Day 53: “Un-Friended”: A Female with Aspergers Experience with Friends

You are either going to love this post or say to yourself (or perhaps your neighbor): Look how long this fricken post is! 

Here’s some easy listening music to get you through the first 5 pages.

No. I’m not kidding.

It’s a soundtrack song from one of my favorite shows of all time. If you haven’t seen the movie, you haven’t lived!

Love Actually: Christmas is All Around song, by Billy Mack

This is NOT connected to the story in anyway. But this post is so fricken long that I don’t have time to look for other images that aren’t copyrighted.

I did what would be the equivalent to my very first “unfriending” of an individual yesterday.

I pressed the button on the  social network site and PRESTO-MAGICO (said in a French accent), they are gone from my life.

Through this unfriending process, I realized that I have NEVER once un-friended a person!

I mean real, walking, living breathing life—friends I hang out with, who I touch regularly…okay, that just didn’t sound right.

Today I reached the massive conclusion that I did not come equipped with an un-friend button.  Whomever or whatever force created me, forgot to install the un-friend button. (And I don’t mean my mom and dad.)

I’m also missing the whole and complete manual that explains the workings of friendships.

Luckily, through sweat and tears (literally lots of tears), I’ve managed to recreate my own friendship manual that looks fairly equivalent to other people’s  manuals. Of course, MY manual is written in some obscure language only Crazy Frog can read.

I’ve lost a number of friends due to my quirkiness and lack of friendship manual. Not so much now, but a fair number in my early years, and a recent loss in my late thirties.

There are two that stand out.

One loss happened with a friend I was close with for a good four to five years. And then one day, she just stopped returning my emails, stopped returning my calls, and un-friended me on Facebook. And her brother in England, he un-friended me, too! No explanation. No closure. No reason. Just erased me from her life.  And at the time, she only lived a block away from me.

This is what I imagine she would say, if she were asked to explain why she dumped me. Remember I had no idea I had Aspergers at the time, and neither did she.

She freaked out a lot over things.

She was needy.

She obsessed about her health and writing.

She worried a lot.

She was very intense, too intense.

She talked too much about her church.

Oh, and she insulted my husband one too many times, like when she said, in front of his whole poker gang:

“I bought you these specific low-salt chips because your wife told me your blood pressure was high.”

And another time at a party when she said, “I told you that you should have gotten that mole on your forehead checked out a long time ago!”

The other friend, was the only friend I made the first four years of college. This college friend simply disappeared. She stopped returning my calls. And when I phoned for the tenth time, her father informed me that his daughter was too upset to talk to me and no longer wanted to be friends. I’m still clueless on this one. But I imagine this person would have said something to this tune:

She talks about spirits and ghosts all the time.

She talks about precognitive dreams.

She dates men out-of-town she hardly knows.

She obsesses about men she just met.

She talks nonstop.

She’s odd. I mean who has never once bought themselves a soda?

And how could she not know I was dressed as Mrs. Bundy on Halloween? Doesn’t she watch Married with Children?

Interestingly enough, these two friends both have the same name. I’m not super fond of that name anymore.

 

I try to keep my blog PG-Rated, but these stories are probably PG-13, some strong language.

Vignette: The Bleeding Napkins

The thing I remember most about Renny, besides her over-sized nostrils and cooked-spaghetti-like hair, was the bleeding napkins.

“We show them at the county fairs and other places,” Renny said, one afternoon in her dingy kitchen.  Squeezing my face together, I covered my mouth and nose with my hand and stared out at the pile of gray and blue cat carriers stacked high in the corner.

“You’ll get used to the smell in a few minutes,” Renny apologized.

I smiled.  “I like your orange wallpaper,” I offered.

Renny pulled down an enormous bag from the pantry shelf and proceeded to fill up five bowls with cat food.  Nine cats and three kittens came running.  “Mother and I show them at the cat shows,” she announced, and pointed to a shelf laden with dusty ribbons, plaques and miniature, gold trophies shaped into cat faces.

