Second Chance Autism
Published by Travis Breeding at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Travis Breeding
All Rights Reserved
Second Chance Autism
The summer of 06 was probably one of the most interesting summers up until this point. However, the summer of 2007 would eventual top it and leave it way behind and in the dust. In late spring of 2006 I decided to apply for a summer job at General Motors. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to meet some people and also make a lot of good money because they paid college kids to come in as summer help and gave them twenty dollars per hour.
In May I had to go and spend one Saturday afternoon up in Fort Wayne to do some testing. They would bring all of the college kids in for testing. If we passed the test then you’d be put into a pool to wait and see how many college kids they needed for the year. I was kind of excited and hoping I would get the job at General Motors. I didn’t have anything else going on for the rest of the summer and I thought maybe I could even work second shift which would allow me to sleep in and make even more money.
The Phone Call
One afternoon in early June, I remember getting a phone call. They said that it was General Motors and they were asking me if I would be interested in working at GM for the entire summer. I said of course as I was pumped to make up a lot of money and save it. I thought that maybe I could get myself a nice thing or two at the end of the summer and save the rest to live off of for college.
I had never been so excited in my life. Probably because I’d never had the chance to make so much money while I was working. I mean I was going to college so I could make this kind of money, but to have a chance to just make big money all summer long and bank it was something I would cherish.
Meanwhile in late May I had met a girl on an online dating website from not to far away from here. She actually went to Indiana Wesleyan University as I would later find out. At first she was kind of mean and skeptical then she started to really get to know me and thought that possibly we could hangout or I could take her shopping or something to that nature. So a couple of weeks later we would hangout for the first time. We went up to Fort Wayne and did some looking around and had dinner. I had a great time and I was hoping that she did too. In fact it seemed as if she did but then later on she would kind of blow me off and want nothing to do with me.
When I asked her out again she would say that she couldn’t because she didn’t want to ever get married or have kids. She told me this but yet she was on a dating website. This really confused me. So I just kind of let it go and tried to move on like I always did. Thinking that every girl would hate me for the rest of my life. At least I had the job at General Motors lined up and could make some money and get ahead during the summer of 2006, at least that was the plan.
About four months later I would find out that this girl who had told me she couldn’t hangout with me anymore because she didn’t want to ever get married or have any kids was engaged to be married. No joke. Just four months after telling me that, she was now ready to get hitched all of a sudden? “How does this happen?” I asked myself.
So, on June 12th I would report to General Motors for my first day of work. The first two days would be spent training and then on the third day we would go out to our jobs and try to start training on them. Working on the assembly line was one of the coolest things that I’ve ever had the chance to do in my life. I really enjoyed the pace of things and was able to work on my own and not have to do anything with anyone else, even though it was one huge team. I tended to work better in one on one situation as opposed to working with large groups of people all at once.
I was very nervous during the training sessions though as they were in the mornings and there would be a lot of people all in the same room and even some big shots from the company. I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough to do the job that they wanted to do. In any job I’ve had I’ve never thought that I would be great at it because I have some sensory issues. The problem is that when they don’t know you’re having sensory issues, they don’t know how to help you. So since I didn’t even know I had Asperger’s Syndrome at the time there was no way in which I could get help on any job that I was doing.
We would often get a little break every now and then during the meetings because all we were doing was sitting there and watching videos about the job and people would tense up and get tired, so in an attempt to keep everyone awake they decided to give us some breaks. During these breaks I noticed that not only were the other people going to the bathroom but they were also standing around and talking to each other outside of the room. This was interesting to me because I wasn’t able to do this like they were. I immediately felt left out and just wanted to go back into the room and get on with the rest of the class. I wish I knew how to get myself involved in social conversations but it’s a huge struggle for me.
After spending the two days of training basically locked inside of a classroom I was ready to get out and start my job. While I was nervous that there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to do it and others would make fun of me, I liked being active more so than sitting in the classroom. I had to be doing something to keep my mind off of things and this was the perfect opportunity to do something productive that would keep my mind away from the negative in life and also make me some money all at the same time.
They ended up drafting me to work in a section of the facility called “Trim four.” This was where much of the detail work was done to the inside of the trucks as they passed down the line. I remember being put into the position of being the person who had to put the middle consol in the truck. Along with this I was supposed to peel off two stickers and place them inside the trucks glove compartment. I had anywhere from thirty to forty five seconds to accomplish all of this which wasn’t too bad.
I would however have some trouble with putting the stickers in the glove compartment. This would be like the easiest part of the job and yet I was having trouble with it. I thought I was just stupid but I couldn’t get the stickers to peel off very easily and once I did get them off they were bent and I had to try and force them to stick to the glove compartment. This is also a job that needs to be neatly done and having Asperger’s usually means that you’re not the most neatly organized individual.
