WHAT ARE “FAMILY” AND “LOVED ONES”?

To me, the terms “family” and “loved ones” vary and are broad. In my opinion, family is more than my parents and sisters. Don’t get me wrong; I love my sisters and my parents (even you, Dad)—that’s a given. But I also love my girlfriend of 8 years, Allie. I love her more than I can ever say or express.
I also care deeply about the people at my agency here in Baltimore…even the people who drive me ABSOLUTELY INSANE! They annoy the Hell out of me, but I try avoiding them as a sign of respect. I absolutely “love” my bosses and coworkers at my two jobs. Now, obviously when I say I “love” it is obviously not in the literal or romantic way. I just deeply respect and admire them. I do not love them the same way I love, say, my sisters or parents, or even Allie.
That’s all love is to me: A deep respect and admiration for someone. It does not always have a sexual or romantic undertone. Please understand that. I do have a “real” family—sisters, parents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, et cetera—but then there’s my “second family”. They consist of Allie, close friends, and even to an extent, my boss at my advocacy position.
I feel absolutely blessed and fortunate to have such great, loving, caring, supportive people in my life! So who or what do you consider to be part of your “family” or a “loved one”? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!
-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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