Tuesday, April 22, 2014


In trying to learn more about my husband's Aspergers Syndrome, I routinely read blogs by other Aspergians. There was one on Theory of Mind that has really gotten me thinking. 

When I'm feeling frustrated with Steve not understanding my feelings or viewpoints on different life events, I try to explain using illustrations putting him in a similar situations that I believe would help him comprehend my emotions. What I haven't ever considered about my sweet Hubby was pointed out by autisticook in a recent post.

" ...the social worker asked me, “How would it make you feel if someone needed YOUR help, but decided in their head that you’re far too overwhelmed or unemployed or autistic to be able to help them, without even giving you the chance to say yes or no?”
I said that I knew what he was trying to get at. That I was supposed to say that they should ask me, that I would feel hurt if they made assumptions about my ability to help. But I said I wouldn’t feel hurt. If they had decided for themselves that they didn’t want to bother me with something because of what – rightly or wrongly – they thought I was able to handle, that would be a completely valid feeling. And I wouldn’t feel hurt about them coming to such a conclusion, even if it wasn’t necessarily true. Because that would be their feeling, and therefore valid.
He stared at me. Flabbergasted.
I don’t think it had occurred to him that I would genuinely not feel hurt.
What hadn’t occurred to me was that others would be."
I too am flabbergasted. When I am confused or hurt by Steve's actions, reactions, or lack thereof, it has never occurred to me that he was operating in a totally in a different dimension from me. That he has no comprehension of what I am even talking about when I try to explain.

*Lightbulb moment*

No wonder he is often as puzzled, confused, perplexed, baffled, flummoxed, befuddled, or as flat out bewildered as I am at our differing responses to the exact same occurrence. 


Once again I am reminded that NTs and Aspies really do speak different languages. That my expectations of Steve's behaviors often hinge on my own expectations of NT emotions, which he often doesn't have or 'get'. 

*Sigh* Looks like I need to go reload my 'patience' bucket. Maybe even upgrade to a 'patience' barrel. The good Lord knows I need it! lol

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Conventions

I'd been up for several hours when Steve rolled into the kitchen to make his lunch for work. I say 'good morning' to him as I was getting ready to make a new pot of coffee when he 'greets' me.

"Looks like I will have to make coffee," grumps Hubby.

"Umm, no Dear. I am doing that right now." I was puzzled as my actions of filling the pot's water reservoir and grounds basket  made my intent seem apparent.

At least to me.

As Steve grabbed various food items from the fridge and set them on the counter, I reclaimed a full, unopened head of cauliflower from his stockpile.

"Not this please. I was planning on using it for dinner," I explained as I put it back in the refrigerator.

"Hurmmph, mumble mumble," growled the Spouse.

I should have heeded the warning.

He proceeds to assemble a salad for himself. He goes to the sink to rinse off a yellow bell pepper, then turns to carry the dripping wet orb to his prep center.

"Here, let me dry that off for you," I said cheerfully. I am disgustingly happy in the morning. I've been told that it can be offensive.

"It doesn't matter!" snaps The Hubster.

"Nope, it doesn't!" I reply lightheartedly. "Here, let me slice it for you. If you cut straight across the top like this, the stem pops out and you grab the seed center, give it a twist and voila! It's seeded!"

I steadfastly ignore the snarling rumble from the Spouse. Mistake.

Steve finishes his salad, snaps the lid on the container, picks up a bag of broccoli, the remainder of the bell pepper and the bottle of dressing, then steps to the fridge to return the items to shelves and drawers.

I then, with love and helpfulness, as I am his helpmate, pick up the box of salad greens and try to hand it to him as he stands there with the fridge door open.

"I don't have to follow conventions!" roars He, slamming the door with a bag of carrots in his hand.

Startled, I step back and put the box down on the counter. "But I'm just helping!" I say.

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" thunders my Sweetheart, now a contradiction in terms.

Whoops. I think I just stepped on a wasps' nest. Thoroughly stung, I tell him he's being a jerk. Wrong reaction by me. He leaves the house mad.

In truth, he's still half asleep and I did need to leave him alone. I already know that. Sometimes I forget to be sensitive to his 'morning moods'. After all, even Disney, back in 1937, recognized Grumpy! lol

Friday, April 11, 2014

Aspie Faceblock

Social media. Personal interaction. Modern day pen pals. Post, tweet, instasnap, instant info, 'thoughtless' thought.

Steve doesn't get it.

First and foremost is the question, "Why?"

Why should he have to share his thoughts? Why would he take random photos and share? Why should he be responsible in keeping other people informed about things that either they should already know or shouldn't know at all? 

Who's business is it, anyway?


A few years ago The Hubster came to me much perplexed.

"Why don't I have any friends?" asked He.

"Ummm, I'm not sure, Dear" I replied hesitantly. "To have a friend you have to be a friend?"

"But why aren't YOU my friend?" quizzes my Spouse.

"I believe that I am your best friend," replieth I. "That's what many spouses are to eachother."

"But you aren't!" rants The Hubby. "I've looked every single day, and you aren't!"

I drop my dust rag, and sitting down on the nearest chair, I peer at my husband. He is in his agitated state, bouncing up and down on his toes, flapping his hands against his sides. Though he is looking at some point over my head, I know he is focused on my response. He's not talking about generalized friendship. He's referring to something specific. 

A lightbulb flashes for me.

"Did you sign up for a Facebook account?" I inquire.

"YES! And NOBODY will be friends with me!" Steve's vocal level is rising. He is truly mystified.

"Who did you send friend requests to, Sweetie?"

Steve turns his gaze down to my face, searching for a clue. He's now confused.

"Why do I have to ask?" he blurts. "Why can't they?"

I shift my weight slightly to dust a nearby table. "How would anyone know you are on Facebook? You put a person's name into the Facebook search bar and when you find someone you know, such as myself, you click on the button 'Add Friend'. The person will see the request and either approve or reject your request."

Steve's face was a total blank at this point. I could see his eyes glazing over. TMI 

I stood up and gave my hubby a hug. "If you'd like, we can sit down this evening and log into your account. I will help you find the kids, some of our friends and family, and even some of your old high school or college buddies. It's easy!"

The Hubster relaxed at once, then left the room. We did get logged in that evening and sent a couple dozen friend requests, none of which were rejected.

Yesterday I checked on Steve's status. It looks like he hasn't been on his Facebook in about a year or so. 

So much for that! I will make sure I never mention Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pheed or SnapChat, lol.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Family Time

Woo hoo for family nights! We were able to take all our kids, kid-in-law, kid-in-law-to-be, and grandkid out for dinner last night.

It is so much fun to say "Table for eight, please"! 

Were we celebrating? Heck yes! One anniversary (ours), one birthday, and one engagement. There has been a lot of activity in our extended abode over the last two weeks.

I am thankful that Steve is so comfortable around our immediate family. He talked, laughed, and told silly jokes. Our kids talked, laughed, and told silly jokes right back at him. They know him and love him, just the way he is. We all had a wonderful time, and I tipped our server handsomely as we occupied her tables for close to two hours. 

Cheesecakes have never tasted so good.

"Why couldn't I have my own piece of cheesecake?" queried my husband as soon as we were firmly ensconced in our car.

I waited a few moments before putting my key in the ignition.

After establishing that there was no other questions or dialog from Steve, I asked him if he was hungry.

"Oh no, I'm stuffed!" he admitted.

"Well, I imagine you are as you ate all of your dinner, some of mine, and half of daughterlet's," I replied as gently as possible. The evening's revelry was fresh on my mind and in my heart. The last thing I wanted was to get into an argument. "Did you see the server bring four 'to go' boxes to the table? There were others who were full also. But we were at a restaurant that specializes in cheesecake, so we all decided to order four different types so we could share. Do you remember the server bringing the eight individual clean plates and forks before the dessert was served to us? Do you remember being given a set?"

I was trying not to sound annoyed. I do tell Steve to ask me to explain things he doesn't understand.

"Ummm, I think so," came his hesitant reply.

"Do you remember the server then bringing the four cheesecake slices on four separate and larger plates, setting those plates down the middle of our tables?" I inquired.

After a slight hesitation, The Hubster acknowledged that he had.

"Do you remember us passing those plates around with knives on them and each of us slicing off a bit of each type, putting the small slice on our own individual plate?" 

I waited as Steve thought some more.

"Yes," he responded, "But the peanut-butter kind was so good! I don't understand why I had to share it."

"We shared because we were all full, but wanted to taste some of it. You and I have talked about taste before, haven't we? Having more of something doesn't intensify the flavor. The taste is the same whether we have just one bite or a whole cake. If we were already full, we would then be over eating, which isn't healthy for us. Sharing was a compromise. Sharing four types was a sampling. If you really wanted more you were certainly welcome to order more. You never said that you wanted your own piece," I explained, trying hard not to sound as if I were lecturing. 

Steve insists he doesn't like to be lectured, yet the man has a masters degree in engineering,.You know darned well that he has willingly attended a lecture or two.

