For years I've wondered if it's even worth trying. And felt, often, like it wasn't.

Friendship, I mean. Trying to get close to people. Being there when they need me and opening myself somehow to them. It didn't feel worth it because I cause so much damage... feel so awful... and I don't know that it will ever go away. I have so many problems that inevitably some of the main factors of my relationships are miscommunication and pain. Somewhere in my head I thought that all I needed to do was find the right girl who could see through everything on the outside and understand and love me - someone I could love back - and then I wouldn't have to worry as much.

I thought I understood.

And then, twice this week, people told me about experiences in their lives. Where a parent has an autism spectrum disorder and struggles to communicate and understand love... first from the perspective of a child, then from a parent.

Both ripped me apart.

Will this never end?

It never hit me that my difficulty developing relationships would extend to my kids someday. That the things I face in the outside world could become obstacles to being there for them... in the walls of my home. That having autism/aspergers could make me less of a father and push them away from me... be a barrier to enabling them to feel loved.

It makes sense. This probably isn't going to go away suddenly... and it already influences my ability to communicate with my siblings, parents, and others. Why not my kids someday? I guess I always hoped it wouldn't... and yet listening to others makes me wonder, for a moment, about having a family at all. I've wanted nothing but to be a dad for all my life - that and a missionary. But if I can't be there... if I can't help them feel loved... if I can't be the kind of dad I want them to have... can I even want a family?

I don't know. Maybe it's still worth it, because the things I'm learning make me into a better person. Maybe I can learn enough to overcome the worst of it, someday. Maybe I will be a good father somehow. But right now I find myself wondering, even about the desire to have a family here. My dream to have a dozen kids and raise them in the gospel... Yeah. I don't know what to want anymore.

I still want it though... because I believe it'll be worthwhile. I just... knowing what I know, what girl would ever want a guy like me? And what kid would want me for a dad? I don't know the answer to that. Just that the journey will always be hard.
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