Originally Posted by babysbum2
It happens in NT's world as well. We all suffer the same rejections, abuses, humiliation and shunning. As a NT, it also takes a lot of patience and endurance to weather the social world and find friends whom you can be close to, and a spouse whom you can live with. It's a VERY messy world..
But it seems to me that with autistic people, it's a lot more damaging and a lot more likely to happen. Most NTs (also the reason why they are known as NTs) can connect to more people and have more friends because they know a significant amount of the social code. If they don't connect to one person or a group of people, they have a better chance of being able to find someone who they do connect with. They can read faces and body language, at least to some degree. They don't automatically take what someone says at face value. For autistic people (well, for me, I can't really speak for all autistic people), communication is 99% language. When someone speaks to me, I don't think about what they might be saying with their body language or how they're looking at me, unless it's so glaringly obvious that I can't ignore it, like if someone's face is turning beet red, they're yelling curse words at me and hitting me. That's when I start thinking about body language. That stuff is confusing to me and I don't know how to read it properly, so I just block it out. I hear what they're saying, and sometimes how they're saying it, and, most of the time, I take it totally at face value. Many times, people have said something mean to me and I yell at them and they say they're just kidding. The first dozen times this has happened, I thought, "They're just trying to mess with me. They weren't kidding and they don't want to face up to the fact that they were making fun of me," but lots of people have done it. Friends who I knew were friends, relatives, even my DP has done this, and he even has AS too. I try to explain to him that I don't know when someone's kidding or not and I'm not sure if he believes me.
Another thing that works to prevent and tear away at friendships is when people participate in activities that are related to things that I'm afraid of (like going on amusement park rides when I'm afraid of heights). An example that happened recently was when I went to the zoo with other mothers and we got to the petting zoo area. All of the mothers and their children went in the pen to pet the sheep but I didn't because animals scare me. I don't know how to deal with them, especially when there's a bunch of them coming up to me. It's one less connection I could have with potential friends. Even when I try to make friends, it seems like I can only make friends with people who are at least a little out there. I'm not talking about just people with mental illnesses, I'm also talking about people who are geeky, who they themselves have special needs children, and people who can ignore my lack of social skills. I haven't encountered a lot of people who fit into these categories IRL. I don't know. It's all really frustrating to me sometimes and I just wonder, what's the point? The only reason I started getting into it is because my LO is really social, even at 4 months, and I want him to have friends as he gets older.