Munch Etiquette

Yesterday I went to my first munch. Now, on places like Fetlife, you see this discussion all the time. Person is seeking kinky interactions online and says as much. Responders recommend munches and the like. Person and their supporters say that they are introverted/found them cliquey/that they lack diversity/people were unwelcolming etc. Responders say that is untrue or unfair and person should go/keep going and try to socialise.

I ended up going with this guy I talk to on Fetlife. I don’t really know him but it was good to have someone as an anchor of sorts. It was a picnic in the park. My first impressions were that yes, indeed, it is very cliquey and yes, out of a good few tens of people, there are three non-white people present. Nobody made any eye contact or did that thing where you shift a bit so you do not have your back to people who are essentially part of your group. I was there for 2 hours and three people said hi to me despite coming to talk to the person I was with.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being explicit about the fact that you hang with your crew and it is very difficult for outsiders to become a member. That is more than your right. What is sort of messed up is when you swear blind that joining you and your crew at these gatherings is a superior way to meet people and that you meet in this way to help facilitate that. Especially when you suggest this to people who already have social obstacles such as autism. For me, it would take all my swimming skills to fight my way to inclusion in that situation and given that is marketed as the way to become included, it should not have to.

Another thing that struck me was the allistic privilege of the masses. As an autistic person who swims in the mainstream pool, I have to be constantly aware of my actions which might make people feel excluded or intimidated or even just offended. Things like making sure I have not got my back to people, acknowledge their presence, make small talk – those things. Being polite and approachable and welcolming has been drummed into me from a young age because apparently I wasn’t good enough at it. Guess who told me that? People like those neurotypical folk at the munch who could not handle my truths or my lack of interest in their existence.

I will continue to munch but I will strongly oppose any argument that it is the optimum place for people like me to meet new people.

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Autopilot

FotoJet.jpg

Therapy continues to go well. I still can’t talk about him much. I can’t even think about him much. I see signs of him around and the pain is crippling. Even writing about him as I planned is too much.

The last few weeks have been rocked with career stress and more bereavement. Still losing weight. Not that it is particularly dangerous but the rapid weight loss is not positive. I make sure people know that when they remark on it with flattering comments. I guess I am more open with my issues with everyone. As predicted, they shy away.

I guess I try to do what I want to do and what I should be doing, but also what he needs me to do right now. And that bothers me. The overlap. I wish what I want and should do in this situation as it has become was oppositional to what he needs. I wish he could feel my struggle. People always say it is us with autism who lack empathy. I have always disgreed. He felt my struggle for a few weeks and he deserted me. I don’t blame him. I want to leave this shit too. Instead I stay and I work. Maybe he will come back. Like Ron did. I doubt it though; it is very tough to defeat blame, guilt and pride.

I cruise on autopilot. Hopefully my fuel will replenish before I crash.

Choked

We spoke about him today. A bit. I just could not do it. So painful. She asked me how I feel about him. I said I wish he was just my boyfriend so it would be easier to break up. I don’t know how to break up with my best friend. In my time, I have used that expression before: “best friend”, “one of my best friends”. People always told me that one day, I will be in love, and I will just know. And it will be unlike the love you have ever known. Because they were not “the one”. I don’t believe that. But what I do know is that when I have said “best friend” before it isn’t quite the same. I might have meant “good friend”, I might have meant “like family”, but I didn’t mean “my best friend ever”. I miss him with every little bit of me. It isn’t that I think he is perfect – in fact I am one of a few who can say they know he isn’t and more importantly, HOW he isn’t. It isn’t getting better, it is getting worse. Am I still in that dark, cold place where I don’t know how to make it until tomorrow? No. It is worse than that. Now I am doing everything I said I wouldn’t.

Time for Truth

I need to concentrate on my work this week. But after this week, I am going to write a series of posts that chronicle this very significant relationship in my life. I need my truth to be out there. I need the people who are involved to hear it. We do not exist in a vacuum. However hard we try to force ourselves and others to live that way. We all need the truth. Again, it is only me who is brave enough to share it. Fresh start. Clean slate. Reborn.

 

Unhappy Endings

I learned today that I was part of a game I didn’t know had ever started and I didn’t know the rules. It wasn’t a complicated friendship, it was the last time I let someone in. While I learn to accept that I will ever be able to form that level of intimacy again and probably do not deserve to, he plans how not to get caught next time and is already lining up the next potential targets. Meanwhile, I anxiously await my next therapy session hoping that I won’t stop others having the happy ending I will never have. The one where love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness win.