I've mentioned in here before that I tend not to discuss my autism with people I know in real life (at least not straight away). For a start, it's easier to talk about it online where I can edit and re-edit my thoughts, spend as long as I wish getting them in order, and can point people over to useful websites etc... In real life I can get a little flustered, and this makes me forget things, which in turn makes me sound unsure of myself and probably a little pathetic. The other main reason is that I want people to get to know me for myself, rather than judging everything I do in the light of my Aspergers. This way I find that when I do tell them I'm autistic, they're quite surprised (and this is gratifying because it proves to me that my so-called "quirky behaviour" isn't so alarming to NTs).
I have been told that I'm the kind of person who takes a while to get to know properly. I would say this is true, I rarely open myself up to people unless I feel comfortable with them, and that I can trust them. I would say it takes me at least a year of being acquianted with someone before I feel perfectly comfortable with them (obviously there are exceptions - sometimes I meet someone I "click" with quite quickly, other times I can know someone for many years and still feel uneasy in their prescence.)
Anyway I'm getting far too caught up in the explanation and not getting to the point of this post quickly enough... (I do that a lot, I know...)
So the other day I was having lunch with a friend (let's call her... Hmmm... Jenny.) I have known this girl for over 2 years now, I like her a lot and I find her easy to talk to. I have never told her I'm autistic. I've considered it, but didn't really know how to bring it up, and it also seemed ultimately pointless... But during the course of the conversation I mentioned my brothers were autistic and she claimed I had never said that before (I'm sure I have, it probably didn't sink in). I said to her "My mum has five children and Charlie [my sister] is the only one without any autistic traits."
She looked at me. "What?"
And so on... She told me she had no idea, and I said that was the reaction I usually got. I explained some of my over-sensitivity and social interaction problems to her. ("So that's why I may sometimes look like I'm not, or that I'm not listening when I really am...")
When reflecting on this conversation afterwards I thought "I don't have many friends who know I'm autistic" before adding "I don't have many friends full stop..."
Which is something that I never really notice until I actually sit down and think about it. There are people I enjoy socialising with, people I have good conversations with when I meet them, but how many of them would say I was a "good friend" of theirs?