Hope you are all well? I’m recovering from some bad nights’ sleep resulting from Storm Dennis, but nothing worse than that and thought I’d write another blog post!
The clearest sign that I am autistic is in my relationships.
It’s in the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (quoted here from the DSM 5):
Diagnostic criterion A3:
“Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behaviour to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.”
I find that I can hold a conversation, I can socialise, but actually making friends doesn’t come naturally to me. I have always felt different from others and my autism diagnosis last year confirmed those suspicions!
It seems to me, that in relationships, there are 2 extremes that a person can take:
1. “I am completely different from you”
2. “I’m just like you”
In extreme number 1, a person is asserting their individuality, but perhaps to a point that it makes relationships difficult because it can be tricky forming a connection with a person who insists that they have nothing in common with you!
In extreme number 2, a person is emphasising that they are part of a social group, which can make it easier to develop friendships, but possibly at the risk of losing a sense of personal identity.
We all fluctuate somewhere between these 2 extremes every day, although as an autistic introvert, personally, I probably spend more time towards extreme 1 than extreme 2.
In any case, I am Samuel and I am the person God created me to be, just as you are the person God created you to be.
The most important relationship in my life is with Jesus Christ, and when that relationship is not going well (my fault, not his!), I find that relationships with other people are more of a struggle (I suspect the two are connected!)
As Jesus said (reference Book of Mark, chapter 12 verses 29 to 31):
“‘The most important [commandment],’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.'”
Love in Christ 🙂