Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guest Blog: Falling in Love for the First Time on the Autism Spectrum

Hello friends! Would like to introduce you to my new friend, Arman Khodaei. Like me, he’s also on the Autism spectrum, and I’m super grateful and honored to have him as a guest blogger today. He’s taking part in an incredible documentary dealing with love relationships and autism, which I am in support of, and encourage you to check it out as well. I’ll let him tell you about it . . .
.  .  .
My name is Arman Khodaei and like Brandy, I am on the autism spectrum. It is a real honor to be a part of her blog today. I run a program called Empower Autism Now, and I am a part of a documentary called Autism in Love. Like Brandy, I also have my own blog that you can check out.
Growing up, I never understood my feelings for girls. I was already quite shy, and I often played by myself. I felt having a crush on someone was wrong and immoral. I worried that if my mom found out that I liked a girl that I would get a severe punishment such as being grounded until I was 18. Why did I have such fears and worries as a child? I honestly have no idea.
In the fifth grade was when I developed my first major crush. Before then, there were a few girls here and there that I thought were cute, but I did not emotionally feel anything towards them. Then, I met this one girl in my class. Instantly, I felt an attraction towards her. She lived on a farm and loved her pet llama very much. She also had many cats, and I loved cats, so that was a common interest we had.
To try and communicate with this girl, I would act like a cat towards her. I would meow at her and paw her, and one day she even brought a ball of yarn for me to play with. I was her kitty. At least, for a few days until my classmates became suspicious of the way I acted towards her. My reaction, of course, was to deny that I had feelings for her. I told her friend that we were just friends, and after that incident, I did not interact with her as much. Instead, I became the class kitty and acted like a cat towards everyone.
As a result, I got a cat on the last day of school from my classmates. However, my crush and I never ended up together.
As the years went by, I found it challenging to admit that I liked other girls. For some reason, I did not want to like them. I still had some sort of weird, irrational fear blocking me. In middle and high school, I had many crushes. I don’t think I liked any of those girls the same way as the girl from the fifth grade, but I did develop feelings. And, I even had a girlfriend briefly in the tenth grade. She was my first kiss. When she broke up with me, I really did not care, and my feelings weren’t hurt at all.
Now as an adult, I have had a couple more girlfriends. I even had my heart broken once. That was almost five years ago. Now, I am searching for that one special person, but with a twist. Now, I am part of a documentary called Autism in Love. So, as I continue my search, all my interactions are being filmed. I hope I do find her because like everyone else, I would love to see a movie with a happy ending, and since this movie is about something so personal to me, well, I guess you can see where I’m coming from.
Already, a few months’ worth of footage has been filmed. But, the film will struggle to be completed without your help. The film team has started a Kickstarter campaign. Less than week remains to raise funds to reach their goal of $100,000. They have a long way to go, but with all our help, I know they can reach it. Please share this blog post and
Kickstarter campaign and donate, if you can. With your help, this documentary will get made.

No comments: