When I ask other Aspie spouses how their loved one deals with the holiday season, they usually burst out laughing.
“Deal with the holidays? What holidays?” and off they go, riding on another gale of laughter.
I’ve found a new web site.Families of Adults Affected by Asperger's Syndrome
Right there on their home page it says:
"Individuals with this syndrome have difficulty with social aspects of intelligence, such as understanding what those around them think and feel. As a result, they often behave inappropriately in social situations or act in ways that appear unkind or callous. Many Asperger's individuals have difficulty planning and coping with change despite average or even exceptional intelligence in academic or intellectual areas. This can manifest as a notable lack of "common sense." Most importantly, this disability has profound effects on the family members and others in close contact with the Asperger's person. It is the spouses, parents, siblings, and children, of those with Asperger's Syndrome that experience the emotional pain, especially when the correct diagnosis has been delayed until relatively late in adulthood. Family members need validation and support. Feelings of rejection and loneliness play a major role in the lives of the family members of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. Their feelings are not validated, acknowledged, or recognized by the person with this disability."
Wow. Whoever wrote this knows my hubby. And me!
What makes our life harder is the Hubster’s extended family who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge or accept his (now) eight diagnoses from eight completely different doctors. He has not seen one single doctor that has thought his symptoms were indicative of anything else.
Steve's relatives' wanton disregard for his condition, along with their stubborn and callous disregard for his struggle to accept himself and his syndrome, are hard for me to comprehend when they insist that they love him.
Say what? If Steve had diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or epilepsy would his family deny his condition? Would they insist on feeding him sugar, demand that he train for triathlons or ignore a seizure? I, as Steve’s cherished wife and helpmate of twenty years, struggle to cope with and understand Steve’s lack of social skills and common sense. Steve’s family says that they would welcome him for the holidays, but not me nor our children. They deny the existence of Steve’s very nature. Which hurts him to the core of his heart.
Holidays. Family. Validation. Rejection. All hard things to deal with, as are in-laws who choose to be ‘out’-laws. Out of touch, out of reach, out of bounds, out of our lives.
Thank you Lord that Steve and I have each other, as well as our kids, kid-in-law and grandkid. Thank; you Lord that we can celebrate our holidays in a way to honor Him whom Christmas was named for. I am grateful for our own family traditions and love.
Thank you, dear Readers, for ‘listening’. I am truly thankful for you.
As for the holidays, well - I shall try to spend a lot of time "ho ho ho"-ing!