“Do you get money?” I asked from behind my hand.

“No,” Renny frowned. “We only get the prizes.”  She pushed aside some dirty dishes in the sink and filled up a large water bowl.  Then she wet a stack of napkins.

“Oh,” I said, sinking my hands deep into my jean pockets.  I breathed in.  Renny was right, the smell was fading.

“I used to have thirteen cats when I was little,” I said.  “But only for a couple weeks.  We had three cats and two got pregnant, and soon there were thirteen.  But I like the number thirteen.  It’s my favorite.  So that was pretty cool.”  I was rambling.  I rambled when I was nervous.  “But then one day I came home and there was only one cat left, Ben’s cat.  That’s all.  And I asked Mom what happened and Mom said that she found them all good homes.  But I knew she hadn’t really, because it was only one day.  And no one can find twelve cats homes in one day.  So I knew they were dead.”  I peered out at Renny who didn’t seem to be listening.  “Did I tell you ten of them were kittens?”

Renny glanced up and smiled.  “Come in here.  I have something I have to do,” she said.  The water dripped off the napkins, making a trail from the kitchen into the living room.  Renny kicked an empty soda bottle out of her way and tossed a clump of her sister’s clothes onto a chair.  “It’s a good thing we don’t have carpet, my mom says.  But they still find their way to the couch, mostly this couch. That chair over there isn’t so bad. You can sit there if you want.

“I’m fine,” I answered.  I picked at the green alligator appliqué I’d sewn by hand on to my old shirt, an alligator I’d plucked off of a ten-cent, stained polo shirt purchased from the local thrift store.

Renny stopped moving, and asked, “I do this everyday—well most days.  Do you want to try?”

“No, thanks,” I said with shifty eyes.

Renny set the pile of wet napkins on the arm of the couch and began separating them from each other.  One at a time she spread white all across the seat of the couch, until there appeared to be a long line of paper ghosts.

Like magic, the napkins began turning red, bleeding out from the center to the edges.   I twisted my face in disgust.  “What’s that?” I asked.

“Flea poop,” Renny said quickly.  “It’s one of the downfalls of having cats.  But it’s worth it.  You saw all those ribbons.”

My eyes widened.  I gulped.  “I guess.  Do you think I can use your bathroom?”

Five minutes later, after I’d rinsed my hands under the water several times and stuck my head out the open bathroom window, I found Renny atop her waterbed.  There were no blankets.  Well there were, but the covers were all piled in a corner of her closet.  But there was one big orange sheet.

“My mother’s old boyfriend Ben used to have a waterbed,” I said.

“You’re pretty safe up here from the fleas.  Here.”  She tossed a training bra at my head.

“Yuck.  What’d you do that for?”

Renny flashed an unfettered smile.  “My sisters have them.  I thought it was about time I got one.  Plus when a guy goes to feel me up, if I’m not wearing a bra, what’s he going to think?”

I touched my sunken chest and frowned.  “Who’s going to feel you up?”  I looked up.  “Do you think I need a bra?”

Renny jumped down from the bed.  I flicked a flea off of my arm and examined the floating green cluster of goop in the water under Renny’s waterbed liner.  “Yuck,” I said.  “You need water conditioner or to drain it.”

Snatching the bra from my hand, Renny held it up against her shirt and galloped about the house neighing like a horse.  I followed, prancing about with a pair of Renny’s floral underwear on my head.  We were both out of breath when we heard the sounds of barking laughter.

We peered out the living room window.  At the end of the driveway, Renny’s sisters flashed their black bras at two shaggy-haired boys.  Renny’s mouth was agape, her pointy ears turning red.  I pulled my eyes away and focused on the flea on my sock, catching the parasite with the first try and popping it in between my thumbnail and finger.  A drop of blood squirted out.

Renny stepped away from the window, taking the string of the blinds with her. The blinds clanked and scraped against the mildewing glass causing a miniature dust storm.  Coughing, I ran to Renny’s bedroom and sought retreat from the fleas under the orange sheet.

