So, we got to the crux of the issue after much miserable deliberation and angst on both sides. I completely opted for the wrong time to address some of these issues but not using my usual method of walking away from relationships where there has been contention or a compromise of trust left me unable to contend with the feelings that I had. Anyway, this is what I/we have concluded from these events.
- The breach of trust affected me more than I admitted or perhaps realised at the time. I was used to a breach of trust being confirmation of my expectations and being quite happy to acknowledge it as an incompatibility and walk away amicably. Choosing to stay with someone who I, at this time, don't completely trust in some respects is a sizable challenge. I think, in time, we can correct this. If we keep working together.
- I have always known that rapid change in my life has been a struggle for me to deal with, however, I didn't expect to be as affected as I have found myself to be by what I perceive as rapid change in the life of my loved ones. It does affect me negatively, though, and that may be one of the burdens of choosing to have a relationship with me. Something that I need to put on the table early on.
- Some aspects of my autism are still perceived as creepy, even when the person has a relatively good understanding of autism and has affection for you. Having a relationship with an autistic person isn't the same as raising an autistic child; you don't feel the same obligation to never lose your patience or snap so when you do, you don't feel the same overwhelming guilt for having done so and you don't work that much harder to understand your autistic child so it won't happen again. It's rare that you consider the onus on your autistic child to put some effort into effective communication and interaction with others, and when you do, it often provokes the guilty feeling again,
- I really hate when people dismiss my feelings by conflating or associating them with either autism or depression. Even if I am feeling that due to the fact I am not neurotypical or have been having some down days, it doesn't help to just file them under a diagnosis as if that makes the feeling more positive or bearable. Okay, so I don't like change because I am autistic, what are we going to do about that? We can't remove my autism but we could take steps to minimise the trauma change creates. That's if you want to be a "we", of course. Us autists can't handle instability, either, so you can't pick and choose when the two of us are "we" and when it's just you and me coexisting and trying not to be too much of a burden on one another.
As grueling as this process was, I do think it was beneficial, we know where we are and what we need from each other - now and in the future. I wasn't being forthcoming with my feelings because I thought they would simply disappear in time. I'm know now that they won't.