The reason why General Motors brings in college kids over the summer is because GM full time employees have such amazing benefits that some who have been there for awhile may have up to as much as six to eight weeks vacation in which most people want to use during the summertime. The college kids are just temporary replacements to their full time employees. I had a guy train me on putting in the middle consol and he was really nice. He was probably in his late 40’s or early 50’s. I remember watching how much time he had to goof around in between jobs. He once told me that if he works an entire shift, he’s able to put a seat in the truck in about ten seconds, leaving twenty-thirty-five seconds in between each truck. He told me that he reads the entire USA Today front to back just while sitting on his job. He doesn’t even have to read during his breaks. It’s crazy how it works but he was such a nice guy and really taught me how to do the job well so that the transition was pretty easy.
Other people couldn’t really see me performing my job so even if I was doing something wrong they wouldn’t get the chance to laugh at me or make fun of me. This, I was grateful for. . My job was pretty easy and I quickly caught on. With the exception of the sticker problem this would be a job that I’d become a master at. I actually got to the point in which I started to look forward to going in to work at around 4:30PM in the afternoon. This was something that I truly enjoyed. There were a few people that I would get to know on this assembly line in which I worked. There was a guy in his thirties and a few others that really seemed to like me and think that I was a good worker. I enjoyed their company and appreciated their thoughts.
Starting a New and Somewhat Bad Habit
As my life was going on and I was still not having any success at all in social relationships and zero success at all with talking to girls I began to brainstorm and try and come up with some reasons. I mainly focused in on the reasons as to why girls didn’t like me. I didn’t care so much about the guys not liking me and I don’t even to this day to tell you the truth. I mean it would be great if they could or would, but it’s just there have been guys in my life who have really taken advantage of me and used me as well as physically abused me. This is something that I just can’t get over and act like it never happened. There is no trust there for guys. I think it will be a really long time before I trust a guy to be a close friend unless he’s an older guy who’s more like in his late thirties or forties and up.
I thought that maybe my problem with girls was that they thought I was really fat and ugly. I couldn’t think of any reason at all as to why they wouldn’t give me a chance to even get to know them. It had to be me or how fat I was. Due to the fact that I thought I was very unappealing to girls in the way of looks (being too fat and ugly) I would go down a very dangerous road for awhile.
I immediately decided that I was going to do something about the problem. I wasn’t even fat really at all as I was only around 166 lbs at the time and I was 5’11. But it wasn’t based off of what I thought of myself the decision to start doing some of these things were based off of what I thought girls though about me.
I decided to up my number of crunches I was doing per day from 1000 to 2000. I then immediately started walking for one half hour every day. Eventually as I would encounter more situations with girls I would decide that I must not being doing enough or I must not be trying hard enough. I would up my crunches to 3000 every day and walk the half hour and then start running a half mile every day. I couldn’t miss a day of this because I had to lose weight so girls would like me.
On top of all of the extra hard working out I was doing I immediately decided that I had to stop eating. Girls hated me because I was so fat and ugly so I had to lose some weight. My goal was to get down to 120 lbs so that girls would like me or think I was at least cool to talk to. There was no way I was going to live my life like this anymore by sitting around waiting. I had to make a change and become more attractive to them. Something had to be done.
I started to go through phases in which I would not eat three or four days straight at a time. I didn’t want any part of having food because I knew food equaled me becoming fatter and that would mean girls hating me even more than they did. The goal was to lose fifty pounds and not gain. I couldn’t lose fifty pounds by eating. After going three or four days in a row without eating there were times when I became pretty exhausted and a little sick. I thought this was a normal thing so I didn’t really let it concern me too much. There was no way I was going to start eating again. I had this big goal in my head at times that I wasn’t going to eat anything ever again until a girl at least would talk to me for five minutes.
I didn’t even want to look at a plate of food. This is something that I started in late spring of 2006 and would continue off and on for about two years of my life. I had decided that I was going to lose weight and I was going to get a girlfriend.
Now that I was working at General Motors and was bringing in a little more money I quickly joined as many dating websites as possible as I just so desperately wanted to meet a girl. I joined several of them. I was on them for about two or three weeks before I would meet a girl. Her name was April.
As I met April I would begin talking to her at about the same time as my two week vacation was getting ready to begin. Now I didn’t receive a paid vacation from General Motors but being summer help, I did get two full weeks off. General Motors shuts down for the first two weeks of July every year. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself for these two weeks. I didn’t have any social activities planned because I didn’t know anyone really and I just wasn’t quite getting it. I was on the outside looking in, which is where I’ve spent my entire life on the social arena.
Friday, June 29th 2006 was our last day to work at General Motors before the two week shut down. I can remember us getting out a couple of hours early that night due to the fact that they have to completely shut the line down before the company officially goes into shut down mode. So here I was two weeks vacation and nothing to do.
It was on that following Saturday morning. Saturday, June 30th 2006 in which I would meet April. April was from Michigan. She lived about four hours north of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was twenty-four years old at the time and she had just gotten out of a relationship. That last part about her getting out of a relationship met absolutely nothing to me at the time. It wasn’t until later when it was too late when I’d begin to understand the significance of that.
April and I immediately began talking and getting to know each other. This was the first time in my life in which I girl wanted to give me any attention. We talked for about three hours on an instant messenger that’s associated with a dating website and we seemed to get along so she gave me her phone number and told me to call her the next day.
