Sunday, April 28, 2019

There can be good days, weeks, and months! But . . .

Six months.  Half a year.  All relatively peaceful.

What’s the secret to achieving such happiness?  Oh, sweetheart, there isn’t one.

There are things that help.  Avoidance. Refusal to engage in circular arguments.  Refusal to share my emotions.  Care not to speak with strong emotion.

Those exact same things I always say and know to be true, but tend to forget.  I realize this afresh, every time I fail to implement such strategies.

Like today.  After another go-round on this endless NT/AS carousel.

I AM SISYPHUS.   And this marriage sometimes feels like the definition of insanity.

There can be good days, weeks, and months!

But . . . .


In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was punished by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity. Wikipedia

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Only When Things are Really Bad

Seems the last few years I’ve only checked in here when things have been really bad.  Yes, this week has been Really bad.

Last night, for the first time, I told one of the children that their father has Asperger’s.  And told that child that “we marry our parents.”  Meaning we tend to marry into what we are used to and have grown up with.  Be aware, kiddo.  Examine potential future mates carefully, through the lens of knowledge.  Don’t have a marriage like ours.  PLEASE, please don’t!

Because in your marriage, I don’t want you hiding away in a locked bedroom or bathroom more hours than you can count.  It’s my alternative to divorce.  And I don’t want this for you.

I want you to be able to communicate with your future spouse.  I want you to feel heard, understood, and loved.  You haven’t grown up seeing a marriage with even the most basic biblical communication, and that is my biggest regret in life.  My regret is not so much that I didn’t have it for myself, but that our marriage didn’t model godly communication for you and your siblings.

I ache for myself tonight.  I ache for my children tonight.  I ache for the negative impact that will affect future generations.

Lord, have mercy.  Please, God, have mercy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lack of Empathy for the Children

Wow.  And I thought his lack of empathy for me was horrible.  Nothing makes my blood boil more than when he fails to show any empathy toward my children!  The kids are old enough now to more clearly and verbally express their exasperation and frustration.  They can feel very, very, emotionally hurt by his seeming callousness.

The children should be told that he has Asperger's.  But, how?  He is certainly not going to tell them.  He won't tell anyone. How should I go about explaining this to them?  Do I share how nearly all of our marital strife is rooted in the NT/AS marriage dynamic?  "Marriage doesn't have to look like this, kids."  I don't want their future marriages to be like ours!

Sometimes I am encouraged at the thought of our marriage becoming peaceful, and maybe even fun, once we are empty nesters.  But, then I realize there will be grandchildren one day.  And the issues that upset me so much now, will return when he is with the grandchildren.  And if our adult children have problems and need emotional support and empathy from him?  He has the power to (albeit unwittingly) destroy them.

Which destroys me.

Yes, I know.  It is time to go back to counseling.  Way, way past time.

God, help us all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Humdrum Holiday

My husband doesn't show much emotion over holidays, and is totally fine if nothing festive happens. Decorating the house?  Why bother?  Too much hassle.  Christmas tree?  Bah, too much money.  Thanksgiving feast?  Blah, too much money.  Gifts for family members?  Not necessary.  Or something cheap will do.

Making memories.  What's that?  
Traditions.  Why?

As if normal holiday stress were not difficult enough, the dull and deep ache of loneliness prevails and casts a shadow over the joys of the season.  

I carry the load.  I make the memories.  I keep the traditions.  Without me, the children would have very little by way of expression of celebration. 

To outsiders, we look like a happy couple.  And, sometimes, we are.   But, lately, the majority of the time . . . not so much.  It's time for another humdrum holiday.

What can I do?  What will help?

Look beyond the shadow.  Turn toward thankfulness to be able to turn away from the ache.

Pray to be able to make meaning out of the madness.

Your situation may be incredibly crazy-making.  But you are not crazy.  

And, always remember that you are not alone.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Same old, same old . . . .

Well, I'm right back where I was several years ago, when my Aspergers journey first started.  It feels like that, anyway.

While my aspie husband and I were in marriage counseling, the marriage was at least getting his attention, and acceptable ways of communicating were occasionally on his mind.  Counseling for us stopped, and the marriage is back to horrible, and communication is ungodly.

I just found a blog post I wrote in 2011 and am re-posting in case anyone else is going through the same hell I am.  I desperately need to be able to hope again.  Do you?

Just when everything has been fine and dandy for a while, a "What the . . . huh?!" moment comes along and knocks you on your rear.

Cuz you did it again.  Your feelings were hurt and you thought he would care that your feelings were hurt.  Ya Big Dummy.  How could you forget like that?  He doesn't give a rat's be-hind about your feelings.  You know that.  C'mon.  You've been told a gazillion times.  When will you ever learn?

But seriously.  It hurts like the dickens, doesn't it?  "What the . . . huh?!" moments are all too frequent in an NT/AS relationship.  And they recur.  No matter how long it's been since the last time it happened, it comes back.  And it hurts.  It's the nature of the beast.  It's self-centered.  "It's all about him/her (the aspie)."  It's never about your feelings.  Your feelings simply do not matter.  All that matters is your smiling, unemotional acceptance of everything life throws your way.

