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Summer_Twilight
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27 Apr 2012, 2:21 pm

Hi,
I was outside last night listening to a lecture and cats happen be part of my Autistic world. I own a cat and he is just fine. However, there was another kitty who had been a female stray cat that had been on our complex for more than than years. She was already up there when I was moving in and her fur a really dirty and pretty matted. Yet, she was a very nice cat who you could pet or pick up and she wouldn't care.

Anyway, I was sitting outside and I happened to see her laying across the parking lot. So I thought maybe she had been lounging on her back and so I went up to pet her like I usually did. I also called out her name as usual as I was walking over but I noticed that she wasn't responding when I called her name. I then put two and two together and asked myself, "Is she dead?" So I went up there and called her name and she didn't didn't respond. I then touched her and realized that she wasn't moving.

However, I am finding that I really haven't been able to really bring myself to cry. Even when I went to pick up her body and put her back down in realizing that she wouldn't land on her feet anymore, I still can't regulate anything. I am normally an individual who is full of emotions but last night I turned into a vulcan.

So I wanted to ask, if this part of Autism or is it because I expected for the cat to pass-away? I could use some advice here. I am down about it but I feel nothing.



RainShadow
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27 Apr 2012, 2:30 pm

My grandfather died 12 days ago. I had the chance to see him before he died and I didn't. I could have requested my husband be relieved of his mission to attend the memorial with me, but I didn't. I didn't even go to the memorial. I haven't cried and when I talked to my Aspie cousin about it, we came up with the word "detached". If we don't sit and dwell on the "lose" or on how sad everyone else is, we don't feel anything. It's only when we dwell on it that we feel sad.

I'll admit, I cry about everything. I cry at TV commercials, and Dr Seuss books. I am highly sensitive, but feel like I couldn't care less about my grandpa dying. It's an odd detachment. Individually, my cousin and I both thought it was because we weren't close to him, but after talking, we discovered, it's probably an Aspie/ Autism thing. Our other cousins weren't close to him and they are really upset by his passing. We aren't.

I hope that helps. For me, it seems it's a detachment associated with ASD. I felt the same thing when my father-in-law died and I was much closer to him.



Ann2011
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27 Apr 2012, 2:31 pm

Oh, I am so sorry. I see strays and I wish I could take them all in and make their lives better. But there are so many of them.

I understand what you say about not being able to cry. I lost my father and my 20 year old cat this past year and I still haven't cried. It's just a dull sadness; like this is a part of life. I put my cat down when he started to degenerate, but my Dad fought cancer for five years. I feel tears come to my eyes when I think of his suffering, but I just can't cry.

I don't know if it's part of autism or just seeing a lot of sadness in one's life. Things like this just seem to add to a dull numbness that grows in me.

You're not cold. Crying doesn't equal caring.



Summer_Twilight
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27 Apr 2012, 3:04 pm

I felt the same way when writing about picking her up and holding her limp body last night and then putting her down in thinking she would wake up and land back on her feet. I think that's the hardest part of all this is that a cat have nine lives and always lands on her feet. I realized that her 9 lives are all gone and so she can't land on her feet anymore. I feel like I am crying on the inside but not on the outside. However, I am hoping for everything to kick in and I will spend time to cry.

When I first found her, I talked with a few neighbors who loved her to pieces and knew her for years. They said that she was barely walking yesterday morning and afternoon. I even got to spend time with her before she died and even gave her a few strokes and I have noticed that she had been doing this mild drooling so. We all knew it was coming and I had been wondering when she would go.



ScottF
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01 May 2012, 9:28 pm

I don't think it's unusual at all. I have a hard time crying at human deaths in my own family. Or friends. The only person I really got emotionally distraught for was my Great Aunt. She was almost 92 and she and I would talk on the phone at least 2 hours a day when I could.


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bettalove
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03 May 2012, 1:35 am

I think all kinds of people feel grief differently. I have a hard time expressing or feeling grief for people or things that aren't directly in my life. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty because I can't relate to other people who are sad around me, like with Whitney Huston's death.



OliveOilMom
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03 May 2012, 2:31 pm

In my opinion it's normal to not feel any emotion over the death of a stray cat. You aren't required or expected to feel emotional over every animal you encounter. I would worry more about getting very emotional over a cat that wasn't yours than I would not feeling anything.