I was immediately excited and had high hopes. I had never had any kind of a girlfriend or a kiss at all. I was thinking could this be the first time I get to hold a girls hand or kiss a girl? I called her up on that Sunday afternoon and talked with her for a couple of hours. She was getting ready to leave town to go on a trip with her church. She was headed off to Oklahoma for a week but she wanted to meet up for dinner when she got back to Michigan so I said okay.
It was on the Sunday evening before she left in which we talked on the phone for about ten hours. I had never had any kind of experience with a girl in my life. Not even talking on the phone or texting a girl too often. This was a whole new experience for me so I wasn’t sure what to think of it.
Obviously I liked having the attention from a girl. After talking on the phone for nine or ten hours on that first evening, she left for Oklahoma but continued to call and text me all day long. That first Monday I bet I had around 200 text messages from her and we talked on the phone that night. At that point and time I was still loving the attention as I wasn’t used to it. So I was still excited and couldn’t wait to meet up. She continued texting me and calling me, I would guess that I would get anywhere from 300-500 texts per day from her and a few phone calls. It was like she really liked me.
I quickly became interested in her sense she was willing to pay attention to me. She started emailing me these things called E-Cards and sending me random text messages and was really great. However, later on in that week I noticed something that I think was a red flag but at the time with my social unawareness I had no idea what was going on. I was so caught up in the moment that I probably ignored any red sign that was there.
It was about Thursday of that week when April was still texting me constantly and calling me over and over again in which I thought it was a little strange and I wasn’t sure if I was really ready to be texting a girl 500 times per day and calling her 10 or 20 times, but I thought this was normal. On that Thursday night I tried to talk to her about it by telling her I wasn’t sure about this and if it was going to work because it just felt kind of weird or awkward. She immediately freaked out and started to beg me to give her more time and another chance. She had been through a lot in the past and she just really liked me she said so I thought okay, we’ll try and give her more time and another chance so I did.
The rest of the weekend continued like the first half of the week. I think she may have tamed her texting down a little bit. That was actually the first time in my life in which I was ever introduced to texting. I ended up having to go into my cell phone store and getting an upgrade so I could send and receive all of the texts that she was wanting to share.
The rest of that weekend was spent relaxing around the house. I continued my running and my working out with 3000 crunches daily. I was walking a half hour and running a half miles as well. I wanted to be sure that I was in perfect shape for when I met her.
As the weekend went on we would continue to text back and forth quite frequently. Again, thanks to my lack of social awareness and due to the fact that I’d never even been on a real date with a girl, I would have no idea of what was supposed to be normal or abnormal behavior for a girl in a dating experience.
Finally after a long awaited week and a half in which I had to wait and wait for her to come home from Oklahoma she would arrive back to Michigan. She came into town late Sunday and we planned on hanging out on Monday. I was so excited about this because it was going to be my first date ever.
Finally, at the age of twenty-one years old I was going on my first date. Of course I had to drive nearly four hours to experience my date but I was about to break the ice and have my first real date with a real woman.
I woke up bright and early on the Monday, July 10th 2006 and I began to workout. I did my normal routine and then I came back, showered, got in my car and hit the road for Michigan. The ride up to Michigan was a peaceful one as I listened to music. She did call me and text me a few times during the ride up updating me of her day as she had some errands to do in the morning.
Finally at about 12:00 PM I met up with her. I was quickly amazed and impressed with how beautiful she actually was. We then sat and talked for a little bit before getting a picnic lunch prepared and heading to the park to enjoy it. The park was amazing as it was a picture perfect weather day. The temperature was nice and the sun was shining.
We spent about seven hours together that day before parting ways. Both of us had a good time. We had went to a picnic in the park, a movie, then dinner at Applebee’s and finally to get some ice cream. It had been a very busy but productive day.
I left and headed home feeling the greatest that I have ever felt about myself. I had finally experienced somewhat of a successful interaction with a woman. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I didn’t know what to think of this whole girlfriend thing or the possibility of having a girlfriend.
It was decided that we would hangout again on that Friday. It would be such a long week for me as I was even more excited to see her the second time than I was for meeting her the first time. I couldn’t wait until Friday. I was so happy. When I arrived home I immediately wanted to start telling everyone about her.
The rest of that week we spent talking on the phone and texting back and forth. We were starting to get comfortable with one another and this was making for a good time. Meanwhile back at home I was continuing with my workout routine and trying to avoid eating as much as possible. Just because I had finally received some attention from a girl, it didn’t mean that I could let up. No, I had to work even harder to make sure that I was in shape and she wouldn’t think I was fat or ugly.
On Thursday, July 13th of 2006 I thought that I had a wonderful idea pop into my head. I thought that I would make the four hour drive to Michigan just to drop some flowers on her door step and come home without her even knowing that I was there. So I got in my car and drove up to Michigan. I had done some research and learned of a few great flower shops around the area so as I got there I immediately started searching for them.
