by Erica Leung, AutisticFemale~Happy Valentine’s Day!! While it is the month to celebrate love and romance I also think we need to be realistic with ourselves and understand that not every day is a fairytale and even the best of relationships have their issues.
Recently I came to realize that words and phrases such as “maybe,” “we might go” or “later” are bothersome to me. Communication is difficult for me to begin with, but things get more complicated when I am given open- ended answers that I have to decode the meaning behind. Such responses cause me undue stress and anxiety which may or may not end in a meltdown.
Last week I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to do a date night for next Friday and his response was “maybe; I have to see what my schedule is like.” Granted he does work in the food industry so his hours differ from mine but all he needed to do was simply say “yes” or “no”!
Another time when I wasn’t given an exact answer was about whether or not we are going to be traveling abroad for a few weeks over the summer. He said, “I will let you know later on.” Granted it is winter now, but knowing the type of person I am it will take months of help from my support system to get me prepared and ready for such a new event. I also need to know so I can then save my vacation days accordingly
People with Autism, like me, do not see shades of gray like the rest of the world. We simply cannot differentiate the meaning behind words. Everything must be concrete to avoid misinterpretation. As time progresses in the relationship between me and my boyfriend we will work on our communication and find a way that works for both of us to understand each other without one or both of us getting upset.