saffron is friends with Cisco

Little late answering this, I know, but better late than never, I suppose.

I had to put in a great deal of effort into navigating my own romantic endeavors, even with autistic women. It was very draining and it both stressed me out and left me depressed when the relationships eventually ended. The way I learned to cope with that longing in lieu of relationships is to practice and eventually master self-acceptance and self-love.

I learned to provide for myself what I had originally wanted from others; to accept myself for who I am and care for my own needs. This eventually removed that longing for companionship (or at least made it so that it didn't cause me emotional turmoil.) The irony is that with people wanting to be supported rather than to support, by the time we no longer need that romantic affection, people are more willing to offer it to us, as they see us as capable of being their support. And now that I have my own emotional support, a relationship, to me at least, is no longer worth the effort it requires to obtain and maintain.

So to summarize, sure, I'd like that, but people make it too difficult to be worthwhile for me.

As far as emotions go, sensory work on a horse is similar to most pet therapy in a few ways; the warmth and softness of the animal is relaxing, and the knowledge that the animal, in general, is not as judgmental as humans are is comforting. However, being on a horse offers advantages most other pets do not.

For starters, in most traditional pet therapy, the pet must be held by the human receiving the therapy. On a horse, the horse is instead holding the human, removing the source of stress supporting the animal's weight causes. Removing the requirement of keeping the animal held allows the human receiving the therapy to focus more on the therapeutic effects being gained.

The other advantage is perception; on a horse, the human is placed at a higher height than normal, allowing them to take in more of the world around them. (Note, however, that some of have a fear of heights may be put at a disadvantage with this; if this is the case, simply instruct them to keep their eyes closed if they begin to panic.)

By the time I understood that I was an autist, most of my childhood had passed me by; however, I knew I was different from other kids, and the few that I found similarities with I did enjoy the company of far more than the "normal" kids I was normally around. Even after knowing about my autism, there were few opportunities to be around fellow autists, but the times I did have contact with them I generally enjoyed. However, this is not a universal rule; autists, like anyone else, have a wide range of personality traits, so some I did end up not enjoying time with. Likewise, some non-autistic people I found quite enjoyable as well. My experiences with the Horse Boy Foundation in New Trails and my activism in general has brought me into a greater range of autistic socialization, and this has confirmed my preference for autistic friendships. It is only a preference however, and not an exclusionary rule.

In the physiological sense, mostly scents and tastes; cigarette smoke in particular was a huge irritant, and it didn't help matters that olfaction was one of my hypersensitive senses. Lettuce and most of the fruits/bulbs/tubers of plants in the lily and nightshade family (excluding garlic, oddly enough) could not be eaten raw due to emesis. (On a related tangent, as tobacco is also a nightshade, and most unique tastes are also related to smell, it could be a related physiological trait causing both of these sensitivities.) Rapid temperature changes and physical exertion also gave me sensory overloads, though I was not aware of what to call it at the time. All I knew was my skin itched painfully as if I had a rash that was never really there.

However, the question is likely more connoted as what mentally irritated me on an abstract psychological level. They all seem to narrow down to one basic concept: Lack of understanding. I felt a divide between most of the world and myself, knew it was there, even if I couldn't name it. Not understanding why people did the things they did or thought the things they thought was irritating, especially when they expected me to comply without even explaining their reasoning. Much of this irritation was lessened by learning some of the basics of human sociology and psychology; knowing their reasoning, even if I didn't share it, was enough to lessen that irritation, and convince me to compromise on some things in order to coexist in society with the non-autistic world.