And you forgot again.  You made an attempt to explain why you felt the way you did.  You attempted to share a piece of your heart with him.  But it's just not about you, ya know.  It's only about him!  He doesn't listen or try to understand the feelings-talk.  He gets defensive and feels attacked.  "So it's all my fault?!" is his response to everything you say.  "Damn, you big jerk!" you want to scream back at him.  "Would you just hear that I am in pain and act, even just act, like you care?"  

But I'm not being fair. The rational, logical part of me knows that.  This pain, at its root, is caused by his autism.  He does care about me.  If I have a broken leg, he comprehends that and will even perform acts of kindness that show he cares.  His brain just doesn't comprehend empathy for my feelings.  He doesn't "get it."  And he can't.  And I shouldn't expect him to.

The best analogy I have ever read was on a forum post by cmasp on leprosy.  Leprosy prevents a person from feeling pain.  And so a leper can put their hand into boiling water and not take it out, thus resulting in serious injury.  You can explain PAIN to a leper, but they cannot know what it feels like.  They can be taught to take a hurting person pain medicine, but they don't truly understand.  And the aspie can be taught ways to respond to you, but he isn't going to understand--deeply understand--what you are expecting from him in the realm of empathy.

And so the cycle continues.  I expect the impossible.  I get hurt.  I try to share my hurt and he gets defensive.  Will it never end?  I despair.

But love always hopes.  And God "opens the eyes of the blind."  I believe that.  Maybe, just maybe, I need to quit seeing him as the only one who is blind in this relationship.  Maybe I should hope that God would open my eyes to the wonder of His creating us male and female, autistic and neurotypical.  Maybe I should start hoping that I will rejoice more in these trials that bear the good fruit of making me less selfish, more patient, more tolerant, and more kind.

Maybe if I change what I hope for I'll have less "What the . . . huh?!" moments in this NT/AS relationship.


Let's hope!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Borderline Personality Disorder, Codependency, and Aspergers

Does your aspie fly into rages?  Intensely fear abandonment?  Have extremely poor emotion regulation?

If so, consider researching Borderline Personality Disorder.  The website "Out of the Fog" has tremendous resources to help understand BPD as well as helps for understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

It seems autism can have several different comorbid disorders.  So, don't blame every difficulty on autism!  Research personality disorders.

And if your loved one fits the bill for a personality disorder, definitely study Codependency.  You may be caught up in a common disorder yourself, and without realizing it, you might be enabling the dysfunction.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Speaking of Consequences . . .

Yesterday, my aspie spouse started yelling at me in the car.  What started the argument was, of course, my fault. 

Because I'm a total idiot.  Mainly, because I have feelings.  And (cardinal sin that it is), I tried to share said feelings.

So stupid of me!

Will I never learn?  Obviously not.

No matter how much brilliant and helpful how-to-speak-to-an-aspie-knowledge I store in this noggin of mine, my natural, God-created heart will vomit out my feelings via this mouthpiece of mine that can't seem to stay shut.  Or to remember the "rules."  Great rules, yes.  But are they always there in an argument?  Nope.

So, don't feel like a failure when the tips, tricks, and rules are forgotten and feelings spew out.

Take a deep breath.  And get out of the argument as fast as you can.  Any way that you can.

Know what I did yesterday?  When he was yelling at me?  And I was stuck in a car?  (Normally, I drive.  Again, I was a complete idiot yesterday and forgot to insist on driving myself.)

I got out.  In the middle of an intersection.  At a red light.  In the middle of traffic.

And I started walking.

I had no plan other than to just get away from him.  Because he will no longer be allowed to treat me that way.  To speak to me that way.  To YELL at me.

I walked several blocks.  Home was about five miles away.  And I was willing to walk all the way, around dangerous, sidewalk-less curves. 

Maybe I would've called a friend.  Or in a momentary bout of insanity, accepted a ride from a stranger (a female stranger, only, though).  I guess I could always call a cab.  And charge the bill to his credit card.  Ha!  Now THAT would get his attention.

Well, he pulled up beside me, completely shell-shocked.  Where am I going?  I am going home.  I am not spending the day with you.  I am not joining you on the plans we had for the day.  I am going home.  If you will take me straight there without talking, I will get in the car.  Otherwise, I will find another way home.

And he drove me home.  Where I locked myself in the bedroom for the rest of the day.  (*Another life-saving tip:  get a doorknob with a lock to which you have the only key!)

At the end of the night, my aspie quietly and humbly apologized for not listening to my concerns.  Yes, my aspie has come a very, very long way.  Apologizing for "not listening to my concerns" would never have happened the first umpteen years of our marriage.  These days, however, my aspie can actually be pretty darn awesome.  I thank God for that.  For getting us help.  For couples counseling, and therapy, and a diagnosis, and answered prayers.

Keep praying.  Forgive him, and forgive yourself for all the times you mess up and OOPS! share your feelings.  Use consequences.  It can get better.  It can, it can, it can.  But it will never be easy.  It will never be over.  Aspergers will always be there as a trial for you both to fight your way through, learning, growing, and becoming better and stronger because of it.

God is good.  God is in control.  God gave him this.  God gave you this.  And He will provide a way for you both.