• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

The feeling of being unable to love others.

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.
We are very different here.

The first time I fell in love, it almost literally destroyed me when we broke up.
I can't believe I lived as long as I have. lol

It took me 40 years to connect with another person to that degree again, such was the emotional pain.
 
Yet when I broke up with the girl I almost married it took me near a decade to really get over it.
(Sorry for the multiple posts, ppl.)

You seem to be contradicting yourself.
"Please Explain." :p

So, you are saying you were destroyed when you broke up with a partner, but not in any other relationship situation?
 
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".
It is not about being "numb" for me. It is a genuine absence of grief. The most uncomfortable thing about it is knowing I should feel sadness but I don't. I do care about the person, but the emotional wiring isn't there and the sadness becomes intellectual.
 
So, you are saying you were destroyed when you broke up with a partner, but not in any other relationship situation?
That is exactly how it is for me. If I hadn't fallen in love with a woman a couple of times I would be believing that I wasn't capable of love because when people disappear I simply don't miss them. Friends or family no matter how close it doesn't matter. Compared to most other people it's like there's a few odd segments of my brain missing.

Breaking up with that girl truly traumatised me. I dumped her for rooting around on me and there's no way I was going to go back on that because it's a trust issue, but for many years afterwards I was like a victim of kidnap and torture, I used to see her face in strangers everywhere and it terrified me.
 
That is exactly how it is for me. If I hadn't fallen in love with a woman a couple of times I would be believing that I wasn't capable of love because when people disappear I simply don't miss them. Friends or family no matter how close it doesn't matter. Compared to most other people it's like there's a few odd segments of my brain missing.

Breaking up with that girl truly traumatised me. I dumped her for rooting around on me and there's no way I was going to go back on that because it's a trust issue, but for many years afterwards I was like a victim of kidnap and torture, I used to see her face in strangers everywhere and it terrified me.
I've learnt to tell people that I miss them.
I don't think of me saying that as lying because I try to remember how it felt when they are around.

Like my dad. I haven't seen him in years, and don't think much about that. But when I do, I remember the good times we had and think that it would be nice to have times like that again.

My dad likes visiting museums 😅 I like some museums, so I know that when he visits we'll probably end up in a museum.

It feels very utilitarian, but I know that I love my dad. And now that I've read all your comments, I can see that it's not a question of being selfish and unloving. My brain just doesn't work like that of most people on earth would expect it to work.

It's good to understand that. Good to think I don't have to feel guilty for not reacting like most people do.

Thank you all.
 
My brain just doesn't work like that of most people on earth would expect it to work.
That's the important lesson. Nothing's wrong with you, you are just built slightly differently. People like to think in terms of problems and answers but there is no answer because there is no problem.

Most other people will struggle to understand if you try to explain it to them though because their brains don't work the same as yours does. Pity them instead of castigating yourself.
 
It is not about being "numb" for me. It is a genuine absence of grief. The most uncomfortable thing about it is knowing I should feel sadness but I don't. I do care about the person, but the emotional wiring isn't there and the sadness becomes intellectual.

How I tend to see it is that death is inevitable for everyone, so it isn't inherently sad when most people die, because it was going to happen sooner or later.

However, I did get sad when my cousin died at two (I was 13). It happened completely out of the blue from streptococcus and he was a baby, so had a full life ahead of him. In fact, I still feel sad about it, even though I didn't cry when my grandfather died last year despite the fact that we had a great relationship and I liked him. It was more of an intellectual sadness as you described.

The only other person who's death hit me was Terry Pratchett, but that was slightly selfish because I knew he wouldn't write any more books. However, when I later read bis excellent biography (Terry Pratchett: a Life in Footnotes by Rob Wilkins) I did cry, though I think that is because I felt the emotions emanating from the author so well.

I never feel sad at fictional character deaths because I know they are, well, fictional. Even if they are very well written, I know no-one was actually harmed in the making of the media. However, biographies or autobiographies can affect me if they are well written, as I have sensory processing sensitivity and can thus feel emotions better secondhand from how an author describes it than I do firsthand from myself. Of course the author still needs to be talented and the death tragic for that to happen. I actually really enjoy tragedies, and seek out depressing stories. Maybe because of the emotions they invoke in me.
 
How do you feel emotions intellectually? Not criticising or anything, I'm just curious.

For me, I can think it is sad that a person died for A, B and C reasons (we can never read together again, their family members will be sad) without experiencing the rush of emotions that comes with sadness in a lot of people. It's a very logical way to see someone's death, in a way that can seem uncaring for non-alexithymics.
 
How do you feel emotions intellectually? Not criticising or anything, I'm just curious.
It's a little bit like this - if I told you "Joe Random Nobody" died and you never heard of Joe Random Nobody, you'd probably think, that's sad but you wouldn't feel sad.

Now imagine if "Joe Random Nobody" was your own mother. You're supposed to feel sad. You know you're supposed to feel sad. You of course cared about your own mother a lot, sacrificed a lot, hung out a lot. But you don't actually feel sad. That's intellectual emotion. In fact, I was shocked to learn empathy was an emotion and not a concept.

I don't know how this applies to autistic-but-not-alexithymic crowd.
 
It's a little bit like this - if I told you "Joe Random Nobody" died and you never heard of Joe Random Nobody, you'd probably think, that's sad but you wouldn't feel sad.

Now imagine if "Joe Random Nobody" was your own mother. You're supposed to feel sad. You know you're supposed to feel sad. You of course cared about your own mother a lot, sacrificed a lot, hung out a lot. But you don't actually feel sad. That's intellectual emotion.

