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The feeling of being unable to love others.

Neia

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I thought I was unable to love.

In my early 20s I started working for a family of missionaries caring for their 3 babies. E was 2 years old, H was 1 and A was only a couple of months old.
All I had to do was play with them, take them for walks, read to them and change a few diapers.

I ate with the family and was treated with respect and kindness. They all accepted me in a way no one had ever done before. I felt loved by this family.

And all of a sudden I realised that I completely loved those 3 little ones. I never even minded when the E and H came running to me to hug me. Their hugs and show of affection never felt repulsive to me. I loved holding them as I read to them and didn't mind if they played with my hair.
It was a feeling I had never felt for another human being. I would have given my life for them.

I had always believed that I was too selfish, incapable of loving anyone else but me.

I knew that I loved my pets, my dogs and birds. But people were scary and exhausting.

Is this part of being on the spectrum?
Is it normal to feel like you can't connect with anyone and not want to be around other people. Even those you are supposed to love, like parents and etc?

I'm rethinking my whole life now.
 
I think it’s normal for people with autism to want to be alone for longer periods than neurotypicals can endure. Your feelings seem perfectly normal for one who is autistic.
 
I think relationship in general, not matching typical NT patterns is pretty normal for us.
 
Yes, my therapist says that autistic people simply do not experience intimacy the same way NTs do.

It was a big shock to learn that my husband (and other NTs) experience actual physical sensations in regards to things related to love and empathy. They can "feel" the bond.

That doesn't mean the love isn't there. It definitely is there. It's just felt/expressed in a more intellectual way.
 
Pets are different. I definitely obsess over them as well, but I don't think it is "love" with them as much as it is that they are a constant and reliable personality, a visual and tactile sensory delight, and they crave routines.

I did much better with babies than with toddlers for the same reason. Babies are very predictable and it's easy to coo and obsess over them the same way as animals. When they turn into actual people, not so much.
 
I met someone a while back that told me love is just a money making concept peddled by Hollywood, as it funds the institution of marriage, the courts when you divorce, and the attorneys. It also leads woman in to spending money to meet unrealistic beauty standards trying to secure marriage. But lately, woman aren't interested in getting married. My daughter is very savy, still wants to get married, after she lived thru my divorce. So confusing. So l don't know if l believe in love. I don't know if l should or shouldn't feel guilty about being able to love, or not to love anymore. But l do believe in a very deep spiritual connection to someone, that l have experienced.
 
I fell in love twice, but that was many years ago now. That's the only two times in my life I've ever experienced grief. People dying or otherwise disappearing from my life doesn't have any effect on me in any way. People try to comfort themselves by telling me that I just experience grief differently, but to me that shows just how little attention they pay to what I actually say. I normally simply do not suffer grief.
 
I fell in love twice, but that was many years ago now. That's the only two times in my life I've ever experienced grief. People dying or otherwise disappearing from my life doesn't have any effect on me in any way. People try to comfort themselves by telling me that I just experience grief differently, but to me that shows just how little attention they pay to what I actually say. I normally simply do not suffer grief.
I cried briefly when my grandma, grandpa, 2 uncles, and my mom died.
Not all together of course.

I was called cold for not crying more for my grandmother.

I cried a lot, in front of the doctor, when I was first told that mom had died. But then had to wait for the day after my mother's funeral, when I was finally alone, to be able to really cry.

I was trained all my life to not cry in front of others. My mother included.
If I cried without a "good reason" I'd be mocked 🤷🏻‍♀️
And since I couldn't be the one deciding what was a "good reason", it was best not to cry when others could see or hear me.
 
For me it's exactly the opposite. I refuse to go to funerals because having to spend the whole time pretending to be upset when I'm not is exhausting. Twice I've sat the death watch with old friends and they specifically asked for my company because they knew I wouldn't get all overexcited about it and make them feel worse than they already did.

Yet when I broke up with the girl I almost married it took me near a decade to really get over it.
 
Some children act like obnoxious brats but it's parenting fault. Generally children are more open, free and less programmed. My Mom says she loves children more. I just tend to be little cautious if it's not my own kids, takes time to open up. Tend to not upset parent if they have set ways.
 
For me it's exactly the opposite. I refuse to go to funerals because having to spend the whole time pretending to be upset when I'm not is exhausting. Twice I've sat the death watch with old friends and they specifically asked for my company because they knew I wouldn't get all overexcited about it and make them feel worse than they already did.

