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Monday, 22 August 2016

I don't understand

It’s very rare that I get a chance to write anything on this blog these days – with full-time work (to try and recoup some of the debt my husband has got us into), three kids (one of them currently being assessed for Asperger’s) and all the demands of everyday life that we all face.

But I want to thank everyone who’s commented on any of the blog posts recently – the people with Asperger’s Syndrome who, quite rightly and helpfully, are defending and seeking to explain Ethan’s behaviour and reminding me of the immense pressures and difficulties that people with Asperger’s face in our increasingly emotional, chaotic and socially overloading world. On the other hand, there are us, the partners, who are living with the person who is struggling to function in life. And we’re trying to bring up children with them yet bearing most of the responsibility for this ourselves (often having to repair the damage that our AS partners have unwittingly inflicted). And we don’t have Asperger’s – we do need to connect with our partners, we do need to feel supported and understood. We need to have a decent conversation once in a while and not be side-lined every night in favour of the telly or computer. And when we’re upset, we want to be really listened to and feel that we’re getting some kind of reaction and feedback to what we’re saying.
Because, and I can only speak for myself now, however much I try to understand my Asperger’s partner, the reality is I can’t. I can’t understand how something that, for me is part of being human and which I don’t even think about, for him, isn’t there. I can’t understand how, when we’re out for a walk and we bump into a couple we know vaguely and, while I’m talking to the wife and the husband is desperately trying to get a conversation out of Ethan and says ‘I miss our dog’, that Ethan says ‘mmm’, rather than ‘oh, what type of dog did you have?’ (the conversation, obviously didn’t go any further).  I don’t understand why, when our eight-year-old says proudly to Ethan when measuring himself against our height chart that tells you weird and wacky things you’re as tall as, ‘I’m as tall as the world’s tallest two and a half year old,’ that he would respond gruffly, ‘you act like a two and a half year old sometimes’ and make him cry.


So I’m sorry if my blog posts seem overly negative towards Ethan. I do love him. I admire him hugely for his persistence, his loyalty, his refusal to give up – on me or himself, his willingness to take the criticism I fire his way and to try and learn from it. And I’m thankful to him for the sacrifices he makes every day for us all and for how hard he works. And, believe me, I know I'm very far from perfect too and Ethan is very welcome to write a blog about how frustrating and incomprehensible I am! But I don’t understand Ethan and I do find life with him incredibly difficult, and very lonely sometimes. And so this blog post is for me – the neuro-typical partner – and for all the other neuro-typical partners out there who are struggling. It’s a springboard, a battering ram, a way to off-load my frustrations and connect with others facing similar struggles. 

I’m sorry to the people with Asperger’s but this blog is primarily for the NT partners and so while I really, genuinely appreciate you pointing things out about Ethan’s behaviour and why he is the way he is – and you really have helped me to see things from his perspective and have stopped me in my furious tracks sometimes and I’m grateful – but I’m sorry that this blog is probably never going to say the things you want to hear, because this blog is for the NT people who are trapped in an AS world, rather than the other way around. 

8 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you and I have been looking forward to reading your posts. You can see how quickly I jumped on this one lol, but the truth is I've been watching your blog closely because there are times when I feel like no one can possibly understand what it's like to have a partner with this syndrome.

    Personally, I have come to a point where I just don't care. I don't care what the REASON for the behavior is. I just don't care anymore. What I do care about is that it's never going to change, it's not likely to ever get better, and if things stay the way they are, I have (lord willing) another 30+ years of living with someone who can't plan ahead, who has no short term memory, who doesn't care about doing things with me just because they're FUN, who wants me to be a part of HIS life and his special interests but has no interest in doing the same for me. And I CAN'T.

    So you are not alone, Laura. I can feel your anger, hurt, disappointment, etc., in these posts. I UNDERSTAND.

    Whatever you choose to do, be good to yourself.

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  2. I only recently found your blog, Laura. Just wanted to say thank you for your posts. I can relate to most of the things you write about. I am also grateful for the perspective of those with AS (it is often a relief to have someone reframe a particular situation for me, turning it from a negative experience to a positive). For me, navigating the differences often feels lonely. Knowing your blog is here, where there are others who can just simply understand me, it's all I'm looking for, a little companionship along the way. :) Please keep writing (If you can find the time!) xx

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  3. Nice reading and blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    ReplyDelete
  4. Well said Laura, it's hard and sometimes incomprehensible living with an AS partner, and this blog is a small oasis in that mad world. Keep writing, thanks

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  5. Yet again you have summed up life with an AS partner perfectly. I appreciate how you do try to see things from Ethan's perspective, since I am often too mad or discouraged to even try to see things from my husband's perspective. It's the unwitting damage to the children that really gets to me. And you're right-you often feel like you're dealing with all the emotional needs of the children with no support or understanding-it's a very lonely place. If you can find the time, keep writing, it somehow really helps to know someone else understands, especially when things tend to look fairly normal to people who know us-the real stress and struggle is for those of us living in the house with him.

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  6. Có rất nhiều người đặt câu hỏi, Kinh nguyệt màu đenRong kinh thì điều trị như nào? Thực tế, đây là bệnh thường gặp ở chị em phụ nữ. Nó không những ảnh hưởng tới tâm lý, sinh hoạt cuộc sống hàng ngày mà nó còn ảnh hưởng sức khỏe phụ khoa. Hai biểu hiện trên có thể là do bệnh lý cũng có thể là do rất nhiều nguyên nhân khác gây nên. Do đó, theo từng nguyên nhận cụ thể mà các bác sĩ sẽ có phương điều trị hợp lý. Chỉ cần chị em đến các trung tâm y tế để tham khám sớm.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I have just begun to write about my rollercoaster NT/AS marriage. I love my Aspie man deeply, but living with the uncertainty of his behaviors is so draining. There is a lot of info out there aimed at understanding Asperger's but very little helping NT cope and flourish. Thank you for your transparency and honesty!

    ReplyDelete