I don’t like to socialize but I don’t like being alone in the world (only alone in my own space). That makes for a serial monogamist. I was engaged once before this, it crashed and burned faster than jetliner full of combustible weighted bricks. I loved him and when it was over I agonized over what it. What did I do wrong? Am I not good enough for a relationship?
After we broke up I tried to do everything as grown up as possible, I got a respectable job, moved out of my mom’s house and forced myself to socialize. I was enjoying myself but I had to drink before going out and then because of the alcohol and constantly being on guard while out, I would be useless for 2 to 3 days afterwards. My job performance suffered and I lost my job. I was crushed, I loved working there because it was a small office and I was left alone most of the time. I was also 1 of only 2 girls so I felt comfortable and accepted by the majority of the male employees. It was hard to leave. After this I didn’t go much at all and took to hanging out with a man that was in love (obsessed) with me. I thought (perceived) that if I was honest about my lack of reciprocal feelings for him that it would be ok. I could not see that I was breaking his heart everyday. I enjoyed spending time with him because he let me go on and on about whatever I needed to, he didn’t need to go out and well…shamefully he cleaned my apartment after I landed another job and was gone most of the time.
The job I started was possibly the worst I could have ever picked for myself. I was a recruiter for several busy beach hotels. It was brutal, the hours, expectations and no one ever tells you this but employment/hiring laws are not followed…this goes against my very nature. It was so bad that on the 21st day of employment, I started to slur my speech and then proceeded to lose consciousness in my friend’s car. At the hospital they found nothing wrong and told me I just needed to rest. My boss demanded that I come to work anyway. I couldn’t take it anymore, the job was killing me. Even my mother who is usually the person yelling at me not give up, begged me to resign, I had no choice really. I left 2 weeks later, because I filled out my unemployment form honestly, I was granted unemployment pay based on the fact that they had required me in the job to forge federal documentation for new hires (that was 2nd reason why I left).
I was home all the time now and the male friend started to encroach on my alone time. Like I said before, I don’t like being alone in the world but I NEED to be physically alone sometimes. We would argue about this. Finally after a few months it dawned on me that I needed to let him go because 1 he was annoying me and 2 I finally realized I was hurting him. I told him to go and he did but he didn’t leave me alone and even harassed me until “O” came into the picture.
I met “O” in highschool, I thought he was great but never approached him. A few years later after he married, had a child and then separated from his wife (she was unfaithful) we found ourselves living in the same apartment complex. We started hanging out one day and never stopped. He moved in officially 2.5 months into our relationship but really we only spent one night apart after the first night of intimacy.
How my relationship with “O” managed to survive our first year is a mystery to me, perhaps it was the need to get his daughter the help she needed. I don’t know but it was terrible. We were horrible communicators, constantly misinterpreting each other’s wants, needs and expectations. I didn’t suspect had HFA until a few months in so I was very hurt and confused when he would jerk away if I touched him unexpectedly. I also didn’t understand his mannerisms and quirks since they are very opposite to me. He was always making some kind of noise whether it was loud clapping, humming, whistling, singing or scripting. It drove me to the brink of insanity because I crave silence. Somehow though we managed to figure out how to work around our differences, there are still some days where one of us is having a bad day and I end up covering my ears and shouting “No, no, no!” at him. We have both grown, matured and molded to help the other. It’s interesting and funny, our issues are the opposite but the means so are our strengths. We help each other and it really has created something beautiful.
Which brings me back to my first engagement. As I said before, I loved him (though it was an incomplete love) and I wanted to know how it could crumble the way it did. Now that I understand more about myself, stress and Autism, I can see what went wrong. My ex and his extremely (kind of creepy) close family where social creatures. “O” is social too but in a different way and doesn’t expect/need me to participate. My ex would argue with, he made me feel horrible because I didn’t want to constantly attend his family functions or church gatherings. I am and so is my ex, Hispanic. That means that we are expected to hug and kiss at every greeting. I love tactile input from the people that love but HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE ( did I mention hate?) to be touched by someone I don’t know very well. It made me physically ill. I also came off as rude because I couldn’t participate in casual conversation and didn’t understand that there was female hierarchy and certain rules needed to be followed. His mother was on the top of the social ladder and it was as if she could smell the difference in me. She has little tolerance for me and made it painfully obvious, she mean and crude. She would purposely use words I found offensive and even tried to ruin the proposal but unfortunately for her the subtle way she tried to disclose/ruin it, went right over my head. This made family gatherings even worse so I attended less of them, his mother used this to her advantage and would tell him that his family must think I didn’t love him if I wasn’t showing up. This led to more fights until I had a horrible panic attack and then several at work the next day. After this it was like something in me broke, I just shut down. I rarely talked, I would cry for no reason, I became irrational and eventually his love for me faded away.
He wanted me to be something I could never be, the more he tried to fit me into his world the more I withdrew.