I took a deep breath and waited a few more minutes, but there was no further response from my spouse. I started the car to head home. We accomplished the journey with classic rock pounding from the car speakers, but no other dialog. The hubby wore a smile the entire trip.

As we were in our bathroom getting ready for bed a while later, my dear husband mumbled around his toothbrush.

"Well, I guess we have to share in families. That's the rule," he stated with authority.

Yes, I laughed out loud, spraying foamy toothpaste all over the mirror!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Life Rules

Aspergians tend to find the situational parts of life difficult to deal with, my husband included. We often play a lot of 'what if' games together. I try to retain my sense of humor, but occasionally it becomes tiresome.

"Sweetie, can you please hold the door for me until I get through?" I will ask my hubby, who has once again let said door hit me in the face.

"But what if a burglar with an AK47 was hiding in the bushes in order to jump through our door to rob us? Shouldn't I quickly slam the door and lock it to prevent him from getting in?" quizzes The Hubster.

"Well, if you slam and lock the door before I am able to get through then I would be left outside with the burglar and his gun! What do I do then?" I respond.

Silence. I'm sure after a few hours my esteemed spouse will come up with a solution after some long and deep thought, and would probably involve me pole vaulting over our house to come in through a back window on the second floor.

Steve can make his own life so complicated with his steadfast 'book' of rules. I marvel at the complexity of his life.

According to my Aspie mate's personal Rule Book (and yes, I peeked):

Rule of No Rearranging
If an item is placed into the dishwasher, it can never ever be touched again until after the wash cycle, even to allow for more room to place another item in to be washed  

Rule of Dishwasher Sanitation
Since the hot water in the dishwasher is sprayed 'all over' you can put a bowl against the back of a plate and it will come out cleaned

Rule of Hand-Washing Dishes
Hand-washing dishes means you run cold water over the dishes while rubbing your fingers on them - using the dishtowel to dry them will get all the rest of the food or dirt off them

Rule of Kitchen Sinks
You don't need to wash the sinks after hand-washing dishes as the sink is as clean as the dishes that you just hand-washed 

Rule of Dirty Clothes
If you have only worn an article of clothing for a minute or two, it can't be stained or dirtied - clothes must be worn a minimum of four days before they can be put into the dirty clothes basket

Rule of Changing Undies
Underwear and socks must be changed twice a day, even if not dirty or smelly

Rule of Shoes
Shoes must sit out in the middle of a room for a day or two to dry and air out from wearing

Rule of Closets
Closet doors must be left open to air out the closets

Rule of Locking Doors
A door is only deemed locked if the knob is tried and shaken three times

Rule of Old Coffee
Old or extra coffee can't be thrown out, but must be put into a rubberize container and stored in the refrigerator to be used another day

Rule of Old Coffee (yep, I looked again too - seems to be titled as the previous rule)
Old refrigerated coffee can not be reheated in the microwave because microwaves cause cancer

Rule of Microwaves
Grilled cheese sandwiches can't be made on a griddle or in a skillet as it burns the outside of the sandwich - 'grilled' cheese sandwiches can only be made in the microwave

Rule of Vacuuming
Never waste time vacuuming under furniture or cabinets as dust and dirt only fall straight down and not sideways, nor can dust or dirt slide/move around

Rule of No Vacuuming
There are no cobwebs in our house to be vacuumed or dusted because we don't see spiders making them

Rule of Spiders  
Spiders in our house can't be 'captured' and released outdoors because we need them to build webs to catch other insects

Rule of Insects
You can't use any type of bug killer or ant trap because they will pollute rivers

Rule of Week Killers
You can only/must kill dandelions and weeds with Roundup, otherwise they will immediately regrow

Rule of Reading
Reading fiction is a waste of time and energy - one should only read non-fiction

Rule of Reading Great Classics
The 'Great Classics' include any/all Chilton manuals, as well as 'The Life and Times of Thomas Edison'

I can go on and on with Steve's list of Life Rules, but I quite frankly become bored. I do enjoy some structure to my life. I enjoy eating regular meals and having a routine bedtime and waking time. I value my marriage and refrain from unfaithfulness. I love my kids dearly, and have tried to teach them not to need me, but to become self reliant. I want to become more kind and selfless. I try to be more Christ-like in my daily life.

Other than those things, I have no hard and fast rules that I must live by.

Meanwhile, Steve has his seven hundred and forty-six volume set of Asperger Life Rules books thoroughly memorized, even though he can't remember where his phone or car keys are, lol.