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A Neurodivergent Love Story

I looked for love in the wrong places until I learned normal was over rated

By Josey PickeringPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Runner-Up in Love Unraveled Challenge
A Neurodivergent Love Story
Photo by Kevin Woblick on Unsplash

Television and film were the lenses I saw the world though. Being autistic, and not diagnosed until the end of high school, I missed a lot of social cues. Things didn’t stick, but somehow, watching these fictional relationships on screens stuck with me. I was was deeply fixated on movies and TV. I watched Meredith Grey fight for McDreamy, Buffy fight for Angel (and then Spike). Morticia and Gomez Addams got to be morbid and madly in love. I tried so hard to do what any couples in movies and shows did. I often ignored the worst behaviors in my first significant others for hope I’d get the happy ending and cliche 80’s song playoff into the credits sort of thing. When I’d take my mask off and show that I wasn’t just some amalgamation of fictional characters but actually autistic, disaster would strike. I’ve had exes bully me for stimming, the way I moved my hands or needed a baby blanket to fall asleep. I was expected to change myself to be this stereotypical partner and yet they did not put in half the effort I was. I wanted to be like Frankenstein, begging someone to make a match for me. Being autistic made me feel like a monster sometimes anyway, like something to stare at. At least that’s how the rest of the world made me feel. I wanted a love in neon lights and billboards but felt it wasn’t going to ever be mine. A Hollywood dream love seemed so far fetched for someone like me. I kept dreaming. Kept writing up dream scenarios of someone who could love me like Chandler loved Monica.

It took me a moment to realize I was looking in the wrong places entirely. I needed to find the the Idgie to my Ruth or the Rachel to my Luce. I needed Willow to my Tara. I’d not just been forcing myself into a neurotypical box, but a heteronormative one. I found her one day when I wasn’t even looking. She slipped into my life like a secret I was too eager to keep. So quickly she was there and woven into me like she was there all along. I fought my demons to show her I could work through hell for her, and she took the sword from me to help me fight now and then too. I fought my battles and won the war because she was by my side. It was as if she was taking me through every genre of film and tv I loved. Like a science fiction film, being with her was like being in the stars. She has made me laugh so hard I’ve cried, and still does to this day. She’s a comedy film on a daily basis. Like a classic western film, she’s the only one I want to ride off into the sunset with, my most trusted companion. I’m constantly learning from her, just like a documentary. She has ADHD and being autistic I often have to pause and find my patience to help her too. We learn daily from each others neurodivergence, and it helps us be patient and understanding with others as well.

We wrote our own script. We made our own characters and our own scenarios. I invented my own story for once, and didn’t try to piece together parts of sitcoms and romcoms to find a storyline. We invented our own. The autistic partner and the ADHD partner, navigating life together in a world we weren’t programmed for. Even though we’re wired a little differently than the average population, we still fit, still compatible like we were written for each other after all. Maybe in the stars, we were… but that’s another story for another script in our cinematic romance.


About the Creator

Josey Pickering

Autistic, non-binary, queer horror nerd with a lot to say.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (3)

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  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Congratulations on earning Runner Up in the Love Unraveled Challenge! Thank you for inviting me into your love story. I very much enjoyed reading this piece, and feel as if I had a front row seat. I'm delighted to know you've found someone who gets you. Each of us deserves that!

  • Sady Bayne about a month ago

    This was truly amazing. And you have no idea how much I needed to hear it, being ADHD and potentially on the spectrum myself and attaching so much to movie and show characters. THANK YOU!!!

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