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Lost another friend

September 10, 2008

I am very open about my aspie autism, and I have found my candidness to be both liberating and exhilarating. I freely discuss my experiences as an autistic man on the web, including on this blog, and I use my full name in doing so. I also discuss my autism with all of my students.

However, this past week, I decided to phone an old friend of mine. We have known each other for around 28 years. Although he lives in Washington, D.C., and I am in Kansas, we have continued to keep in touch. After I told him about my autism, and invited him to read my autobiography, he completely rejected me. He began criticizing me for situations, one after the other, which occurred 25 years ago. When I expressed sympathy for his poor communication with his sister, he accused me of attempting to impose my value system upon him.

As is usual with me, I did not pick up on his apparent intentions until I began reflecting on them after the conversation. During the phone call, I responded rationally to everything he said, never realizing that he was trying to brush me off. It has happened to me before, though well before my diagnosis as an aspie autistic, but, in social encounters, I seem to have difficulty learning from past experiences.

I really liked this fellow. He was someone with whom I could always talk openly, and vice-versa.

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