Asperger's Syndrome Community
My friend is driving me nuts!
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My friend is driving me nuts!

Can anyone give me any ideas on how to deal with my friend who has Asperger's? He is a lovely guy, but has totally fixated his life on me, to the detriment of myself. He is 'madly in love' with me. Protects me fiercely from what he perceives as wrong doings against me. My family, and friends won't visit me because of him. He is a very intelligent guy but can drive anyone mental with his consistent going on about himself and what he has done and how great he is at helping me.
  I am recovering from thyroid surgery and he has taken it upon himself to be my knight in shining armour. I had a bit of a break down last week. Although I appreciate what he does, he has become a rock tied to my leg pulling me down into a deep ocean. I can't meet anyone to date because of him and I am so lonely!
  ANY advice would be welcome...(no I can't kill him, that's illegal, tempting! but still illegal!)
Thanks!
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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365714_tn?1292202708
Sounds like he really does care for you and love you, but social skills are his weakness. That part isn't really his fault, but he does need to be open to learning how to behave. Have you been really open and tell him what you think in a sincere way?

Maybe you can give him some pointers. Let him know that you still care for him even if your with your other friends. Or if you're not planning on having a serious relationship, maybe letting him know, but then again...how to do it???

It's really hard for me to give such advice, because after all I'm autistic and for me to venture into things like that... I don't know... It seems either way someone is going to be upset.

Especially if he has no other friends. He may feel insecure of himself. In that case it's going to be rough for him (and likely you) especially because he needs a support system of more friends, especially ones he can relate to.

This is just something random off the top of my head that may be worth trying:  See if you can find an autism support group in your area, invite him with you to that event.  Depending on how the group is run, you may have to sit out if it is for autistic people only.  Either way, I think helping him find other friends may help soften the blow if you are to break up with him.

Good luck.
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365714_tn?1292202708
I have another question, for you. Are you embarrassed to have him with you when you are around your friends? How do your friends react?

I'm just curious, because chances are there is a misunderstanding going on by both parties:

Aspie friend: Likey does not see the important social cues that would let him know the people he is talking to are bored or not interested. I too have a hard time with this.

Also keep in mind understanding what is going on in someone elses mind at the time is a challenge for autsitc people. I can only think for myself. My sense of empathy and understanding of others comes from material I read and information I retain from studying, observation and listening, not from instinct.

Non autistic friends: They think he is absorbed of himself??? And maybe a bit weird too? They need a greater understanding of autism in a positive light.

Aspie friend: is just trying to communicate, likely thinking eveyone is interested because they are listening. He's just trying to socialize. He doesn't think he's being rude unless anyone tells him.

Non autistic friends: Need to give him gentle verbal hints to steer the conversation and give them a "turn" to talk too.
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219241_tn?1357815389
Hi thanks for your comments. Yes, I am aware of the needing to talk to him about it all, and have done constantly. Had a counsellor who specialises in Asperger's talk to him, it all lasts a few days then back down he goes to his old ways. No point asking my friends to accept his differences, they've made it quiet clear they don't want to even be in the same country as him, same with my family.
   He does have a ton of people in his life, he knows more people than the queen! But, having said that, none want to be his total friend and confidante, hence he chooses to have me as his confidante. I do understand Asperger's very well, and I am very good at hinting to him about social cues, when I am with him. When I am not, he could talk for 3 hours to a total stranger and never understand why they cut him short, called him names and ran off from him!  I've seen him try hard to fit in but once he opens his mouth to start talking it's like a steam train out of control.
  He has been a very good friend to me, the Asperger's in some ways has helped in various ways. He'd do anything for anyone and that is a wonderful trait he has, but sadly he gets used too by people.
   My biggest thing is that I want to be his friend, but I just can't get through to him that  the boundaries are being broken constantly and it is detrimental to me. We discuss this often and even when I get totally frustrated and cry and say, Please stop doing what you think I want and just let me do what I want, I get a blank look....THAT for me is the frustrating thing. His inability to understand my need to meet other people without him thinking he HAS to tell everyone how wonderful I am and how wonderful he has been looking after me.
  His mother died a couple of years ago and I can see that he is clinging to me in that kind of maternal relationship. I yell, he tries to listen!
  I live in a semi rural area so I am thinking there wouldn't be too many support groups here. But you have given me that thought of finding one, to see if I can get some help.
  It has got to the point where the situation is making me physically sick. So I think I will see if a group might be able to help me.
  People often say to me he is totally weird. VERY embarrassing for me when he flits his eyes around to see if he has an audience then he will get down on one knee all melodramatically and say in a loud voice, Oh my darling Please be my wife! Of course everyone else thinks and says how romantic...but of course if I said Eat a big toad, he would laugh and say Oh darling! I know you love me. Everyone then says, Oh that is so funny! They don't realise that he then has their attention and goes on about things and soon they start to realise he is odd and they all start to walk away...he'll follow them and keep talking!! I will tell him immediatley in a nice way that is not appropriate, and he asks why and seems to understand then does it all over again somewhere else....
  Hi oversexed mind is a worry too, I have a teenage son in the house and this friend stays with us and at maybe 6am he'll be on the computer masturbating and it really is upsetting, I have told him a thousand times how distressing it is to know he does that and my son could come out at any time, he just tries to brush it off or lies and says he wasn't! (It's his own computer so I can't change the password on it)
   Anyways, thanks for your comments and I will try to see if I can get a group to help.
Cheers!
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365714_tn?1292202708
That's a lot on his plate and your plate. For one thing, I'm going to be very blunt here, because this is something that I take personally in my life and resent with a passion. (I'm not trying to be mean here, but brutally honest.)

