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Obsession or Love?

Sashi

Member
I am 58 and still single, never married, and was recently diagnosed as having the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I accepted the diagnosis with absolute relief! The burden of the unknown as to why I am so out of step with my companions has been taken away.

On the positive side, I have a passion for writing that I probably wouldn’t have if I wasn’t autistic. My stickler for routine gets me to work on time, my chores done, and my bills paid on time. My attention to detail instead of the big picture explains why the top two favorite jobs of my career perfectly matched that trait.

But there’s a dark side. The spectrum isn’t a rose garden without thorns. It wouldn’t have syndrome at the end of it if it did.

I sometimes envy my brother who has two grandchildren to spoil. Since my diagnosis, I have wondered if things were different, if I didn’t have ASD, would I might have a husband, children, and grandchildren. I’m not ruling out marriage since one should not say never. After all, stranger things have happened. If someone had told me back in my teen years that I would move halfway across the country and work for “Uncle Sam” for over 22 years, I would have told them they had the wrong person.

I know what it is to go on a date, but I don’t know what it is to have fun on one. My dating history is shorter than my average shopping list. I hit my peak in first grade. I had my first kiss in first grade and it my idea. Poor Tim! I think the teacher saw us because later she gave a lecture on “don’t kiss in the classroom”. I recall telling my grandmother I had 8 boyfriends in first grade. I think my autisitic imagination was working overtime. HA! Whether I had 8 or 2, my romantic life went downhill from there.

I did try a dating service in my 40’s. I guess I did it because I wanted to be in step with my peers. I wanted a picture of a fella on my desk at work too. Maybe I was in love with being in love. Most of the dozen or so guys I did meet, well, I only met once; never saw or heard from them again. Would I join a dating service again? NO! Now it did give me practice of meeting new people, but once it was over and done with, it had the opposite effect. I could be content if I never met another stranger for the rest of my life. I did gain a collection of “bad date” stories to write about; on the other hand, I lost $2000 to the dating service.

There’s only been one guy in my entire life that I was nuts about. His name was Robert; Bob for short. We worked for the same employer. Over the years, even though we both moved around from one job to another, we would invariably cross paths. Much to my delight but probably not so much to his.

When we worked at the same building, I’d hope each morning I’d pull up in the parking lot the same time he did. My heart would skip a beat if I saw him or his car whose license plate I knew from memory. I’d catch up to him pretending I happened to bump into him. If love is walking a distance in the below-freezing cold with someone and wishing the walk was longer, then it was love.

It took me more years than it should have to accept the painful truth he wasn’t nuts about me. I didn’t go so far as to harrass him like calling and e-mailing him every day, but I’m sure I was a pain. Sort of like my little brothers were to me growing up. I don’t regret it though because at least I found out I could be nuts about a guy who I still have the upmost respect for.

Maybe it was an obsession. Some of the friends I confided in either flat out told me or hinted at it. One friend got so exasperated with me that she cut off ties. I admit I’ve had some wild obsessions. Some of them so wild I wouldn’t tell a solitary soul about them.

There was not a day I wouldn’t think about him. At times, I got so tired of thinking about him, but I couldn’t help it. Looking back, I did some of the silliest things to get his attention. I took anything, a smile or a wave from him, as encouragement.

It was painful but yet, it was a beautiful feeling. I remember wishing I could bottle the feeling up so I wouldn’t forget what it felt like. He was in my prayers throughout that chapter in my life. My prayer wasn’t that he’d look at me, but for an answer as to whether he ever would.

A few years after he transferred to another office location, I wrote him an e-mail. It was a nice letter updating him on my life since I last saw him. My last line was that if he didn’t write back, I’d understand. He didn’t and that hurt at first. But it didn’t take long for me to be grateful that he didn’t. It was an answered prayer. I wanted to know the truth and I had it at the right time … when I was able to accept it. I thank the Lord for that.

Unfortunately, I took up another obsession but this time it wasn’t with a guy. It was someone in the public eye whom I would never meet. That’s another story, but it seems like when I put Bob in a back corner in my heart, I had to replace him with something in the center. I’ve been working on that obsession for nearly 12 years. I’m better in that I don’t think of the person . That’s progress!

If it wasn’t love, it was the closest I ever came to it. I don’t know how I would have handled it if he had been nuts about me too. I might have run for the hills for all I know.
 

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Yeah, it's not unheard of to have obsessions over people you care for.

