In high school, I didn’t really have any close friends. I’d move from group to group over the years, never giving into peer pressure, and always coming across as the weird, quiet one. I had crushes on boys I didn’t really talk to, based primarily on looks and what I perceived as their sense of humour.
There was one guy in particular I crushed on harder than anyone else over the years. His name was Glenn. I’d initially encountered him in 6th grade during my one term in a public school, before I removed myself from the school because I couldn’t handle being in that kind of environment.
Though we didn’t really interact, and I was too shy to approach Glenn face-to-face to ask him out on a date, I still had this strong interest in him. On one occasion when I was feeling particularly brave and I wanted to pursue him, in my autistic mindset, I thought the thing to do was to look him up in the White Pages phone book. This was around 10th grade, in 1998. I didn’t have the Internet quite yet, but even if I had, there’s no way I’d have known how to get his email address. So I wrote down his phone number and address. I think I might’ve called him a couple of times and not spoken to him, or just hung up. That was too hard.
I ended up posting Glenn an anonymous letter from a secret admirer with a time and place to meet. At a local shopping complex about halfway between both of our houses. I was really nervous, and had no idea if he’d even show up, but I went anyway.
I don’t remember if Glenn showed up, but I do remember encountering his best friend Tim there. Tim confronted me about the letter and asked if I’d sent it. I feigned ignorance, and must’ve suggested something like it was a coincidence, because I was mortified that this other person had gotten involved. In hindsight, I should have known better, but I was not really accustomed to typical social behaviours.
The following year, when I did have the Internet at home, I was humiliated even further, in relation to my attraction to Glenn. Subject to abuse could’ve possibly described the experience.
I don’t remember how I came across the picture -- perhaps it was emailed to me -- but someone had created a graphic that used some of my artwork (a drawing of a mutilated dog from the cover of my second comedy CD “Dogs Are Crap Meals” -- yes, I wrote and recorded two comedy CDs in 11th grade because my autistic special interest that year was stand-up comedy), a picture of me dressed in a character outfit I’d made and intended to perform in (Since I’d also been working on wanting to perform live comedy in 1999), and a picture of Glenn, plus a picture of a penis, I believe. It was all brought together something to the effect of me giving him fellatio.
Perhaps the worst part about it was, I think I was still attracted to Glenn. Though I did end up ripping the pages out of my diary I’d been using to write about my crush and setting it on fire in my bedroom, which then singed the carpet. I clearly didn’t think that through very well.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if this impacted my view of healthy relationships and attraction. My ability to become attracted to men who were abusive, or not right for me. Or at least my inability to recognise the signs of things I shouldn’t accept in a relationship, because this was pretty much my normal.
Figuring out who is legitimately attracted to me, and who I’d be interested in back, is still something that often eludes me. I no longer date. Online dating has never resulted in anything good for me (and I will claim that for sure, now, given the abusive man I married was someone I met through online dating). It just seems pointless trying to pursue romance any more. Besides… all my best sexual relationships started out as friendships.