Minutes later, Renny lifted the lid of a red and white cigar box, and pulled out a small bud of marijuana.  “It’s the expensive stuff,” she said and bit down with a sour face.

I wasn’t too impressed, but smiled anyhow. “I’ve tasted the seeds before,” I offered.

Renny chuckled, set the box down, and pushed an orange tabby cat away. “Mom keeps the dope hidden in her closet but my sisters are always stealing.”  She pulled off cat hair from her sock and scanned her slovenly room, the whites of her eyes turning pink.  “Sometimes,” she whispered, “I wish I lived with my father.”

I pang hit me hard in the stomach then.

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45 thoughts on “Day 53: “Un-Friended”: A Female with Aspergers Experience with Friends

  1. Sam! What a post: Sorrow, joy, humor (both light and dark), memories 9good and bad), and a soundtrack to boot! You are the interesting one! I love your writing—esp. Vignette Two!

    1. Thanks. Impressed you read the whole way through. Not too many folks did. Appreciate your kind words and time, as always. I’ll try that unfollow and then follow trick you mentioned. “See” you soon. ~ Sam 🙂

  2. Hi, Sam,

    can I just say a quick hello to GKinnard? For all I know, we are related in the dim distant past before the names split into the variations! (MY surname is kinnaird, G!)

    Sam your writing is so moving, so beautiful. Renny brought tears to my eyes. Rosie brought back similar memories. I could talk forever about his but the pain is up so hands aren’t good,.
    But I will tell you this as it kind of sums up just HOW good ypu really are, if you were ever in doubt. (!)

    for just a little while, reading and listening to the very evocative music, I was able to distract away from the pain. To do that for me is a gift, and your gift of writing did it. So when the doubts creep in, that is one thing to tell yourself, you took away the pain by taking me to another time and place.

    Much love
    Kelly

    1. Kelly,
      What a lovely and beautiful comment. Brought tears to my eyes. You said exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you. I’m always full of doubts (nothing I am afraid to admit, as it keeps me humble) and your words fill me with hope and inspiration. I am sorry to hear that you carry so much pain. I am happy to know you were able to escape from it for a little while. You are a sweet soul. Stay strong. Love back ~ Sam 🙂 (Strange about the sir name!)

  3. Wow you do weave good write ups Sam, not for a moment i could take my eyes off the events and must tell you some couragious girl you are…
    that image which you wrote is not connected to this story can be your fighting spirit which gave you the courage to keep going
    excellent write up
    hugs n love 🙂

  4. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and I am a fan. It’s post like this that tell so much about your world and your feelings that make me please to follow. Great soundtrack, too.

    Are you on twitter? What is your handle?

    1. Thanks Gingerhead. Great blog name. I think I follow your blog. I have to read some more. I’ve taken a few days off reading blogs.

      I’m glad this post resonated with you. I wasn’t sure how people would respond. I was on twitter. Maybe I’ll get back on. I was “highly addicted” when it first came out some two years ago. Got 2,000 followers in a real short time. lol. I think I am still under “Spectrummother.” It’s something to think about. Wasn’t that a cool soundtrack! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Look forward to chatting more. ~ Sam 🙂

    2. Realize your Unfriended article is 3 years old but (obviously), I’ve just now read it. Good article. Somewhat painful. You listed several things that your ex-friend probably didn’t like. That may be so but for her to suddenly break-off a friendship over a long-running history of social errors just doesn’t ring true. To be too upset to come to the phone implies a specific event or misunderstanding that was the straw that broke the camel’s back! Doubt that she simply disappeared! This isn’t a criticism, just think you missed something.

      1. Please change my name to either friend of aspie or just curious. The name that’s showing is my real name. Thanks!

  5. I had a long comment that I wrote out last night to this, but it was erased with some strange WordPress glitch dealing with my icon and email. ??

