Four simple letters

Written by Yasmin Alexandria

Liebe. Amour. Rakkaus. Liefde. Kärlek. Любовь. Love. No matter how you pronounce it it will always be there pulsating around the world like undetectable lay lines. Pure energy that somehow connects us as humans. At least I think love exists? Love can not simply be a mirage of emotions caused by biological chemicals?

And yet I feel like it somehow missed me. I’ve never felt love. Not for a pet, a friend or even my own parents. There’s something wrong in the wiring of my brain and it scares me. What if I never feel love. I can feel every other emotion under the sun, some that psychically render me weak but love? Never. And I know Autism makes me unique and special along with any other word in the dictionary used to positively describe being different but at what cost? Am I cursed to live my life alone because I can’t feel this one sensation that seems to come so easily to others. An intense response that people expect you to have. I’m not saying I want a cheesy declaration of my love in the rain rom-com style understanding of this emotion but I want to feel something.

I think I still expected one day to wake up to the perfect life, where everything was amazing and predestined. A world where there was no pressure on me because it was all figured out. Life with a preordained script. A world that left you feeling weightless but in the best way possible. One of my biggest fears is that I have felt love but the circuit in my brain didn’t recognise it before losing it. And now I’m condemned to walk the earth trying to find something that the media and society described to me from childhood. What if the way love had been advertised to me from day one doesn’t match up with the way my brain must receive it in order to experience it?

Love. I never knew such a basic word could fry my brain beyond recognition. The four simple letters combined in an order that create this powerful thing. For years I thought and still feel like there is something wrong with me due to this word meaning nothing. I lie awake at night thinking and pondering if I’ve ever felt anything even close to love and it’s broken me. What is wrong with me?

I could write pages and pages of romance and feel the warm tingly feeling my characters on the paper in front of me feel burning through their veins. Hell when I do even I can con myself into believing that this is what love feels like. Why am I so good at producing an emotion in a fictional setting, an artificial love so to speak when I’ve never felt it? I’m a fraud.

Of course I’ve said “I love you” I can’t deny that and the guilt of saying it eats me up at times because while the person hearing it genuinely meant it, I say it because in the back of my mind I feel I'm expected to say it. Say it, believe it and most importantly mean it. I try and force myself to believe that in that time, in that situation the statement is true and that’s what love feels like. Maybe love isn’t shooting stars, northern lights and beautiful sunsets but I’m certain it’s not a Monday evening on the bus either. I would trade anything to be able to feel love for even just a second so I know what I'm looking for rather than stumbling around like Velma from Scooby-Doo who's lost her glasses for the millionth time. Trying to find love when you don’t understand what it feels like is like being on the world’s worst scavenger hunt. The thought of not being able to reciprocate someone's feelings and be wasting their time is an immense pressure I couldn’t put into words. You may scoff and use that patronizing tone with a small smile claiming “You’re overthinking it.” but am I?

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