Conflicted

We all know how the Boy and I go back and forth, back and forth. It’s like a swing from hell. I think he hears me, he thinks I’m just trying to hurt him, and somehow, I’m usually the one who gets hurt because he doesn’t want anything serious from me.

The thing is, I haven’t wanted anything serious from him for a long time. Or rather, I haven’t expected it for a long time.

I think I’ll always want that. 

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It is hard for me. He is one of about maybe six people who’ve ever seen me truly without a mask. The others being my mom, at least one (if not both) of my brothers, my friend the Olde Man, my best friend from high school, and my friend in Ohio who just had a kiddo not long ago.

I’m sure there are others who have seen a glimpse of me without my mask, but those six(seven if we count both brothers) see me pretty regularly without any mask. It’s just me, in the raw, all the time with them.

Unless, of course, we’re out in public.

If I have to deal with other people, then yeah, the mask comes on. I’m trying really hard to not wear masks around people, but it is hard.

I wasn’t wearing my mask the other day and one of the coaches smacked me on the arm… this is not the accepted social interaction for a coworker that you don’t know very well. It is an invasion of space that denotes a certain level of familiarity. Because I was in jeans (we were allowed to wear them for testing) I assumed he thought I was a student, because that would have been an acceptable social interaction, and I gave him an angry look and informed him that I was NOT a student.

He came back with “I know who you are, but you don’t know who I am, do you?”

And the library aide next to me whispered, “I think he was just trying to be nice…”

Had I had my mask on, I would’ve asked about it instead of pointing out his social blunder. Or I would have just gone with the flow. The mask makes me much more easy going.

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Removing the mask makes me ask for respect. I think back to my initial reading about women with Asperger’s, and this woman tells a story of how she used to do coffee with the other stay at home mom types, because it was the required networking for that social group, and she was uncomfortable with it, and hated it, and was always making social blunders, and it was uncomfortable! But when she finally accepted that she had Asperger’s, she stopped caring whether or not those people liked her, instead she started to figure out if she liked them! 

And it made all the difference in the world to her sense of self worth and she was happier because she wasn’t struggling with the need to conform.

Well, that very thing is why I’ve been struggling with my old friends. I understand that for some of them, the reason they like me is because of my chameleon abilities to mimic them. The real me is probably not accepted, and in some cases, that doesn’t bother me.

Either you take me as I am, or you need to go.

Seems easy enough. Where’s the confliction?

Where else? With the Boy…

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With him, our interactions are backwards. I WAS myself in the beginning, and he liked me. Then he changed his mind, and I put the mask on. While with him, I was myself, but he kept putting me in situations where I had to wear the mask. It was hard because I wanted to be myself with him. He would put masks on, too, and I don’t like who he is with the mask on.

Most notable is the situation with his Sunday morning crew. They made fun of me. Their sarcasm was unpleasant at best, and when he is with them, he is the same as them, using sarcasm to make me the butt of jokes and laughing at me when I don’t get the jokes.

He’s like that with some of his other friends, too.

And because we aren’t dating, that seems to be the relationship he wants to have with me now… And that’s not acceptable. At all.

While he tells me about these other women with whom he is friends (sometimes more), he always uses words like “calm” and “easy,” “relaxing,” even. All things we were in the beginning. It was “easy” hanging out with him because there was no falsehood between us. There were no expectations. We just existed in each other’s space. To me it was indicative of something more serious because I’d never had that before. I didn’t think it was possible…

And now that I know that he doesn’t want to be serious, that doesn’t mean I don’t want the laid back, easy relationship we had, but he won’t let me have it. I feel like he rejects me when I try to have that type of interaction with him while meanwhile telling me that I have to be calm with him.

How can I be calm when I’m being constantly rejected?

And even through all of that, I know that he’s a good person. I see it.

No that’s not accurate… I feel it. Deep down in my soul I feel it. This man is a good person. He is worth my time and effort. Being his friend is important to me because HE is important to me…

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And I try really hard to be his friend, to spend time with him, even though he rejects me when I try.

Logic tells me that I need to give up. I get here a lot, because all of my logic tells me that I’m making the biggest mistake of my life even talking to him. Logic tells me that from experience, he’s going to misread what I say, misread what I am trying to show him, and hurt me.

Bad.

He’s going to tell me that he doesn’t want me. He’s going to tell me that romance is not something he wants to do with me. He’s going to tell me that I’m high maintenance and clingy and needy. He’s going to tell me that I’m wrong, that my views of a thing are invalid. He’s going to call into question my logic and my way of thinking.

And he’s going to do all of these things while telling me he wants to be my friend and that while he just wants to be my friend, our problem is that I’m asking more of him than he’s willing to give.

And he’s going to do all of those things while telling me that he’s getting all the good things that we had (and that I want) from someone else.

He gets the calm, relaxed, easy-going interaction from someone else. And he’s getting the “tea” from someone else, too.

We were good at both. But he doesn’t want either from me.

Then why are we friends? What I value from him is the calm, relaxed, easy-going interaction that he quit giving me because he assumed that I mistook it for a romantic relationship.

He took away all the things I liked about our interactions and then yelled at me for not being calm because he took all the things that made me feel safe with him away and it hurt me to the very darkest depths of my core.

My logic says run.

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My heart says teach him, show him, help him to grow, because you need him. He is a part of your destiny, he is worthy of you, and he is worth the effort. And he’s making the effort, too…

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So, I’m conflicted…

Do I give him another chance? He wants to go to the movies on Monday; the tickets have already been bought. He swears it’s just us time…

Well, the tickets have already been bought, so I just have to see, I guess. But how long do I hold on until it’s just too much hurt? I don’t know…

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