It's a warm summer night during our courtship, and we are at a barbeque with a group of my hubby’s college mates. Steve is standing around a fire pit with a bunch of the guys, beer bottles in hand, and a few were now into serious attitudes. One guy is ragging on Steve unmercifully. Listening to my dear husband laugh at all the digs and pokes, and watching his face, it dawns on me that he doesn’t have a clue that he is being made fun of.
I walked over and asked him if he could look at something on my car for me. Of course that piqued his interest immediately, so he followed me to the front of the house.
When I asked why he was letting his buddy tease him so, he was confused. He didn’t know. He didn’t understand. I tried explaining to him that most people would feel humiliated and embarrassed by what the fellow was saying. Steve just stared at me with a total lack of comprehension. Try as I might, I just can’t get him to recognize taunting.
Although Steve doesn’t enjoy computers and never plays video games, if he heads outside with toy guns or swords, hats or helmets, and a kid or two, he will happily play all day. Inside he loves to play hide-n-go-seek, or get on the floor with the kids and build with legos or play with matchbox cars. His complete joy during ‘playtime’ is breathtaking to watch. Needless to say, our kids love it.
But like one of my children on a playground, I must keep diligent watch over my husband to protect him from bullies. Family members who call him names. Co-workers who joke about him at his expense. Steve lacks the capacity to discern these inappropriate actions. As his helpmate in life, I can do this for him.
I protect him the best I can. I share information about Aspergers Syndrome with friends old and new, and encourage them to research for themselves. I loan out books. I pass along website links. Anything to keep my husband safe and happy.
I even blog. But I draw the line at watching SpongeBob. A spouse can only do so much.