Meanwhile during my entire drive up there she was texting me constantly from work. She had just started a new job and was at training for it. She was apparently bored at the training so she started texting me. This was cool because I was like thinking to myself “I’m on the way up to drop some flowers off at your doorstep.”
I went to the flower shop downtown in the city in which she lived and was able to find a dozen roses. I picked up the dozen roses and went for her place. I left them at the doorstep to her apartment and then I got in my car and proceeded to come home. I thought that just by doing something this simple you could really make a girls day and make her smile.
About twenty minutes after I’d left her place I got a phone call from her. She said that she came home and was surprised to find some flowers sitting on her doorstep. She read the card and was calling to thank me. See, I think that guys should do little things for girls like this all the time. Why don’t they do this? I wonder.
I had arrive back home that evening with enough time left to once again talk with her on the phone and tell her goodnight. Then I proceeded to relax. I watched some television and did a little bit of reading. For the first time in a really long time I was feeling happy and wanted to keep it this way.
On Friday, July 14th I went up to Michigan to see her again and spend most of the day with her. We had another picnic in the park and then watched a movie. I helped her with some baking she was doing and we just hung out and relaxed. It was a wonderful afternoon and I was learning to enjoy myself in a woman’s company.
Then I would have to go a week or so without seeing her which wasn’t a big deal at the time. It was during this week that I would learn more about her. I had learned that she expected me to take her shopping and buy her expensive gifts. Luckily for me this wasn’t going to be a problem at all. Since I was working at General Motors. So, as time went on and we continued to talk on the phone and communicate with text messaging we were drawling closer to meeting again on Saturday, July 22nd 2006. I was excited and I had went out and bought her a necklace so that she could have some jewelry to wear.
She had also told me she would like some new clothes to wear. So I immediately started looking for clothes I could get her. She had a lot of wants and she wanted me to get everything for her and so I was bound and determined to make her happy and very willing to do whatever it was going to take.
Unfortunately, my plans of saving all that money that I was making over the summer at General Motors had quickly gone out the door and I instantly began spending instead of saving. I wanted her to know that I liked her and apparently it was going to take buying her nice gifts and giving her money to show her that I liked her. It was just like the other girls I had met in my past, I had to buy them stuff or give them money just to get them to think about having coffee with me. At least with this girl it would be a little different in that fact that she did hangout with me more than once.
Finally after a long week of waiting, a week in which saw both her and I go back to work. A week in which I found out that she was expecting me to communicate with her 24/7. She even wanted me to call her at 3AM every morning just to wake her up and talk to her on her way to work. So I would get home from my job around 1:30AM and then try and force myself to stay awake so I could call and talk to her at 3:00AM.
After a really long week, I was done with work. I went home to get a little bit of sleep on that Friday evening before waking up early the next day to travel to Michigan to spend the day with her. The fact that I was dating someone kind of or at least had more than one date with them was an accomplishment that would make me feel extremely good about myself.
I woke up bright and early the next morning ready to go. I did my 3000 crunches, walked a half hour and ran a half mile. I was ready to go and excited to give her all of her gifts that I had gotten for her that week. She said that she really loved getting gifts and that was the only way anyone could be her boyfriend is if they kept buying her stuff. I didn’t want to screw up or lose her so I thought the more I buy, the better of a chance I will have at her liking me long term and wanting to date. This was at least the message that she was sending me.
Getting too Excited
At this point, as feel as if it’s important for me to touch a little on the subject. For me, whenever something good happens in my life socially there is tendency to grab onto it and want to wrap my arms around it and keep it in my life. This is something that I have to continue to work on every day of my life. When something good happens it’s okay to get excited about it and feel great about it. However, if you are too obsessively excited about it, there can be some problems. Especially it’s another human being. Sometimes excitement scares people off.
This is a lot of the case sometimes for individuals who aren’t on the spectrum. You see, neurotypical individuals are so used to getting attention from other individuals that sometimes they become annoyed or bothered with too much attention. NT’s already have this awesome network of people set up that includes, friends, co-workers, relatives, other business people. They have so many people in the sea to pick and choose from when they need someone or want someone to talk to that all they need to do is pick up their phone and dial someone’s number. There’s always someone that wants to talk to them or hangout with them.
For those of us on the spectrum, we don’t have anyone hardly ever pay attention to us. We spend so much of our lives being ignored that when someone finally does decide to try and get to know us we tend to jump on it and want to take it in all at once. While I’m not saying that this is a bad thing at all, and I can completely understand and relate as to why people on the spectrum would do this. I am saying that it is an observation of mine that if you’re trying to establish a relationship of any kind with a neurotypical individual, whether it be a friendship with guys, a friendship with girls, or a dating relationship, with a guy or girl, that when the person does show us a little bit of attention that we like and we jump on it too fast and get too overly excited about it we will most likely scare the neurotypical person away who was trying to take time to get to know us and understand us. This is simply because to them this seems creepy. I have often been told by girls in particular that I’m creepy. I have no idea why I am creepy because I certainly don’t intend to but I’ve learned that it’s probably because I come on too strong because of how excited I am and they are used to guys that play the game of being hard to get.
