Emotional Attachment Bonds In Autistic Adults: Why’s This Not Talked About?

When I was a child I had formed a strong emotional attachment to my grandmother. If she left me to go to the store I would have a fit the entire time until she came back and when she died when I was 10 it was the end of the world for me. I can’t go to her grave because I lose my mind and every fiber of my being just wants to lay there and die just to be with her again. Since then I have had only one attachment to someone that is just as strong and because there’s not a lot about it and it’s only a “stereotype” of Autistic children, it’s hard for the neurotypical who I have the bond with to see how much trust that means that I have for them and understand it, even now I fear saying more about it because I don’t want it to get misunderstood and I just don’t know why these emotional attachment bonds aren’t discussed and only Autistic children are seen with these bonds and no one has an issue with it but if it’s an adult who’s Autistic that has the same thing it’s like no one wants to be understanding about it at all. I just don’t understand why Autistic adults having this isn’t discussed much?

  • Yeah, I don’t go looking for it either it happens when it happens and it is so bad that if that person isn’t in my life, it hurts me to the point that I just stop functioning. That’s probably unhealthy and I get that but it’s not like I ask for this to happen and when it does it just sometimes like it causes so much problems for others.

  • If you are are at the stage where transference is happening it a breakthrough, where you can back away, or break through. If you back away now and whatever let you to therapy will persist. Trust the process and allow the transference to run it's course will bring breakthroughs.

    There are negative and positive transference. They are both stages valuable to the process. You are on the verge of breaking through to a richer life.

  • I have had emotional attachments to people. Aside from my immediate family, I mean.

    Not so much now though. 

    It's not something I seek, particularly. If it happens again, ok. If not, ok too. 

  • Hopefully you get to find one that works for you. 

  • Thank you, you seem nice too. I hope you get what you want out of therapy. Slight smile

  • If it helps then it helps and that's a good thing to hang on to. I'm sure she does like you, you sound a genuinely nice person.

    Slight smile 

  • It would have been nice to have an Autistic therapist. They would understand so much better than neurotypical ones. Not that they don’t understand it but it’s not the same is when it comes from someone who has to experience it themselves.

  • I mean, I get that I don't know the full extent of who she is really. For all I know, she could have off putting habits.

    I'm probably going to hang on to it for as long as I can. The belief that someone likes me, at least within this context, is what I need for now. 

  • Yeah, my mother was always using my diagnosis against me and to invalidate my feelings. Freaking disliked it so much.

  • This thread is very interesting and I just got to thinking about another angle of this - being a big fan of the soaps like Dynasty and the Colbys, Dallas and Falcon Crest, as someone who was diagnosed later in life, I often wonder if a diagnosis of autism, even being pushed towards a diagnosis by people around you, however well meaning, could be used as a means of manipulation and control and that diagnosis could be weaponised by some family members, a classic storyline from one of those soaps - some family members can be very manipulative and controlling and they cannot handle the fact that their children are slipping out of their control, think Alexis from Dynasty for example - they would have a valid excuse (or so they think) to both discredit and undermine everything a person says given their diagnosis and would further use a diagnosis to manipulate a person with autism, however unconsciously? 

  • Yes it does help, in fact it makes a massive difference and I think that's what counts the most. 

    That's what I like about my therapist, she knows everything but she doesn't judge. She knows where it comes from and she justifies it in her way, no judgement, no looking down on me for it.

    I love that she's always so nice about everything.

    She reassures me that there are people like her in the real world but I don't know. 

    This is something that bothers me as well. I get told this a lot... but my experience so far has been that no one understands and everybody judges and that leads to lack of confidence and other problems.

    My therapist is literally the only person who seems to understand and like the real me.

  • It helps to have someone who understands that it's a process. CBT therapists appear to think we can just change our mindset and our lives will improve.

    I've a lot of bad habits which I think she's aware of, but understands where it comes from.

    There's times I feel a real sense of grief over the fact my therapist will never be anything else. She reassures me that there are people like her in the real world but I don't know. 

  • I speak more to online people than I do in the real world. I really struggle with socialising in person but online I've got confidence and feel ok. 

  • Hopefully your therapist will help you be able to better understand and manage things like your singing and hopefully in managing friendships.

    I feel the same way with my therapist. It's like no masking required...I don't have any friends unfortunately but I find even with my own family I can't be myself. I constantly mask and put on a version of myself which I think they prefer and like.

    My therapist says this is unhealthy but I've done it for such a long time it's hard to switch off if that makes sense.

    It's easier for me to believe if, like my therapist, the person appears to want me to do well. I think that's the main thing, if they're saying it and it's not just surface level stuff.

    I completely relate to this!!! 

  • Knowing what's right for oneself is something i get better at. Of course you don't know the future and can never be sure, but if you do what you truly want (with love) then you feel good about it. Of course it is ok to have these feelings that you have for your therapist and it is honest and honerable to tell it. I hope you can still be comferatble with her and profit from your therapy.

    Don't know if i will end my therapy, but right now i think so. Thank you for your kind words and advice!

  • Ye thats for sure u have to do what's right for u nice to meet u by the way I just joined and still trying to figure this out lol 

  • Ye I'm the same I form attachment easily the nicer the person is to me , I don't like socialising and speak more to online people feel free to message me anytime x

  • I had singing lessons for a while and I just couldn't get what I wanted out of it because I was scared and, as lovely as the teacher was, I felt intimidated. I wish someone like my therapist was my singing teacher...

    What I feel quite sad about is that I feel like I can be more myself and have more in common with my therapist than actual friends I had in the past. It does make me feel like I've done everything wrong, and just settled for things I never really believed in for the sake of it.

    It's easier for me to believe if, like my therapist, the person appears to want me to do well. I think that's the main thing, if they're saying it and it's not just surface level stuff.

  • I'm glad you have her for support. My therapist is my only support as well. There should be more, really, but I know support country wide is pretty much non-existent for autistic adults. I live in hope we'll have more appropriate support available to us someday.

    Authority is something I struggle with as well. With my therapy it has to feel calm and like I'm talking with a friend, which with my therapist is exactly what I get. I think that's why I get on so well with her because there's the friend feeling and that connection I have with her.

    Everyone has their different approach to what will help and what works. My therapist often praises me too, but I don't really believe people when they say I've done good. I want to but it's like straight away my brain is like nooooo. I'm quite self destructive, in a way, I guess.

    Mine started digitally via video chat. Sometimes we still do video call but usually she comes to the house and that's so comforting for me.