I don't know how this applies to autistic-but-not-alexithymic crowd.
Well I seem to have the opposite of alexithymia, if there is such a thing. For me emotions sort of just come without me thinking first. That's why I hate when people tell me I should be able to control my emotions or do something about it and "not let" things bother me. That is like telling me to not feel pain or to control pain. It just happens without my brain being too involved, although emotions come from somewhere in the brain of course but to me it feels like they come from the heart. Often I'm feeling depressed or anxious about something but I forget what. The emotion is still there but the thought has temporarily gone.

When my mum passed away I knew it was coming but I still cried my eyes out when she did pass. Before she passed I was in denial and tried to believe that she wouldn't die even though she was on end of life care. I just couldn't accept it. After she passed I tried to put on a brave face around people (which did feel intellectual) but inside I was crying.
 
I don't know how this applies to autistic-but-not-alexithymic crowd.
I'm not alexithymic, I often have very strong emotional responses, especially to sensual touch, but death doesn't trigger anything in me at all.
 
Truly met someone like this, they are unable to form a bond. I don't know if my current amour is also a bit like this. However, we seem to instinctively care for each other, and they tend to miss me. The first guy was exactly as others stated here, out of sight, out of his mind. While l was walking around thinking, jeeze, are they okay, or in the hospital or what??? And they couldn't understand why l wished they checked in a little more. In the end, l just thought what if they ended up in the hospital, l would never know a thing. But this site helped me understand that they can't really bond, and l felt very unattached because they didn't check in, yet they continued on like we knew each other and all was good. I constantly felt like l was underwater during this relationship , and eventually, l needed to drown or swim away, so l dog-paddled right on out. My mom seems to be clearly like this with me. So now l will be on the lookout for this in others, just the inability to bond, as it's just useless for me to be involved. But reading other's responses here, helped me understand that it is useless to be upset with them, because they truly don't get it.
 
Last edited:
I thought I was unable to love.

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 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 is part of being on the spectrum.

I never felt "connected" to anyone, except my wife. Even then, after nearly 40 years with her, I have a distinct sense that I do not give and receive love the same way she does. My children, parents, siblings, etc. there is less of a bond, always a disconnect, but at the same time, as you quoted above, "I would have given my life for them."

It is strange thing to try to describe, but I have heard some explain it in to form of being in a "glass box". You are present, interacting, smiling, laughing, crying with them, but then at the same time not bonding.

I know there is some physiology and neurochemistry involved via the posterior pituitary not releasing sufficient amounts of oxytocin and vasopressin. This has been studied in autistics.

 
How do you feel emotions intellectually? Not criticising or anything, I'm just curious.
I can feel sad, and feel loss, guilt, love,...

But I don't usually get the urge to act on those feelings (if that makes any sense).

Sometimes I have the consciousness that I should be sad, or angry or some other thing, but I don't really feel it... so I try to analyse why I am not feeling an appropriate feeling. It's weird then, because usually all I get from this analysis is guilt.

I always used to describe myself, to myself because I didn't want others to know the truth, as being almost dead inside. I say almost because I can have very deep and over the top emotional reactions at times.
I't a all or nothing thing...
 
Well I seem to have the opposite of alexithymia, if there is such a thing. For me emotions sort of just come without me thinking first. That's why I hate when people tell me I should be able to control my emotions or do something about it and "not let" things bother me. That is like telling me to not feel pain or to control pain. It just happens without my brain being too involved, although emotions come from somewhere in the brain of course but to me it feels like they come from the heart. Often I'm feeling depressed or anxious about something but I forget what. The emotion is still there but the thought has temporarily gone.
Note that autistics do feel emotions and can do so intensely. It's just the "trigger" can be different. And somewhat more complicated with alexithymia.

When my mum passed away I knew it was coming but I still cried my eyes out when she did pass. Before she passed I was in denial and tried to believe that she wouldn't die even though she was on end of life care. I just couldn't accept it. After she passed I tried to put on a brave face around people (which did feel intellectual) but inside I was crying.
Condolences. :( 🤟
 
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 have always got on much better with children and animals than with adult humans. I think a lot of it's because they're so much easier to understand; they're up-front and honest, and if a child or animal doesn't like you they're quite obvious about it! They don't lie or pretend for the sake of politeness, and they tend to be far less judgemental, and accept people as they are. These are rare qualities in many adults!
 
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.
Do you think about/ realise that you yourself will die? That you will actually, really just be gone? I just wondered if you might be on some level in denial about the total finality of death, albeit one can also be in denial that death is our wholly natural ending in the world. Although if one is in denial one probably won't know...
 
I miss people very easily and can feel their absence, which triggers loss and depression and even anxiety. And I'm not just talking about death, but people you become attached to at work who leave. Even if I have their contact number (which isn't usual for me to have people's contact numbers) I still miss them at work, although keeping in contact does make me feel better.

I read somewhere that Aspies don't miss people, but that's another trait I don't have, because I miss people all the time. I missed my husband while I was spending time with my family, but now that I'm back home I miss my family.
 
I can and always have been able to feel an abundance of love, but I am not always able to show it in a way that it can be properly understood. I learned to use my words and express love verbally because I'm not always able to demonstrate connectedness and love in the same way that my loved ones do.

I prepare myself to deal with the grief of losing loved ones by taking advantage of the time that they are alive, to make memories that I know I will look back on fondly. When they are gone, I want to know that I never took their presence for granted. I start the process of grieving while my loved ones are still alive. My precious dog Leela taught me this lesson.
 

New Threads

Top Bottom