unsuccessful relationships over the last 40-odd years, I've ended up feeling an affection for that person at best - much as I might feel towards a friend. I wouldn't call it love, though. People have told me - those who've been in long-term relationships or years of marriage - that it changes. Which of course it does. We can't have that romantic thing forever. But those people have told me that the changes make it stronger. And this I've never found to be the case. Maybe I've just always found the wrong person. Or maybe I'm simply predisposed not to really love someone else. I was married just once, to a woman I fell head over heels for. I was 40 at the time, so I figured I was old enough to be over that adolescent stuff - and that this time, it was real. We married within a year of meeting. We had a huge amount in common. She was like the special sister I never had. But within two years of our marriage, things were already breaking down. I felt huge affection for her. But we should simply never have married. We should have stayed friends instead. By the third year, we were two separate people simply living under the same roof. I found certain things irritating about her - and instead of overlooking those, instead of compromising on things, I used those as a further reason to detach myself from her. It was the first time in my adult life that I'd cohabited, and I found it very difficult. Having someone else in my house changed my psychological state. I wanted to be alone. When we finally divorced, after just under five years, I felt cold and numb. I was indifferent to her deep unhappiness. I couldn't even touch her. When she told me that she wanted us to break contact and never see one another again, it hurt me deeply. A few times afterwards, it caught me out and I would end up in tears over something small. It haunted me, too - the fact that I could behave like that towards her. When I finally had therapy - with the therapist who first identified what seemed to be ASC at the root of my problems - my attitude to my ex-wife was one of the things picked up on as possible evidence.
As to my mother... she was the most important person on earth to me. My rock and anchor. She meant so much to me that I didn't ever move far away from her during her life. I saw her at the very least twice a week. Often it was every day. I turned down opportunities to move away, even to emigrate, to be around for her. I was her full-time carer in her final months of life. I couldn't imagine my life without her being there. When she finally passed away last year, though, I entered a kind of emotional stasis. I got rationally on with dealing with her affairs, arranging the funeral, clearing her home. I never really shed any tears. She will remain the most important person who's ever been in my life, and I think of her every day. Every week, I visit the place where her ashes are scattered, and I talk to her. I have photos of her in my flat, and lots of memorabilia. But.... I'm fine, really. I never thought I could be this way without her. But I am. I think, in some ways, my independence - rooted, perhaps, in my autism - has made me self-reliant, and able to maintain a kind of emotional detachment.
Maybe some of that will resonate with you.
No, you’re not alone. I can totally relate. It’s one of the many great wonders of autism! It’s puzzled me all my life. If someone told me their father had died and that they were upset, I would say, really, how do you do that! Meaning, what does upset about somebody dying feel like. I’d be genuinely curious.
I did have a glimpse into nt world though and their love is astounding and astonishing, to me. I thought my love was big, because I love everybody and my love is unconditional. But their love is something else altogether. It has a tenderness that I have never experienced. It’s so personal yet all encompassing at the same time. It’s weird and scary and alien to me but profoundly beautiful at the same time. It’s totally overwhelming to me, so I greatly admire the way they live with it and can see how it causes so many difficulties in their lives, difficulties that I don’t encounter because I experience love in a very different way to them. I’m very grateful for the nt love I have in my life and even more grateful that I can understand it now and therefore appreciate it.
As for getting annoyed at things, such as getting interrupted etc or whatever the apparent cause, you can address that, the anger is in you, the outside stimulant only triggered it. But I can totally relate to the feeling that there’s some unseen force at work, making it happen, lol, and there probably is! I used to always do that, repeat things over and again, such as spill my coffee as I go to drink it and I wouldn’t make a connection with what I was doing and the result, so it had to be an unseen force making it happen, right? I do that less often now and I no longer get annoyed with anything I do. I choose to be delighted with everything I do, it makes for a happier life.
It seems to me that NT love can be very selfish, because I have been told by people that they love me and they have later betrayed me, whereas I would have done anything for that person and I have been completely loyal and completely vulnerable to that person until the point of that betrayal, and then the pain of what they did and the realisation that they hadn't ever loved me at all (at least not in the way that I loved them) practically destroyed me and I had to get away just to save myself, even though part of me still loved the person. I guess that part of me eventually died each time so now I am just the tatters that remain after those parts of me were ripped out.
Of course there is no way of knowing of how NTs experience love and how that differs from the way I experience love. I really don't think words are sufficient to describe such a thing, just like I have no idea whether all NTs or all NDs experience it in the same way. It's almost like talking about how someone else perceives the colour blue. We assume that when we say the word blue we are all picturing a similar colour, but the way you perceive blue in your mind might look red to me, for example.
I also feel like that.
thanks for all the input good to know it's not just me
i never really felt that much one way or another my ex used to say "I love you" and then look at me waiting for me to say the same i would just reply "ok" which she wasn't happy with so i started answering with "love you too" but they were just words to me i liked having her around but that was it ive been on my own 15yrs now and im quite happy with that
i really can't abide lovey dovey crap i just don't get it at all
Honestly, following my second (I think) vipassana course, I experienced what nt love is all about and I can tell you, I had the same ideas about it as you did, but it’s nothing like that. It is so tender and beautiful and not at all selfish. It’s funny, because they think our type of love is selfish and we think theirs is. Both are correct because until we love ourselves, unconditionally and completely, we can neither love others or receive love from others. They are both the same love but how it is experienced, between them and us, is very different. For example, I love unconditionally and I love all people, however, I couldn’t love and have in my life, as part of my life, the many people that nt people accommodate in their lives. Their love, to me, appears conditional and includes a small circle of people, but in fact, their love goes deeper in some ways and their love is more expansive, even though I love everybody and they don’t! I couldn’t love as many people as they do all at the same time. Compared to them, my ‘romantic’ love, looks more like an obsession! They can spread their love out. I do know that their love is experienced in a very different way to how I experience love, but it’s all the same love and fundamentally we all experience love in a different way to each other. It’s all about discovering our own love language and making sure we understand the love language of our partner and children and friends etc. The Five Love Languages is a good place to start to understand your love language.
wish i could but i get angry all the time with inanimate objects and have full blown arguments with things which i get funny looks from people if they're in earshot lol
You could stop yourself from getting angry, but not by wishing. It’s your body talking to you, screaming at you in fact, asking you to take a closer look at your life. It’s asking you to consider, are you living the optimum lifestyle for you? If the answer is no, then of course you’re going to experience anger, and if there are fewer people around to trigger that anger, we take our triggers from whatever is around us, which is usually inanimate objects. They are simply playing their part to make us wake up and consider, am I living my very best life, because if we’re not, we have to accept that there will be some anger in our lives, it’s part and parcel of an unfulfilled life. For some people, that’s good enough and for others, they will observe the anger and communicate with it to find out what it is saying so they can take action to ensure they are living their best life.