Am I Worthy?

I have written a lot about touch recently and how important it is to me. I’ve talked about letting go. I’ve identified so many things to let go of. I’ve talked about how hard it is for me to let go and I’ve cried countless hours wondering why this has become so incredibly confusing and why I keep going in circles even though I seem to have figured things out.

I’ve had moments of enlightenment and then these moments of utter darkness where I’m afraid I’m not getting anywhere. Then, I finally found the biggest piece of this crazy puzzle that gives me a brand new perspective on all of this. This time, it ties all of these little pieces together.

Obviously, I will always have Aspergers. That won’t ever change. But there is something here that I can change. I have always had this phobia of being alone- but not just of being alone but of abandonment. I touched on this in my “Me & Amadeus” poem.

Aside from my sensory issues and social struggles, I keep seeking out “Protectors” (These people are described in my “Can I Hug You?” and “Ready or Not” blog posts) because I keep placing my fear of abandoment and my desire for affection from my childhood on people who seem strong. This only sort of made sense to me in the beginning. I get it- they’re strong right? Who wouldn’t want to lean on them? I’ve finally figured this out too.

I seem to act this way to people who I feel clearly do not care but I want them to, and I push for this emotional response because I can’t understand why they didn’t seem to care. Why? This is because I wanted my mother to raise me telling in a way that I could understand that I am worthy of being loved. I didn’t get this from her and my father wasn’t even around. When I did finally meet him and I pushed for that emotional response, he couldn’t offer that either. In fact, he pushed me away and completely shut me out.

All of my life I have hoped that this would change. I thought if they could really love me, then that would mean I am worthy of love. So every time I meet someone who pushes me away or makes me feel not worthy it triggers that same response and I keep pushing and pushing – for them to tell me in a way that I can understand that I am worthy.

If this whole series on letting go was a movie, this would be the moment that where the lights fade out and the narrator does a recap or when the good guy finally wins. Except instead of this being the end of the story, its really just the beginning. Here is why:

Despite my mother and father’s inability to love me (the way I needed them to), despite how I was treated by others growing up, and even despite my own failures and the fact that its taken me almost twenty seven years to finally get this – I am worthy of love. But not because I am this amazing person or a hero or something- but because God says that I am worthy.

During this time of reflection, a very specific memory came to mind. It was a Mother Daughter event and my mom didn’t show up because she had to work. I was there to sing Phil Collin’s “You’ll Be In My Heart” with two other people. This other mom turned to me and said “It’s okay. I’ll be your mom tonight”. That night was so important and the lyrics to that song are so important because no matter what my parents think- God loves me.

Now, this doesn’t fix my weird quirks. I may still have that weird reaction to those same people at times. This is going to take a lot of practice. I still feel like that little kid inside of me is still going to want to take over and I’m going to want that reassurance of a hug when I’m scared.

So, like I said, this is going to take a lot of practice and a lot of acceptance on my part. A very wise friend recently told me that true acceptance means that I have to accept people for who they really are and not who I wanted them to be or who I wish they were. I have to forgive my parents now, forgive myself, and move on.

Since touch is the way that I feel loved, I have to accept that I will not always feel loved in the way that I want them to. I have to accept that there are a lot of people who do not show it this way and there will be people in my life that won’t love me at all. But neither of these things changes the fact that I am worthy of love and the best part of all:

I am loved.

About Gretchen McIntire (formerly Leary)

I am 34 years old, I live in the Raleigh area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Am I Worthy?

  1. gardenlilie says:

    Good for you. Believe and love yourself first, because their is a slew of issues which life brings you, good and bad. I know, but I have always loved my life along the way and the people in it. But, you don’t have to take crap along the way because someone else isn’t having a good day or life!

  2. brian miller says:

    I thought if they could really love me, then that would mean I am worthy of love….that caught me there in the middle and i am glad in the end you acknowledge that you are…its hard for a lot of people…aspergers aside…to accept love…and takes discipline to realize it because there are so many messages that tell us otherwise…no suggestions, just relating…smiles.

    • I know that my issue is so much bigger than my Aspergers and that this isn’t so much an Aspergers issue at all- but because it makes processing just about anything so difficult and complex – it’s making this whole self realization difficult. Thank-you for reading this Brian. It means a lot to me. I know that I am loved. It’s hard because my brain gets it – or some of it does in the most logical sense, but because touch is the form that I actually seem to feel it and process it emotionally, its hard to ignore the absence of it and still know its there

  3. Gretchen, as unofficial Aspie Mom of the Blogosphere, I’m here to tell you two things:
    You are SO worthy of love. Problem for ALL women is the ambiguity of our role in the “approach” department, which is still horribly thrown to men… unless it’s just about sex. Then young guys will let you, or anyone, hit on them, as long as the orientation is a “right match” for them! Sad but true, since experience has been my only college.

    Also, I’m sorry your parents treated you as they did. It didn’t cause your Aspergers – in fact, it’s possible one of them HAS it and that may be your dad, so it would make sense that he could not be the giving person, except for the bad DNA (sorry, DNA jokes are HUGE in our family and always a source of whimsy! Wink.). As for your mom, yeah, that is rough, not getting that attention, the reassurance of the woman you look to for… how to BE a woman, whatever that means. I didn’t look to mine because I was basically parenting her. Riley looked to me in a different way because of the gender queer issue.

    Point is, you are loved by more than you know. Look at the “likes” above! Even when they don’t comment, they are reading. Make sure you are attaching your blog to Facebook and you will get even more readers, honey. Much love, Amy
    (I have not been around much because of another depression, hit me hard, a friend died and the wheels came off my trolley. It was a long time coming, and he’s at peace, but still… So now I will go backward through a few posts and comment there. xxoo

    • Hi Amy, I am so sorry for your loss. ((Hugs))

      In regards to my father, I’ve only met him once so its not ASD – he simply has another family and I’m not a priority.

      My mother’s side is much more likely to be the carrier. My mom is very Aspie like and my grandfather as well. They love me in a different way. We all have our love languages and unluckily for me – mine is touch and theirs is not.

      It’ll be okay. Again, I’m sorry to hear about your friend Amy. Hang in there.

      • Thanks, Gretchen. Wow, you are perceptive about your family tree. I wish I’d only met my father once, then he wouldn’t have pulled t he incest stuff on me…

        Riley is not a touch person either. I, on the other hand, am. But I’m the one she hugs and bumps playfully. I think for her it’s a matter of trust.

        Marques was truly special, so thanks for your hugs. Really. Love, Amy

  4. Imelda says:

    You are worthy. Your worth is not in what value the people you want to love and value you put on you but on the value God has for you.

    Many times, I wished people had loved me the way I wanted them to. Because they did not, I was often disappointed and angry. Somehow, I learned, one way or the other, that people have different ways of loving and giving. It was difficult to accept but it lessened the disappointment.

    I wish you the best, Gretchen. 🙂

  5. Pingback: How Could You? | Muse In The Valley ©

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