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StitchwitchD
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05 Apr 2007, 7:24 pm

Today has sucked. We had the same exact fight that we've had over and over again.

I don't remember exactly how, but the issue of how messy the house was when I was a stay-at-home mom with a newborn and a 2 year old (who I suspect is AS), and was overwhelmed, exhausted, and getting no help from him. Once again, he said "You sat on your ass and did nothing all day." which provoked my usual response of wanting to take a cattle prod to his genitals. I didn't have one handy (luckily, or I'd be in jail now) so instead I screamed. Just screamed as loud as I could. Then I left, ran some errands, came back and tried to explain that when he said that, I got very angry because that had been a very hard time for me, and that I had been doing housework and/or childcare for over 100 hours a week, and I'd been exhausted and had no time for myself and that in order for me to have managed to get all the stuff done that he'd expected me to do, I'd have had to be working 160 hours or so a week. He kept interrupted and saying I was crazy, and I ended up hitting the side of my head and saying "160 hours a week".

He says I'm psycho, and I communicate like s**t, and that hitting myself just proves how psycho I am. I said I was sorry for being autistic, and he pointed out that I haven't been diagnosed as AS or any other form of autism, and that he thinks I'm schizophrenic and won't believe I'm AS unless I get an official diagnosis. I asked if he'd treat me any better/differently if I got diagnosed and he said "I'd use shorter words", as if AS was a form of mental retardation. He might have been joking, I have no clue. (I usually know that what he's saying is supposed to be funny because it's about farting or blow jobs or the like. He doesn't usually understand the things I think are funny, so I don't talk to him about them most of the time. ) He did say that if either me or our son was officially diagnosed, then he'd actually read about Asperger's and see if there's anything that can "be done about it".

He also pointed out that he's been trying to be a good husband, he's been doing more than his share of the housework and he's been making an effort to actually spend time with me, like talking or playing board games, etc, but that he always initiates it, and it seems like I would rather just ignore him and focus on the computer. He's right.

I pointed out that with him, I self-edit because I know it bores him if I talk on and on about stuff he's not interested in. (This was a problem when we were first married, he'd get annoyed when I'd ramble on about some book or movie that he had no interest in, so I tried to stop, at least when I caught myself.) I also try to pay attention when he's talking about stuff like football or wrestling, no matter how boring I think it is, otherwise he gets annoyed that I'm blowing him off.
He pointed out that he hasn't told me to shut up when I was talking about something he thought was boring for years. He's right, but I'm just a bit scared to risk my feelings like that, and if I really want to talk about something, I'd rather go online and find someone who is actually interested in what I have to say. He pointed out that there's things we're both interested in, but it takes effort for me to hold a conversation with him because I have to try to figure out if he'd be interested or not.

Most of the time, I'd rather he just left me alone and I leave him alone, but I'm scared he'll leave me because I don't think I can handle both kids and working and housework all by myself. As it is, I don't get enough time to myself, I don't think I could handle being a single mom.

Right now, I'm at the library. I'm hoping that if I just leave him alone for awhile then apologize when I get home that he'll drop the whole thing. Still, we've been through this before and it's bound to happen again, and he'll end up standing there saying the meanest things he can think of to me while I sit on the floor, cry and hit myself. I really want to avoid that. It leaves me completely drained and exhausted, and then I don't get stuff done. Also, he's threatening to leave, or get me locked up in the psych ward. He says he just wants me to talk to him like a normal human being.



Esperanza
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05 Apr 2007, 7:38 pm

Your husband sounds like a major ass.

My husband definitely gets annoyed with me for doing AS things (although he thinks some of the AS things I do are "cute"), but he's NEVER an ass about it. He didn't believe me at first when I told him I had AS either; I am also undiagnosed.

Watching Mozart and the Whale convinced him. He says I'm not as severely affected as the people in the movie, which is true, but even though I hadn't been diagnosed as a child my mother did everything right in the sense of early intervention.

It might help make it real for your husband if he watches Mozart and the Whale. There's something inescapable about seeing it in living colour on your screen. My husband stopped the movie halfway through and said, "Ok, I GET it. This is a real disorder and you really really really really REALLY have it." It was a very validating moment.



StitchwitchD
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05 Apr 2007, 7:49 pm

We watched Mozart and the Whale a couple weeks ago, and while he was watching it, he admitted I could be right, and that there are things I do (like talking endlessly about things no one else is interested in) that remind him of people he's known who have been diagnosed.