I've got one at the moment, it's not the same thing as yours; there's no romantic side to it or love. It is just an obsession. But I care for this person, deeply. I want to get to know him more, I want to hang out with him, I want to be his friend. Because I think we can understand each other more than most other people given we both have Asperger's and generally have the same interests, humour and also has a lot of people misunderstanding him because of what he says and I get it. But I think about what must go through his head and his opinion of me, I worry that I might come across as too needy to him because - stupid rationalisation I know - he doesn't comment or like as many of my things on Facebook as he used to. I really don't want him to think negatively of me. I actively look for him to be on social media and hope he initiates a private message with me. And I always want to see what he posts too. I cherish the time I get to spend with him when we do meet up. I really what to be closer to him both socially and geographically, I want to be an actual friend to him. I've never wanted anyone to be much as a friend to me as him.

I want two things, I want this obsession to calm down because it's actually painful to me and I of course would like to actually be a friend to him and talk to him regularly but I don't know how to do that and I'm scared of pushing him away.

If anyone has any advice to offer, please throw it at me.
 
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I am 58 and still single, never married, and was recently diagnosed as having the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I accepted the diagnosis with absolute relief! The burden of the unknown as to why I am so out of step with my companions has been taken away.

On the positive side, I have a passion for writing that I probably wouldn’t have if I wasn’t autistic. My stickler for routine gets me to work on time, my chores done, and my bills paid on time. My attention to detail instead of the big picture explains why the top two favorite jobs of my career perfectly matched that trait.

But there’s a dark side. The spectrum isn’t a rose garden without thorns. It wouldn’t have syndrome at the end of it if it did.

I sometimes envy my brother who has two grandchildren to spoil. Since my diagnosis, I have wondered if things were different, if I didn’t have ASD, would I might have a husband, children, and grandchildren. I’m not ruling out marriage since one should not say never. After all, stranger things have happened. If someone had told me back in my teen years that I would move halfway across the country and work for “Uncle Sam” for over 22 years, I would have told them they had the wrong person.

I know what it is to go on a date, but I don’t know what it is to have fun on one. My dating history is shorter than my average shopping list. I hit my peak in first grade. I had my first kiss in first grade and it my idea. Poor Tim! I think the teacher saw us because later she gave a lecture on “don’t kiss in the classroom”. I recall telling my grandmother I had 8 boyfriends in first grade. I think my autisitic imagination was working overtime. HA! Whether I had 8 or 2, my romantic life went downhill from there.

I did try a dating service in my 40’s. I guess I did it because I wanted to be in step with my peers. I wanted a picture of a fella on my desk at work too. Maybe I was in love with being in love. Most of the dozen or so guys I did meet, well, I only met once; never saw or heard from them again. Would I join a dating service again? NO! Now it did give me practice of meeting new people, but once it was over and done with, it had the opposite effect. I could be content if I never met another stranger for the rest of my life. I did gain a collection of “bad date” stories to write about; on the other hand, I lost $2000 to the dating service.

There’s only been one guy in my entire life that I was nuts about. His name was Robert; Bob for short. We worked for the same employer. Over the years, even though we both moved around from one job to another, we would invariably cross paths. Much to my delight but probably not so much to his.

When we worked at the same building, I’d hope each morning I’d pull up in the parking lot the same time he did. My heart would skip a beat if I saw him or his car whose license plate I knew from memory. I’d catch up to him pretending I happened to bump into him. If love is walking a distance in the below-freezing cold with someone and wishing the walk was longer, then it was love.

It took me more years than it should have to accept the painful truth he wasn’t nuts about me. I didn’t go so far as to harrass him like calling and e-mailing him every day, but I’m sure I was a pain. Sort of like my little brothers were to me growing up. I don’t regret it though because at least I found out I could be nuts about a guy who I still have the upmost respect for.

Maybe it was an obsession. Some of the friends I confided in either flat out told me or hinted at it. One friend got so exasperated with me that she cut off ties. I admit I’ve had some wild obsessions. Some of them so wild I wouldn’t tell a solitary soul about them.

There was not a day I wouldn’t think about him. At times, I got so tired of thinking about him, but I couldn’t help it. Looking back, I did some of the silliest things to get his attention. I took anything, a smile or a wave from him, as encouragement.

It was painful but yet, it was a beautiful feeling. I remember wishing I could bottle the feeling up so I wouldn’t forget what it felt like. He was in my prayers throughout that chapter in my life. My prayer wasn’t that he’d look at me, but for an answer as to whether he ever would.

A few years after he transferred to another office location, I wrote him an e-mail. It was a nice letter updating him on my life since I last saw him. My last line was that if he didn’t write back, I’d understand. He didn’t and that hurt at first. But it didn’t take long for me to be grateful that he didn’t. It was an answered prayer. I wanted to know the truth and I had it at the right time … when I was able to accept it. I thank the Lord for that.

Unfortunately, I took up another obsession but this time it wasn’t with a guy. It was someone in the public eye whom I would never meet. That’s another story, but it seems like when I put Bob in a back corner in my heart, I had to replace him with something in the center. I’ve been working on that obsession for nearly 12 years. I’m better in that I don’t think of the person . That’s progress!

