Erik Johnson here, welcome to my channel. I want to talk about something a little more personal today and get really deep into it so I can, you know, further explore myself and possibly help you guys with intimacy issues. Here’s Intimacy Issues with Asperger’s Tips.
So I’m going to talk about all my relationships starting with my mother. When I was a very young boy, I had a kind of what you call it, Oedipus or Oedipus Rex syndrome. It’s a Greek story of a man who basically killed his father and was in love with his mother intimately. And don’t worry, this is not about incest or anything like that. I didn’t have an intimate relationship with my mother.
But I loved her a lot, and I wanted her to spend more time with me than my dad. So when I got older, there was this tug of war between my dad and I, and I believe my dad has Asperger’s as well because it can be hereditary, it can be genetic, and he was very controlling and I was very controlling.
So as a 12 year old boy, my mom would come in and say goodnight to me and sometimes she would read to me or whatever, where we would discuss things and I was so excited. I was so excited to talk to her at night that I held her attention as long as I could, I didn’t want to go to bed because my bedtime was really early.
Plus, I was just excited to talk because she was like my best friend and my dad would be in the other room, their bedroom down the hallway, and he would literally, he would call out for. So she couldn’t spend a lot of time with me. She’d spend like 15 minutes with me and then she’d have to go and go to bed with my dad. And I always got really upset that he would call her, almost like a dog, because he was controlling and he didn’t want to be laying in bed alone.
We had a very strict household, because of his controlling Asperger’s himself, he was a controlling short tempered guy with Asperger’s and I didn’t know any of this till recently that it was hereditary.
So he would call her into bed and I would be sitting alone so I’d be alone and he would have my mom. So I think I eventually started to resent her because she would side with him. And a lot of boys have that, where they start resenting the mom, because it was like my first breakup was basically my mom. I wanted her to spend time with me and he pulled her away.
So I started to learn how to withhold love and I remember one time I was watching TV after school or, I think I stayed home from school, it was a Saturday or something and my mom had planned a very special trip for us to go somewhere, I think it was the park or something. I knew it was coming. So when she came up to say let’s go to the park, I was like, no, we’re not going.
She started to plead with me. She’s like, why don’t you want to go? And I felt almost excited that she was pleading with me. I know it sounds kind of sick but I was trying to get her back, I think subconsciously from walking away from me at bedtime. And so, you know, I relished in the joy of having her kind of begged me. She had to take time off from work, to take me to the park and I was kind of glad that she was begging me to go. I just, I was just like, No, I don’t want to go now.
So that was kind of the beginning dynamic of my intimacy relationships from then on, and my first girlfriend in high school. I didn’t get a girlfriend until I was almost 17, and it only lasted two weeks. I had very low self esteem, I was quiet in school, but I’ve always really been attracted to the opposite sex, and even in third third grade I remember trying to impress the girls.
But to me what I thought was impressive to girls was far from the truth. You know I really liked cars and dirt. I would run around recess, in the playground and I would put dirt in my shirt, and I would hold the dirt in my shirt by holding up the shirt and making this little pouch and I would run as fast as I could and fling the dirt out and try to make this smoke trail behind me, because I wanted to be a fast Hot Rod.
And for some twisted reason, I thought that that would impress girls that I could run really fast and make a smoke trail behind me and it was the furthest thing from the truth. But that’s just how I thought girls thought like guys or something.
When I was almost 17, I got a girlfriend, a girlfriend who was two years younger than me and it was awkward. I didn’t really know how to interact with her and I think she got bored with me or something, but I called it off because pressure from friends and they teased me and it was the end of the school year and it just didn’t work, and I was kind of pathetic around her, because at that time I was experimenting with drugs, and she found a stash of her dad’s weed. And I got more obsessed with that than her.
I was begging her to, you know, let’s let’s smoke it and she was like No, it’s my dad’s. We had some intimacy, and I wanted more and she basically was like No, not tonight. I almost whimpered like a little boy, you know I just couldn’t handle my emotions when I wanted something I was laser focused on, without thinking about their needs, very self centered, kind of Asperger’s trait of just being hyper self-focused and self centered. I didn’t know that at the time.