But then we'll have a fight and I'll end up crying and hitting myself, and he'll say I must be crazy because the autistic people he's known have been very unemotional. His friend Matt is autistic and not interested in dating or women at all, he shows little emotion besides getting excited about the latest book he read.

I get emotional, and have total meltdowns where I act completely irrational, so he thinks I can't be autistic. He wants me to be able to talk about things that are bothering me in a calm rational manner, but when I manage to calm down, I don't want to talk about what's bothering me. I'd rather talk about other stuff, like Dr Zeus Inc books, or trilobites, or Yiddish.

I'm wondering if it will make a difference if I get diagnosed.



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05 Apr 2007, 7:51 pm

What is the hold up of you getting a diagnosis? I'm not so sure that will help. If he looked up Schizophrenia he would know you didn't have it. Actually, if he read about Asperger's he would probably recognize things all over the place. You are going to have to come to grips with the fact that when you do get a diagnosis and he hears that, along with there is no cure, he is probably going to lose it. He's already losing it, so he won't take that well.

Both of you need to work on how you are acting with kids around. This is not a good situation for them. He's being verbally and emotionally abusive to you and you are threatening him and having meltdowns. Just not good. You need a mediary between you, but they better understand about AS or they will create an even bigger mess.

I'm always surprised when I see people in such denial as he is. My own husband just shrugged and said, "We already figured it out and dealt with it. A diagnosis won't make any difference now." He's right. He figured it out with no clue about AS (I had no clue either) and no books, psychs or anything else. He just analyzed his way through it like any other problem he tackles at work or home. I guess I forget just how unsual and rational he is.

Ugh. Good luck, Stitch. I wish I had a magic potion to turn him into a rational person so he could understand as well.



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05 Apr 2007, 8:09 pm

My boyfriend refuses to believe there is anything called AS...I dont think he likes to think he picked some one "defective.His "reasoning" is that a lot of people do.....whatever the trait is.I have gotten a DX and he still doesnt believe in it.But he treats me with respect and never naggs...he has MS,so we both are far from perfect and have similiar issues(I actually wonder if he is AS,sometimes)

There are books about couples with AS,some of them are very negative towards people with AS,so read it before you give him a copy.If you can get a DX,you might also find a counsler who knows about AS,who can help(but not easy to find,and counslers in general are a bit crazy)

DO you have any support system,parents,sibs?I think you could use a little time off to figure things out.As far as the threats go....they go both ways....if he leaves you,you can say he can take the kids with him and see how easy it is to cook,clean and raise kids....the psyc ward would probably be a vacation and you might get a DX?


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06 Apr 2007, 3:48 am

StitchwitchD wrote:
We watched Mozart and the Whale a couple weeks ago, and while he was watching it, he admitted I could be right, and that there are things I do (like talking endlessly about things no one else is interested in) that remind him of people he's known who have been diagnosed.

But then we'll have a fight and I'll end up crying and hitting myself, and he'll say I must be crazy because the autistic people he's known have been very unemotional. His friend Matt is autistic and not interested in dating or women at all, he shows little emotion besides getting excited about the latest book he read.

I get emotional, and have total meltdowns where I act completely irrational, so he thinks I can't be autistic. He wants me to be able to talk about things that are bothering me in a calm rational manner, but when I manage to calm down, I don't want to talk about what's bothering me. I'd rather talk about other stuff, like Dr Zeus Inc books, or trilobites, or Yiddish.

I'm wondering if it will make a difference if I get diagnosed.


Sounds like me. I started getting the most severe panic attacks when I lived with my ex, which led to my being unable to even go to the bathroom without having one. Totally housebound. My ex was aspergers but the 100% logical, 0% emotional kind. He would laugh at me, or put it down to attention seeking or simply ignore me most times I had one. And I would end up screaming and hitting myself in front of him, and he would tell me I should be locked up which made me run off screaming and crying. This repeated so often and of course, it hurt worse as when younger, I used to tell myself I ought to be locked up.

I don't envy your situation. I couldn't endure that crap again. He sounds very unempathic, your husband.


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06 Apr 2007, 5:25 am

StitchwitchD wrote:

I get emotional, and have total meltdowns where I act completely irrational, so he thinks I can't be autistic. He wants me to be able to talk about things that are bothering me in a calm rational manner, but when I manage to calm down, I don't want to talk about what's bothering me. I'd rather talk about other stuff, like Dr Zeus Inc books, or trilobites, or Yiddish.

I'm wondering if it will make a difference if I get diagnosed.