Your friends and family are being very cruel to him, even by their attitude alone. Chances are if your friends met me in person, they would treat me just the same... I have no respect for people like that. I've gone through too many encounters of people who just brushed me away, said bad things, gossiped right in front of me as if I didn't know, called me names...or treated me like I was less than an intelligent human being.

I take a very dim view of your friends and your family right now from what you've shared. (It's not your fault.) If they can be open minded and change their attitudes, then I may respect them. I know this isn't what you wanted to read from me, but I feel like something needs to change for the better. Not just for you and your aspie friend, but for society as well.  How do we work on big changes in society? One person at a time.
----------------------------------------

Your friends and your family don't understand autism... It's up to you to let them know autism in a different light, other than the **** the mainstream attitudes. He's not Rain Man...and so on... You are free to print off anything I wrote to share with your friends and family.

Here's an awesome autistic person who has helped me:
http://web.syr.edu/~jisincla/
Any one of his articles are very good. These may be most helpful to your situation:
http://web.syr.edu/~jisincla/different.htm
http://web.syr.edu/~jisincla/bridging.htm
http://web.syr.edu/~jisincla/empathy.htm


Please share them with all your friends and your family as well, especially your aspergers friend.  This may help you and him be able to communicate better. Let's just face it, right now you and him are speaking entirely different languages... There's another website I'd like you to visit and pass on with your aspie friend, but it's a web forum.

You'll need to pm me to get the url. I'm not going to post it here publicly on med help.
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Avatar_f_tn
I kinda have to wonder why he is staying the night at all (even if it is platonic).  No guest should be masturbating at a a computer - and you may need to tell him exactly why this is inappropriate.  If he can't stop it - remove the computer.  It is not worth this behavior.  People with Asperger's are very literally minded - and by letting him stay over - you have played into his belief that he is something more.  I think your first step is to not let him stay over and perhaps show him on a calendar what days you could do friend things together.  You need to explain this to him as if he was 5 years old.  Everytime we go to the gym I have to lay out the ground rules for m son - and he is almost 10.  You can also teach him a word that will halt his behavior - with my son it is inappropriate - with an adult it may be less obvious - like "  you are being goofy again".
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219241_tn?1357815389
Thanks for your honesty! I really appreciate it. Yes, I have no respect for people who are ignorant either. My friends and family are probably worth less than my friend. He is very tolerant of many people, regardless of race, creed, or colour. I think that's why he likes me as I am the same. I do feel sad for my friend as he does try very hard...a little too hard but he does try to be a good friend. Thanks also for the web sites. I have PM you and requested the other you mentioned.
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219241_tn?1357815389
Hi, I can't take the computer away, because it is his own! Laptop. He is in the midst of finding a new home, since he had the bank take his! So he is here a lot. Yes, I do speak to him like a 5 year old sometimes! I know what you mean by the word thing. I use, Unacceptable. He uses elaborate words alot, so for him that one is a stopper. He will look at me and then not continue doing what ever it was. The sex drive thing though is different. Even when I say Unacceptable, he denies what he is doing and continues on again another time.
   Difficult situation, but hopefully now he has a full time job and is travelling overseas alot I might be able to live my own life with a bit of peace in between his staying here.
  Thanks for your help!
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365714_tn?1292202708
I think part of the biggest frustration is not quite fully being aware of what is acceptable or not. That's something most people take for granted they can figure out what is expected for them in a given setting. Perhaps there's other cues such as nonverbal communication and facial expressions.