    I can’t remember now everything that I said, I am in a kind of emotional vulnerable state. Last night I had a very positive experience with my ballet teacher, but that also brought about a negative experience with the fellow women. I had a complete flashback of middle school and what happened to me with my “friends” because I made the dance team and they did not. When I got home and read your post, it was both comforting and overwhelming.

    I have written several posts about friendships, one specifically about girls and me. In my entire life, I have only had one positive friendship with a girl in “real” life. AND that only happened in the last two years. However, due to schedules and everyday life we have not had much time to keep our friendship active. At least it hasn’t ended in a negative way. It took me a good year before I could even remotely trust her.

    Thank you for sharing this post. I had to hold back the tears myself, and stop a few times because of my own traumatic and confusing experiences. I am still a little too fragile because of other things I am processing, but I wanted you to know that I appreciate this post very much, and how much it costs emotionally to share.

    1. I am sorry to hear Angel that you had a hard time at class. I am happy you have dance. Seems as it has been your passion a long time, then, yes? Please consider me a friend, and hopefully one day we will meet in person, and I can be another “real” friend. Thank you for your heart-felt comment. I am also sorry for the trauma you have experienced. Girls (and women) can be so cruel and unthinking at times. You are such a beautiful soul. Keep shining. We can chat more when you are feeling less in “the moment”—if you know what I mean. Many bubbles filled with happiness drifting your way filled with tickling giggles and warmth, strength, and fortitude. ~ Sam 🙂

  6. Your storytelling skills are enthralling. I love short stories and reading these two gems was an utter delight. I have read over a thousand books of short stories–you have talent.

    It is interesting that I had the “slut” lable, too. I remember receiving a letter signed by every member of my 10th grade English class telling me that I was a slut and that no one liked me and that I should just shut up. The author? My best friend Jane.

    When I asked her about it later, she told me I was acting like a slut and it was disgusting. This was so odd because I never dated anyone at the school or had any kind of experience with sex. I had a crush on one boy and was simply unable to contain my devotion to him.

    I think when you vary from the norm, other girls band together quickly to ostracize you. My friend Jane was having sex and dated alot, but she fit it. I talked big an annoyed people so I was sent cruel letters and threatened with fights. It is positively heartbreaking.

    Yet, the lesson in tolerance and forgiveness is indelibly taught. I never really turned mean myself, and I worked hard to understand WHY people behave that way. Many others follow their natural wiring and don’t question.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Hugs,
    Lori

    1. Wow. We do have so much in common. I do know that pain you must have felt. Everyone signing the letter. That is so very terrible. I’m guessing you and I don’t have mean bones in us. I wasn’t a “slut” in my eyes either, but coming from CA I was more open in my talk and of course over-shared stories about what I knew others were doing, what I wanted to try some day, etc. We are AMAZING and STRONG women! Look at all we have been through, and we are still striving, loving, and kind.

      I appreciate your words about my stories. I work hard on writing, so your comments mean a lot, and I take them to heart, especially on my high-doubt days.

      Look forward to talking again soon.

      Lots of love and light ~ Sam 🙂

  7. Thank you for such a wonderful, heartfelt post. My 12 yr old son has Aspergers, and he has so much trouble making and keeping friends. He doesn’t talk about it very often, so your blog is very helpful to me to understand him better.

    1. You are very welcome. My 13 yr old son has Aspergers. I understand the mother’s journey. We have a wonderful support group on Facebook. The link is on the top of this blog. Thank you for the comment and for reading. I am glad you are finding the blog helpful. 🙂 Sam

  8. Friendships are fickle things, capricious things. You never know how long they’ll last, or if they will last at all. They’re nearly as hard to grasp as they are to hold onto.

    They hurt and they soothe. They rip and they sew.

    They grow, and sometimes they flourish. Other times, they wilt.

    Then again, maybe that’s part of what makes them so special.

    Even if they seem like more trouble than they are worth at times.

  9. I give up on making friends. I try to hard and its exhausting. Stuff women my age!!! They dont get anything and talk about insignificant bullshit. I have better things to put my time into!!! oh dear….sorry for the vent. Im just very fed up that even with age the friendship thing seems to get harder.

