Family dinners, graduations, birthday parties, etc. Life in public tends to be more stressful and uptight than life at family gatherings. For someone with AS, however, even family events with people that one has grown up with and has become most comfortable with can be awkward and lonely events.
For instance, I am with my family at this very moment. My Grandparents, a few of my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have traveled to one of my Uncle’s houses. My parents, siblings, and I have also traveled to my Uncle’s house. Some are in the kitchen preparing an early Thanksgiving, some are watching football, and yet others are reading or talking. It is a relaxed atmosphere. There are people around that love me and care about me, yet, somehow, I still feel a bit lonely and awkward every once in a while. I can’t seem to find the right thing to talk about with someone that I have known my entire life. I can’t seem to find a place where I fit. In my own family, I still don’t fit in.
Will this feeling of being lonely and never being able to fit in ever go away? Most likely not. Can I do my best to ignore it? Possibly. Talking to someone like me, someone that has AS, helps me to know that I’m not the only one that still feels out of place when around family. It helps me to know that other people deal with it and survive family events. Focus on the positives. Focus on that one good conversation that you had while making food with your aunt. Focus on the joking around that made your uncle smile widely. Focus on the love in spending time with family and the awkward, lonely parts will seem insignificant.