Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scrambled Thoughts Please - Hold the Toast...

Steve is again on a quest to eliminate 'Aspergers Syndrome' from his medical charts.

I bet you can guess who's been trying to convince him that he's not Aspergian.

His current theory is that he has adult ADD/ADHD. Many sites, such as, list traits that easily apply to my Hubby. 

The main difference between AS and ADD/ADHD is the ability to control or change ones behaviors according to studies.

Steve definitely has trouble communicating with others in social settings. Unless he's able to pontificate about his single focus interests of cars or guns, he mostly remains silent.

In an Aspergers forum thread other Aspies describe similar experiences. 

The person with ADD/ADHD, however, never shuts up. has post after post after post describing their 'chatty' kids. A common attribute seems to be the ability to negotiate or change the behaviors.

Not so with Aspergers.

The Hubster's stock reply when I point out his regular misunderstandings of situations or communications is, "Good point."

To which I respond, "If it's a good point, then why don't you change (fill in the blank)?"

His response is always a surprised  "Oh!"

The same reaction, the same response, the same outcome - which is no change.

Another forum equates Ataraxia with Aspergers. Interesting read, especially the self medication, though I seldom consider Steve's demeanor as Zen-like. More like shut-down, turned off rock-like.

Not peaceful or even peace-filled. Just existing. 

I do know that our society as a whole reacts to the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD much more positively than a diagnosis of Autism. But if you were to observe The Hubster's quiet, somber disinterest at a party, you would be truly shocked at an ADD/ADHD label.

I, on the other hand, would wear that label quite well.

Would someone pour me some more caffeine so I can sit still please?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Be Yourself...

My dear Ozzie friend Lynda D has nailed it. Her blog Living In The Land of Oz has the perfect quote from Oscar Wilde on her masthead.

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

This week, middle of August, has been wet and stormy. Highly unusual for the greater Seattle area. High humidity, thunder and lightening, high winds, power outages.

Our household has experienced similar 'weather' patterns in a certain spouse's emotional state.

It's enough to make me go "hmmmm".

Sometimes Steve grows discontented with life in general for no apparent (to me) reason. Sometimes it can result from stress at work. Sometimes it's simple frustration with a car project he's working on. Occasionally I swear he has PMS.

His birthday is rapidly approaching. Expectations are a jumble to him. Our families run the gambit from ignoring birthdays, to forgetting them, to quiet celebrations, to out and out joyous week long festivities.

Yes, I am the latter type as you may have guessed.

Last couple of years The Hubster's parents have forgotten his birthday until a week or two afterwards.


Steve is not adopted. He lived with them for eighteen years. I am not exactly sure how they could 'forget' their first born, but it crushes his soul.

My in-laws routinely exclude us from family events or they invite Steve only. No spouse, no kids allowed (except for all of Steve's siblings' families and their ex-spouses). Steve's family vehemently deny his Aspergers Syndrome. They send emails offering to pay for him to divorce me and 'return' to his 'family'. 

In short, they refuse to accept him for who he is. They want to control his 'windows'.

Which is very sad, as my husband is an intelligent, though often quiet man who is welcomed at all other get-togethers and gatherings we attend. Apparently he doesn't fit his parents or siblings criteria or expectations. True, communications in close one on one relationships can be challenging for my Spouse, but gosh, no one is perfect.

Besides, as his wife I am the only one who is allowed to be irritated with his behaviors, right? 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Importance of "Why?"

The subject of depression has been in the news of late due to the recent demise of a well know celebrity. I have long known that depression is a common condition that runs tandem with Aspergers Syndrome.

Last year Nomi Kaim addressed this issue in her article Asperger's and Depression: Inside a Common Paradox  

My Aspergian hubby has always struggled with depression he says. He is rather quiet by nature so it can be difficult for me to tell if his mind is miles away or if he is depressed. The very nature of his syndrome often drives him to 'aloneness', but should I respect that or should I press him to find out his mood or feelings? If I ask him about those, will he even recognize what they are?

It's such a fine line we, who love an Aspie, must balance at times. 

My nature is to be very verbal. I know that I can drive people crazy. I think that my parents were able to 'deal' with my verbosity due to the era that I was raised in. 

In the 1950s and 1960s, we kids were shoo'd out the door after breakfast to either school or play at large in our neighborhoods. We were fed lunch on the back porch at noon sharp. Since none of us owned watches, little alone cellphones as kids have nowadays, I can only assume our stomachs were well tuned timers that let us know that it was meal time.

After school we went straight home to change. Regardless of school or summer, we were expected to be home and washed up for supper before our fathers arrived. Once our plates were clean, out the door we'd go to play until dark. Children were to be seen, not heard.

Steve's moods definitely swing from  sullen to gloomy to glum and back. Over twenty-one years I've had difficulty in seeing any major changes from medicated to unmedicated states. He rarely discusses feelings. That tends to be a guy thing, I believe.

