I went out with my autism family (group) today. We went to Pizza Hut for dinner. I was really excited because one of the boys (one of my three best friends there) was going to be there and I haven’t seen him since Christmas.
I was about to sit down when I noticed one of the girls who had said she didn’t think she would make it. And before I knew it, we had both reached in and we gave each other a really big hug ~ and I loved it!!!!!
She’s a hugger anyway, but never in my life have I automatically given a hug like that! Honestly, I didn’t think I was capable! But it felt really good. It was such a good day.
Honestly, I never even knew these type of experiences existed. I’ve been out to eat with hundreds of people before now, but what I experience when I’m with these people, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Or maybe I did as a little kid. Because it was weird. My friend is fussy about food and while we were all having the buffet, he was choosing something off the menu. The waitress asked him twice and he was still deciding. And I noticed, I was like a little girl, helping my friend out. I was telling the waitress to wait, while helping him. But as I was noticing it, it felt surreal.
It’s like when I’m with them, I’m this little girl, just being herself and it feels so good.
In terms of social standing, for want of a better expression, they’re nothing like me. I’ve lived such a different life to them and I’m used to earning good money. Whereas they are the opposite. They certainly don’t talk like me, or see the world like me. But none of that matters. Those things don’t even come into it.
It’s just an incredibly powerful thing that happens when I’m with them. And we’re all going ice skating next month, on my suggestion. It’s almost like being a kid for the first time, but knowing all that I know now.
I only ever remember one best friend at school. It was in my first year at school. We were such good friends. We were very naughty but I always stuck up for kids. But before the year was out. He was suddenly taken away and sent to a ‘special school’ and I never saw him again and I’ve never forgot him.
Today felt like I was back with him. I love my friend so much (new one) and I have no idea why. It’s weird. But it’s like for the first time since my little friend was taken away, I’m making new ones. Real ones. All my other friendships are real. I’m not taking anything away from them, but to be around people like me, is so precious and so important to my growth.
It’s like I’ve blossomed like a little flower, in front of their eyes, in a little over a year. They’ve seen me in so many states, including mega meltdowns and mega hyper states as well. I finally learned what it means to build friendships. Finding that group was one of the best things that ever happened to me and no matter where I might roam, I’ll never forget them. The ‘leader’ said today, we’re family, we’re more than friends. And it’s true. I don’t know how it works, but it does.
I’m really happy for you that you’re having such positive experiences
It’s the power of being round other autistic people. It blows my mind even though it all makes sense.
Hi BlueRay sounds so awesome, it’s surreal when something like that happens, yes very much child like as total innocence to just be, fragile and no sense of fear or danger, just being yourself. And being accepted just for that!
You really are a flower that is blossoming. Growing taller and spreading out to give joy to all who take the time to see the real YOU. You fill their hearts with colour and joy .
Glad you experienced it and so happy it felt so natural and reminded you of your old friend.
Take care x()x
Thanks Warrior, that’s such a beautiful summing up, thank you and it’s so true, there was no fear or sense of danger, it was simple innocent childlike freedom. That’s a great way to look at it.
I guess I shared this, to show others the power of what happens when you spend time around others who are like you ~ the benefits I am getting are priceless. These are the same benefits that nt people get every day of their lives, but maybe the benefits aren’t so prominent in their lives because they almost take them for granted (as they’re not aware of them) and they aren’t talked about. People value friendships etc but the real benefits of friendships aren’t discussed and I think it’s because friendships are such a natural and normal part of their lives that they never thought to study all the miracles that come from having them.
This might even be a basis for a book one day because in all my time studying, I have never read about the benefits I’m getting through building these new friendships. They’re phenomenal and so important to our growth and evolution.
Yeah, I’m really glad the occasion reminded me of my old pal. He’s never far from my heart or thoughts but it was really special to have been reminded of him this way I’m still convinced we’ll meet again one day, even though we were only 5
I would so like to see you write a book about this and many other subjects you talk of and share here.
