Archive for January, 2013


The Liebster Award!

liebster

I was tagged for this award by Musings of An Aspie. THANK YOU! I was shocked…I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and I feel like I don’t pay nearly enough attention to it in between a demanding job and a demanding family life.

And then of course since my wife was tagged, she in turn tagged me as well (thanks hun!)…only here’s the glitch. I don’t know 11 other bloggers yet! LOL  But in the spirit of keeping this alive and helping promote those I DO follow…I will search and scour the blogoshpere to find more! In the meantime, here it goes!

The Liebster Award rules are:

1. Give 11 random facts about me.

2. Answer the 11 questions that Musings of An Aspie gave me.

3. Make 11 new questions for the people I tag to answer.

4. Tag 11 blogs that are new or have less than 200 followers.

11 Random Facts

1. I am Puerto Rican and can’t speak a word of Spanish. (does ordering Puerto Rican food count?)

2. I love singing and music in general, but can’t play an instrument at all.

3. I used to act and write skits/plays for church groups etc.

4. I own more clothes than my wife LOL

5. I’d rather put on a shirt and tie to go to work than put on a uniform. (Been there, done that, got the tee shirt for it, hated it).

6.  I love to eat therefore had to learn to cook.

7. I used to clean the house to relax me. (Now it just frustrates the hell out of me).

8. I love cars yet know nothing about what goes on underneath the hoods.

9. I used to be a fine arts major.

10. I used to be a martial artist.

11. I have lost total faith in the federal government and think it needs to be torn down and started over from scratch.

11 Questions:

  1. What book are you currently reading? Phantom by Terry Goodkind, Sword of Truth Series. It’s the second time I’m reading the series. I LOVE sci-fi/sci-fantasy.
  2. What hobby or interest would people who don’t know you well be surprised to learn you have? I love to cook.
  3. Coffee, tea or something else? COFFEE! I’m Puerto Rican and something about cafe con leche (coffee with milk) is comforting and familiar. I can drink a cappucino b4i go 2 bed and still pass out.
  4. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? I would have Charles Xavier’s power from the X-Men. He can read and control peoples minds.
  5. What’s your go-to activity for entertaining out-of-town guests? Cooking dinner watching movies. I wow their pallettes and then numb their minds so we don’t have to talk too much!
  6. If you could have any sort of animal for a pet, what would it be? (assume anything is possible, like if you want a pet giraffe, your neighbors won’t mind a bit) A dragon. If someone is talking to you and has a dragon behind him, a. you’re going to listen to him and b. you’re going to do what he says.
  7. Do you have any phobias? Arachnophobia. I almost killed my friends cat because I thought it was a spider going by my legs.
  8. When did you start writing? In the sixth grade. I wanted to join the art club, but my teacher made me join the writing club instead.
  9. Which Halloween candy did you eat first and which did you always give/throw away? I was never allowed to go trick or treating as a child. But sharing my neighbors candy, I’d always eat anything chocolate first and those orange marshmallow peanuts last.
  10. How far away from your place of birth do you currently live? Six states away.
  11. If someone is only going to read one thing on your blog, what would you like it to be? That no matter what, it’s important to communicate your thoughts and feelings with each other and respect those thoughts and feelings even and especially if you can’t understand them.

NEW 11 Questions

1. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

2. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

3. Do you know what your name means?

4. If they were making a movie about you, what actor/actress would play you?

5. If you knew your ex (husband/wife/boy/girlfriend) were going to receive twice the amount, what would you wish for if you were granted one wish?

6. What was your favorite story growing up?

7. What constitutes the perfect relaxing day for you?

8. What music is in your ipod/MP3 player playlist?

9. Do you believe in the government?

10. What is your current favorite technical device?

11. If you were granted one wish, what would it be?

Feminist Aspie

Emergent Behavior

Tialys

Solaris Autism

Mosiac of Minds

Adventures with Riley

These are all the people I know for now … sorry =o(

 

I love my kids. I never in a million years would trade any of them for anything. From the oldest to the youngest, though as I have mentioned they can give an aspirin a headache and leave Mother Theresa in tears, they are mine, I made them and I love them.

