How a man on the Spectrum learns to live

Posts tagged ‘Foreigner’

I Want to Know What Love Is

Hey, there everyone.

It has been a recent discovery of mine that a certain song applies to one of my present situations.  For those of you who may be fans of 80’s rock and roll, music in general, or if you’re just curious about my musical tastes, then you’ve come to the right place.  If you’re also curious about how the title holds credence in this category…you thought I was going to say that you’re in the wrong place, didn’t ya?!  HA-Ha!  Thought I fooled you!  You are still in the right place!

Anyway, back to what I was saying.  There’s a song by Foreigner, one of the most famous stadium-grade rock bands of all time.  It’s one of those power ballads that feels like pure energy giving me the strength to sing from my heart.  That particular song is: “I Want to Know What Love Is”.

Let me ask you something; is there a song that resonates with you on some level?  Did you listen to it at just the right moment in your life?  Does it still resonate with you and/or remind you of where you used to be?

Well, in my case, the more I listened to it, the more it began to ring true.  Every poetic lyric delivered in that rock ballad style said everything that has been in my heart since my last relationship ended.  For me, music is therapeutic; it has been for almost my entire life.  No matter what I’m feeling, I just have to find the right song and my feelings are revealed.  Such is the case with this one.

In all honesty, I was struggling to get over the failure of a relationship that lasted two years.  Even three years after I ended it, the pain still exists at times, but I’ve accepted what’s happened.  I know that my presence in some woman’s life will be a blessing for both of us, but I confess, I’m still so insecure and hung up on my need for some sort of guarantee that I can’t find a way to move forward.

There are times when I feel like I know the score about what people want, but other times I feel as if I have nothing to give.  Right now, there’s a part of me that’s desperate for real love from a woman, but who would want me, with what little I’ve accomplished in my life?

I hear so many conflicting messages that I’m never sure where I stand or where to begin.  There is one feeling, though that remains constant: I know I have something to give to a special woman, but what is it?  I can’t even begin to know what anyone is looking for, and the messages of online dating profiles or personal statements all sound like empty platitudes to invisible critics telling women to straddle the antiquated portions of old-fashioned romance, and some perversion of the feminist credo.

I never really had a chance, did I?

I mean, really, how could a dreamer with Asperger’s Syndrome, a big heart, and very little real world experience survive in a world so merciless to those who possess what I have?  Even so, it helps when I ruminate on the words of a song when they mean something to me.

“I’ve gotta take a little time…a little time to think things over”.  You know, this is something I’ve been doing off & on for at least the past three years.  The truth is if I think about it too deeply for too long, I’m pulled back into the worst feelings of loneliness and isolation.  What I need is to make sure I’m in love with the woman rather than the feeling, in order to avoid the pitfall of ignoring deal breaking differences for the sake of being in love.

“I better read between the lines…in case I need it when I’m older”.  Well, if I know one thing, it’s that my Father reassured me that I have a gift for looking at life beyond the surface, and that I’ve become even wiser than he did when he was my age.  I was not born with this gift, indeed possessing this ability does not come naturally to someone on the Spectrum.  Coming from him, it was a much-needed compliment.

“This mountain I must climb…feels like a world upon my shoulders”.  Here, I am reminded of the struggles I’ve had to endure for most of my life.  For so long, I felt like the burden of my Asperger’s was always to be a cross for me, alone to bear.  That feeling has taken a long time to shake off, but what helped to reassure me was the constant support of the people close to me who understood me.

“Through the clouds I see love shine…it keeps me warm as life grows colder”.  What you probably don’t know is that I can be a hopeless romantic at times.  Nothing sappy involved, just the feeling that no matter how long it takes, my capacity for love will be felt wholeheartedly by one special woman who knows what she wants and is eager to be my friend and partner for life.

“In my life there’s been heartache and pain; I don’t know if I can face it again”.  This is pretty self-explanatory, don’t you think?  First there’s the feeling that I’d never be loved by any woman, and secondly, there’s the added pain of having a relationship that was so deep for so long that when it ended, I was distraught to the point where I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for a long time.

“Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far, to change this lonely life”.  For me, this is the silent determination I have to find what means so much to me.  Having tasted it, I’m ready to be a better man for the woman who was really meant for me.  I will never give up, and I’m still moving forward, one day at a time.

“I wanna know what love is…I want you to show me…I wanna feel what love is…I know you can show me”.  Well, the chorus just brings home what I’ve been searching for.  I feel like I’m calling out to “the one” and asking her for the love she has to give, while promising to give her mine in return.

Some recent good news on this front is that I spent a day with my Dad talking about this subject.  I was surprised and genuinely touched at how open he was about his own love life since he and my Mom divorced.  It was a long-overdue conversation for both of us.

I was very touched by his reassurance that I would be all right once I took another leap of faith.  I had nothing to fear at this point, because as long as we could be open and honest about the challenges and how they affected us personally, we’d both feel safe, having someone to talk to.

In conclusion, I just have to say that in this previous negative cycle of emotions, having a classic song to put my situation into words was therapeutic.  Normally, people on the Spectrum have difficulty understanding their emotions or even expressing them.  In my case, the opposite is true; I have seen enough evidence in my life to prove that I am very emotionally present.  My only question is, ‘how long until a woman finds that appealing in me?’

I’m glad that I can use music to communicate what I feel.  If I didn’t have it, I don’t know what would happen to me.  In the case of my lackluster romantic life, music helps me to carry on with improving my life and drawing nearer to the woman I was always meant to be with.  No matter what happens, I will not give up until I know in my heart that I’ve found the magic of love that I have searched for.  After all, doesn’t everyone want to know what love is?