Okay. First, I can relate cuz I'm in a relationship which is hard if you're on the spectrum. Second, your meltdowns are a result of sensory overload of your autistic brain.

What I've learned to do when I go into meltdown mode is find a safe quiet place, curl up into a ball and put earplugs in and breathe deeply till I get calmed down. Then I go talk to him.



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06 Apr 2007, 9:12 am

Why is he saying you're schizophrenic? Is he just saying it to be mean (like the "I'd use shorter words" quip) or have you shown signs of schizophrenia, like irrational paranoia, lack of reality testing, deep incoherence, etc.?

Unless he just lost his temper when he said those things to you, he sounds like a nasty person! How long ago was it that your house was a mess when you were a SAHM? Because if it was any length of time ago, he's got no business bringing it up!

My husband also refuses to accept tht AS is a real disorder, but he does accept that I have "issues," like having difficulty talking on the phone, socializing, sensory issues, etc etc... He also doesn't get on my case when the house is a mess, which I am very thankful for. He is a slob so maybe he realizes he doesn't make it easy for me.

If he thinks autistic people aren't emotional, have him visit this site! :mrgreen:



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06 Apr 2007, 4:08 pm

I'm sorry, he sounds like an as*hole.

I'm undiagnosed as well. I found out about AS researching it for my oldest son, who is 7. I knew he acted like me, and I knew that it wasn't normal, but I never knew there was a name for it. WHen I found AS, I had my dh read the DSM-whatever thing. He read it (he's a slow reader, which drives me crazy.) His first words were, "Wow, I think YOU have AS, Wendy. Ds1 *might* have it, but I think it sure explains a lot about you!" It made me giddy b/c I'd been thinking the exact same thing.

Even BEFORE we found out about AS and realized it was the root of my relationship issues, my husband has always been very understanding of my isues. Sure, he gets frustrated, and often calls me on things I'm doing wrong, sometimes makes me feel like s**t about it. But he has never PURPOSEFULLY made me feel like s**t. And he has never refused to try and understand my point of view. As for having a messy house when you have a 2 year old and a newborn, COME ON!! ! I don't care if you are the one who stays at home, if HE wants a clean house, it's HIS job to clean it. You can barely take care of 2 little ones when one is a newborn, let alone cook AND clean on top of that. Even NT women have problems with that! To make it easier for me, I assigned my dh chores. And he agreed to them. I do all the laundry, he sorts and puts away the clean clothes (even though he can't tell the difference between the boys' clothes. lol He does the bulk and I just have a few things to redo afterwards.) He puts away the dishes. I did all of the dishwashing before we got a dishwasher in January (they're not allowed in our apartment complex, but they can kiss my ass.) I still do, but now it's just loading them into the dishwasher and washing the pots. He vaccuums sometimes, without my asking. He takes out the trash. So I still do all of the cooking and most of the cleaning, but having him do those things really takes a lot off of my load.

And when I'm having a meltdown, he screams at the kids to shut up (makes it worse, but he means well. ;)) Then he hands me some chocolate and orders me to take a bath. And it works. And while I'm in the bathroom w/ my head underwater and the door locked, he usually finds something creative and fun to do w/ the kids to keep them away from me for a while.

It used to really bother him that I would turn away or duck fairly often when he would try to hug or kiss me, but I think now that we know about AS, it has helped him understand me better and has made dealing w/ my behaviors easier for him. That's the way it SHOULD be when a man loves you.



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06 Apr 2007, 4:15 pm

wendytheweird wrote:
,,,I think now that we know about AS, it has helped him understand me better and has made dealing w/ my behaviors easier for him. That's the way it SHOULD be when a man loves you.


I agree. Both my knowing more and more about myself since learning I'm on the spectrum, and MS's complete acceptance of it, has made our relationship SO much better. He got a book from Amazon on how to have a relationship with someone who's OTS. And now he admits to having some of the same traits (I just knew he wasn't NT :D )

So maybe getting a diagnosis in your case would be helpful, so he could see the truth and learn more about it.



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06 Apr 2007, 5:05 pm

Wendy my husband and I had to navigate around the touch thing early on to find ways we could be physically affectionate without setting off my startle response to an extreme degree. We did manage to do it and I was really bad at first. Now I glom all over him and he's the only person I can say I actually enjoy touching and being close to. His physical presence is actually comforting to me and has been for a long time. I've always thought it was his overall calm nature. Just being around him makes me feel calm as well.