So, after that much awaited week I was finally on my way up to Michigan to see April. It had been about eight days since we’d seen each other last so I was kind of excited just to see her again. I had planned a rather eventual day around Michigan that I thought she would enjoy, plus I had all of these gifts here with me to get to her. I was particularly excited about the necklace in which I was giving her. It was 10 KT Gold. I spent about six-hundred dollars on it and couldn’t wait to show it to her and have her try it on.
When I arrived I was surprised to see that her mom was still at home. I hadn’t exactly planned on meeting anyone’s parents as of yet but she surprised me by introducing her to her mother. Then we sat around a talked for a few minutes and I was able to give her some of her gifts. These gifts were something that I thought she would like very much and think were special. So I was glad to see the delightful smile on her face when she opened up the necklace.
After she had opened all of her gifts we then decided to go out for lunch. We spent the day going to lunch, doing some shopping at the mall, going to a movie in the movie theatre, going out to a nice dinner, and then getting some ice cream. The day was most enjoyable and relaxing. I loved the fact that I had someone to spend time with and hangout with for the first time in my life. I enjoyed it so much that I really hated to say goodbye when the day was over.
That day when we were together we had done some talking and it was suggested that we make up a song. A song for us. So we began listening to some music and we really fell in love with a Stephan Curtis Chapman song called “I Will Be Here.” To me the song said so much about how a guy should treat a woman. I liked the song and being a music person it was kind of important to me that the music be of good quality and taste. This song fit all of my requirements and she liked it. So, “I will Be Here” became our song.
That evening after departing Michigan and heading for home, I played the Stephan Curtis Chapman cd all the way home. I was so excited that I even listened to the song over and over. In fact I don’t think I listened to anything else at all on my way home. After getting home I proceeded to upload it to my computer almost immediately. That’s how important it was to me. I wanted to get it uploaded.
Later on as time would go by I would even try to memorize all of the words to the song. I spent a week just memorizing the song. I thought that it would be a really nice gesture if I were to memorize every line to the song and then call her one day and sing it to her on the phone. Or even better, sing it to her in person sometime. Now I wasn’t anything close to the worlds greatest vocalist, I mean I played trombone. So singing was a stretch for me but I wanted to show her how special she was and just how much I cared about her.
I wanted her to know that I was going to go above and beyond to do great things for her to make her happy and feel appreciated. I even wrote her little cards and sent creative messages. Life was great. I was getting to communicate how I felt with a girl and she was getting to feel appreciated. What could be any better?
After spending the whole week practicing the song and going shopping to get her some gifts as well as going about my other daily activities such as working out and working, I was ready for yet another weekend. I was ready to go and hangout with her once again.
It was during this week that I had bought her a couple more outfits and even a pair of earrings. I was so excited. I think part of it was the excitement of just having a girlfriend and someone to buy things for that would make her happy and someone to do nice gestures for that I liked very much.
I was ready to go and on Saturday, July 29th 2006, I left very early in the morning. I was ready to spend the day with her and show her all of these great things. It was another nice day and there was not even a cloud in site. I remember listening to our song all of the way back up to Michigan and thinking that it was a really special song. To this day I don’t listen to the song anymore because of the memories.
I arrived in Michigan and she was ready and looking very gorgeous. We went out about our normal routine. I gave her the gifts and she loved the earrings. It was wonderful. Great things were happening and I was feeling like I was on top of the world. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my family.
We again went to lunch, then shopping, killed some time at her place in the afternoon, then went to a movie and dinner before heading back to her place again. It was an amazing day and I enjoyed it more than anyone could imagine. Just the fact of being accepted by someone was a huge breakthrough for me and I loved every moment of it and everything about it.
Once again after spending the day with her I was thrilled. I got a hug at the end of the day and life was going so great. I wanted to cherish every moment of this and I took as many pictures as we possibly could. I can’t tell you how meaningful it is to actually have a positive social experience with someone even if it is a very brief one.
The following week continued about like the other weeks had. She kept calling and texting and wanting to talk. I kept talking to her and listening to what she had to say. Towards the end of the week she had received phone calls for a couple of teaching interviews. She had a bachelor’s in elementary education. She finally had a couple of interviews and was excited about that. I remember on a particular Friday afternoon of August 4th 2006 she had one of her interviews and I told her to let me know how it went as soon as it was over. Well she happened to call as I was walking into work and I was going through a small area in which I would have no service and she left me a frantic voice message saying that I was supposed to answer the phone when she called and kind of made me feel bad. I thought she was upset that I didn’t answer, but I didn’t answer because it never rang as I had no service there in that tunnel.
I was so excited for her about having the interview and then having yet another interview lined up on Monday morning that I decided to do something a little extra special. I decided that I would drive up there right after I got off of work and surprise her. This was planned out perfectly on my part. At least I thought so at the time. I thought I would leave work, go home and shower, and take all of the gifts that I had gotten for her that week and hit the road for Michigan at around 4:00 in the morning on Saturday, August 5th 2006. So I did. My goal was to arrive at around 8:00AM or 9:00AM on that Saturday morning and surprise her in some way or another.
