Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“It’s Complicated”

In our current social networking world, this phrase is often used to describe a personal relationship status that’s probably about to end. The party/parties involved might be hoping to work things out, or are in denial about their separation or even singleness.
In the Aspie world, it’s an excellent description of day to day living.
My husband still finds it hard to accept that he simply thinks differently. He will ‘beat himself up’ for it. Just this morning we had another discussion about his ‘different’ thinking.
We are installing new pellet stoves that hold more fuel at one time, and have thermostats to regulate heat production. The thermostats need to be mounted on the wall and I want Steve to help me with the installation. This needs to be done at a time we are both home together and both available at the same time to work together. Please note the emphasis on ‘the two of us’.
As Steve was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing enough for him to fill his commuter mug, he was musing about drilling holes to mount the thermostat box tonight. I reminded him that Kidlet and I would be gone for football practice.
“So what?” queried Hubby.
“Remember? I really want you to help me with the installation. I won’t be home tonight.” I responded.
“I can do it myself!” retorts He. “I don’t need your help!”
I erupt in laughter, thankful I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee.
Hubster grumps at me. “Why don’t you think I can?”
“Because your brain thinks differently. You have dyslexia and you do things backwards. You don’t think it’s necessary to square things up or use a level. You can’t read and follow the directions. You think you know it already, and that the people who wrote the instructions are stupid and wasting your time with needless steps. You use the wrong types of tools with the wrong sort of screws and nails, saying that it doesn’t matter! Well, Dearest, to me it does matter. I want to be there when you drill the holes and try to line things up.”
Steve was quiet. Then he declared, “You are right. I’m stupid.”
“NO, NO, NO!” I insisted. “You are not stupid. You are very, very smart – in many areas. But your brain is wired differently and it doesn’t always process things the same way. Remember, you and I have different roles and jobs in our family, just like your company has thousands of different people in a multitude of different jobs. They don’t expect you to know everything about running their company, or want you to be able to do every job. They hired you for your specific knowledge in engineering. You have worked there for twenty-five years because you are very smart and have the skills needed to continue doing whatever it is you are doing!”
I then ask him if he puts himself down because he wears glasses. He responded that of course he doesn’t. I pointed out that if his vision isn’t perfect and it doesn’t affect his intelligence, then why would he put himself down because he isn’t good at construction? I am, so I just need him to assist me!
Steve blinked a few times, and then adjusted his glasses. I could see the wheels and gears turning in his head. He nodded a few times, absently grabbed his coffee and lunchbox, and headed out the door. I’m sure he will be thinking about this for a day or two. Then he will launch back into this discussion as if no time had elapsed.
I just hope I remember that this is what we were talking about at that time – lol.


  1. Nice choice of topic!Thanks for sharing this one.

    1. and i thank YOU for your encouragement - i appreciate you reading...

  2. Aw, hehe...I do that to myself a lot. Well, more when I'm struggling with depression. I just feel dumb and useless...

    Which is silly because I've written sixteen novels and more than a hundred short stories and I'm getting all A's at college and I was in Calculus when I was fifteen.

    But sometimes when you just don't get what seems so simple until it's been explained, you can't help but feel stupid.

    1. you have nailed steve's personality exactly! perhaps it's a bit of ocd, but he 'needs' to be able to do and know everything or he thinks he's 'stupid' - it's tough to watch a tv show or movie with my hubby cuz he spends all his time trying to 'guess' what will happen next - which sort of takes all the enjoyment out of watching...