Especially during a worldwide pandemic with social distancing.

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Photo by Mateo Vrbnjak on Unsplash

I remember my first foray into MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games, for those not familiar with the terminology).

After a long, boring work day in fast food, I walked home because at this point in my 19 years, I wasn’t driving yet. On the way home, I stopped at a store and remember picking up Guild Wars. I can’t really recall why I decided to start playing games again at this point; in my childhood, there’s some vague recollection of playing Nintendo games with my siblings.

Anyway, in my every day…

And this doesn’t mean I’m not listening.

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Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

I never liked when someone told me to look them in the eye. For me, it wasn’t something I could handle and the whole situation caused me great anxiety.

For them, my refusal to do this often meant they thought I wasn’t listening, or I didn’t care, or worse, that I didn’t respect them.

None of that could be further from the truth.

There’s this general consensus that one must look someone in the eye and if they don’t, they are one of the above things. …

There’s a few key differences you’ll want to keep in mind with your loved one.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

You might be wondering, if our needs aren’t that different from a relationship between two neurotypical people, why this article?

Good question. The answer is: while the below things are good to have in any relationship, it is about the nuance and differences among these topics for autistics.

Direct & Targeted Communication

Your autistic friend, family member, or partner will most likely have a preference for how they like to communicate.

Autistics can range from being non-verbal to a little verbal to verbose. Some are verbal all the time…

Or any other part of them... and Aphantasia is to blame.

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Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

“Why do you always take so many pictures?”

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked that question nor would it be the last.

I used to answer that I simply liked having pictures. Proof of where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and who I’ve spent time with. Visual reminders I could look at any time and use to recall my favorite places or people. It was true; I just didn’t know the reason why these were more important to me than other people.

Why having photos of people…

And our relationship paid the price.

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Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Whenever an opportunity came up for my mother to disparage my father, she would call him a loser, an alcoholic, and a bastard. She was 17 when I was born; he was 22. She told me that when I was 7 months old, she came home and caught him having sex with her best friend. Also that at one point he held her against the wall, choking her.

They were divorced by the time I was 2 and any time I look back at growing up, I can say with certainty I felt like…

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

As an autistic person who wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood, I’m able to look back at my past relationships and see all the ways both my partner and I failed to understand and connect.

One of the main faults were my need to know what would happen between us most of the time. Of course, relationships aren’t linear nor do they ever go the way we expect or want them to. Mix my autism with complex PTSD, anxiety, and a fear of abandonment, and you get a female with a need for consistent and (sometimes constant) communication.

I’ve learned throughout the…

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I told my friends and family months ago, on Pride Day, that I am interested in women. The funniest response was from my youngest sister, who simply said, “Yeah, and?” I appreciated their complete acceptance of what I said because this realization of mine came after thinking over my history and talking in therapy. I have a complicated history and my “not knowing” stems from stuff I won’t get into here.

So I started trying to find a woman to talk with and eventually meet. COVID has certainly made that harder. …

One of the best times my son and I have together is when we watch a movie together. We sit on the couch and have a huge bowl of popcorn. Spending this time together has become precious, not only because my son is already 11 and has his own interests, but because the way we relate to each other during the movie amuses me.

My son is the kind of person so far who makes comments during the movie to those he’s sitting close to. Apparently, he gets this from me, although he had mostly stopped when we went to…

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

For me, 2020 started off with me finally admitting I needed to start going to therapy. This revelation also meant I needed to tell my new doctor (since I finally had health insurance) that I was having issues with anxiety, unable to sleep well, and feeling extremely down.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, encouraged to give meds another try (as I’ve tried so many in the past), and told I should make an appointment to see a psychiatrist. My PCP put me on celexa, but it ended up being a terrible medication for me. Eventually, when I finally…

Kitty J

Autistic Woman. Mother. Romance writer. Abuse Survivor. Dealing w/cPTSD, hEDS & POTS. Always learning & questioning. A quiet human slowly reparenting herself.

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