Camerous has it right. What I"d add on that aspect is that while we can (and often times involuntarily or absently do) detach from people, what wedo
feel seems to be felt more acutely than what neurotypical people feel. It"s an irreconcilable world experience in that we are so absorbed by our interests that we distance ourselves from others, but when we feel the normal sense of loneliness, it can be crippling.
That"s the tip of the iceberg, but it seems to be the part that we all share. For me, there"s more. For example, staring at visually complex scenes while my other senses are being stimulated takes a lot of concentration. A colorful store shelf with music playing can lead me to just zone out and detach completely from what is around me -- best example I can think of.
Also, there"s synethesia, which can at times be interesting and other times painful. Synethesia is the crossing of senses such as seeing sound or hearing touch. For me, I tend to feel other senses at times; sense-of-touch-feel (tactile, somatic), not emotion-feel. Orange scent feels awesome, btw, and I wish I could describe it better. Refreshing, clean, almost electric... Anyhow... We all differ when it comes to the range of symptoms, with the exceptions that define our end of the autism scale.
Regarding seeing beauty in others whom many do not see it: As a person with social difficulties, it is all-too-easy to develop an aversion to doing to another what has hurt me in the past. For this reason, I believe everyone deserves a fair chance with people and everyone needs the opportunity for redemption in almost every circumstance. But that is something I will be more careful with.
When you look at it honestly, do you think this was denial? (ie, denying to yourself that Shelly is a retard, so you could justify the relationship with her.)
When I try not to be biased, her keen ability to persuade others verbally (not in written language albeit) seems to involve too much higher thought for her to be literally retarded. Actually, her biggest flaws that make people wonder about that are that she has suffered intense loneliness, so she can make poor choices where people are concerned (something I can relate to). The other is her writing. She graduated high school without special ed, so unless the system herded her through, she could use proper grammar if she tried. She also has trouble typing due to the way her fingers curl, so that probably impacts her writing style more than one may expect. Her handwriting is very different.
It is easy to sell her short (no pun intended) and she has her flaws as I have mine. Speaking strictly of personality, I think that (just as with me) her decisions and the way she presents herself regarding the more difficult events in her life color peoples" opinion both for the better and worse (and drastically). This is something else I can relate to.
I bear her no ill will. I don"t hate her. I think where she and her child are concerned, what I feel most now is a sense of numbness and a bit of uncertainty. She is right that I was very upset with some events, but that has passed. Nonetheless, she (or whomever was helping her type) is correct: time for emotions to balance and biases to be countered with logic is the best thing here.
I"m not sticking up for her nor putting her down. Just trying to state my observations without bias or malicious intent. I think the suggestion that she suffers from PTSD and borderline personality disorder are likely spot-on, but I"m not really qualified to make that call either.
Thanks again to everyone for your help and a kick in the ass toward the right direction.
Also, I"d vote towards shame rather than fame on this one as well, simply for the unadulterated airing of so much dirty laundry. Besides, the only fame deserved would be FoH"s in this one and visitors would get the wrong idea there by seeing my name by this thread in the HoF.