However, I know that it often drives me to distraction to have to explain so many things my Hubster. It's very similar to being followed around all day long by a three year old. There are so many times I'd love to just say, "Zip it!".

"Why do we have to put towels in a separate wash from all the other clothes and linens?" mutters Steve as he empties his dirty clothes basket into my sorting baskets in our laundryroom.

"Because towels pill up and leave nasty lint balls on our clothes and sheets that feel lumpy and scratchy to you," I respond automatically, exactly as I have for the last one thousand one hundred and fourteen weeks since we married.

"But why do they do that?" my spouse inquires. 

"Gosh Steve, I don't exactly know. Maybe you can look it up on the internet, then tell me!" I mumble through clenched teeth. Repetitive questioning can have that effect on me. My answer to him has been the same week in and week out over all these years.

What I tend to forget is my Apsie mate can often dwell on questions such as these that turn into irrational (to me) fears that will keep him awake at night, and absorbed him with worry during daylight hours to the point he can't concentrate at work.

What is so upsetting to him? The concern that he might forget this 'rule' and accidentally put a washcloth or hand towel into the regular clothes that I might miss while loading the washing machine, thus ruining his 'employment' clothing that he might wear to a big presentation at work that would cause him discomfort or distraction to the point that he would mess up the meeting and get fired.

None of those thoughts would have ever crossed my mine. In fact, even after earthshakingly dreadful events in my life, I have always slept well. I'm not a worrier.

Living with Aspergers has caused me to slow down; to be on the lookout for different dimensional rational and thought processes from Steve. Part of being in our relationship is to try to be the strength to balance any of his weaknesses. We've been made into, I believe, two parts of a whole. One single being melded together from two separate entities that has ebbs and flows, highs and lows, metes and balances. 

I just have to remember to be extra patient and sensitive to my spouse's countenance.

Or lack there of.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Groundhogs Day

I love comedies. Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors. From 'Saturday Night Live' to 'Ghostbusters' to 'What About Bob', he has kept me laughing my frustrations away.

Except for Groundhogs Day. I haven't enjoyed that movie since I realized that my Aspergian husband and I are doomed to repeating our bungled communications and actions day after day after day.

I really am trying to pull a 'Bill Murray' and learn from the previous day's blunders. Unlike Bill's experiences in the movie, I've yet to convince my hubby that we can do/think/say it differently.

I try really hard to explain to Steve why it crushed me when he used the weed eater on my English Country garden, and why I burst into tears at the sight of that mangled green mess in front of my bay window along side of our front walkway.

"But you told me to weed-eat it!" The Hubster proclaims indignantly.

"No, no, no Steve," I replied, trying hard not to sob. "I asked you if you would have an hour to spare today to help me weed it."

"WELL I DIDN'T!" erupts my Mate. "And by using the weed eater it only took me SEVEN minutes!"

I stare at him incredulously.

"But you killed all of my flowers!" I protest. "I've been collecting those plants and flower seeds for years!"

"Well," states my Spouse, "There are no more weeds are there! Won't the flowers grow back?"

I continue to stare at him, speechless. I turn on my heel and walk away.

Steve doesn't like to do things unless he fully understands the reasoning behind the action. Having Aspergers Syndrome means that he very likely will never fully understand most of the things I work hard on in and around our home.

He refuses to put dishes in our dishwasher when he is done because he is insulted that I move things around to make room for other items later on. According to him, once placed in, that item can never be moved again, or else I am indicating that he is stupid.

"But Sweetheart, I move everything around, even things I put in myself!" I try to explain. "I never know exactly what will end up in there, or how best to fit it!"

"Why do you have to control everything?" Hubby demands. "Why can't we do it MY way?"


"Steve, I bought this nice cabinet to set right here by your recliner to keep all of your magazines and books in so your stacks aren't on the floor when we vacuum, and so they don't topple over off the end table," I volunteer informatively. "That way you can stack them any way you wish in the cabinet and then close the doors."

"Why can't I use the floor or end table?" blurts The Hubster. "This is MY house too!"


"Why should I have to make the bed when I'm just going to get back in it tonight? Why are there all of these pillows that we don't even use? How are the sheets going to air out if I have to pull the blankets and quilt up? Why..." he mutters as he stomps off to the bathroom to get ready for work.


"Why can't I drink water out of the same glass that I leave by the sink? It's just water! Why do you keep switching my glass? How do I know if it's mine if you keep switching it?" roars my Spouse in the kitchen.

"All the glasses look exactly the same!" I protest. "You wouldn't even know if it was your old one or a clean one if you hadn't seen me switch it!"

"Why are you soooooo CONTROLLING!" shouts my Mate.


I believe one of the hardest things about marriage to an Aspie is the Groundhogs Day phenomenon. 

Of course there is a flip side to it all. Steve tends to forget the days that I get mad, and ignores the days I am irritated, lol. Perhaps we should go watch a comedy!