During the drive up there I thought that it might be cool to get her some flowers. I stopped at Wal Mart to buy some flowers as that would be the only place that would be open at that early of an hour in the morning. I had a bunch of daisy’s and then I thought that I would stop at Mcdonalds and get her favorite breakfast meal from there and then take the flowers and the Mcdonalds breakfast and leave them at her door step. Then I thought I would wait until she woke up and send her a text telling her she better look outside. I thought that it was going to workout perfect and all. I loved it.
For some reason, I am full of like thousands and thousands of romantic ideas and or nice gestures that one could do for a woman. I’ve got them all stored within my brain capacity so that I can call one of them into action when I get into a situation in which I think one would be useful.
When April awoke that morning she began texting me and I explained to her that I thought she should go look out of her front door. So she did, and what she found were several daisy’s spread out surrounding a sack of Mcdonalds food. It seemed though as if her first thought was what is this? Or why did you do this? Or even, this is weird. I didn’t understand why the delay in her response but after several minutes she eventually replied with a “thank you that was really sweet.”
I thought that this was sort of strange but I attributed it to the fact that she was still tired from just waking up. After she got ready and I got over to her place everything was good. We shared some food and talked and then we decided to go about our day. We decided to just take the day as it came to us without really planning too much. We ended up doing a lot of the same things such as lunch, shopping, dinner, and a movie. We also managed to stop at a store in the mall for her to get a manicure. She asked if it was okay if she got one and I told her yes of course. So we proceeded about our day after she received the manicure.
That evening back at her place things seemed a little strange to me. She just wasn’t very talkative like she usually was. I was exhausted because I hadn’t slept all night due to the fact of wanting to surprise her by showing up early in the morning and leaving flowers and food on her doorstep so I decided to head home as early as possible. I left at around 8:00 that night because I still had a four hour drive ahead of me. That night while driving home I was doing some more listening to our song. I loved the song and I really liked this girl April. I was so exhausted while driving home though that it was hard to stay awake. I can recall nearly falling asleep while driving home a few times. It was a pretty adventurous drive. April was someone that I liked and wanted to get to know some more. Little did I know that Saturday, August 5th 2006 would be the last time I would have ever seen her in my life.
It wasn’t until later the next day when things started to happen. She told me that she was no longer interested in me and wasn’t sure exactly what she had wanted. She wasn’t sure of what she wanted in the first place. I had already ordered some more flowers that were going to be delivered to her apartment on that Monday, August 7th 2006. I wouldn’t get a chance to cancel them at all because of the fact that I was finding all of this out on a Sunday night. I was devastated and I couldn’t understand what I’d done wrong. I wanted to know what happened but she just said she was no longer interested.
Knowing what I now know today about relationships and girls I now realize that I missed so many red flags and signs about getting involved with someone of this nature. April was 24 years old and she had been dating a guy for about two or three years. In June of 2006 April found out that this guy had basically lied to her about his entire life and existence and about who he was. She was completely devastated and she ended the engagement.
That all happened in June and I met her on that same June 30th. I knew very well of all of this that happened with the last guy. She told me everything, in fact that was one of the reasons why she said she had liked me so much, because I was a sensitive guy who was very willing to listen. She had stated that she’d never had a guy let her complain about a previous relationship for so long.
I am just that kind of guy though. I think girls are amazing sometimes. They deserve that kind of care and compassion. A guy should always listen to them and try and figure out what they need and how to best give them what they need to be happy.
When we first met and she started texting me and calling me constantly she was quickly ready to move on and get some attention from another guy. It was during this first week in which I met her that something else happened that should have been a red flag. I’m sure that it would have been a red flag to any neurotypical individual who was a guy. Before we even met each other in person after talking on the phone for a little under a week the words “I love you” came out of her mouth. Wow, I’d never heard such amazing words from a woman in my life.
This could have been tragic telling an Neurotypical individual that she loved him before meeting him. Although he most likely would have told her to take a hike because he would have been onto her and have known what was going on. Unfortunately as someone with Asperger’s I’d have no idea what was going on. I thought that this was how dating worked and this was how girls operated. I was just along for the ride and enjoying it.
To summarize here, knowing what I now know, knowing I have Asperger’s, having a greater understanding of girls and relationships, and just being more cautious in general, I now know that as soon as she said the words “I love you” before ever meeting me in person that I should have been running away myself, and running fast. Unfortunately I was unaware of this.
I had a cousin who was trying to explain this concept to me in which I couldn’t understand. I was telling him what had happened. I shared with him every little detail of the month or so in which I had known her. My cousin first introduced the term rebound to me. I had no idea what a rebound was. I mean to me a rebound was when someone shot the basketball and missed and someone grabbed the ball as it came off of the rim. That was a rebound to me. I couldn’t get grasp as for what the word “rebound” met when dealing with dating and women.
