You know what really sucks?

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Schwiitzer
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Location: Cleveland Ohio usa

25 May 2022, 5:40 pm

Im just starting to learn about my ASD at age 43. I have an appointment for an assessment in one month. So many of the copping strategies that worked in the past are less effective or not at all. the last few days have been VERY hard. I have been stuck in an uncomfortable situation every day for at least 8 hours. I think I may be in some sort of multi day melt down. Im nearly at the end of my rope. My thoughts of my Retirement Plan(i.e. suicide) are back strong. I only have my therapist to talk to and I only do that every 2 weeks and she barely understands ASD and has almost no experience with adult ASD(I've been working with her for 2 years and I just discovered ASD 2 months ago). My appointments with the therapist have been over skype since covid started and I dont have a private place to make those calls. My wife has more than once listened in to my entire session through the door to make sure Im not badmouthing her to my therapist. My spouse is part of my problem and because of relationship trauma I cant talk to her at all. I never realized how much trouble I had in expressing my feeling to others in the past. Now that I know about ASD and how my masking works I can see that I never really opened up to people before. I always put on my mask. I even find it very hard not to mask in my therapy sessions.

Talking about what is going on inside my head is very hard for me in a face to face scenario. I feel I can communicate so much better in writing. I have time to really think about what I mean and get it mostly right. I think I can think things through in a way that I can avoid the mask and be more real. I tried writing in a journal about a month back. I was writing very real emotions and I felt like it was helping. Some of the things I wrote about were critical of my spouse. I was trying to work through it and felt that writing it down in my phone journal app was helping me. I never intended to show it to anyone. then my wife found the app on my phone and read every entry. she asked me to come to bed early and as soon as we were in our room with the door shut she confronted me about everything I wrote. She was very upset and aggressively defended herself and her actions about each Item that I "misunderstood". I had one of my worst meltdowns to date that night. It left me lying on the floor crying and hitting my head on the metal bedframe.

Ever since then I stopped talking to her about my ASD. When she notices I'm struggling and asks me about it I lie and tell her its not so bad. when inside I feel like I am screaming. I think that some of my issues come from masking in front of her. I have been married for 19 years and have raised 4 kids (3 still at home) together with undiagnosed ASD. I can see that over the years I have started to mask more and more around her and now that near constant masking has lead to me having major depression, and anxiety issues. most of my rumblings and meltdowns are related to trying to mask around her.

I recently came across the term co-regulation. One of the positive aspects is that someone can use a calm state to effect someone else and promote a calmer state in the other person. small aspects of their mood come through in body language and tone that is picked up on subconsciously. In romantic relationships this can very easily happen for both positive and negative emotions. I think I pick up on her negative emotions very easily. That then puts me on the defensive because I cant easily self regulate and I hate the way I feel when take on her negative state. I try not to but she then picks up on my defensiveness and her standard response to that is to confront me and project even more negative energy. I then pick up on that and I think you can see where this is going.

To make things even worse, we work together. I am self employed, my name is on all of the business documents but its family income. She helps me in many aspects and lately has had to do more than normal because of my progressing difficulties. we have very differing work ethics and that leads to a lot of clashes and tension. we often have to spend hours driving together and that close proximity and the tension leads to co-dysregulation very easily. I cant really consider finding a different job right now because what I do brings in a good income and I dont think that I could come even close to that If I had to go back to a standard employment.

So if you made it all the way to this point I will reward you with the continuation of the subject title. You know what really sucks? Like I said above I think I may be able to communicate better in writing. BUT I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA!! !! and not the kind that is easily overcome with technology like voice to text or typing, no I have the kind that gives me almost instant writers block all the time. Up to this point Its taken me 4 hours to write out this post. I have very good verbal articulation and can speak on topics I'm interested in for hours. I'm actually a great teacher and public speaker and have spoken in front of audiences of more than a thousand people. when I have had the occasion to teach a lesson I have had people come up to me afterwards and give me praise(which I hate) about my ability to get the topic across in a way that is easy to understand. As soon as I start the process of putting my thoughts into words that could be written, my brain derails and it takes many times the amount of energy to mentally stay on task and convert my thoughts into a series of words that even closely resembles my Ideas. I constantly have to proof read each sentence and usually I modify it several times before I'm satisfied.

I really need help. I feel like I'm getting to a point that I wont be able to to keep going. my only real means of communicating and trying to work things out is so slow as to not be effective and often adds to my frustrations. I also am terrified that my wife will find this post or my writings again . I feel like there is no hope of getting better. I've lived a longer life than many and my kids are almost to a point that they could survive on their own. The Idea of oblivion, ceasing to exist is more comforting than the idea that life may get better if I just keep going. I



kitesandtrainsandcats
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25 May 2022, 5:48 pm

Sure sounds like a lot of stress going on at the moment.


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Mountain Goat
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25 May 2022, 6:04 pm

How long is the waiting time over there to be assessed?



Schwiitzer
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25 May 2022, 9:08 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
How long is the waiting time over there to be assessed?

I first called in mid March, appointment scheduled for July 1st so about 2.5 months. I think I got lucky cause I have heard of ppl waiting much longer



Pteranomom
Deinonychus
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26 May 2022, 1:23 am

That sounds really awful. I'm sorry you are going through such a horrible time. Is it possible to switch to an in-person therapist or get any kind of additional help in less than 2.5 months?



klanka
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26 May 2022, 2:31 am

What would happen if you stopped masking in front of your wife?
I didn't bother when I was married ;)
What behaviors are you suppressing around her?