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.