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?