That being said, they drive me insane in that special way that only someone you love so much can. In particular, today we are going to talk about taking them out to eat in public.

The past two weeks at work I’ve had a schedule that my wife absolutely hates…I’m usually off Saturday and Sunday’s, but this schedule not only do I have to work the weekend but three days of the week go in from 1:00 – 9:30. It’s exhausting for my wife, and for me as well. Well I came home from work and my wife who had been left alone with the darling little terrorists (remember folks I use a lot of sarcasm), for too long said we’re going out to eat, I already told them we can go to the Mexican restaurant with the arcade.

OK, it’s not so bad. it’s not that big an arcade, the games aren’t that loud, and other people’s kids are there running around too so my kids look more normal. It’s not as bad as Chuck E. Cheeses so off we went. I couldnt blame her.

Now I want to say right off that for my kids, they behaved excellent that night! Not a lot of complaining, not a lot of drama. But let me list some things that went on and you may be able to grasp a bigger picture.

  • My 13 year old was told to move over cause he parked his big old self in the middle of the bench in the booth and I couldn’t fit. (He seriously never thought that I had to sit down too), and when he tried to move, found out his foot was caught between the bench and the table leg. His feet were crossed like he was doing third position in ballet or something. HOW the HECK did he get his feet like that and stuck no less, simply by sitting down at a table?
  • My 8 year old, while sitting down eating what constitutes a full meal for him (tortillas dipped in cheese dip) started sliding off the bench till his legs were under him, his back was on the front of the chair, and his head was barely visible above the table while he CONTINUED to dip and eat. I watched him sit there for a full minute and a half and finally told him to sit up like a human. To which he blinked looked around, sat up and continued dipping.
  • Both my 13 and 8 year olds devoured 2 baskets of tortillas and 2 servings of cheese eating ravenously like my wife and I hadn’t fed them in 2 years. (Yes we have fed them and Yes we did get stared at.)
  • My 13 year old while devouring his chips and cheese dripped cheese ALL over our side of the table.
  • My 2 year old terror was quite the happy boy. They have one of those rides with the cartoon characters that go around in a circle like a merry go round, and they had skee-ball. (No I don’t know how it’s spelled or what the name of the game actually is. It’s the one where you throw the balls up the lane and try to get them into the different scoring holes). He spent most of the night on the merry go round thing and part of the night, climbing up the skee ball lanes and throwing the balls in from under the glass. And then he climbed INTO the basket ball game and started taking free throws from right outside the glass partition.
  • And of course neither his mother or I could sit for more than 3 minutes at a time, until we had to get up and walk him around again.
  • And no evening would be complete if my 13 year old didn’t knock over his drink completely drowning the table. He does this EVERY time without fail. I’ve considered taking his adult sized drink privledges away and making him use a travel cup with a lid from now on.

All these things were NOTHING. If this was as bad as they got every time I would never consider writing  this blog post.

Now let me just say that I have sat in restaurants and watched other people’s kids and some make me ponder why can’t my kids sit like that when we’re out? The youngest is in the high chair, eating his fries so nicely. The others are sitting there talking animatedly, yet still not so loud that everyone can hear them ABOVE the sound system, and they listen to to their parents and you wouldn’t glance twice at them.

And some make me ponder why adults aren’t licensed to procreate in the first place. (And then I remember what my kids are like and I wonder if someone isn’t thinking the same thing about mine).

My children are not severely autistic. They speak very eloquently, my 8 year old is such character he can be funny even when being “disobedient.” My 2 year old doesn’t speak fully yet, in fact he’s severely underdeveloped in that area but you wouldn’t look at him and think the was autistic. (Not that there is a way autistic people look, see my past blog to see my stand on this topic). Still sometimes it’s disheartening and discouraging to know that we have to pick and choose where we go, what we do, where we take them and who we can do things with, based on the fact that we know it will be embarasing and/or it maybe simply to overwhelming for us to take them certain places.