My cousin eventually proceeded to explain to me and try to get me to understand that April had been hurt just right before I met her by another guy and that she was doing what’s called a rebound. I had no idea and I still don’t understand why someone would do this. I understand that you’re hurt but then you’re using this guy to try and make you feel better who actually develops feelings for you and likes you. What did this guy do to you?
I personally have never lived anywhere in the world in which I’ve had to endure a major earthquake. However, just last spring, in April or May there was an earthquake in which the epicenter occurred in the state of Illinois somewhere. I live in Fort Wayne, IN and was living in on campus housing.
It was in the middle of the night that I awoke to some strange noises. Things were shaking, girls were screaming, and I couldn’t figure out why the room around me was moving. It didn’t last very long but for a few seconds and I was half asleep so I didn’t really think much about it at the time. However, when I woke up a couple of hours later to begin my day, I was going about my daily walk and jog outside of the dorm rooms when all of a sudden another college student hollers out of his window at me with “Hey dude, did you feel that earthquake last night?” At first I was like “What are you talking about but after thinking about it for a few seconds I said yeah, I did.”
Then I ran back to my room to turn on the television and try and catch some of the news. Sure enough the news was reporting that an earthquake had occurred in Illinois. Just a little west of the Indiana/Illinois state line. I couldn’t believe that there was an earthquake this close to home. I think I remember one other time in my childhood years in which there was a similar incident.
As is the case with most earthquakes, there would be a few very small aftershocks that occurred throughout the rest of that day. I can remember the day quite clearly. For some reason anytime there’s a big event like this or such as 9/11 I can recall exactly where I was and what I was doing throughout the entire day. It’s with such great detail to that I’m able to pretty much go through my days without losing any memory.
What happened after April had pretty much picked me up, chewed me up, and then spit me out was what I would compare to an aftershock of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. I was immediately devastated and distraught and I didn’t even no where to begin. I needed help immediately. I needed someone to talk to as I just couldn’t deal with all of the pain.
My body would immediately start shutting down. I’d lose the desire to eat again and become weak. I didn’t sleep well at night, but once I did get to sleep I didn’t want to get out of bed the next morning. Any motivation that I had in my life was gone within an instant. I needed to pick up the pieces and move on so desperately, but I had no idea how to or where to start. I was a lost young man searching for answers once again. I had thought I had finally solved one of my problems of figuring out how to get a girl to like me but as I was finding out I didn’t solve it at all.
I had been crushed and hurt. This girl told me she loved me and I fell for it because of how socially naïve and unaware that I was. If only I would have known about the “rebound” thing or what that was all about. If only I could have seen it coming I could have avoided this mess of pain. I had to try and pick up the pieces and move on but for some reason I was just unable to.
That following Monday, August 6th 2006 I had to go back to work at General Motors in Fort Wayne. I had a hard time with this as I was so depressed that I was unmotivated to do anything at all let alone go spend eight hours in a day at a place where several people would be and work all at the same time. I needed to be by myself and alone, locked in my room where I could cry and talk to my best make believe friends in the world, Cameron Diaz and Lisa Winter were two of my make believe friends in which I would try and connect with while I was locking myself in my room.
Yes even at the age of twenty-one years old, I was secluding myself into my room and turning on the television set to try and talk to or at least listen to Cameron Diaz talk and watch her act, as well as watching Lisa Winter play Basketball.
Obviously there was a lot more material on television for me to watch Cameron Diaz and try and connect with her but I did manage to also have some stuff in which I could watch Lisa play basketball.
Thankfully my dad had taped the 1995 IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) girl’s state basketball finals from Market Square Arena in Indianapolis for me. So I’d always kept that video on file and was able to pull it out and watch Lisa have one of her amazing breakout games of her career against Lake Central in the final game of the year. The Lady Vikes would win the state championship that year and I always used to sit in my room and act like I was Fred Fields who was the girls basketball coach at Huntington North High School.
I quickly re developed the horrible habit of secluding myself from the rest of the world just because I felt so hurt and rejected. The one time in my life in which I really thought that someone was giving me a break or the benefit of the doubt and going to actually get to know me, it ended up all being a big joke.
Going to work at General Motors became increasingly more difficult. For some reason in which I couldn’t figure out, I just didn’t want to be there. I was so depressed. I don’t think I had ever realized quite how serious my situation was at the time there. It wouldn’t be until the following summer to where myself and some of my family would really begin to understand how serious of a problem I was having. For then, I just secluded myself and became even more cautious about people in the real world.
As time went on I didn’t get any better. In fact I would get worse and become more depressed. I was ready to give up on trying for good. I had completely quit eating because I thought I had to be fat and ugly. Why else would she just all of a sudden up and say you’re too nice for me this isn’t working out. I knew that she hated me and that I was worthless. This would be the beginning of my fall. From this point on for a couple of years life would be full of many downs and a little ups. It was an emotional roller coaster and I was completely drained at times. I needed help but didn’t know how to get it and hadn’t told anyone yet. I think I was afraid of telling others how I felt out of fear that they would think I was crazy too just like my peers did.