Yet when I broke up with the girl I almost married it took me near a decade to really get over it.
I'm sorry you had to go through that pain.

Some wounds take an unimaginably long time to heal and are a lot deeper than others.
 
Really? Maybe I should go for that reassessment then...
Yeah... I think the number one sign you might not have ASD is that you feel it is nebulous. It is not nearly as nebulous to myself, or I think to many of those who have it. There is a very real, hardwired difference. Full stop.
 
For me it's exactly the opposite. I refuse to go to funerals because having to spend the whole time pretending to be upset when I'm not is exhausting. Twice I've sat the death watch with old friends and they specifically asked for my company because they knew I wouldn't get all overexcited about it and make them feel worse than they already did.

Yet when I broke up with the girl I almost married it took me near a decade to really get over it.
Not everybody cries at a funeral. I worry that I don't feel anything, but suddenly I start crying when others near me are crying and when I see the person's picture on the front of the book thing with the songs and that in. My heart actually breaks. But numbness is quite normal too, as it can be the mind's way of keeping "strong".
 
Yeah... I think the number one sign you might not have ASD is that you feel it is nebulous. It is not nearly as nebulous to myself, or I think to many of those who have it. There is a very real, hardwired difference. Full stop.
I think it was the way your therapist said that autistic people simply do not experience intimacy the same way NTs do, like it's what the nature of autism is as a blanket statement.
 
I thought I was unable to love.

In my early 20s I started working for a family of missionaries caring for their 3 babies. E was 2 years old, H was 1 and A was only a couple of months old.
All I had to do was play with them, take them for walks, read to them and change a few diapers.

I ate with the family and was treated with respect and kindness. They all accepted me in a way no one had ever done before. I felt loved by this family.

And all of a sudden I realised that I completely loved those 3 little ones. I never even minded when the E and H came running to me to hug me. Their hugs and show of affection never felt repulsive to me. I loved holding them as I read to them and didn't mind if they played with my hair.
It was a feeling I had never felt for another human being. I would have given my life for them.

I had always believed that I was too selfish, incapable of loving anyone else but me.

I knew that I loved my pets, my dogs and birds. But people were scary and exhausting.

Is this part of being on the spectrum?
Is it normal to feel like you can't connect with anyone and not want to be around other people. Even those you are supposed to love, like parents and etc?

I'm rethinking my whole life now.
What you are saying is not uncommon around here. You have to remember that, although there are commonalities, we are all different, and we all express our autism differently. Then add that we all have different comorbidities, and you find no two of us are alike. For example, Attention Deficit, in all it's different forms, is fairly common here. Besides AD(no H)D, I have anthrophobia (fear of crowds or crowded places, not just uneasy, but full blown panic), dislike unexpected touch, inability to recognize facial expression, body language, or intonation, non functional in social situations, inability to form bonds, connect to people, or have any real feelings for people. Many here have a few of these traits, but I don't believe anyone here has all of them. If anybody does, let me know because we have a lot to discuss.
 
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Yes, my therapist says that autistic people simply do not experience intimacy the same way NTs do.

It was a big shock to learn that my husband (and other NTs) experience actual physical sensations in regards to things related to love and empathy. They can "feel" the bond.

That doesn't mean the love isn't there. It definitely is there. It's just felt/expressed in a more intellectual way.

That's an interesting point. I'm very close with my non-autistic partner whom I love dearly, yet there is a clear difference in how we experience it. We are both asexual, but when I kiss her neck or other things like that, she feels electricity over her body, and can feel very emotional when I do certain things with her, while for me, even though I'm sensitive to touch and tickle easily, it isn't really connected to my "emotion" centers. That's fine for me though, as I still like enjoy making her happy as it makes me feel really happy in turn. It's just more "intellectual" as you describe it. I think that's maybe why I tend to struggle with certain love metaphors. They don't really apply for me.
 
Yes, my therapist says that autistic people simply do not experience intimacy the same way NTs do.
Tell me about it. <sigh>

That doesn't mean the love isn't there. It definitely is there. It's just felt/expressed in a more intellectual way.
I wish I would have known this before hand. <sigh>
 
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I think it’s normal for people with autism to want to be alone for longer periods than neurotypicals can endure. Your feelings seem perfectly normal for one who is autistic.
Absolutely.
I always need some alone time.
 

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