i have a girlfriend with aspergers who i have been with for 8 years now, when we started our relationship it was awesome, we had alot in common and we made each other laugh, about 1 year ago my son was diagnosed with severe autism and suddenly she became obsessed with it as any mother would, she wanted to know why our son was like this and what caused it, the doctors told us it could be anything from the chord being wrapped around his neck to mental illnesses in the family, there is a lot of mental illness im my family and i suffured from this as a child.
my girlfriend started going on the internet alot to see if she could find anything there, she noticed an autism community that specialises in aspergers and soon discovered it is a very mild form of autism or high functioning form of autism, she then saw all the symptoms and started saying she had them and i had never seen her do these before and when i confronted her she stated she showed the symptoms before we met and they subsided after we met, her condition became so bad that she said she didnt love me anymore and couldnt feel any form of compassion, after a few days of being broke up she decided to get back with me, now her condition is so bad that she stated she would never have sex with me again, thats not so bad but she wont even kiss or hug me at all and the kids are starting to notice, i have tried to talk to her but she tells meto shut up and im just trying to make her feel guilty, her dad tried to talk to her too and she nearly bit his head off, she is now telling me to have sex with other women but i dont want other women, i want her back the she was before, this aspergers is starting to ruin my life i dont know who to talk to i dont have many friends to help with the problem as im watching my 3 children all the time, this is my last cry for help, how do i get my girlfriend back?
i am so so sorry to hear abt this... i dont kw what to say but i'd just like to send some good wishes along ur way...
sometimes, finding out abt one's own condition can lead to a kind of 'meltdown' phase where everything goes crazy and even the slightest bit of a perceived 'flaw' or quirk becomes overblown... this applies not just to an asperger's / autism dx but also to illnesses of the body... i kw of pple who hv gone off the deep end in their minds becos they found out they hv something or other and they cannot cope... but eventually, i do think with some help things will balance out and a coping strategy can be developed...
if she is willing to see a psychologist who is experienced in asperger's syndrome do encourage her to seek specialised help (not just any psychotherapist mind u, beware of this becos if it is really asperger's, then the usual psychotherapy won't do any good but harm instead)...
awww im so sorry to hear your situation, my son has asperger's syndrome, it is very hard, you may want to take her for a evaluation, maybe trying some meds. could help, or meetings, sersons with asperger's usually get depression and maybe after finding out about you baby it was hard for her to cope with it, Be strong, be pacient, dont let this get worsed, talk to her, and go find out that help, and trust me, it would be good after that.! best wishes.
Firstly an apology, I love to write, alot - and have a bit of an inabilty to leave minor details unexplained or use much slang or short-hand, so I hope you enjoy reading long posts.
I'm the partner Chesh is referring to, I just want to make it very clear I'm not here to have people pick sides and say you're the one in the right or wrong etc, I just think if people see all sides of the siuation from both our perspectives we might get some better related advice.
I do feel very bad for him as we've been together for a very long time, when we first got together I had very few problems, just a slight social anxiety and depresion and mild eating and sensory disorder - but then what teenager doesn't experience some of these at some point? I knew nothing about autism and neither did my family when I was growing up - I struggled in mainstream school and they stuck me in a special class knowing I fully grasped what they were teaching teaching me, but assumed I was being awkward since I could list facts even my teachers did not know, yet if I was asked a direct question such as 'what year did this happen in?' I could not answer, or felt as though my words had been sucked into a black hole.
I was my mum and dad's first child until I was about 7 or 8, with no siblings to compare my developement to they just thought I was a bit quirky and so never thought my behaviour, personal growth, obsessions and my complete loathing of being around other kids was just me being me and so it was never looked into.
My school attendance was attrocious, and I begged to be home-schooled but since both my mum and dad worked it wasn't possible. I know most kids get bullied and think it's even important to go thrugh that a little to help develop a balanced sense of self, but I didn't cope very good, it wasnt the name-calling about my ginger hair that bothered me, but things like when another kid accidentally kicked a football into my face, they laughed when I just looked down with no expression and waked away all stiffened; I never liked my arms and legs to feel too far away from my body.
In conversations I would struggle to keep track of who said what in a group and sarcasm pissed me off, I just couldn't seem to grasp it well enough to know they were joking around, it was never bad enough that I thought when they said 'Oh that's cool!' that I would think something was literaly cool to the touch, but it was apparent enough to make me apprehensive about socialising, between that and the fact my peers wanted to play with barbies and makeup and I wanted to discuss the finer points of human biology, so I relished my time alone.
I remember one mother reacted in complete horror as she overheard me exlplaining the male anatomy to her daughter after they invited me to have my tea there - she couldn't get me out of the door fast enough, and for this reason I took to studying people from my bedroom window and reading and writing.
I went through highschool, again with poor attendance due to bullying but at least this time around I was in top classes for History, English and Science. I missed most school days but managed to pass all of my exams, even if the grades weren't fantastic.
After years of studying people's faces and the tone of their voices, their body language and some psychology to help me 'read' people better I felt confident enough to try college since at some point in high-school I developed a social 'cope' where for periods of time I could blend in like a social chameleon and made a handful of good friends, college was nothing like I expected however and I was poorly prepared for how informal it was; no uniform code, loose language terms etc, and after I started refusing to go to my classes because of bullying their way of dealing with me was to label me a dropout, and subsequently end my education there.
About this time I sank into a depression, I had always been quite malencholy, but this time my mood swings were harder for people at home to deal with, I would swng from vey low to extremely hypractive within the hour, I have since found out I have bi-polar type 1. I would go clubbing every weekend and run riot until the early hours of the morning in my local area, I felt angry that nobody had noticed I was struggling and I didn't know how to word it and actually tell them.