  10. My friend wants to cut off contact. He is my only friend, and I am almost thirty, and each year more and more people want me to stay away from him. Now even he wants me to stay away. I don’t know what to do.

    1. So sorry to hear this. I learned a lot through going to support groups, counseling groups, and reading books of all sorts. Friendship takes a lot of work. I hope you can work it out. Sometimes I communicate better in writing than in words. Perhaps you can write to him. Perhaps share with him your fear and concerns. I wish you the very best outcome. Thank you for commenting.

  11. So sorry about your lost friends. Although you listed things you imagined they may have thought about you, is there a chance that there was one paticular event that occured in each case? Suddenly unfriending & suddenly being too upset to speak with you points to a singular faux pas in each case?

  12. I was just thinking the dog/wolf picture is relavent because dogs are your friends for life, they don’t bitch about you or call you rude names or unfreind you!

  13. Wow, your stories were very good, especially the one about Renny. I spent my whole life until my 30s thinking I was nuts, or retarded like many of my exes seemed to call me, but then I grew to love my Aspie self, and I can see that you’ve started embracing your specialness too. We are pure, and that makes us awesome. The way we approach friendship is from a well-meaning place of honesty. We actually care about someone having high blood pressure, more than we care about hiding it for some stupid pride reason at a party. The reason we don’t understand friendship is because we cannot fathom how to lie, be fake, or polite even. We tell it like it is. I found the friends I have are friends because they can handle my direct nature, and accept who I am, and those are true friends!
    I have a lot of issues detaching as well. I have been in a lot of poisonous relationships (heck I think I mentioned my exes above), and that caused me to learn to deal with it, but at the end of the day I think you help give your followers insight to exactly the type of special we Aspie girls are.

  14. I too have found that the non-ASD misfits align well with friendships with those of us on spectrum… the ones who are outcasts due to circumstances rather than brain wiring, like the young lady in your last vignette. I think it is because they do not have any hope of being a part of the in crowd, any more than we do, while those on the edge have a quick and simple path to popularity – bullying the outcasts that are more outcast than they are. This is a phenomenal blog. Thank you for writing it.

  15. I was actually wondering if there are more Aspie females that have problems with NT females? From a very young age throughout preschool, middle school and high school I had the same issues. And the majority of the bullying I experienced were females. By the time I reached University – you’d think things would change because people are older and supposedly wiser – it was the same shit, just a different decade. I couldn’t and still do not understand why there has to be a constant nitpicking and criticizing. The incapability of these females to ever be honest, always struck me as odd. Behind my back a lot of things were said but to my face nothing. I became the friend everyone relied on, but the person that had no one when the roles were reversed. Now at the age of 28, I have told all but 3 of my friends to bugger off. I also do not get why these females act so offended when you call them out on their horrid behaviour. It makes me extremely anxious and nauseous to confront people, but I do so because the principal of the situation outweighs how I feel. Only recently I told a female friend that she wasn’t a friend, that what we had wasn’t a friendship but more of a therapist-patient relationship. I told her that I am only useful when she has an use for me and that she uses people all the time. I felt that it was necessary that someone told her these things, she did not feel the same. But it was second nature to her to criticise everyone else. I have hardly ever heard females complain about male friends and I myself have seldom done so. Am I too serious? Is a friendship suppose to be an equal partnership? Or is it just general knowledge that one gives and the other takes? Why do people act so offended (after being critised) when they silently critise others? Are you not supposed to call people out on their bad behaviour and horrid character traits? And why are women generally the ones to bully and hurt others? Maybe I just think too much 🙂

    1. this helped me to read; I understand completely and thank you for commenting. I don’t think you think anymore than many of us on the spectrum…. your timing was great, too. Best

  16. I stumbled upon this blog because my long distance friend has Aspergers and I find myself wanting to escape the friendship because she is possessive and tries to become me in a vain attempt to become socially perfect as she thinks I’m perfect. we have nothing in common and all I want is out because she is strangling me.

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