I must admit that talking about this subject is very emotional and it is for that reason I am going to take tomorrow off and spend it with my family. However, I will post again as usual on Monday. I haven’t mentioned my daughter in this post. But I will talk about my experience of fatherhood in detail another day.
I remember watching these amazing relationships on shows like Friends but the thing is I didn’t know how you got them. Basic conversation was difficult because it’s only recently I realised I communicate differently. I have had some friends but nothing like the close bonds I saw on TV.
The same went for a girlfriend as well, I just felt too different. Human connections were simply unobtainable for me. It wasn’t really until I met my wife that someone seemed to see me. I knew instantly that there was something about her, I knew I wanted her to stay in my life and not leave like so many others. She met me at probably the lowest point in my life. She never held my shortcomings against me, only celebrated who I was, appreciated that I was different and helped me to see that.
At 39 I met my first really close friend; someone I could just talk to, about anything. A lot of me was still hidden inside but slowly she helped me get out, be myself on the inside and outside. I met my second really close friend this year. I can also talk openly with her, even when fear makes me want to hide again. I only have two really close friends I can be completely myself with. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate my other friends. I just never thought I’d have close friendships like this. Interactions with people when I was younger gave me a very negative self image.
I didn’t understand why anyone would want to be around me. I learned to see myself through others’ distorted view and thought I didn’t deserve love. I struggle talking about this because I know things could have been very different. If there was understanding when I was younger, I would have been saved a lot of pain. I needed someone to see and understand me but waited a long time for it. I will say though that waiting so long made it really clear to me, my friends and family are so important and I am so much stronger for them.
Please feel free to share any of my posts and please like or follow to be notified of future posts.
All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Imagery – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva
#mentalhealthadvocate #together #community #actuallyautistic #autismacceptance