No, not THAT one.
You’re thinking, oh this will be a boring discussion of slavery and American history. But it isn’t.
I’m drawing on the delineation of Missouri as the “Show-Me” state.
Those of us with loved ones on the spectrum often feel that we aren’t shown that affection that comes so easily to many of our NT kids and family members. For me, I sometimes think that Little Miss and I are on different planets, even though we live in the same small home. We intersect at meals, sometimes. But even then, there’s often a screen in view and we’re absorbed in parallel play.
This existence is lonely-making, certainly. Not that she notices–she’s perfectly happy in her own world. If she’s sing-songing her imaginary stories in her head, she paces and exists beyond where I can see. If she’s absorbed in a screen, she’s elsewhere, too.
So I’m alone, but at the same time responsible for this woman-child, an adult by chronological age, but still much younger than her years from time to time.
She had a boyfriend for her last two years of high school, which worried me at first, as boyfriends do to all parents of girls past puberty. But I didn’t need to worry. She treated him much the same as she treats me–more as a thing to be checked off a list. As in, teenaged girls should have a boyfriend, now I have one. She didn’t worry much over the care and feeding of such a relationship, and eventually he approached me and asked why she didn’t want to be his girlfriend.
What followed was a messy few days when I explained how she is (he also has disabilities, but more physical than autistic), and assured him that it was likely the best he would get out of her. We were both sad, and then he broke up with her on social media. UGH.
She immediately decided she had to have a boyfriend and had logged herself onto OK Cupid before I even knew what she was doing. I panicked and at least put her onto Autistic Singles–who knew they had that?– but I shouldn’t have worried. Within a few days, she was reabsorbed in her own world, and I haven’t heard anything about it since.
So in a way, that’s great. No huge emotional scenes, no pining, no starving to death, etc. She’s happily back to ignoring me.
But every once in awhile, a ray of light comes through. Last night we went to a STOMP! concert, and she propped her elbow on my shoulder for the show. It was definitely a “together” moment.
So we don’t push -much- and wait for those moments, those actual expressions of affection and gratitude and empathy. We live for those. Please, kid, SHOW ME. Just once in awhile. Thank you.