It’s a difficult word for me, in the beginning, and sometimes, I get mad at it. It doesn’t mean to me what it means to other people, in two ways.
The kind of love I do feel very comfortable with, with all people, is not a direct intimacy. I’m autistic, and, sometimes I am good at cuddles and sometimes I am good at more, and, happy about more. But, I can only take this in small measures. I’m grey-A, and a full-time, “normative” sexual relationship is not for me.
The kind I prefer to have, is a bonding through art and beauty. I find that, when people pour out their feelings into beautiful words… poetry, stories, personal myths, anything like this… I begin to get an “art crush” on them. It’s not that I want to hug them or touch them or kiss them… but… I want to share words and stories, I want to write things with them, I want to talk about their inner worlds, I want to sit up for hours and hours tucked in a blanket inside a tent covered in fairy lights, whispering our secrets.
These “crushes” really matter to me. If that person leaves, or stops sharing, I do miss them a lot. And I feel like when they share like this, and I connect with it, they touch some really deep part of me, and it burns a scar inside my heart. Their words become part of me, part of the way I see the world.
(Perhaps it is because I have language disorders, and, so, I am always looking like a magpie for new phrases and ways to say things, so that I can describe my world better, because I can’t put it together my self. So, they really do become part of the literal way I see things, often. And that is one of the deepest things you can do for a person, affecting the way they express their self even in their own mind.)
To me, I want writing crushes and art crushes much more than I want romance. Romance can flicker and fade, but when someone changes the way I see the world, it lasts for ever. And when someone shares their inner beauty with me, I have found something more precious than a hug or a touch… anyone can hug me, but people inside, are unique. And words, this I can cope, when they overflow inside my heart they burn and hurt and overwhelm but… it’s a sort of overstimulation I am okay with. I cry, I rock, I whine, I clutch my hands at myself, I pinch my skin and leave marks. But… it’s okay, those times. I don’t know why, but, when it’s beauty, it doesn’t feel strange like physical touch can. It hurts in a way I can cope.
The hard part is, people don’t realise that these relationships are my best romances. That they matter to me, so much more than sex.
[Trigger warning: details of abuse]