When I was 17 I discovered alcohol and that became my new lover. Then, when I was 18, I had dropped out of high school because I just wanted to be a rock and roll drummer, and I was at a party with four other guys and there was one girl there and she was a lot older than us, probably like 10 to 15 years older than us. We were playing cards at the table and I had a few beers, and luckily, I made a pass at her in front of all the other guys, and I basically got the girl in front of all these other guys, and they left the house and it was just me and her.
I had liquid courage, and it was one of those rare moments where I said everything right. I was being suave, and she picked me. So, that filled my head with some good, I was like wow that was great, you know I can’t believe it. But when we were making love, I couldn’t go all the way. So I think there was a lot of, there was fear of intimacy there where I physically could not go all the way. Like I could get aroused and we could do it, but I could not go all the way.
So friends would tease me because they’re like you’re still a virgin because you don’t go all the way and I was like, No, I don’t think it’s true I think if you just can, you know, do intercourse you’re not a virgin anymore and friends used to tease me about that and I never knew. Whatever you know I was like, No, I’m not a virgin. But I didn’t go all the way with her, and I told friends that you know it didn’t work out and they made fun of me.
Then I went two years without being with a girl. Then when I was 20 years old, I was writing poetry at the time and I worked as a dishwasher and I met the cook. He was a female who was 20 years older than me. I thought she was interesting because she had tattoos and she wore black leather, and she was a voracious reader, very intelligent, and I said, Would you like to read my poetry?”
She was like, sure. So she took it home and read it all, there was like 40 poems and when I saw her a couple days later, she said that my poetry was very refreshing and very good and she invited me over for some wine. She had kids that were nearly my age, I mean she had her first child when she was 14 so these kids were literally my age. In fact one of them was two years older than me.
So, we had wine, and she wanted me to sleep with her. And that night, so I’m 20 years old now, I’ve never gone all the way with a girl. I had intimacy issues I couldn’t let my guard down. So that night, I was like, while we’re making love, I asked, Can I go all the way and she’s like, yes – and that was the very first time, besides fapping myself when I was 16, masturbating.
So she invited me to live with her. I was 20 and she was 40 and she had a kid. She had two children that were my age or older and everything was great. But she became like a surrogate mother, and at that same time I withheld love from my parents completely and walked away from the house. I told my parents to F off and I disappeared. They didn’t see me for two and a half years.
While I was living with this older woman, she taught me about art, taught me about wine, and taught me about Culinary skills, and really just opened up my whole life. She taught me about the Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, all those, you know, dark writers that were alcoholic and drug addicts, you know, William Burroughs was a heroin addict and he was gay.
So I started exploring a little bit of bisexuality when I was drinking and it didn’t feel natural to me but I was like to be a great artist you have to explore everything and be open minded. But that didn’t really get in the way of my relationship with her at that point, but it did with other girls with the drinking.
So, after a couple years with her, three to four years, I started resenting her because she was more like a mother figure than a girlfriend and I started craving girls my own age. I started to get very angry with her, and it got to the point where it was kind of scary and she kicked me out and I went to Job Corps, which is a merchant marine type training facility.
I was very scared. I was homesick. I wasn’t used to change. I freaked out at the Job Corps, just started crying, broke down. You know I just could not handle change, just like when I was 12 years old and I was sent off to boys camp, every night I cried to the counselors. I was like I had to go home. I can’t do this, I have to go home.
So I was a homebody, and I didn’t know I had Asperger’s. No one ever talked about it. No one even knew about it really, most of the world discovered autism with the movie Rain Man. so, I was a stimmer. I rocked back and forth since I was eight years old, so I needed self soothing and then alcohol was self soothing and then music was self soothing and then drugs and alcohol were self soothing, but they turned against me and they nearly destroyed me.
