Friday, April 22, 2016

Darned if I Do / Darned if I Don't

Okay dokey. That dead mouse had now grown another coat of hair. It had been left in the mousetrap in the basement behind my laundryroom door that long. Why didn't I remove it myself? Because I immediately start projectile vomiting the moment my latex gloved hands reach for the trap. I can clean up dog poop, change nasty diapers, and deal with the middle of the night kid vomit across bunk beds. I can't do dead critters.

My Asperger husband is suppose to check the traps every morning and every night as he takes our dogs' large water bowl into the laundryroom to fill with fresh water. For some odd reason, after twenty some years in this home, he often forgets. Now I'm really in a quandary.

Herein lies the rub. If I remind Steve, he will become angry with me for "nagging" him. If I don't remind him, he becomes angry that I didn't remind him.

How do I win?

I've tried to gauge his mood first. That is hard when his stoic face is unchanging. I've tried watching his body language for stress, frustration, anger, or tiredness, but that can be deceiving as sometimes he stomps around for no other reason than he likes planting his feet "firmly upon the floor". I guess that he doesn't want to fall off. If the Hubster is dwelling on a specific train of thought, he will become oblivious to the world around himself and become angry at being interrupted. His world is as confusing to me as the NT world is to him.

What to do?

As I was perusing the net on AS forgetfulness, I ran across this thread in Wrong Planet. Extreme Forgetfulness

Whoa Nellie! That's my spouse! One of the comments mentions the term 'executive-function impairment'. I don't remember reading about this before. (Ha! Now look who's forgetting!)

In The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood defines executive function as a term that includes the following skills:

* Organizational and planning abilities
* Working memory
* Inhibition and impulse control
* Self-reflection and self-monitoring
* Time management and prioritizing
* Understanding complex or abstract concepts
* Using new strategies

Attwood goes on to say that most people with Asperger’s Syndrome have some level of executive-function impairment (Attwood, 234).

This is it! I can ask Steve if I can assist with his executive-functioning! No accusations about his forgetting something, just an offer to help. No wondering if he is purposely trying to upset me, or is trying to hurt me in some way (I can sometimes take his actions or lack of actions as personal slights, allowing myself to become hurt at his "insensitivity". Since I am in control of my reactions, I can choose to not take things personally.)

Now that I possess this knowledge, I am anxious to discuss this with my esteemed mate.

Hopefully I will pick a good time/day to do so, and the traps will be empty!