Sorry that I have been MIA for a while. From December to March, I had been on holiday in Europe. I was mostly with Perseus and his family, but did travel around a bit as well. My travels will be documented in another post sometime.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and in being so, Netflix had added a film entitled “Autism in Love” to their streaming capabilities. If you hadn’t read me before, you would have yet to know that I’m in love with Perseus, an ‘aspie.’ An ‘aspie’ would be someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. So knowing this much about me, I was obviously interested in the film and had just finished watching it.
It’s in the style of any documentary, with little interaction from the ‘interviewer’ and mostly having the subjects talk to the camera. Add a bit of ‘melancholy music’ and a fair number of aesthetic qualities (such as close-ups and clips of them at their workplace) and you have a film that takes an acquired taste to get through. It’s either you like documentaries, or you have a passion for the subject matter, or that you find it humorous. If you’re looking for the first two, this film would be a strong contender for your random Netflix film of the night. The following is a brief description of the film; however, a Discussion Guide is found here.
“Autism in Love” displays the difficulties of love with autism in three stages: the finding, the committing and the loss of love.
- The Finding: Lenny is a single 20-something that’s wanting to find the right girl. He struggles with trying to be normal and wanting a girl that is dependent of him (despite the fact that he wants an independent woman).
- The Committing: Lindsey and Dave have been together for 8 years after meeting at an autism conference. Lindsey has hinted to Dave to pop the question, and really don’t know what they’re waiting for. Dave concentrates on the practicality of marriage, stating his financial fears of it, while somewhat being naive about the other perimeters of love.
- The Loss: Stephen and Gita have been married for 20 years. Stephen has autism and Gita has a learning disability. Three years prior to the film, the relationship gained another difficulty as Gita was diagnosed with cancer. For the time being, Gita and Stephen lived apart to have the necessary support for each of them.
***Warning: The following will have spoilers to the end of the film. To avoid it, please skip the next quoted section.***
- During filming, Lenny has a breakdown and was taken to a facility to avoid hurting himself. He stated that he wished he wasn’t autistic, that he wished he had gone to college and that he feels inferior to some people he knows. Later, he had found a job and seems happy and well.
- In the words of Lindsey, Dave and her had started off on different wavelengths and it was still apparent in the film. There seemed to be a constant miscommunication, but they both seemed happy. By the end of the film, Dave proposes to a happily weeping Lindsey.
- Stephen had a routine where he went to work, ate dinner at his parents’ and went to visit Gita. During filming, Gita passes away. The interviewer asks if Stephen still loves Gita, and Stephen replied that he has to stop loving her because she died.
I found the movie very interesting, and it really did pull on my heartstrings. It’s worth a watch, as it’s almost like a “True Life: I’m Looking For Love” with an autistic factor in it. In some ways, you can’t tell a difference but in others, you can definitely feel the added struggle they have to live with day-to-day.
My ‘Autism in Love’ Story
As I said, I’ve written about Perseus and my story in a previous post. These are the struggles I have in thinking of the future and dealing with it through a distance of the entire Atlantic Ocean. Now, through spending time with Perseus for Christmas and the majority of the three months I was over there with him, there’s a few other struggles I found with being in a relationship with him (both with him and with me).
As a general personality characteristic, I really like pleasing people. Seeing people smile because I made a joke or because I did something outrageous is what gives me motivation to do things. This is even more true with Perseus, as I love to hear him laugh, to see him smile and to be generally happy so when he’s not happy about anything, I go on panic mode. I hate seeing him disappointed, mad, or upset about anything and I’d do anything to fix it. And maybe it’s the fact that I can read Perseus’ emotions really well, but I sense every single second that Perseus is feeling any of those emotions and I want to remedy it right away. His parents say that he doesn’t show his emotions well (mostly, pointing at his autism), but I see it and I hate it. But this is just a minor situation compared to other things…
A major obstacle Perseus and I face is his parents. Perseus is 21 years old now. I had went over there during the Christmas season to spend time with him through new years, through his birthday and through Valentine’s Day. I wanted to have trips with him, to have time away with him and us to be loving each other. The plan was to spend all of December with his family, then go traveling the rest of the time. The first trip was supposed to be New Years in London. I booked the hotel, got tickets for the fireworks and the other things I wanted to do. The day before we were supposed to go, his parents sat us down and said Perseus can’t go because his father didn’t think he should because of his Aspergers. I had a feeling his mother backed his dad up, that both are just wanting a hold on Perseus. I meant to go around Europe with Perseus, and I wasn’t able to because of this precedented event.