I'm so glad your husband understands. It sounds like he figured it out on his own as well. I guess some of them are just like that. I think the OP's husband is probably very emotional because those people have a hard time separating themselves from a situation to see what's really going on. It's very sad. My heart goes out to her.

And yes, every NT mom I know goes through the messy house thing! That is not due to AS. Jeez.


You know Stitch, I remember my mom telling me this story when I was young. I don't have too many nice memories of her, but this is a great story for your situation. When she wasn't even 20 she had three kids, no car and my father worked away from home all week. He would come home on the weekends and go out to party with his pals. So she told me one Friday night he came home and she told him, "You go to hell. I am going out." She took the car and left him there with three boys from age three to a few months. She stayed gone the entire weekend. He never, ever drank, smoke or went out with the boys again. I couldn't even believe he had ever done such a thing, but the people in my small home town confirmed it. I guess he just needed two days with the kids to straighten him up. I never heard him raise his voice to my mother but I guess he used to yell at her all the time before that incident.

I wonder if legally you could get away with that now? That would be a good way to set him straight. Maybe arrange for him to take a vacation from work and stay with the kids while you go take care of family stuff? Is that possible? A legitimate excuse that would allow you to leave long enough that he would realize just how hard it is?

Or get him that old movie, Mr. Mom and tie him to a chair and make him watch it over and over. LOL



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06 Apr 2007, 5:41 pm

ZanneMarie wrote:
You know Stitch, I remember my mom telling me this story when I was young. I don't have too many nice memories of her, but this is a great story for your situation. When she wasn't even 20 she had three kids, no car and my father worked away from home all week. He would come home on the weekends and go out to party with his pals. So she told me one Friday night he came home and she told him, "You go to hell. I am going out." She took the car and left him there with three boys from age three to a few months. She stayed gone the entire weekend. He never, ever drank, smoke or went out with the boys again. I couldn't even believe he had ever done such a thing, but the people in my small home town confirmed it. I guess he just needed two days with the kids to straighten him up. I never heard him raise his voice to my mother but I guess he used to yell at her all the time before that incident.


I LOVE that story.



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06 Apr 2007, 6:49 pm

Did you marry my ex? Just kidding, but your husband reminds me of my ex. I was undiagnosed at the time, and my ex was verbally and emotionally abusive, saying that I was "manipulating" him, or that I was a sociopath. He would have gotten me committed to a psych ward if given the chance, as he thought I was psychotic, especially when I would have a meltdown. I'm just glad I got out when I did, as I'd hate to think how he'd react to having a child on the spectrum, especially as he said some pretty cruel things about others with disabilities.


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07 Apr 2007, 9:35 am

My ex also. He would start on me and not stop...then he would follow me around the house and keep at it until I lost it and started screaming...then he would tell me how crazy I was. I used to go sit in the basement somedays when he got on a rant just to try hide and avoid him. He would joke with my son all the time about how mommy was whacked and he was going to put me away. He told his family I was crazy...I think everyone believed I was.

Talk to someone...this isn't healthy for you, and it isn't healthy for your children, I'm surprised at the things my son remembers, and it hurts me that he has those memories...I didn't say anything to anyone for a long time, because it was too hard to...it was the worst thing I did... I almost started to believe him after awhile, I almost lost something very important...myself.


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wendytheweird
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07 Apr 2007, 10:30 am

Beenthere wrote:
My ex also. He would start on me and not stop...then he would follow me around the house and keep at it until I lost it and started screaming...then he would tell me how crazy I was. I used to go sit in the basement somedays when he got on a rant just to try hide and avoid him. He would joke with my son all the time about how mommy was whacked and he was going to put me away. He told his family I was crazy...I think everyone believed I was.

Talk to someone...this isn't healthy for you, and it isn't healthy for your children, I'm surprised at the things my son remembers, and it hurts me that he has those memories...I didn't say anything to anyone for a long time, because it was too hard to...it was the worst thing I did... I almost started to believe him after awhile, I almost lost something very important...myself.


My ex did those things, too. He did have me convinced I was crazy for a while. Luckily, I left when my oldest was 9 mos old. Haven't seen him since, although he still likes to call once in a while and threaten to exercize his right to take ds away for the entire summer. Over my dead body! My dh is adopting ds. We've already done most of it. All we have to do is get a judge to terminate the ex's rights (since he wasn't seen the kid in 7 years, and only pay his support b/c his wages are garnished, I don't think it should be too big of a deal.) and have ds's last name changed.