I have trouble with my memories of connections to other people. In most cases I can’t associate much of a feeling with connections that have essentially ended. People who might have looked like “friends” at the time turn into “people I met”. Some of these people I might have spent a lot of time with.
I keep thinking that I should have some fond memories in there somewhere. I focus on memories of spending time with people and it feels like I’m an observer. Did I like this person or was I just going along with things at the time? Would I want to see them again?
I look at some social situations I’ve been in with people who were supposed to be freinds and I don’t look back with anything more than detached interest. Should I feel guilty about that? I’m not able to answer.
Even people I have actually been obsessed with (something that can happen quite often with Autistic people) tend to fade away into the historical archives. Does this mean I am unfeeling and selfish?
The best analogy I can think of is that there was some kind of spell over me that only lasted as long as the other person was there. The other person switches something on in me that usually doesn’t work. When this has happened I’ve become overly dependent on one person for convincing myself I’ve got some kind of normal experience of friendship. Even the relationships I’ve had, in retrospect, look like some kind of attempt to fill a social void with one person, influenced by a load of ideals about romantic relationships. Finding “the one”. It is bound to appeal to the Autistic imagination. One person and then I’ve got it sorted!
In my memory I am even unkind to myself, because nearly all attempts at friendship look like failures and often a betrayal of self as I’ve tried to mirror the person who has become friendly with me. I am irritated with my past self, like it is a pathetic embarrassment.
This might just seem depressing, but through self-honesty it is possible to let go of past selves that have taken you away from an authentic path. Perhaps my memory seems bland or negative because I don’t identify with past selves. Perhaps it has been overwhelmed by constant background anxiety and depressive phases.
For all this doubt over whether I’ve actually had real friends, I can at least say I’ve “done” friendship in some form, although my feelings about it are ambiguous. I have made many errors with friendships and failed to find the right people most of the time. I have failed to understand that my poor moods have nothing to do with lack of social interaction, and it’s actually a problem with not having enough alone time. Assuming that my observations of others enjoying people means that I need the same thing to exhibit enjoyment.
My memory is not false or negative, it is very rational.