Rejection hurts badly.

Please note: as this could be upsetting to some people who have had similar experiences, remember this is one account from one person at one moment in time. Don’t apply it indiscriminately to your own life when you could have different outcomes. If it is too triggering, stop reading immediately! But, my story is not finished and neither is yours.

I’m not spending most of life these days in solitude because that’s what I want. Rather, it’s because it’s the safest way for me to not be rejected again – yet again. Each time, the rejection is worse, as I think I’ve figured out how to avoid it. Clearly, I have not. Is it my fault? I’m not completely sure, but I know I’ve tried so hard (many years of therapy) to fit in and understand people, but the results are the same. At some point, it’s just mathematically smarter to keep people at a distance and blame myself for everything that goes wrong. After all, I and my autism are the constant.

The problem is, I’m miserable. I know I’ve been misunderstood, often completely backwards than what was intended. My communication methods are often (of course) atypical, random, and a bit spastic. It’s a “shotgun approach,” an attempt for something to hit the target. I keep missing.

I cannot take much more, if any, rejection – not after this time. This was different. I thought I was understood, genuinely liked, an actual “friend.” The word “friend” for an autistic person might as well be a euphemism for “the person about to reject you.” The more of a “friend” a person claims to be, the longer the rejection process takes. This is not mercy; it is torture.

Somewhere along the line, I became boring and/or annoying, and there was no longer a place for me on the “roster.” I thought I was on the team, but I was just a substitute backup uniform cleaner (no offense to any substitute backup uniform cleaners!) – useful for awhile but totally expendable. I cannot explain how badly that hurts. It really hurts.

I just want my friends back, but they’ve probably already forgotten me.

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