Most people will tell you that I’m not really much of a party animal, and they’d be right. When I was a young sprightly youth I did the raves and the nightclubs, but now I’m more about the conversation and the people I’m with. Not so much the dancing and the beat.
So last night I went out. I go to meet a group of people once a month, we are all in a sort of social club. It’s basically a chance to get together and chat. And that I have no problem with. I took the new colouring book (the adult one) and we all sat around and had a giggle. But when it came to the end I was perplexed. How do you ask for a cuddle goodbye?
I mean at home I still hold out my arms and my mum, or dad, will just give me a hug, but what if you are in a social setting? I know it is my autism rearing its head and looking around, but I just don’t understand how to. The problem is that the more up-tight I get the more I seem aloof and untouchable. It just makes me frustrated.
The feeling is like… Well, have you seen that movie ‘Willow’? In one of the opening sequences the old wizard asks the potential apprentices to chose the finger of power, and he holds out his hand. Now, when it gets to Willow he pauses, then chooses a finger. The wizard bellows wrong. After he asks Willow why he paused.
“I wanted to choose my own finger,” he says (that’s a paraphrase, I don’t remember the exact words).
“But that was the correct answer,” says the Wizard.
All Willow had to do was trust himself. That is what it feels like. It is almost as if I ought to know how to initiate something as simple as a hug but I have no confidence or know how. I ought to understand innately how to do it. But I’ve only ever been taught how to. It was part of my education; learn how to speak, learn how to write, learn how to hug… But that last one was never really completed. Or it feels as if it wasn’t.
I’m sure I will work it out without standing in a pub, holding my hands out and crying ‘hug’. Although it would certainly cause some laughter. I wonder if you can get a hug coach….?