I know my wife sometimes may think I don’t cut them enough slack. Or that I would rather not deal with taking them out most places because of the above stated reasons and that is true to a certain extent, I admit it. I don’t like feeling like people are looking at my kids and thinking “oh my God what kind of parents are those?” Especially down here where apparently there is something wrong with you if you don’t go to this church, or am a member of this group, and nobody’s a stranger, cause they lived here there whole lives and never left etc. etc. and so on and I admit I do need to work on that more.

But the other part of that, and I’m willing to bet that I’m saying something that most NT’s feel and may not know how to articulate to their Aspie partners, is that it’s not JUST that. It’s also I don’t want my kids to be made fun of. I don’t want people to look at them and judge them by how they present in this area. I’m damn sure not going to go into a full explanation of social underdevelopment, not being able to interpret body language, tonal values of voice and inflection in conversation,  and seeming indifference of others feelings. I’m not justifying that my kids thinks everyone abides by the same moral code as them and can’t process why they wouldn’t.

I don’t want my kids to go through the finger pointing, the whispers, the judgmental glances. The teasing and the inevitable not being allowed to play with other kids. When we first moved to our new house/neighborhood here my 8 year old was beside himself. He finally was in an area with other kids he could befriend and hang out with. He would wake up head for the door and yell I’m going to this person’s house or this kids house and go. But then one day he came come in tears. He had went to one of his friends house to be met outside on the lawn by the kids father who told him, you can’t come over anymore, my kids don’t want to be friends with you any more. WHO DOES THAT TO AN 8 YEAR OLD? This parent never contacted us, never sent a note asking to please call or discuss anything my son was doing. Nothing. My son was heartbroken. He couldn’t understand what he did wrong.

I would spare them that. I would spare my wife that. And yes I admit, I would spare myself that.

I love my kids, as I’m sure all of you love yours. And quite frankly I don’t feel its worth the damage to their little hearts to have to ponder at night why don’t those kids like me? Yes they have to face these things and grow, and yes they will. I know this more than anyone believe me. But as much as possible, I want them to have a fair shot, and not be written off automatically as odd balls, freaks or whatever.

(I think this might lead into a part II)

The Music and Me: an autistic girl’s experiences with music, part 1.

What an amazing post!

 

I didn’t have time to write all that I wanted to say when I originally read this. I myself have grown up with music, Music is such an integral part of my being. I love to sing. Unlike this author, I love lyrics that make you think, and resonate within me. I listen to all kinds of genres from Contemporary Christian Music to Rock to Alternative. I prefer singing slow ballads like songs that I can pour myself into.

What she wrote in this blog was amazingly written. I simply had to share it.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as well.

Causes-Blindness

OK…everyone sound off! I need to know if this happens to anyone else?

(I’m sure it does but I thought it was a good opening line).

In my house, there is a vicious cycle. It is ever perpetuating, and the source of constant frustration for both my wife and myself…it goes like this…

Wifey: Hon, have you seen my shoes?

Me: I don’t remember where did you leave them?

Wifey: I don’t know…over there…(waves in a vague direction).

Me: Did you check the shoe bin? Or under our bed?

Wifey: I don’t put my shoes in the bin, and I looked in our room.

I’ll get up, walk to the bedroom, no they are not under the bed, I stand up and look in the corner on her side of the bed. I slightly move the baby’s Spiderman fold up sofa bed, (which weighs like 2lbs), and lo and behold there they are.

Me: Here you go…they were in our room.

Wifey: Where? I didn’t see them when I looked in there?

Me: Did you look for them or did you just look where you thought they should be?

Wifey: If you stopped moving my stuff, I’d find them just fine!

Me: If you put your stuff away, instead of leaving it all over, I wouldn’t move your stuff…

and so forth and so on…

From keys, to shoes to books,..it’s all the same. She puts it down, where she will be sure to find them again, which is usually in the middle of the room or on an end table or in the middle of the kitchen counter etc.

