Sometimes those on the spectrum push those they care about the most away from them because they are hurting or extremely stressed and full of anxiety. When others would seek these people out for comfort we tend to do the opposite. We often find it easier to process our emotional baggage so to speak without a lot of “clutter” to deal with.
Other times we NEED to talk about it…over and over until we can come to terms with things. It can drive people around us a bit batty. We just deal with different situations and the “fall out” differently at different times. Sometimes we do both – push people away and want to talk to them about what we are feeling – even more so sometimes if that person is directly involved. We want to get out how it made us feel but the words often don’t come out right or at all. But for some reason we cannot let it go – we push more to get our point across. We are impulsive at times and that only adds fuel to the fire. It’s not that we want to do this – it’s that we are so overwhelmed by the situation and the emotional turmoil coming from it that we just go all in without even a second thought. We don’t always process the consequences well – we just think about how we feel in that moment and how that situation is bothering us and we don’t rationalize what might happen. Often we find ourselves even deeper into an ugly mess than we were to begin with and it frustrates us more so then more frustration and anger build up about it. Seriously sometimes it is like we are puppies chasing our tails around – just creating more problems than there need be but the urge to keep going is so overwhelming we can’t seem to help ourselves – even if we know better – it’s a real nightmare sometimes let me tell you.
We push and push sometimes until we push so hard these people are mad at us for acting in what to them seems like a hostile way. Sometimes people step back and calmer heads prevail and sometimes we push these people too far and there is no going back.
When that line has been crossed and we realize in our own angst we lost what had been a great friendship which are already hard enough to maintain with non spectrum people; it can really send us into what I call the minefield of emotional turmoil.
A smell, a song, a color, a number etc can set us off into a flood of emotion so strong it overwhelms us. Anger over losing a friend, sadness, a short lived happiness of things you remember about the friendship, more sadness at remembering those happy times and then “the wall” happens. When all your pent up emotions about everything that is bothering you hit you like a car slamming into a wall.
Some of us Aspies feel so much and so fast it’s so overwhelming. For us losing a friendship is like a death of a family member or beloved pet or even losing something we held so important in our lives (favorite pencil, book, shirt etc) that we shut down and don’t want to let anyone into our world. For most not on the spectrum they see it as silly and that we need to just get over it but we can’t
We are consumed by the flood of emotions and we need to process those one by one in our own time. We often try to hold it together for so long as to try not to show others what we are going through on the inside that we bust wide open like a dam breaking.
I often envy those that don’t have this trait it’s not fun. If I could remain indifferent to things and not push people away because I don’t know what else to do, I’d be much happier. The ones with this trait are more likely to suffer from depression, PTSD and be extremely anxious people. High functioning or not we got our own crosses to bare and they can be real rough.