Autistic Emotions Felt with Loss and Empathy

I’m learning my neurodivergent brain makes me incredibly sad when others are hurting or when there is a death of someone I knew even if I wasn’t close to the person. I always explained it as I feel like a human emotional sponge. I sponge up emotions around me hard. In any kind of situation or emotional change. Sometimes not understanding what it is I’m feeling but knowing I feel it hard.

Oh but Anne..autistic people don’t feel emotions. They aren’t capable of feeling emotions. What a horrible lie put out there. I would really like to know who started that? What you see on the outside is not in any way what is being felt. It’s the not being able to communicate it…it’s the not communicating it in a way that is “normal” to others..that’s why people might think an autistic person isn’t feeling things maybe. It’s why I struggle hard with funerals. I feel like I feel every single emotion in a room. Like I walk into a room and like it’s thick..the air around me is thick with emotion. I FEEL THAT. I swear to god I feel it. Funerals are the worst for me. The absolute worst. It takes me weeks to recover. Sometimes years. It doesn’t matter if I was close to the person or not. I feel it so hard. I didn’t realize this my entire life..that it could be because my brain was wired differently and how others emotions was something I could really feel…I just knew it would throw me and I would rather just not go. But in our society..not paying respect in the way it is socially accepted..makes you feel you are wrong. You are looked at as uncaring. And I am forever trying not to be wrong. I know what happens and the assumptions that happen if I don’t behave like everyone else. I am considered unfeeling and wrong. God if people could understand it is so the opposite. I deal with feeling things so much harder than they will ever truly understand. I’ve made decisions to go and sometimes not go when I truly genuinely feel I couldn’t handle it. And in other moments I forced myself to go to a funeral.

One in particular I will forever remember as the worst funeral of my life. The layers of tragedy much I loved that person..and the knowing that the person who took her life..took his own life and was in a casket next to her. I will never get that funeral out of my head and the thickness in the air of that place. I feel some kind of trauma from that. I’m certain it’s trauma.

I don’t know how many times I have wondered why I don’t cry in these intense moments. My grandfathers funeral. Nothing. I was just there trying to process everything. A year later I remember the moment when I finally broke down and cried about losing my Bapa. I remember it vividly.

My dear friend Julie was a different thing. I cried at her funeral. But it was more about frustration that the families decided to have her killer..her husband who took his life the funeral to. It so threw me. I didn’t know they were doing that. It threw me so hard. I did not truly break down about losing her until much later. God I hate death and loss and funerals. They are the overload of emotions I try desperately to avoid. They put me in a real state of shock. Now I am beginning to understand why. Another question to why I am so different..being answered.

I wish I could just stop this part of being autistic. I wonder how I will manage when and if I do lose someone extremely close to me. I don’t know how I will manage it. I fear what it will do to me. I fear it will forever break me. It’s everyone’s fear of losing someone they love dearly of course. But I fear..will it completely destroy me. What if I am the one responsible for a funeral. I don’t know how I would ever manage that. Maybe my brain will go into robot mode. I hope it will. I hope I can manage..should I have to…to give them what they deserve.

But yes…autistic people feel emotions hard..and feel others emotions hard. We may not be able to communicate that in a way that others are familiar with. But we do feel it hard. I have a sick friend in a hospital right now as well having found out yesterday that a woman I knew passed to soon. I can not focus. I can not work on my art. It has thrown me. I imagine what their family’s are feeling. I am right there with them in my head feeling worried and concerned and feeling loss. I feel anxiety and a feeling of surreal around me. My days feel weird to me and I can’t fucking shake it off.

Now imagine how many times a death occurs close to you or not and you still feel this. You can still put yourself in the shoes of others so easily and feel their pain and loss. It is exhausting to feel this on a regular. I can’t say this is exhausting to feel this on a regular to me. I honestly have moments where I feel just being on social media and the online connections I make and real relationships I genuinely feel with Facebook friends is so SO hard on me when they experience loss or I lose a social media friend. Too many times to count I have had moments when I curse this ever existed. Because for me..for my brain..these people I know online whom I have never met in most cases are truly family to me. I am invested and in being invested I am there for the good and bad of their lives. And it’s a lot sometimes. Too much at times. But then too..if I didn’t have this outlet…if I didn’t know these people…I know I would go back to feeling very alone and very disconnected.

Pick your poison. So I stay. I stay and I try very hard to roll with the gut punches. But I’m telling you…it’s so hard for me. I am autistic and I truly care with every cell of my being. I feel it all. I genuinely feel it all.

3 thoughts on “Autistic Emotions Felt with Loss and Empathy

  1. Both families decided to have them at the same funeral??????????? I can’t imagine any parent allowing their child that horrendous indignity. I wonder if they were bullied into it. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so wanted to ask why but I didn’t feel that was right to. They had their reasons. But was so hard and the viewing was set up so you had to walk past his casket too and all I could do was to stand in front of the casket and curse him in my head. It was so overwhelming. Their children were young. The youngest probably didn’t understand any of it. I feel like it might have been done for the oldest.


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