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NicoleG
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04 May 2012, 10:23 pm

RainShadow wrote:
we came up with the word "detached". If we don't sit and dwell on the "lose" or on how sad everyone else is, we don't feel anything. It's only when we dwell on it that we feel sad.


Same for me. I can detach almost at will if I so chose. I find that I feel emotions best when they are raw and clearly defined. I get absolutely confused when I'm feeling multiple emotions, so I tend to turn them off and just rely on my rationality then.

Regarding death, I mentioned on another thread how if I feel like there are things needing to be done, or I need to keep my wits about me in case other people don't, then I'm all rational. It's when I can relax and let go that I'll go off cry myself to sleep.



liloleme
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05 May 2012, 11:55 am

I used to have little emotion until we moved here to France two years ago, it was like nothing could make me cry, and my special little cat died from a kidney deformity that we were not aware she had and we didnt have a vet we could trust and by the time we found one she was so ill she had a major seizure and died at the hospital. I cried a lot and I had a difficult time until it didnt affect me and then my oldest son died and I cry every day. He died in August, I cry all the time and for nutty reasons, something on TV, something I see that reminds me of him. Maybe I held my emotions in for so long and loosing a child is so life changing and incredibly painful. Im not sure who I am sometimes, so I guess I have the opposite affect as most people.

Typically I would not have cried about the stray cat but I would now....I feel bad no one took the poor baby to a vet and had her put to sleep...she may have drank anti freeze, thats what it sounds like but if she was old it could have been anything.



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09 Jun 2012, 6:31 pm

I manage a TNR colony of strays and they're all my life. When one of the regulars doesn't show up for a couple days, I'm devastated. I have to put one of them to sleep soon because of incurable illness, and I've been suffering for months, doing anything to extend her life all the time. I had to adopt 3 of the strays into my home because I wasn't able to sleep well at night out of worry for them.

I suspect that NTs are as varied as we are regarding reactions to loss, the difference is they're able to fake it when they don't feel it, often faking even to themselves. And the other important difference is they know that they're expected to fake a certain reaction even if they don't feel it. They have ONE type of reaction they have set as the normal one, and everyone is expected to exhibit it, honest or not. Eg: When our grandmother and uncle died, I didn't feel a thing because they had hardly ever talked to us kids, let alone do anything with us. My sister, coversely, cried and cried. I discovered later in life that she had felt no sorrow at all, she was just extremely aware, even as a child, that you're supposed to fake it if you don't feel it. I lacked the ToM to know the trouble I would get into later on with my parents, for not faking it.



Moonpenny
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17 Jun 2012, 11:28 am

I can cry easily about life's little tragedies, but not at all about the bigger ones. Two days ago I heard a cheeping outside my front door when I came downstairs in the morning, and found a young blue tit (a tiny garden bird, for those not from the UK!) that had been caught by a cat. One of its wings was so badly damaged that it couldn't fly and it would never have survived in the wild. I had to take it to the vet to be euthanased, and I cried and cried as I heard the nurse speaking to the vet about it. They had to send me off with a box of tissues when I left.

When my father died, however, I felt nothing but numbness. I remember being at his funeral, and everyone else was in pairs, clinging onto one another and weeping, and I was just standing there alone and feeling absolutely nothing. Much later I felt a sort of overall sadness and a dull pain that sat just above the surface of my skin – I couldn't really describe it in words. It wasn't until a year later, when I was caring for a friend's elderly cat whilst she was away, the cat had a massive stroke, and I had to take the decision to have it euthanased, that I managed to cry. I cried every day for months; and it felt as if I was crying for the cat, even though it was obvious I was really grieving for my father. It took that death, of an animal with which I hadn't even had much of a relationship, to connect the raw emotion and grief that had enveloped me to the physical response of crying.

That was over 20 years ago, and I've experienced the same thing since. There just seems to be a connection missing in me: after the numbness stage, when I develop feelings that I can't touch or reach or describe and that sit somewhere just outside me, it takes something else, something less profound, to channel them into a physical response. I don't know whether it's an Asperger thing, or something that's quite common, or just me being emotionally unhealthy. :?