One other point: my daughter is PERFECTLY HAPPY as she is, just as I'm perfectly happy as I am. She doesn't feel any need to change and neither do I, other than as a natural by product of our own exploration, growing knowledge and free choice. The only thing that makes either of us unhappy, usually, is OTHER PEOPLE refusing to accept either our personalities, or our own judgement as to our level of contentment or satisfaction with ourselves and our lives, and pressuring us to change in ways that our own free minds do not agree with or desire, "for our own happiness".
SO MANY people look at her and think 'oh it'such a shame she can't enjoy close friendships', perceiving this to even be a) the case and b) a shame just because by that person's individual definition and preference for close friendships, she doesn't seem to have any. But by her own definition, she does get what she needs and wants; she does have close friendships that she enjoys and values - the 'rules' are just totally different to what most people expect.
What they seem to perceive as a shame is that she fails to want or need something that's only indispensible to the person judging her. It isn't a shame. Her existence and way of being is not a shame. Neither is mine. I don't consider it a shame that many NF's "can't" do what I do - I accept that it's their judgement that a different way of being is what they choose as the most likely path for them to that long-term peace and contentment that we all seek. The fact that this gives them weaknesses in other areas I don't see as "a shame", but just an inevitable and acceptable side-effect of them being the person I love and accept as them.
For these reasons I find I relate to her and to other autistic people very easily and quite strongly - not because of any autistic tendencies of my own (I have none), but because I see her all the time being perceived as somehow missing out on life or being defficient in some way simply because her aims, goals, desires and skills in life don't match the norm. Even though she is, within herself, perfectly content. Not in denial, not self-deluded, not repressed - just genuinely, sincerely happy.
Just as I am with the way I choose to make my decisions and the down sides that come as a result.
If I feel an emotion, it has to be run through the intellectual filter to discover whether it has any right to exist or not. If the mind veto's it, then the heart simply has to man up and get over it. If the head permits it, it can run its course. If the head postpones it, it gets put aside, to be allowed out to play at a time the head judges as appropriate.
That's the way I operate. It's not the result of bitterness, fear, personality disorders etc and it isn't in need of being 'fixed'. Whatever I learn about identifying emotions and understanding their interplay with each other and those of other people, it will only be put to the service of my chosen way of being. I am, in short, incorrigible
This isn't aimed at you Dom, but I do get rather tired of having my whole way of life and being subject to amateur-pop-psych scrutiny all the time and made to seem like I'm not valid simply because some schmuck just can't imagine themselves wanting to be in my shoes. It doesn't matter what they want or imagine; that's the beauty of it. It's my life.