I’ll come along and straighten up, cause I HATE to see clutter…I NEED empty spaces around me, but of course with my ADD, I have the memory of a slice of toast brain, I forget where I move stuff to the second it leaves my hand. (Strangely enough, when I go through drawers etc, and see something there, I’ll remember it’s there though, I just can’t remember actually putting it there).

And the other half of this is that when she looks for something, she doesn’t actually look. She looks for things, where they are supposed to be, and maybe will glance around the immediate area too, but she won’t move something to see if it’s behind something, or lift up a piece of paper to see what’s underneath it. It never crosses her mind.

So many times I’ll ask where she had it last and go look there, only to move a pile of something and lo and behold the item is there! In the spot where it’s supposed to be, just behind something else.

Aspie Teen and Aspie Monkey Boy are the same way. It drives me nuts.

Of course this does bring some humor to the household. Like the times when she’s running around frantically, looking for her sunglasses…only to to have me point out that they are on her head. Or my all time favorite one ever…

She calls me at work FRANTIC. She’s running late and can’t find the keys to the van. She has an appointment and she’s already behind schedule. She’s talking a mile a minute, telling me she can’t find the keys. she has to drop the baby off at her mothers what is she going to do? I tell her to calm down and ask her where she is.  She says she’s in the van driving down the avenue. So I ask her, if you’re in the van driving down the avenue, where are the keys? She’s silent for abotu 5 seconds…(probably realizing that the keys are in fact in the ignition or she wouldn’t be driving)…says I hate you! And hangs up the phone. I busted out laughing so hard, my supervisor at the time came out of his office to ask if I was ok.

Now I do understand the need to have a place for everything so you can find it more readily. I do the same thing. There are hooks on the wall for keys. I have specific drawers for black tee shirts, blue shirts, work tee shirts etc. I have a drawer for a certain kind of wires, and a drawer for a certain kind of junk.

And my wife has the kitchen set up the same way. We HATE having house guests (for a number of different reasons) but one fo the specific reasons is that they move things. They’ll do the dishes and we LOVE that. But they put things away in spots they don’t belong in. So now my wife’s whole world is out of joint.

I don’t MEAN to lose her stuff…the same way she doesn’t malicously drop things all over the house and expect to find them there later.  She needs to have them where she can find them and I need her to find them in a place that’s not so visible.

The main thing for both of us to remember:

Neither one of us is doing this to annoy the other. I’m wired one way, she’s wired another. I know when she’s home dealing with Aspie Teen and Aspie Baby chaos reigns supreme. My kids can give a Tylenol a headache and try the patience of Mother Theresa herself.  So not being able to find something she’s left somewhere is extremely frustrating to her and can send her over the edge in a hurry.

The same way she knows that I’m at work all day at a very frustrating job and when I come home and see clutter everywhere it drives me nuts so I have to clean it up and put it away.  Neither one is doing it to get the other…we’re just following the paths of our nature.

One day we’ll find a happy medium.

Friendship is born the moment one person says to another: “What? You too! I thought I was the only one!”

-C.S. Lewis

I originally thought that I was just going to post this quote as a “Quote of the Day” type thing. But when I re-read it I realized it triggered something in me to write.

On my wife’s blog Aspie Writer, she touches on the fact that she had and still has a hard time socializing, picking up on non-verbal cues necessary for successful social interaction, and fitting in with people.

This has been true throughout our marriage. While we lived in New York, it was easier to deal with this. She had her brothers who would come over and hang out, or we’d go to her Aunt’s house or her Grandmother’s house. (Remember at this time she was not diagnosed yet). I had two friends who would come over and we’d all watch movies or play board games. But making new friends for her was not only hard, it was traumatic.

She’s mentioned in the book she is blogging that I was always something of a social butterfly. (There is much more to this that does not bear going into here), so I had plenty of friends and making new ones was not that hard for me. I have to admit while reading the blogs she’s been posting, it sometimes has damn near broken my heart to read what she had to go through.

Even in adulthood she has been so very lonely.

Now that she’s started blogging I can’t tell you how much it means that she’s discovered so many people who she can relate to. The introduction of “virtual friends” into her world has given her so much happiness. It’s been thrilling to watch her discover new friends and interact with everyone. She’s truly found her niche I think in blogging about her autism.

