Low emotional object permanence

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by prismaticvoid, May 4, 2017.

  1. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Putting this in here because while it may be An Autism Thing I have no confirmed diagnosis and no clue :P
    Initial disclaimer: I'm poly. That part is not a problem.
    The problem is a thing that happens with both friends and partners (and partners tend to be friends first, anyhow), which is specifically that it is really, really difficult for me to remember to contact people if I am not seeing them in person on a regular basis. What this tends to mean is that during the school year I pretty much only have extensive conversations with STL friends, and during the summer I pretty much only have extensive conversations with Seattle friends.
    This has the unfortunate consequence of me really, really sucking at keeping in contact with people I deeply care about and want to talk to. It just doesn't occur to me. If I don't see them often they just cease to exist in my brain beyond "hey, maybe retweet that thing for them".
    Is this a thing anyone else deals with? Am I a self-centered asshole? Does anyone have advice?
  2. Marimo

    Marimo Member

    I do that too so I hope it doesn't make you a self centred asshole. I'm also weird about contacting people in general though so my only solution is to hope they contact me first which isn't ideal honestly. But yeah, me too
    • Like x 1
  3. a tiny mushroom

    a tiny mushroom the tiniest

    I also have this. Person exists, I know this. Talking to them doesn't occur to me and then I wonder why our relationships die. Guh.
    • Like x 1
  4. anon person

    anon person actually a cat

    i do that too! it does make it kinda hard to maintain relationships. and it's not just friends, i have two close siblings who don't live at home and i basically don't remember to talk to them unless there's a specific thing i need to talk to them about. so far, the one thing that's worked pretty well for me was scheduling weekly skype chats with my sister. it was originally just for us to talk shop, but we chatted about other stuff too and sometimes we'd take a break from work and just sort of hang out, doing our own thing on our separate computers and talking about whatever. anyway, writing down "call sister at 1900" on my planner reminded me of her existence, and since we'd set it up together, also ensured that she'd be there and not at work so that i wouldn't hang up and forget to call again later if she didn't answer.

    i don't think any of us are self-centered assholes, it's just a brain thing.
    • Like x 2
    • Agree x 1
  5. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Same hat!
    • Like x 1
  6. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    uh. talking frequently with someone you dont see often is a thing? i mean i get like, planning to skype semi regularly, or maybe texting every once in a while but. they need to be in contact like that??? weird. i just kinda ping people every once in a while and then hang out like we were never separated once we're back together. its not cause i dont care or something, i just? didnt realize that was a thing???
    • Like x 1
  7. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Same hat, though I know I am a self-centred asshole because it doesn't really bother me to just fall off the face of the earth. I'm incredibly bad at staying in contact with someone once we no longer have strong shared interests, the only exception being if they live right there with me. Emotional object permanence is a good way of putting it; I have to be reminded that the feelings have been there to feel them again.

    On the other hand, I usually have no problem picking the feeling up again when I am reminded of its existence. Insert shrug emoji here.
    • Agree x 2
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  8. a tiny mushroom

    a tiny mushroom the tiniest

    I have nothing to add but holy shit yes this. The moment I'm with someone again I'm like "oh!!! I like you!!! Why don't we hang out more???"

    And then i...
    • Like x 1
  9. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    so like
    kinda similar thing here? except
    I rarely see people in person because I like to spend my time in my room with my door shut. it's not exactly an invitation to visitors and I don't really go out of it unless absolutely necessary. so I do almost all my talking online.
    but if I live with someone, or am at least in the same state as someone, I'll talk to them more often. like, since I moved in with Raiah, I've been talking to them way more. meanwhile, my best friend, who I used to message on at least a weekly basis when I lived in Rhode Island, I haven't messaged in a month. it's not that I don't want to talk to him, I'd love to, it's just that somehow....it slips my mind. I don't know why or how, it just....does.
    part of me thinks that it's easier for me to remember people when there are more reminders around that they exist--I mean, in my room back home, I had stuff that Austin had given me in various areas of the room, and my parents would even mention Austin every now and then and I'd go "best friend!! must talk to" and then we'd talk and hang out. but now there's nothing here to really remind me of him. meanwhile, I'm surrounded by reminders that Raiah exists--I see them just about every day because we live in the same house. if I don't see them, I at least remember they live here and wonder where they are.
    in a somewhat similar vein, if I'm on Kintsugi for a bit, sometimes that gets me to message friends I talk online with who are on Kintsugi, because I remember "hey this person is cool and I want to chat".
    it's not that they just stop existing, or that I stop caring about them or stop viewing them the way I viewed them when we talked a bunch in terms of friendship and whatnot. it's just that somehow, the fact that I need to actually talk to them slips my mind because there are fewer reminders of them around. I don't know why? but it's a thing.
    • Like x 2
    • Agree x 1
  10. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    My hat is also the same.

    Years and years ago I got "disappearing friend" on an online quiz about what type of friend you were, so I'm pretty sure it's not completely uncommon.
    • Like x 2
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