Below is a journal entry that I wrote about four days after April said that I was too nice for her and we were done. This was written on August 10th 2009.
I don’t understand what happened. What did I do wrong this time? I thought that things were going perfect I did whatever she wanted me to whenever she wanted without complaining. I don’t get what happened. Why do I feel so hurt right now on the inside? I don’t understand why girls hate me. I know that I’m pretty fat and stupid and ugly but I just don’t know why they want to hurt me and be so mean to me. What did I do wrong? I’ve never hurt them or done anything to them. Why do they hate me? Please please someone tell me what I did wrong? I want to fix it I just want to be the perfect guy for a girl to like. I don’t understand why April wouldn’t keep getting to know me and give me a chance. She really hurt me. What did I do wrong? I am going to go jump in a cave and never come out. It seems like it would be so much safer in there. The only people that pay attention to me are my imaginary friends that I’ve created They make me feel good and don’t judge me or anything like that at all. I wish that others could be more like them and treat me nice. I want to be like everyone else. I just don’t understand what it is that people hate about me. Can you fix it please? Please give me the answers so I can go fix it and be the perfectly cool person everyone wants to hangout with. I r want to be someone else because being Travis isn’t working for me. Lisa and Cameron are the only two people in my life that treat me nice and give me a chance. They’re on television though and I wish so much that they could be real. Those are the type of people that I want to have around me. Because they don’t talk about me or make fun of me. Or steal things from me. They are just cool people with a great personality. I wish more than anything that I could meet them. Please someone take me there and let me meet them. Just let the pain go away. I’m tired of it hurting and want it to leave me. Leave me far alone and never come back. Please go away.
I want life to go on but you won’t leave me be. Please pain go away and never come back. Why do you stay here with me. I want real friends with real feelings and there is none like that here. They are in Hollywood and other various places and I cannot get to them. Please pain, go away and don’t ever come back. I need hope, happiness, and peace so why are you still here. I don’t know what to do next as I feel I’m about done trying and out of time. Please give me hope and courage to keep on fighting. Where has the happiness gone? It’s no longer here. Please come back and never go away. Pain go away, happiness come back and let’s never lose each other again. I want a new life, with real friends, and I want to be cool and want everyone to like me and be my friend, please give me that, if not I don’t know if I will stay.
I wanted to move on with my life and maybe even start a new life. I hadn’t ever felt any pain like this before in my entire life. As the weeks went on and it became time to go back to school at Indiana Wesleyan I was starting to dread going work more and more. As they found out that I was going to be quitting and going back to school instead of staying there to work full time they started to put me in different areas and tried to make me do jobs I didn’t know how to do. I couldn’t handle this at this time with all of the emotional stress that I was going through. I needed a break and I needed out. It was on the last Friday in August, the 25th that I was put on a job that I really didn’t know how to do and I couldn’t figure it out. As time went on I started to get made fun of and teased and I couldn’t take it. During one of our breaks I just kept right on walking out the door and never came back. I was done and I couldn’t take anymore pain from people. I needed to be alone.
I spent the last week before school started at home pretty much keeping myself locked up in my room with the exception of going out to walk and run. I didn’t want to eat family meals and I didn’t really have the desire to interact with anyone at all after all of the pain that I’d just been through. For awhile that summer I was really looking forward to going back to school, but after this event happened it was kind of like, why bother? I was getting sick and tired of the same old story. I try to make a friend or girlfriend and then I fail miserably only to have my heart ripped out, cut into pieces and then sewed back in.
I just didn’t know that I really wanted to feel this way at all anymore. I was tired and hurt as well as stressed out and here came another semester in school in which I was going to to be taking harder classes than I had to the year before.
About the Author
Travis is an author from Huntington Indiana how enjoys entertaining and educating through words. He enjoys telling a story and taking it from his mind to paper. He has authored several books on autism, mental illness, schizophrenia, and disability issues. He continues to write about those issues but also explores some fiction writing as well.
Travis has a loving family and enjoys spending time with friends and family. He loves to play bingo and meet new people. One day Travis hopes to start a family of his own and give them so much love. Travis would like to thank his readers for supporting him on his journey of becoming an author. He could not have done it without you.
If you would like to get in touch with Travis please email him at tbreedauthoratgmaildotcom
Travis gets a second chance at forming a relationship with the women of his dreams after finding out of his autism diagnosis. Will he be able to gain enough social supports to be able to form a relationship with April the woman of his dreams or we he fall short again due to his social skills? Travis shares how he learned from his mistakes the first time around and overcame the challenge of autism. After learning of his diagnosis, Travis makes it a goal to master every social skill so that he does not fail at relationships ever again. He is his biggest critic and has the highest social standards for himself. After years of social rejection Travis decides to change his life and is given a second chance with the woman of his dreams. Travis puts in nearly fifty hours per week of social skills coaching with trained coaches to learn how to interact with this woman and ask her on a date. Thankful for a second chance, Travis will ask the woman of his dreams on a date to see if she likes him. Will she say yes the second time around? Let's find out.