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SilverShoelaces
Snowy Owl
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26 Oct 2011, 12:03 pm

I am in college, so I'm not entirely convinced this belongs in the adolescent forum, but it certainly doesn't belong in the adult forum. : |

Two of my good friends, one of whom I have known since childhood and the other of whom was my roommate at the time, have gotten into a fight. The actual incident happened last spring, but they have still not resolved it, and it's really starting to bother me. For the purposes of this post, I will call them Mary and Kat.

At the time, I had noticed that Kat (who is an aspie and a bit lower-functioning than I am) had been spending a lot of time by herself, secluded from all her friends, in either our dorm room or in the computer lab. This would not have been a problem had she not left her computer home specifically for the purpose of trying to get distracted from her studies by the Internet. It would also not have been a problem that she wasn't spending time with people except that she had very explicitly stated that she wished people would spend time with her more often.

Mary, on the other hand, specifically travels to my school in order to spend time with me (and, at the time, Kat). She goes to a different school in a different state, but she comes to visit almost weekly. She doesn't have many friends at her school, which is a community college. This is a problem for her because she is both NT and extremely extraverted. Her one friend from her school is actually also a friend of mine, and now he frequently comes to visit on the weekends as well. But I digress.

One day, Mary and I needed to retrieve my cell phone from Kat (a longer story which originated as a favor for me but quickly failed when she forgot to return it to me) and she wasn't in our room, so I went to the computer lab to see if she was there. She wasn't, but I could clearly see Kat's stuff lying on one of the computer desks. Both out of a concern that Kat should not leave her belongings in public places and a misguided desire to prank her, I took her headphones, something I knew she would notice were missing almost immediately, and I took my cell phone, which was, of course, my primary goal in beIng there. I did not take her wallet or her cell phone. I believe part of my desire at the time was to demonstrate that things disappear from public places when one leaves them alone, and I was angry that she had left my cell phone, a device I use to keep my life under control, unattended.

Mary, being impulsive, agreed with me that it was a good way to get Kat to spend a little more time wih us, something which she desired but never pursued (partially because she knew I was legitimately busy when I declined to spend time with her). We were both on our way to dinner, and I don't remember why, but we were in a hurry, so we left the building. When we were about 50 feet from the building, Kat, who had been in the restroom for the past 20 minutes (partially because she was playing her DS), came out of the building. When she saw us, she shouted to ask if we had her headphones. I called back that she should get some fresh air for once and catch up with us, and I'd give her headphones back on the way to dinner. I thought that would be a tempting deal for her, since she did want to spend more time with me and Mary. I thought she agreed with this sentiment, as she immediately ran back into the building.

Mary and I gave her two or three minutes to catch up before we started walking, not running, to the campus cafeteria. Kat caught up to us right outside the entrance, and I was going to give her the headphone at that point, when she suddenly put her hands around Mary's throat quite firmly. Mary grabbed Kat's hands and drove her nails in, because Kat did not let go when asked. Finally, Kat calmed down (especially with the extra "motivation" of pain) and let go. We gave her her headphones back. Mary and Kat have been on bad terms ever since. Kat has tried to apologize multiple times, but Mary will not listen.

At the time, Kat thought Mary and I were the ones in the wrong. The headphones, she explained to me, had a great deal of sentimental value and she was emotionally attached to them. It really freaked her out when she didn't see them, and she has never left her headphones alone in a public place since. I pointed out that I and Mary had no way of knowing how valuable the headphones were to her. And it was at that point, when she understood not only that what she did was wrong (which she was well aware of from the beginning) but also that from Mary's perspective her behavior was erratic and dangerous, that she wanted to apologize. But Mary would not listen, and even now she refuses to accept Kat's apologies.

I didn't come here to discuss who was more wrong or who was most right. I just want the two of them to be friends again. We were all in the wrong, and I think Mary needs to accept it and move on. Sure, Kat overreacted, but we all did, and she is the only one who has not looked at everyone else's perspectives of the situation. Perhaps it is naive of me to always want everybody to get along, but I do have another personal stake in this: Mary is blaming Kat's behavior on her Asperger's now (something Kat doesn't do very often, by the way), and I am worried that Mary will become prejudiced against people with Asperger's. I am also terrified of telling her, even casually, that I have it, too, for fear that she won't believe me or will not wan to be my friend for a while.

I just want to do something to make them friends again, or a least on good enough terms that I need not avoid one while the other is around.

Oh, and I apologize for any typos. I wrote this on my iPod and it's hard to see what I'm typing.



LostAlien
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26 Oct 2011, 4:00 pm

If someone had put their hands around my throat and held on firmly, I would not want to be their friend. I would fear having to defend myself from physical attack over things I would find mostly innocent, the fear/anxiety would mean that friendship was off the cards. It's actually reasonable for someone to not want to be friends with someone who has caused them harm.

I understand that you'd like for everybody to be friends but this is sometimes just not possible. I would like to have some form of suggestion for you to achieve your aim but I can't see how I'd forgive violence if it happened to me and so I have no helpful suggestions.


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bcousins
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26 Oct 2011, 7:55 pm

LostAlien wrote:
If someone had put their hands around my throat and held on firmly, I would not want to be their friend.


If someone did that to me, I'd retalliate, And end up killing them.


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EGGREGUYOUS
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27 Oct 2011, 3:53 am

Psychologically I think Mary was probably just friends with Kat at the time because you were. Possibly pretending out of consideration for you, so when Kat irrationally displayed hostile behavior, it certainly freaked Mary out but it was also a way "out".
I think that, because Kat tried apologizing to Mary multiple times and Mary is still ignoring her. If Mary had actually thought of Kat as a friend, she would have already forgave her.
Maybe it was true for Kat as well, it would explain why Kat targeted Mary the way she did.

That's my hypothesis :). You could go to each of them separately and ask them for the underlying reason, the real truth. And if my hypothesis is true then let me know cuz that would be awesome lol. If it turns out that Mary is just being typical NT-Insensitive please slap some sense into her for me.

Hope you're enjoying College! Be Safe :)


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