So to everyone who reads this blog, or came here because she directed you from her blog, or who just finds your way here and then find your way there to her blog and become involved with her there, thank you so very much. And I hope you enjoy reading both of our blogs.

 

I live in a house which is dominated by Aspie’s and Aspie’s who all have fascinations with soft feeling things no less.  (Due largely in part to hyper-sensitivity issues).

The Then

For instance, when Aspie Teen was about two, he went and hid in our bedroom closet. About a full minute later, he came out holding my wife’s blue and green silk nightgown against his face like Linus from the Peanuts gang, his eyes wide open. He stood and there and proclaimed “MOM…it’s MAGIC!” And from that moment on my wife lost custody of her nightgown.

That obsession hasn’t lessened in all these past eleven years.

When Aspie Monkey Boy (the middle boy) was a baby, he received a very soft fluffy baby blanket. He would not lay on anything else besides that blanket from that point on. Not only that, but I couldn’t stop the wifey from taking it every chance she got.

Eight years later, Aspie Monke Boy will still go through the stores on shopping trips, rubbing his hands and face against soft items as he goes by.

The Now

For Christmas, Mrs. Aspie Writer got a plush purple fuzzy robe, a plush purple blanket, and VERY plush, VERY soft, fuzzy blanket that she loves to wrap around her entire body  at night. (Are you sensing a recurring theme here?) Nothing else I got her this year holds a candle to those three things.

Last night, Aspie Baby climbed up on the bed where mommy was cuddled up in her two blankets. He stripped out of his soft fuzzy one piece footsie pj’s, snuggled up beside his mommy, pulled the VERY soft purple blanket around him, being very careful to leave some to rub his face against, and started watching Smurfs for the 15th time that night. (I’m starting to sing the Smurf melody in my head at work now, thank you very much).

The Debate

I personally don’t get the fascination. As long as it’s not too scratchy, I can sleep on it, wear it, whatever. However, Mrs. Aspie Writer can’ even try it on, if it doesn’t first pass the touch test. As you may imagine this can get very frustrating for me. How many clothes out there are THAT soft really? Especially prior to buying them and having them go through the wash with fabric softener a few times? And you can’t buy anything online because of this. The result is when we go shopping for clothes with my wife, (and believe it or not I like to go clothes shopping), it ends up being me pointing out outfits and her touching them and giving me “that look”.

“That look” is a combination of “what are you thinking”, “are you nuts” and “no freaking way mister” all rolled up into  one  sarcastic semi-belittling look. Now it’s not always ” that look”, sometimes it’s just a matter of our tastes clashing, or her not seeing herself the way I see her, and not being able to picture herself wearing something that I’ve pointed out. We’ve done this for so long now, I KNOW what the issue is most of the time and most of the time, she will remember to tell me what the issue is with a piece of clothing.

Things To Remember

Aspie’s who deal with hyper-sensitivity issues have to live through so much on a day to day basis. Imagine sitting at your house, and you hear the filaments burning in the flourescent lights, you can hear the garbage truck that’s picking up trash all the way down the road. The TV your child has on upstairs, the one that’s on downstairs, the children playing, the tock clicking, the washer/dryer going. All these sounds going SIMULTANEOUSLY since Aspies who deal with hyper sensitivity issues have no filter that can tell their brains to process these sounds individually. They have no built in Fade button like on your car stereo where you can filter more sound to the back if you want.  Add on top of that the smell of the garbage can, whatever your kids are eating for lunch, the stuff down the drain in the garbage disposal, the bathroom someone just used. THEN on top of that you feel the label in the back of your tee shirt, the itchy scratchy feel of cheap fabric on your body as it rubs you every time you move. Here is a video that might help shed some light on it. (Though I’ve been told that this video still is not accurate because it introduces the sounds individually)

I believe my brain would melt and you would find me in a fetal position sucking my thumb and drooling.

