how long is the longest acceptable shutdown?

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longest allowable shutdown
not allowed at all 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
a few minutes 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
a few hours 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
a day or so 18%  18%  [ 7 ]
a few days 25%  25%  [ 10 ]
a week or two 28%  28%  [ 11 ]
a few weeks or a month 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
a few months 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
half a year or so 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
more than half a year 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 40

Henbane
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28 Feb 2012, 1:37 pm

I don't know how long a shutdown normally lasts, or what the maximum one would normally be for an autistic person, so I guess I can't really say how long I would wait until I regarded a relationship as over. It would be completely dependent on the situation, the length of relationship, the circumstances, the person involved.

Having said that, if I hadn't heard from someone at all for more than a couple of weeks I'd probably be getting quite anxious and would find it hard not to force some sort of communication on them. I would hope if they were going through something stressful or traumatic that they would be wanting to share that with me, otherwise what is the point of being in a relationship?

I can't imagine having a total shutdown for more than a few days. Anything more than that, and I would wonder if it was depression rather than related to autism. When I shutdown it tends to be for no more than a day, usually less. Although I can have periods of social withdrawal and selective mutism that last longer than that, but I think I would still manage to be able to have some sort of minimal contact with the other person, even if just by text.



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28 Feb 2012, 2:13 pm

Well, it kinda depends on how often they happen. I mean, for me it happens once, occasionally twice, a week. But given that it rarely lasts more than 5 or 6 hours I don't think that's too bad.

If it lasted longer than a day, it'd need to happen no more than maybe twice a month. A week would need to happen no more than once every three or four months. And if I had to go more than a month without contact, I'd consider the relationship over.


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28 Feb 2012, 5:33 pm

When I shut down I lock off all contact except or answering any question with "I don't know". Luckily they only last a few hours an I try to control them. Lasting a few hours means about a day to compose myself. Maybe a few days for others but not too many.



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28 Feb 2012, 5:53 pm

fascinating to hear your answers. i have shutdowns of a sort but they are usually fairly brief. or at the end of an argument i might insist on being alone (which isn't actually in my best interests). i haven't ever encountered it with a partner so i don't really know what would be considered acceptable in general.


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28 Feb 2012, 11:17 pm

5-6 days and then I am back to normal.



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29 Feb 2012, 12:03 am

As long as there is a note beforehand, I'll be fine with maximum a month or two. Otherwise, no.



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29 Feb 2012, 12:33 am

Years is fine with me.

As long as I knew they were safe and sound, I'd be fine with whatever. I need very little in regards to social stuff (little feels like a lot to me though).



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29 Feb 2012, 1:09 am

hyperlexian wrote:
so if someone said they have 6 month shutdowns, you would be ok with that or no?


Just as an aside: It's handy that you happened to bring up the 6-month time frame, because that's probably my maximum (at least, that's what I told myself in my mind; who knows how my emotions might battle me, sooner than that *shrugs*) allowable time frame before I'd just assume that the relationship had been abandoned/was over.

However, if the person I loved told me that they had long shutdowns, or came back to me somewhere in the middle of that time frame and explained that they hadn't abandoned me/the relationship, they were just in a severe shutdown, I'd still consider holding on to the relationship, with a mind to seeing a specialist & counselor for the both of us who could help us out with a plan/strategies to minimize or alleviate the shutdowns faster and more, in the future. (That was horrible grammar, sorry.)

Basically, so long as I understood that the person had not abandoned the relationship and I really loved them, I would try to do what it takes, together, to get my partner help to just minimize the scope, duration, and impact of such severe (long-term) shutdowns in our life. Because I don't know if I think I could handle such long shutdowns (as multiple-month) if they happened on an at all semi-frequent basis, even. I'm not sure any relationship could handle it, honestly.

But I'd try to hold out faith that life could be improved, and that we could work together (and probably with a professional) to minimize and drastically shorten the shutdowns, if we really loved each other and felt committed to the relationship and each other.


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Dillogic
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29 Feb 2012, 1:15 am

Ember_Of wrote:
I'm not sure any relationship could handle it, honestly.


If one side is socially normal, probably not, as they need different things.

I personally think "shutdown" is the wrong term to use, as it's closer to social exhaustion; normal people need more than what most with an ASD can give.



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29 Feb 2012, 1:21 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
so if someone said they have 6 month shutdowns, you would be ok with that or no?