You have great insight into many things.
keep being you and be happy with all you achieve.
Take care and wellies are very good in the snow, fingers crossed eh?
Thanks Warrior, I actually can't recall ever seeing a book on the many silent but powerful invisible benefits a person gains from friendships. I can see that in the nt world, they're simply taken for granted, without being acknowledged, probably because friendships are such a natural and normal part of their lives.
However, for the people it's not a natural thing for, without the awareness of the crucial life benefits of friendships, they may never attempt to make them but they're actually crucial to our development and evolution as human beings. So yeah, I'm sure I'll be writing on this at some stage.
I’m starting to find that out myself actually by being part of this forum and I also joined the British women with Aspergers uk connect group on Facebook using my brand new ‘undercover’ Facebook profile and I’ve started posting on there too. The more I connect with other people with ASD the more so much stuff about myself makes sense and the more I feel ‘normal’ like I actually have stuff in common with people, I actually fit it somewhere, I’m no longer just some random weirdo that doesn’t fit in anywhere. Only problem is I’m starting to look at some of the NTs in my life like why are they in my life? Weirdos!
lol! I don’t really have many nt’s in my life now, and the ones I do, I either love because they’re my family or they’re helpful to me in some way. I don’t hang out with them, I only hang out with other autistics now and that’s how I like it. I don’t dislike nt’s, on the contrary, in fact, I’m super happy as I’ve just got a message from my new autism plus worker, so I start sessions again on Monday, and the church people are being super helpful to me as well, so I find nt people super super helpful in my life, but I don’t hang out with them, lol, that pleasure is reserved solely for autistics or my family.
It’s amazing isnt it. All the unseen, unspoken benefits, of friendships and being part of you’re own tribe, is life changing for sure. I’ve never read anything that explicitly talks about these unseen benefits. I guess they are just simply taken for granted because they’re such a big part of most people’s lives.
If it wasn’t for my support worker encouraging me to keep going to the group and to keep in touch with my new friends, I wouldn’t have done. It was all very nice and all that but I like being by myself so I just didn’t see the point of it, but I trusted my support worker so I kept going and boy am I glad I did the benefits are priceless and they’re worth the effort I have to make to leave my own, perfectly sublime and most exquisite company
Such a wonderful story , it gives me hope that my grandson will like other kids one day .. he’s only two but hates other children which is a bit sad. So glad you’ve found this group it sounds amazing x
Oh, it took a lot of persuasion from my support worker to keep me going. I liked going to the group, I loved my new friends (3 in particular) but I wasn’t going to keep on going. To me, what was the point? I like myself better than I like any body else!!! ♀️ But my support worker kept saying it was important and that I should keep going.
It was very hit and miss at the beginning. I didn’t go regularly and when one of my friends asked to meet me for a coffee, for the first time, I wanted to turn and walk away and never go back to that stupid group with it’s stupid people ever again!!! But I trusted my support worker, and I followed her advice, I kept going, not every week but mostly, and now, I’m soooooooooo glad I did.
The group is very simple, we each have our own little tables we like to sit at, but it’s so relaxed and friendly and somehow it’s worked it’s magic on me.
I still like my own company but I can appreciate what being in company offers me and I don’t think I’ll ever be found going round hugging as a rule but I’ve also bought a birthday present for one of my friends, and it’s not even his birthday!!! What’s happening to me!!!! lol! Where did the old person go?!?!?
It’s taken a while, I’m 51 now, but I feel like I’m starting my life for the first time ever, so yeah, things can change and one day, let’s hope, your little grandson will also find such joy in other people. What I really love about my new friends, is that they are so different to me in so many ways, yet I couldn’t love them more if I tried and I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else ~ I love our weekly group sessions, our monthly lunch out and now our monthly activity, which this month, is ice skating.
So yeah, definitely there is hope for your grandson. Thank you X