So, I didn’t really learn a lot about relationships with the 40 year old because I learned more about being a drunk, and she took care of me. She had that maternal instinct and she took care of me and she put up with a lot of my crap. Especially when I drank and became very tragic and tried killing myself with a $1 razor, you know, on my arm, couldn’t even slice my arm. I just played a lot of games, a lot of drama, you know, alcohol fueled drama and she put up with a lot.
Next girlfriend wasn’t that much better. I was still drinking heavily and she was like, five years older than me. Next girlfriend after that was another 20 years older than me, and she was very smart. She had two PhDs, and she made me feel inferior but she also really enjoyed my company but I was a heavy drinker. That lasted two years and I think she was bipolar, she would have these manic episodes. There was one time she knelt down and proposed to me, and I thought that was very endearing, but I didn’t really believe her. So I was like, get off your knee, we’re not gonna get married.
So, after all of that craziness I had eight girlfriends, most of them I broke up with half of them and half of them broke up with me because of my drinking, and I didn’t really know how to communicate with them, I wasn’t really intimate with them. I wasn’t really present. They felt more like just drinking buddies, even though they weren’t drinking with me. We would watch movies together and I would always have my beer on one side and they would be on the other side of me. So, they’re more like companions.
Intimacy Issues with Asperger’s Tips
Now, I’ve been with my fiance for 10 years which has been the longest relationship I’ve ever had. But the reason why it’s worked is because I have been sober the whole time. I had a couple two day relapses with alcohol with her in the beginning and we almost broke up and I yelled at her and said I hated her. But, I made it up to her and now the last year and a half she’s the one that told me about Asperger’s, and I started to research it and it started to make sense, everything is starting to come together.
I’m just now looking back at my past and seeing all the things that I, I had a lot of regret for destroying a lot of relationships and friendships and being isolated, you know, rocking 14 hours a day in a dark room, nearly killing myself with alcohol, having a heart attack when I was 32, being self destructive.
All of those things are making sense now because of Asperger’s. So guys, if you’re struggling with relationships, know that you’re not alone. If I were you I would try to at least do some mirror work where you look yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you love yourself, you know, apologize and say that you know: I love you I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you, which is a technique called Ho’oponopono.
Just trying to look at yourself for a minute and work your way up to five minutes and then 10 minutes because Asperger’s people have trouble with eye contact so mirror work is really powerful, you can give yourself positive suggestions, looking at yourself in the mirror. You don’t even have to do anything you can just stare into your eyes, and that’s kind of like self exploration, it can help you.
If you feel emotions coming to the surface just let them come out. Don’t suppress them. Try not to walk away, try not to distract yourself, start meditating 30 minutes a day as well, and stay away from sugar, caffeine, alcohol, any substances, cut your TV time down. Just try to get more present with yourself, and then start looking into mindfulness books, you know, go to Amazon look up mindfulness.
Look into meditation and look into positive self talk and affirmations, we really don’t love ourselves when we go through all these traumatic times, and it’s not your fault. You know, a lot of people with Asperger’s have it. But there is hope. I’ve been with the same girl for 10 years. And I’m learning more every day how to communicate properly and not fly off the handle.
I’m learning how to ask questions, and to nod when I’m listening. Little social cues like that are very beneficial. So learn about those things, learn about social cues just nodding and give them eye contact, as long as you can. And remember to breathe, I used to hold my breath when talking to people. And so that really was bad. And it affected my concentration. I can’t concentrate when I’m not breathing so I learn how to breathe. Look into breath work, you know, count from one to five on the intake and then one to five on the outtake, you know, and that will help you calm down.
It’s all about breathing, slowing down and taking a deep breath and it will all work out guys so hit that subscribe button. I hope this helps. I could have gotten into more detail but you probably got the gist of it, of what happened in my life with intimate relationships so share your story if you want. This is an open place and I love you guys and hang in there.
Here’s more Resources for Asperger’s and Addiction
Erik C Johnson