Now our side of the story…We may be at work or school all day dealing with a myriad of things that really push us to the limits of our understanding, patience, will to live etc. We may work in a factory where our senses are bombarded all day or a busy office where the phone rings all day and the constant flux of foot traffic through our domain irritates the living s** out of us. At my job I supervise eight people. Our department has CONSTANT traffic through it. The doors are all locked from the inside and we have to get up and open them everytime someone wants in. My staff CONSTANTLY come ask me quetions about every little thing. My ADD brain is TRYING to focus on what I’m doing but I get interrupted constantly.   Some of us may work in customer service industries which is one of the most trying places to work. We have to deal with all sorts of people from nice one’s who are a pleasure to ones that we want to follow and attack from behind. Tt the end of the day, all those things are external and we possess the ability to block it out to some level of success, but it’s VERY tiring and exasperating for us as well. It’s exhausing mentally and physically. And then we come home to have to be dad, husband, honey do-er as well. We know you’ve been run through the mill all day. But so have we.

Possible Solution

When your partner gets home…give them 20-30 minutes to unwind. Then pass the reigns over to him and get out of the house for a while.  Partners who are left behind: let them go! They need time too! Come together later and discuss the challenges you went through that day and how you felt going through them. This will help both sides understand what they deal with on an daily basis, and create more empathy for each other. Aspie’s don’t lack empathy after all…they crave it.  As for the fuzzy-ness. After dealing with all that stimuli can I blame my wife for using the fuzziness as a comforting tool? Of course I can’t. AND I might add that since she’s gotten the blankets, she’s sleeping more deeply and more peacefully than she has in YEARS. Unless of course Aspie Baby wakes up. LOL. We all need comfort. We all use different things to bring us that comfort…food…drink…distractions like books and tv’s or movies and music. At least with a good fuzzy blanket they can still snuggle you while simultaneously being wrapped in their fuzzy goodness.

I realized after I wrote the first blog I posted “Decompression: Night & Day Differences”, that I had just posted this with no background, no introduction..nada…of course I thought that my About Me page would be a sufficient introduction, and of course my wife Aspie Writer reinforced that it just wouldn’t do, so I’m writing this intro blog, to introduce you to me,  It’s not a long intro, but here it goes.

My name is Mark, I am a 40 year old Puerto Rican, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I come from a family of 7 kids, of which I am the middle child, (and YES I did have Jan Brady syndrome LOL).  I have three boys, Mini Me (Aspie Teen), Mini Me II The Sequel, (Aspie Monkey Boy) and Aspie Baby (Mini Me III The Clone Wars), (I told my wife back in biblical days, she’d be worth much cattle, for giving me three boys), of all whom I truly believe are on the autism spectrum, however finding anyone in this area who will diagnose them has proven to be incredibly difficult. My wife has taken all three of our boys with her to see the doctor who diagnosed her, and though he doesn’t diagnose children, he’s told her from what he sees, we are most likely correct. And oh yeah,  though I’m not on the spectrum myself, I do struggle with ADD, and all the joys that brings, such as having the attention span of toast, virtually no short term memory, and keeping myself pointed in one direction to name a few.

I currently live in South Carolina, due to my job. I’ve also lived in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Mississippi.

If you reached this blog through a  refferal  through my wife’s blog, Aspie Writer, you may have already read one of my posts on her blog; I Married An Aspie, which apparently was a very popular post.

The other day my wife and I were talking about something and I said, See! This is something that I should blog about, from the NT (neuro-typical) perspective! I’m sure I’m not the only spouse of an Aspie that deals with this! That thought stuck in both our heads. There apparently seems to be very little subject matter available for parents who are Aspies’ or NT spouses/partners who are with Aspies or other ASD people. (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

My wife and I have spent many hours talking about matters from her perspective and my perspective. We’ve had frustating moments when we just could not make each other see each other’s point of view. So the other night when this came up, the idea stuck in my head. So here I am, attempting to give us all a voice and maybe, just maybe be a bridge, or a resource to those of us, Aspie’s, NT’s etc. who  need it.