If it wasn’t love, it was the closest I ever came to it. I don’t know how I would have handled it if he had been nuts about me too. I might have run for the hills for all I know.

When I was 17 I lived in a homeless hostel. While there I met a guy the same age as me and he took my breath away.

Like you, I don't know whether it was love or infatuation... we both were open about the fact we were attracted to eachother, but unfortunately he had a girlfriend at the time and I wouldn't encourage it.

I moved out, went back to see him one day and he had moved out to, and I lost touch with him. I was heartbroken. That was 11 years ago.

At the beginning of this year, I was curious so searched him up on facebook and sent a message just asking whether he remembered me and he did.

We've been in constant contact since then, and what was weird was as soon as I saw him that exact same feeling came flooding back. I still don't know what it is, but its there and its strong.

Its like an actual physical pain because we can't be together, and I think about him when I get up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night.

I'm not really sure you can get anything out of this, but just to say I have had a similar experience.
 
Yeah, it's not unheard of to have obsessions over people you care for.

I've got one at the moment, it's not the same thing as yours; there's no romantic side to it or love. It is just an obsession. But I care for this person, deeply. I want to get to know him more, I want to hang out with him, I want to be his friend. Because I think we can understand each other more than most other people given we both have Asperger's and generally have the same interests, humour and also has a lot of people misunderstanding him because of what he says and I get it. But I think about what must go through his head and his opinion of me, I worry that I might come across as too needy to him because - stupid rationalisation I know - he doesn't comment or like as many of my things on Facebook as he used to. I really don't want him to think negatively of me. I actively look for him to be on social media and hope he initiates a private message with me. And I always want to see what he posts too. I cherish the time I get to spend with him when we do meet up. I really what to be closer to him both socially and geographically, I want to be an actual friend to him. I've never wanted anyone to be much as a friend to me as him.

I want two things, I want this obsession to calm down because it's actually painful to me and I of course would like to actually be a friend to him and talk to him regularly but I don't know how to do that and I'm scared of pushing him away.

If anyone has any advice to offer, please throw it at me.
I wish I had an easy answer for you. I hear ya about wanting the obsession to calm down. As much as I was nuts about him, at times, I wished I didn't wake up first thing thinking about him and ending my day doing the same. I kept praying about it because it seemed to be the only thing that helped. When we got separated after he went to work at another building on the other side of town, I didn't write or call, but that didn't stop me from daily wishing I'd see his name in my incoming messages or see his name on an incoming phone call. Then, it all ended on a whimper by writing him an e-mail that I felt convicted in my heart to write. It came over me and there was no rest until I did. Giving him the option of writing back was the invitation to begin or end it. He didn't and that was the turnaround. I believe my prayer for the truth was answered at the right time in the right way. If he had ever shown interest, I might have run for the hills because I do when it comes to affection. I'd like to think I wouldn't have but I'll never know. It isn't beyond the realm of possibility of my crossing paths with someone where it isn't a one-sided attraction. I'm not holding my breath. I do empathize with your situation. What you describe sounds so familiar to me. If you're crazy, we both are!!!!
 
When I was 17 I lived in a homeless hostel. While there I met a guy the same age as me and he took my breath away.

Like you, I don't know whether it was love or infatuation... we both were open about the fact we were attracted to eachother, but unfortunately he had a girlfriend at the time and I wouldn't encourage it.

I moved out, went back to see him one day and he had moved out to, and I lost touch with him. I was heartbroken. That was 11 years ago.

At the beginning of this year, I was curious so searched him up on facebook and sent a message just asking whether he remembered me and he did.

We've been in constant contact since then, and what was weird was as soon as I saw him that exact same feeling came flooding back. I still don't know what it is, but its there and its strong.

Its like an actual physical pain because we can't be together, and I think about him when I get up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night.

I'm not really sure you can get anything out of this, but just to say I have had a similar experience.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with me. It helps to know that others have had similar experiences.
 
I can relate to a lot of that. I have obsessions with people who influenced me in the past; when I couldn't understand why it was, I described them as people who got under my skin and won't crawl out. I'm currently trying to write a novel based on one of them, but it's taking ages.

The other one is somebody who shouted at me ca 35 years ago! I keep going over what would've happened if I'd done things differently (long story, but there were faults on both sides), and what would happen if I could go back and behave in a different manner - as if I'd want to! The whole situation was toxic and I know it would have made little, if any, difference, but I can't get out of the loop.

I also know what it's like to be on the outside looking in as I didn't marry until I was 30 and never had the children I expected to have - again, if only . . .! I've just started a project, for myself only at this stage, in looking at people in the Bible who found themselves on the o/s looking in, for whatever reason, and it's surprising how many I've found or thought of in just a couple of days!
 

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