It really does not matter if I am ok with it, its not something that is typically all that controllable, however I find it doubtful shutdowns typically last for 6 months.

what i mean is.... how long would you wait? would you be willing to continue a relationship after 6 months of no contact? (i did see at least one person speak of a multiple-month shutdown on the forum, so it does happen).


multiple or 6 months......but anyways it really depends on the situation I have not been faced with it yet. I mean I could certainly go without sex for 6 months but yeah I think it would really depend If I really had a good relationship with someone....I don't think I would end it on account of my own impatience over something they can't even control. But I am not 100% sure what i would do in a situation like that.


^ That.

See, yeah. That's my dilemma. I say as long as '6 months' (max) because if you say you love someone, how callous would it be to just leave them over something that, really, isn't any different than if they'd had a horrible traffic accident or something and were in a coma or undergoing rehabilitation and couldn't speak or communicate with you? I mean, seriously: If you love someone, in my opinion you don't leave them for a physical (which includes neurophysical) ailment which they are helpless against. I mean, what the actual f*ck??-you know?

I wouldn't think much of someone who did that.

Basically, if my love at all tried to let me know that that was what was happening - or even if they didn't, because they couldn't - if I at least found out that that was what was happening - I'd be faithful. I'd be there for them when they came out.


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Ember_Of
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29 Feb 2012, 1:28 am

Dillogic wrote:
Ember_Of wrote:
I'm not sure any relationship could handle it, honestly.


If one side is socially normal, probably not, as they need different things.


You're right. I agree. I almost edited my response to add that my statement was kind of assuming either an NT/Aspie relationship, or an AS/AS relationship where at least 1 partner wasn't as severe on the "low need for socialization/high need for alone-time" scale.

(Especially after reading your first response. I'm glad you chimed in, because people need to be reminded of those on the extreme ends of some of the spectrum's characteristics.)


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29 Feb 2012, 1:29 am

see..... Ember_Of, i don't think i would be with someone who had a 6-month shutdown in the first place. it's just a no-go for me as i need more communication than that. there are 2 people in the relationship, not just the one having the shutdown. i am glad there are people out there who would be willing to stay, but i definitely would not.

an important part of a relationship for me is interaction. a few days, a week... a couple of weeks may even be ok under some circumstances... but after a few months i would question why the relationship exists in the first place. with neither of us interacting or having any mutual support, it seems kinda... pointless in terms of what a relationship looks like to me.

i tend to think that a person wouldn't suddenly start experiencing a shutdown after a 5 year relationship. i think it would probably happen fairly early on - early enough to make a decision whether to stay or go. and if it happened really early on then there isn't really a level of commitment there as yet.


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29 Feb 2012, 2:13 am

I think a lot of us might have different definitions of what constitutes a shutdown.


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hyperlexian
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29 Feb 2012, 2:20 am

mds_02 wrote:
I think a lot of us might have different definitions of what constitutes a shutdown.

you can offer a description if you want. are your shutdowns different?


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29 Feb 2012, 2:53 am

For me, I need to be as still, as quiet, as possible. I absolutely cannot have any interaction whatsoever with other people for any reason. I do not leave my house, I do not even leave my room if possible. If I am able to interact with the world outside my own head, for any reason whatsoever, I do not consider myself to be in shutdown mode. The absolute longest I've existed like this is a few days and that is extremely rare.

I have had stretches, the longest lasting for months, where I would not speak with anyone, would not interact with the world beyond what was necessary for survival (getting food for example). But, since I was able to do that much, I do not consider those to be shutdowns.

Which is why I think maybe the definition is different for each individual. Unless the person has someone else to care for their basic needs, providing food and the like, I do not see how a shutdown (or what I consider to be one) would be physically survivable for multiple months. And, for me at least, even being able to interact with that caretaker would mean that I was not in a shutdown.

It was also mentioned by at least one poster that it would help if their partner were to communicate what was going on. In what I experience as a shutdown, that level of communication is simply not possible.

Not trying to say that others definitions are wrong, just that they are different from mine.


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whattoput
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29 Feb 2012, 3:04 am

The fact is that I can go a week or so shutdown. I just want as little contact with anybody during that time as possible. Given that fact, I would have to say I had better be willing to put up with a couple of weeks or a month from somebody else. With some people I have known in the past it would appear that a day without communication is too much for them.

The problem is not usually a shutdown for me, but rather the fact that to avoid entering that mode, I usually have to limit contact / time spent with somebody. I don't know how or if I would ever be able to live with somebody who had the expectation that I were there each evening or daily contact. I can limit a shutdown to, maybe once a year by having regular, shorter times away from people. The problem is that many people don't seem to understand that need.

Finally, I would have to say that while there is a time limit on a romantic relationship, there is no time limit to friendships. If I can pick up friendships after years of no contact when somebody moves back to the city I am in or somehow drops back into my life, I can pick up a friendship with somebody who has entered "shut down mode" providing I enjoyed their company in the first place.