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Darialan
Deinonychus
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Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Age: 42
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Location: Coudersport, PA

23 Jan 2014, 9:10 pm

I guess as aspies it's kind of a given that many of us don't know how to show empathy. I fail so bad at that. I feel yet, I either don't know how to show it or more rather feel like I'm going to be judged in doing so. Ok, so I think during my HS years I was sort of taught by some peers, bad ones, that showing you care is either unwanted or wrong or something. I don't know. I always didn't get it when, if I said anything that might be helpful, it was wrong. I guess all those years have taught me not to respond to anything, but yet I'm looking out there and everyone else is doing those things and I'm left out, looking at them, wondering what they would think if I said or did this to support someone in need. So conflicted.

Anyways, a friend of mine from psych rehab, who is also AS, her mother just passed away. I knew she had a heart attack earlier this week and today, as I understand it she's dead. So I'm sitting here afraid to go into group tomorrow and not do anything or say anything to her. We connect on video games, etc. We're friends. Another problem this mind blindness gives of not know what others are thinking and feeling, makes me worry how people around me will think of things. Like...hmmm. I'm sitting here having to think over what it is I'm actually confused about. Ok, I'll get to that in a moment. Anyways, I worry a lot about the "signals" I send out if I do or don't do or say things I should or shouldn't do or say. There's supposed to be this subtext to everything people do or say and since I can't read them, then I can't even apply them.

Bringing that up, I worry about things like. "Is he ignoring me, because he hates me?" "Is he even a good friend?" "Doesn't he give a crap?" "He's a good friend." "I'd like to hang out like another friend." "Does he think more of me?" "Does he have feelings for me?" etc. List goes on. I do not want to send mixed signals. We are friends. The thought of being anything more is kinda bleh to me, really. Kinda like how one feels if someone sees you walking with a relative and asks, not knowing, if you are together. >.<;



personworm
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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Joined: 29 Sep 2013
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24 Jan 2014, 2:26 am

Hey
Yes, I can definitely relate to your difficulties with expressing empathy. Curiously though, I've often fount that most NT's as we call them, are blind to this. I would hope that in this situation her also having AS makes your inability to express empathy the same way an NT would less of an issue. Still, I wouldn't know much. Your ranked as a toucan and I'm just a tuffted tithead or something.



Darialan
Deinonychus
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Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Age: 42
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Location: Coudersport, PA

24 Jan 2014, 5:19 pm

So she wasn't in group today, but I think I can understand why. Personally I would have if I was her, but that's just me. She probably has other support systems outside of group. I don't have support systems in the same way she does. Anyways, I did post a message on her wall saying that I can't even imagine her mother dying and that I was very sorry to hear that she did. I was also in the store to get something for breakfast before going into group and I happened to turn my head and see TMNT fruit snacks, which I know she'd like. I got them for her, but since I didn't see her, they're sitting in my mailbox (Psych Rehab mailbox).



Crearan
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26 Jan 2014, 9:38 pm

That sounds like a nice gesture to me. There's not that much you can do for someone you're not relative-or-besties-close to when someone they love dies. Someone you're close to, you can do the more intimate/daily life stuff for, like make them food and help with their housework and generally give them a chance to take time off from managing their own lives so they can grieve. But if you just know someone as a casual friend, all you can do is show you're thinking of them and recognize their grief.

Of course, I'm likely also an aspie, and have never had to help someone who was grieving, yet. So who knows if I'm right!



MjrMajorMajor
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27 Jan 2014, 12:38 am

A brief acknowledgement of concern seems to be okay. I panic in those situations myself, and my discomfort seems to make everyone else uncomfortable. :?