I’ve been doing more research online about Asperger’s, trying to understand The Pedant better.
It has occurred to me that a lot of Aspies are kind of anal retentive and structured, and that perhaps that’s why it didn’t occur to The Pedant to postpone applying for security work until after we’d seen each other. He’d been planning to go in and ask for work on Monday; he probably had it burned into his brain that MONDAY WAS THE DAY. And so when I asked to see him on Monday he just automatically thought “No, Monday is job day.”
I’m like that a little bit, too: I’ll get an idea in my head and stick to it so hard that I forget it was my own idea and I can just…change it. Like…back when I was first starting my art business, I was going to start with an online store. I got it in my head that I needed stickers with my logo on them – I would put these on the outside of the packages I sent out so the business would get a little extra advertising. I started contacting printing companies for price quotes, and most of them didn’t get back to me and I was like “GODDAMMIT THESE PRINT SHOP PEOPLE ARE KEEPING ME FROM STARTING MY BUSINESS I HATE THEM.” And then one day I realized that this was not technically true because I could just send shit out without logo stickers on it. Anyway my point is that I understand that kind of mental rigidity.
A lot of the Asperger’s stuff I’ve been reading says that Aspies have a hard time expressing emotion, which sucks because I’m a person who thrives on mushiness. The Pedant’s snuggling takes care of those needs in person, but when we’re apart the lack of verbal affirmation is difficult for me. Oh, and another thing I read said that people with Asperger’s often have a hard time taking compliments, which is definitely true of The Pedant (though whether any of these traits I’m talking about are the autism or just him is obviously impossible to determine).
Generally it seems like his personality/mannerisms/relationship style/whatever clashes with mine in some of the worst possible ways. Aspie + anxiety disorders = MADNESS.
But I get a vibe from The Pedant that he’s the kind of person where once he decides he likes you, it’s like an on-switch being flipped: he just steadily continues liking you whether he tells you so or not, whether he sees you very often or not, whether he talks to you or not, etc. And actually that’s pretty consistent with everything I’ve been reading about Aspie behaviour, too.
That knowledge – combined with the fact that The Pedant makes an effort to provide me with the emotional support I need (once I explain to him that I need it and how to give it) – is what gives me faith. When my paranoia starts up, I reread certain email conversations we’ve had like I’m doing a rosary.
With Minx, I assumed that his ADD was basically such an immutable fact of life that there was no point trying to get him to change his behaviours that I hated; instead I modified my own habits and personality to try to accommodate him. Y’know that magic trick where the beautiful assistant stands in a box and the magician shoves a bunch of sabres through the box and it looks like she should’ve been fatally punctured through the torso five times and yet she continues to live because she’s secretly contorting herself like fucking crazy to avoid being skewered? That’s what that relationship felt like.
And now I love someone who once again has mental issues that are causing me problems and I basically know that if I want the relationship to work, I have to contort to avoid the proverbial sabres. Again. Or at least learn not to mind getting stabbed once in a while.
It’s not quite the same thing: with Minx I mostly didn’t even try to get him to meet me halfway on anything, whereas with The Pedant I do bring stuff up at least some of the time, and he does make an effort. Also, with Minx, “contorting” meant stuff like going around the apartment in absolute silence because he found my voice irritating/distracting, whereas with The Pedant it’ll mostly mean trying to stop my anxious thoughts, which I should really do anyway.
But I still hate these parallels.
The Pedant should have gone in to the security company and asked for a job by now, which means he should know when he might be available to come see me. I’m curious to see when he’ll follow up with me. I’m not going to prompt him (or at least not yet; it is of course possible that his continued silence will make me insane and I’ll cave) because I seriously feel like I’ve been doing like 80% of the work in this relationship and I’m sick of it.
I’m just gonna live my life (and start properly filling my time with outings and art and stuff, like I should’ve done from the beginning, instead of kinda-sorta saving certain days because The Pedant mentioned he might be free then…ugh). If The Pedant contacts me and turns out to be free on days when I’m free, great. If not, hopefully I’ll have so much fulfilling stuff going on that I won’t really care.
Speaking of people who don’t seem eager enough to hang out with me, I officially dumped The Baby Duck this afternoon via text. He seemed to take it pretty well, and I’m relieved to have him out of my life.
Onward and upward.