As I shared with you on Thursday, my dad and step-mom came to South Bend for a visit. According to the schedule, they were supposed to leave early this afternoon. That's not what happened though. They left yesterday, a full day BEFORE they had planned to leave.
Because I'm no fun.
Though my dad and I talk on the phone every week, we don't see each other that often. Their visit this weekend was the first time we had seen each other in 2+ years. So, while my dad and step-mom understand my autistic characteristics in a clinical sense, it's a lot different when you get to see them up close and personal!
As I mentioned previously, when my dad visits, one of his favorite activities is going out to eat -- something I don't do very often. So, we went out to eat on Thursday night and, though I thought I made it through the meal fairly well, dad and Susan took notice that I was anything but comfortable. I suppose my being uncomfortable made them uncomfortable!
Needless to say, the four of us did not eat out again during their brief stay. Della went to breakfast with them on Friday morning, long before I even got out of bed. We went to Aberdeen later in the day for some shopping, but they dropped us off at our house and went to supper solo.
Before I knew it, they left before noon yesterday.
The whole situation left me feeling a bit chagrined. I really tried to be more social than I usually am, but it's obvious I didn't pull it off very well. I wish things had turned out differently, but I am who I am -- a loner who makes very brief social forays. Even when I attempt to muddle my way through more extended social situations -- including with my OWN family -- others can sense my uncomfortableness and this tends to make them feel less at ease as well.
For his part, my dad told me before they left that they were not judging me; they understand that I was trying my best. That said, they admitted that they didn't actually realize how severe my social avoidance has progressed. In addition, the fact that I keep very odd hours -- going to bed in the wee hours of the morning and not being functional until mid-afternoon -- is way out-of-step with the routine time frames of most people. It made it difficult to schedule limited social activities with me.
I don't blame them at all for their decision to leave a day early. At the same time, however, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it makes me sad.