I am reminded of something someone at my job said years ago, “instead of concentrating on how each group is different, I am going to use my voice instead to point to how we’re all so similar to each other.”  It is my sincere hope that you will read the words of my blog and be inspired, be encouraged, or just be reminded that you are not alone, and you are not the only one going through your situation.

Night & Day

The Long Bad Day

It had been a very stressful day beginning at three a.m. when we were both awake and trying desperately to get to sleep. Then at three a.m. she received a text with some very bad news for us which pissed us off royally. After finally falling asleep after that, we got up way too soon after and had to go to the bank which was a completely wasted trip which only added to our frustration. After that we  had to take Baby Aspie to the doctor to have him evaluated by the speech therapist. 

While we sat in an observation room, the therapist  took the baby and unwittingly tried to put him in a high chair looking thing to which he quite vehemently (and loudly) protested. After a solid ten minutes of her attempting to quite him down, she finally called for my wife to come assist her.

My wife got him quieted down, and the evaluation was completed which I kid you not, took almost two hours. After that, we had to take her cousin apartment shopping, which was another big frustration, as most of the affordable  rental properties down here seem to be in the ghetto.

Finally,  after another two hours looking at these places, we got home only for the two little girls who are our neighbors and our eight year old sons best friends, to come over after they had been gone for a week on vacation and start playing. These are two of the cutest, but LOUDEST little girls on the planet.

The Decompression Differences

So we went to our bedroom to decompress. This is where the topic of this post really comes into play.  Now my wife’s idea of decompressing can either be

a). Researching and learning things. It calms her down to stimulate her brain like this. (Something which my mind cannot even begin to contemplate) ; or

b). Talking out her frustrations until she gets her emotional distress out of her system. Another concept which to me is something I would never ever consider as a way to relax.

To her, learning calms her down. She can literally lose herself in absorbing the material she’s researching which brings calm to the chaos threatening to overwhelm her senses. That boggles my mind, as the only way that would calm me down is that it would put me to sleep from sheer boredom.

Also she often times needs to talk through her panic/anxiety/frustrations. Analyzing each and trying to make sense of the emotions and with the understanding when/if it comes, comes peace and calm cause now she has an answer she can understand.

To me,  if I want to decompress after a particularly stressful day I either

a). Vegetate in front of a movie losing myself in the mind numbing storyline, or

b). Immerse myself in a good science fiction/fantasy book or

c). Put my headphones into my phone and sing…pouring my heart, soul and frustrations into hitting each note and emoting myself in this way.

My wife will oft times sit through a movie with me with her ear plugs in and her ipad on her lap. I will oft times sit through her trying to explain some concept of something she’s learned that day which I have no earthly interest in and try to keep ky eyes from glazing over in front of her.

I have no interest in speaking through my frustrations, rather I prefer to distract myself from them initially, allowing myself to gain some emotional distance from them in order to better deal with them from a position of calm instead of chaos.

My wife and I sometimes clash in how we deal with things. We forget to tell each other how we need to handle something at any given moment. I withdraw into myself and forget to tell her I can’t speak about this now, and she thinks I’m ignoring her. She forgets to tell me I’m having a rough day and I’m researching something to calm me down, and when I interrupt her (a big no no), she yells at me and I have no idea why.

The Preventatives

Communication in times like this is essential. Remember no one is a mind reader. Aspie’s can’t decipher what you’re feeling by your non-verbal clues (coming home, slamming the door, banging your briefcase down etc.). And we NT’s sometime forget to switch our way of thinking to remember how differently you Aspie’s process. Just remember, to be forewarned is a tremendous help.

Leave a note on the door for when your partner comes home…”Having a bad day! Interrupt at your own risk!” Text before you get home…”Having a bad day…I’m going to need a bit when I get there to just veg…don’t want to talk about it right now.” This way your partner will have a heads up and the both of you can avoid a conflicting clash and just maybe you can start thinking, “What can I do to help her/him? What would make them smile?”

And really, don’t you think that could go a long way in not only preventing conflict, but helping restore the peace in your home?  

 

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