Am I The Asshole?

This is a question that I ask myself often, probably because of the trauma I suffered.

I believe this concern about whether I am an asshole comes from innumerable times when I was unjustly labeled an asshole. Over time, I internalized the accusers’ voices, and now I ask myself whether I am, in fact, an asshole.

Let me tell you a little story. About two weeks and a half ago, I had a great date with a submissive girl. She was about all I wanted in a partner. She was autistic, like I am. Her autistic traits were different from my own. We had a wonderful weekend together. When I asked her how she felt, she said that she felt content. These were her words.

At the end of our date, a crisis happened in her family. Her family is not anywhere nearby. Still, it was a serious situation. The last I heard from her was that she had arrived home safely. Then, she went silent. I have not heard from her since our date. Is she okay? Is the crisis over? Did she travel several states away to be with her family? I have no idea.

When things like this happen, my mind goes into high gear. She was content. I gave her my all. I was kind. Still… did I… did I manage to put her off somehow? Did I do something that I did not notice? Am I the asshole?

Lest you think that I’m being dramatic with the worry about doing things that I did not notice, I’ll remind you that I’m now divorced, due, mostly, to my ex-wife not being able to handle my autistic traits. If she was annoyed with me, she’d glare. I would not be able to read her glares. Then she’d accuse me of deliberately ignoring her glares. Conversely, I accuse her of imagining that she glared. Yes, I’m quite capable of unwittingly putting off people, even ND people. My ex-wife has ADHD.

I’d like to think that I would act superbly in all possible situation. Alas, I know that’s not the case. I have sometimes not acted superbly. I was not acting like a monster, but I still managed to hurt people around me, sometimes the very people that I adored. I’ve sometimes managed to be the asshole.

I think as a response to the trauma that I suffered, and the fact that I don’t always act superbly, my brain likes to compare my actual behavior to that of complete shitbags. I can’t help it. That’s how my brain works.

Let me give you an example. During the date with the girl above, we went to have coffee. We sat at a table, and we chatted for a bit and drank. She pulled out her phone, and started reading a manga. I’ve been in the NT world long enough to know that if she had been on a date with an NT individual, that person would have interpreted it as her not being interested in the date. For my part, I did not make a fuss. I just continued talking to her, and enjoying her company.

Something similar happened later when I proposed to watch a movie. She said she was reading. I thought she meant that she did not want to watch the movie. No biggie. A bit later, I suggested putting on a TV show, because I had figured that perhaps the specific movie I had picked was not titillating her. She said she was still reading but that I could put it on and that she had the ability to watch TV and read at the same time.

Fair enough, I don’t have this multitasking capability. Let’s go back to the episode at the coffee shop. Would it have served me anything to get angry? No. Both episodes, however, would have been likely to cause ire in an NT person. Yes, I compare my behavior to those of NT folks. Again, I can’t help it. I don’t decide to do this. It just happens. What I do decide to do is to not engage in those destructive behaviors.

I sometimes wonder if I am going to be the asshole, even in situations that haven’t happened yet. I’m pansexual, but I’ve been with exactly one man. He is trans too. We had a nice couple of days together, but prior to this happening, I was wondering… Would I say or do something to turn him off. I had never been in that situation before. So I was comparing myself, again, to dirtbags. Was I going to be the asshole when we’d be together?

I was once explaining to a group of people that someone had ghosted me after one night of sex, but that I had decided not to go after her. Those people took me to task immediately. Why would I even decide not to go after her, unless I were some sort of monster who does actually stalk people. Hmm… let provide an explanation. First, as I said above, I cannot help compare myself to dirtbags. I don’t decide this. Second, I’m a software engineer. I’ve actually done things that would allow me to stalk someone if I wanted to. Doing those things does not require mental effort. I’ve not stalked anyone, but I could super easily do it if I wanted to.

I have an expression for what those people did to me: karmic shaming. People think of karma as this special force, but it is really just the conditioning that we receive as we grow up. I have the karma of someone who compares himself to shitbags. I also have the karma of a software engineer. This is my conditioning. I cannot help it. Shaming me about having this karma is not helpful.

I’m usually not the asshole, but I keep asking myself, even in situations where I shouldn’t: am I, in fact, the asshole? Did I do something I did not notice?






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