Those get lost with an autistic person. Studying social behaviors is like tuning into Animal Planet (when I had a chance to watch such shows) and watching the social behaviors of lions or some other animal.

It can be learned, but depending on the person's abilities they may or may not be able to transfer what they learn and modify it according to setting.

For instance if it is perfectly acceptable for your aspie friend to hug you in private, he may not understand that it is not acceptable to hug you right while you're ordering a combo meal at Mc D's. If you try to tell him no, in his mind he may be thinking, "But she was fine with me hugging her last time. What happened now?" Likely his feelings would be hurt and he would think you rejected him.

Really what happened was a breakdown in communication and understanding... It's a frustrating process. I'm constantly having to learn these things by blundering. If I get embarrassed, then I know to not do that thing again, but something else may come up and I may try that...

If I can just figure out when I approach people such as my grandma if the're going to be helpful or crabby, that would save me hassle... For me I find out after the fact.

It's going to take some behavior training, especially for your friend to help him observe his surroundings and understand how the environment will affect what behaviors are acceptable and what aren't. Also note if he is face blind like me, he may or may not recognize you or your friends out of context or setting. Also if you change how you look such as dying your hair, that may also confuse him.

I'm just pulling that out randomly so if that happens try not to feel hurt. You can try reminding him by voice and speaking your name if he seems to be confused. Also if your friends can be aware of that, that may help explain why he may repeat the same thing over to the same person.
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Avatar_f_tn
You sound like a great friend.  MJ - I get about the unacceptable thing.  we sometimes launch into because we are telling you so.  we try to explain to our son that until he knows what unacceptable is - it is best that he just accepts our judgement on it.  I think he is starting to get the point as his younger siblings can go to the club without us - but he can't.      
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365714_tn?1292202708
Where it gets the most frustrating is when you grow up beyond the age that parents can give you that kind of direction. I'm expected to know this stuff on my own... That's one of my frustrations, knowing what to say when, and how to act in a given setting. "social story" I guess you can say, but it can't be a generic story. It has to be tailored specifically to the setting.

Sometimes to quite a few times when I have the directions laid out in front of me I find out that is what I've been thinking all along, but for some reason, it just didn't "connect". Either that or I may have thought out the steps, but not had them in my head at the right order.  

I'm beginning to see I have a sequencing planning problem and it's becoming quite a handicap.  Funny I didn't notice it in the past, prior to year 2004-2005. Perhaps it was because in a school/early college setting, I have my assignments laid out and the steps clearly explained. I can work on my own from there. When it got to the later sophomore classes, then I was expected to come up with the steps more on my own, and that's when I fell flat and got overwhelmed.

That was also a year I was getting bad headaches that would leave me feeling confused...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, this sounds like an almost impossible situation for you. i have read some of the comments and i think they have alot of worth. He sounds like he has been a great friend to you but also sounds like you need to put some boundries in, like you would in any friendship but they need to be clear and at the moment it sounds confusing to me and i dont have aspergers. I dont know how good you are at putting these in and sticking to them but this i feel is the key. As for your friends and family information is probably the answer. I think some straight talking is needed all round but most of all understanding from all parties including your male friend
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219241_tn?1357815389
Yes you are right about the boundaries, but it is made worse by the fact I am still not 100% from my thyroid surgery. I guess he sees he is being the knight in shining armour. I did have a chat to him about everything just recently and with some of the advice I was given I think some has sunk into his head, sadly he still masturbates and still lies about it.He's got better at realising why it is important to me to have time out from him. I guess having some space at times is now better than me wanting to kill him! I hope that with time things will work out better. My boyfriend who rarely visits me made an honest statement to me in saying that because of my friend, he never wants to visit me. I agreed with him about that and we now have a better understanding of each other. My B/F and I are looking at ways of getting more time together, without upsetting my friend. So far, it has happened, so I am happy about that.
  As for my family, I did try to explain but they still don't want to be around him, and I can honestly say I understand that. Too much has happened for them to trust him being quiet and stable. Annoying for me, but that is their choice.
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Avatar_n_tn
Maybe an idea might be to put the energy you have into tackling one problem at a time you have to decide the one that is most important to you, for me that would be him masturbating as i think you said that you had a son. I suppose the confusion might be for your friend that it is said to be a perfectly normal pastime but most of us know that is a private one. I know with my step daughter that unless its the last thing i say to her every night "dont forget to set your alarm" she wont remember. So if your friend is stopping over maybe the last thing you say to him is please do not masturbate in front of the computer as this is not acceptable in my home but you have to do this everytime he stops over.
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