But it’s not like his parents help him out that much. Like in “Autism in Love,” I understand that some autistic people enjoy the support of their parents. Perseus still lives with his parents, which is convenient for them as his mother collects disability, as well as collects Perseus’ disability and collects carer wages for ‘caring’ for Perseus. However, Perseus has yet seen the money AT ALL, not in the bank or in cash or even the check. His parents uses it all up and for what? His mother ‘homeschooled’ Perseus, keeping him locked up in the same house, in the same 4’x8′ room since the age of 14. In 2012, Perseus would walk down to the mall with me and go shopping. Now, in 2016, he won’t even go into the store with me despite having a ride there already. How is this progress? How is she caring for him? And when can I, his lover of nearly 6 years, take over the reigns and cut the fucking umbilical cord from the Wicked Bitch of the UK? How could they have said no to letting me go on holiday with my own lover, who wanted to go with me? It’s not healthy for him to be cooped up like that UNWILLINGLY. It’s funny, because on social media, she’s all for autistic independence as well as 100 other causes, but with her own son, she’s a blind cunt.
And so obviously, I’m not fond of my future in-laws. I don’t want to think I’m better than them, but they’re really a classless act. They’re zombies in their own right, where his dad works shifts and his mother constantly cleans the house. They eat a very bland dinner his so-called chef father makes, or collects Chinese or Whatever-And-Chips (whether fish, sausage or otherwise), watch their soaps and go to bed to do it over again the next day. They don’t travel, they don’t have change. They don’t go to the movies or go to events, don’t go to the cities or just go shopping for no reason. They don’t go out to eat or get their hair or nails done. That’s just their day, day in and out. They talk a big game, saying they know people who are the richest of the land, that they have family all around the world, that they want to move to America, that they’re so high-class and could have anything in the world they wanted but just didn’t want it. It’s all smoke coming from a burning cow’s pie, really. None of them even have a passport now besides Perseus, whom I pushed to get it this past December.
I know I’m complaining a lot, and honestly, not a lot of it has to do with Perseus. I do have hatred towards his family because of how they treat Perseus now and how they raised Perseus, but that’s not Perseus’ fault and being with me, Perseus would be living a better life– a progressive life because I know he’s capable of more than what his family allows him to do. And pushing all these factors aside, I really do love Perseus and we got along well enough for really living with each other.
Given, there were times when I wanted to strangle him. For instance, Perseus REFUSED to go to the store with me to see what his ring size was. This resulted in me purchasing the same custom rings multiple times, and even now, they still don’t fit him since we just estimated off the first one and it’s still too big. Another instance would be when Perseus and I mutually agreed that I’ll cut my hair at home, but that I’d need Perseus’ help and he kept on wanting to call his father to cut my hair. I didn’t want his father to do it — I wanted Perseus to and if not him, then me. I didn’t want his trailer trash father to touch me, but Perseus called him over and told him to help and it really pissed me off.
But overall, Perseus and I also got into a routine and we really did get along REALLY well. We stayed up late, eating Ramen noodles with egg yolk and spam and watching Netflix. We played games on the computer, iPad and iPhone and we cuddled. We did have a good Christmas and Valentine’s Day together and it was really nice. Despite all the crap, the trip over to Perseus made me fall in even deeper love with him. So it wasn’t a total wash, just wished he travelled with me.
I know Perseus and I will have lots of troubles in the future, but I think it’d be similar to the troubles in “Autism in Love.” A lot of ‘typical’ relationship problems, with an autistic edge to them. I want to treat Perseus like any other person, just like Lenny wanted to be treated. Perseus might have Aspergers, but to me, he’s my Perseus and that’s all.
And I love him.