Confessions of an Autistic Lover

Valerie – Here’s to the most emotion you’ll ever receive from me, that you’ll never know about.

Congratulations, I was on a strong writing streak there for awhile, but when I realized I would eventually get to you again, you stopped me dead in my tracks. I’ve struggled so much with the inner turmoil of my emotions building up to this that I’ve lost the desire to do most anything I would normally enjoy. Years have gone by but your grip has hardly faded. After you left me, I did my best to move on, I had a very active social life that didn’t involve you, so I didn’t see a reason that you leaving me would change anything. Then the working season was over, and my roommate moved. All of a sudden my budding circle diminished to just me, and just how alone I had become started to set in.

Once Covid had a firm grip on the country my career path suddenly closed. So I moved back home and moved in with my best friend John. Working a stable 8-5 job with John to come home to worked for the time I lived with him. It didn’t stifle my want for intimacy, but I wasn’t lonely, which was good enough. But now I live alone, and I have nobody to talk to, nobody to confide in or to console. It’s been chipping away at me for months now, and I’m starting to desperately crave affection. The affection I had with you, that I didn’t want to lose. But you forced my hand and I’ve just been coping ever since. After you left me I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I did wrong, what I could have done differently, if there was anything I could have done to prevent it. I spent years trying to isolate what broke the relationship to a single point. I wondered if it was because I really didn’t love you, or because I was hesitant that you were willing to sacrifice so much for me when I didn’t have nearly as much to sacrifice for you.

I’m beginning to understand that there was no breaking point, but rather just breaks everywhere.

It took me a week with the help of one of our mutual friends to convince you to consider me as a romantic partner. It took a single date for you to decide you wanted sleep with me, and I made you wait for 3 before our first time together. After that night you asked me to stay over and I told you that if I stayed you’d never want me to leave. The next two visits you asked me to stay the night, and then that following weekend you asked me to move in with you. I reminded you of my parting words just over a week prior and you got upset, but asked me to stay nonetheless. In just one month I went from a stranger, to somebody you shared a house with, and this was with me still reigning you in, if only ever so slightly.

By the end of the second month you told me you loved me.

You were crestfallen when I didn’t reciprocate that love back to you. The reason I told you why still holds true, but looking back on it now is there not something wrong with how fast you were wanting to push our relationship? After two months I was satisfied with what we had, it was rushed, but I never felt uncomfortable. But you were insatiable, both sexually, and romantically. You were always the one that spurned the relationship forward, and I was always the final say on if there was change, it was one-sided, but it was intentionally made that way. By both of us. You were willing to meet any and all resistance without hesitation as long as you continued to make progress towards your desired goal. But just how much of your goal actually involved me?

I think the present speaks for itself.

Neither of us knew it, but I was autistic. You were fascinated by how differently my mind worked compared to yours and others you dated before me, and my love language is definitely physical, so your want for rushed intimacy was something I was very welcoming of. Unfortunately, you started to hit walls, the barriers that surrounded my heart that I was somewhat aware of, but didn’t truly understand. You’re the most understanding person I’ve ever been with, and I think this allowed you to hold on for so long. But there were several things you relied on to keep you going, things that I couldn’t provide. You were infatuated by how I expressed my emotions, early on you said my explanations were well thought out and mature. You eventually replaced these words with cold, and apathetic. You heavily craved sexual intimacy, intimacy that I wasn’t willing to provide. I will admit that I was more attracted to your personality than your body, but that’s not to say I thought you unattractive. When you looked at me I could see in your eyes you were smitten and had a strong lusting for me. I had a deep desire for intimacy, just one not as sexual as yours.

I think the distance between us was sobering for you. You realized just how much you relied on physical intimacy, and how severely lacking I was in communication. What was normal for me was your worst-case scenario. Seeing how little the distance affected me hurt you more than you ever confessed to me, but you didn’t have to. I’m very good at reading people when they open up to me, and I could see the hurt and doubt written all over your face. My words were always true, and I wanted to be with you, but you were beginning to realize that what we felt for each other was not the same.

When you asked me if I loved you, I told you I didn’t know. That was, is, and always will be the truth. In the end love meant two very different things for us, and we couldn’t compare our definitions at the time. Yours was something that was said, affirmed through reciprocation. Mine was something that was seen and felt, only heard by those who knew what to listen for. You didn’t know what you were listening to, and I didn’t know how to teach you. This culminated in your conclusion that I didn’t love you and I was apathetic, heartless even.

I’m not heartless, I’m autistic.

It’s been almost three years since we’ve been together. Since then I’ve not been in another relationship, I’ve only recently even started making an effort. You however started seeing someone new only several months after we parted, and now you own a house together. How could such fondness pass so quickly? You claimed to love me so much, but moved on in months. I know why this is, because I was once this person, someone ruled entirely by dreams of fancy. You were fueled much more by your emotions than I, yours burned like leaves in the wind, whereas mine smoldered like cinders after the fire. You were hot and wild, whereas I was warm and consistent. You were passionate, and I was dedicated. No matter what you were dealing with you could always come home and have me ease your worries and doubts because I was safe, I was your rock.

I was your Nhu-Thao.

The story tells itself again, except this time I played the opposite part. I was the one that watched their partner slowly fall apart, feeling powerless to help. The only difference is I still had to decide at the end of it all when it was over. Life can be so unkind.

In these few short months I have sometimes caught myself wondering about that night we ended. How I failed to tell you why I wanted to stay with you, even if I couldn’t tell you I loved you. I sometimes ponder how different would things have been if I had known I had Asperger’s. If I could have named the affliction I had then, been able to describe just what I was going through. Would we still be together? Would it be us living in that house right now? I’ll never know, and I don’t think I want to know. I know if I was to contact you right now and share this information with you the answer would be the same, that none of this matters now. So this is me letting go of these wants, these thoughts because they will only hold me back.

Confessions of an Autistic Lover

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