When things came to a head I moved out of my mum's house as neither me or her boyfriend could tolerate the other ones' presence, I moved 50 or so miles away with a guy I had not long met having decided to follow what other people did rather than take notice of what felt comfortable and what didn't, I basically lived my life according to the NT standard of norm, believing that if I acted like everyone else eventually I woud feel like them too. Of course now I know better, but only after a couple of relationships that were never going to work. I met 'Chesh' after a particlarly abusive relationship, and though many believed it was too soon and it was only a crush, we proved them wrong and settled down having 3 fantastic kids together, and for the first time I felt close to another person.
My problems seemed to be on ice for a time, and I think he felt I kept them from him at first, though he does now understand that I didn't bring alot of this stuff up because I genuinely thought the problems were now so mild I could deal with them without having to open up and ask for assistance.
I had no idea these problems would re-appear with such ferocity they would threaten my families' happiness.
My social side has all but crumbled and my ability to cope in face to face conversatons has been blown apart, my eye contact which had improved for a great length of time is now declining and although my empathy had always ben an issue, I want to stress it's not that I don't feel for other people, more that I feel extremely emotional but haven't got a clue what to do with those feelings, and sit there looking confused or blank, ote iesmy reactions or words seem completely inapropriate to others, eg; at my grandads' funeral so many people were upset and crying and I felt very overwhelmed, after some initial upset I started to laugh, imagine how well that went down with my family.
Many people have suggested perhaps it is because we found out 2 of our kids are also autistic, 1 of those possibly having Rett Syndrome, and as much as I am aware I am going to sound cold, I don't feel it's any particlar tragedy - that's not to say I don't want them to have some decent degree of normality in their lives, but I'm really fed up of NT's being the ones who define normality. Why are we not considered normal, but just normal for autstics? I lost alot of opportunities to be myself through fear of social rejection, and for a while I even hated myself, feeling like some alien or a monster.
Now I know what autism is, I know I'm not the only person with related issues (Hyperacusis and tinitus, hypersensitivity, absency blackouts, sensory overloads and bi-polar 1) and although I am only just in the process of being asessed for aspergers at 25, I feel relieved that finally someone has recognised my difficulties and is taking me seriously. I currently take Dosulepin for my bipolar - but it does nothing but make me sleepy all day and drool a little more, but I know at some point I will be offered a new trial of drugs, and go on as such until we find one that does some good. I also have some great noise cancelling headphones and they help no end,plus some special gloves to stop my sensory issues getting too overwhelming - plus I am etting a new lyrcra all in one body suit that acts as both a thick skin to reduce my sensory overloads and gently squeeze me in, not for my figure but to raise my body awareness so hopefully my balance will improve too.
I know to Chesh and a few others it seemed that once we knew about our middle child's autism I just jumped on the bandwagon, I think probably because once I told my mum Dominic was very different from his older NT sister, playing obsessively, not interacting as she did etc, I looked up the signs and came across autism, and recognised it immediately - then my mum and dad told me some stuff about my develoment that made me realise I was the same, had difficulties communicating effectively sometimes seeming ignorant, I walked on tiptoes for the whole day sometimes, would hug my knees and rock when I was distressed, played with spinning pan lids instead of toys and would read novels instead of the flimsy 'babyish' books my peers were reading, I think the strongest indication was when my mum said between the ages of 6 or 7 could'nt stand to be hugged, and would go crazy if anyone tried, then calm again the instant the other person backed off.
I complained about the sound vanishing suddenly and the coming back moments later painfully loud, then down then up then ringing then normal - yet I was only told that I am hypersensitive a couple of months ago, my new doctor was astounded at how many occasions I have gone to them yet was always sent home with no explaination after them saying, 'well physcally your ears are fine' - after the first few visits should they not have thought perhaps it was a problem with how my brain processes the noise? I definitey think so, especially when I think how this has been over the course of 19 years - but then at least it is moving along now, I'm just sorry Chesh has been caught up in the midst of all this, god knows I beat myself up about it enough, I just need some peace and some time to clear my head, but where from here? I know he's stretched to coping so far, and if I continue or get worse I can't see us even being able to be civil.
i m very glad u came here and gave ur views... welcome! i do understand some of ur grievances - esp why is it we hv to be the ones who make the effort to live in an NT world... i mean, nobody wld think of asking a wheelchair bound person to get up and learn to run a marathon, but we hv to do something similar in our minds and emotions re. socialisation?... i too hv hyper sensitivity... and hv been (still am) constantly berated abt being over reactive / drama queen / princessy etc...
i was always an odd kid, my father was aspie, so was his father... but at that time (i m in my 40s) nobody had even heard abt asperger's... and i just devised my own coping mechanisms... it helped me a lot cos dad was a 'rebel' and generally non conformist, but mom gave me hell over my crazy extreme grades at school and some discipline issues... i transfered to a new school with a different social environment at age 8... and after one incident at the playground when i was bullied by a bunch of girls and teased for being shy and a snobby princess, i decided i wld get on top of the situation... and i did... by excelling in art, music, writing and drama... i used my drama skills to survive the parties, group situations etc... but it always exhausted me... even now, asperger's is not often understood... i discovered abt my own asperger's thru working with an autistic boy in music and art therapy... researching abt him led me to see myself... but the journey was a very very long one... i was finally officially diagnosed at age 42... very recent... i sought professional help becos for the first time in my life, i was in a situation which i just cld not 'cope' with...
i survived mainly becos of the love and support of a very small handful of friends and one sister who loves me - and even among these few friends, not every one understands or believes i hv asperger's, they've known me for so long just as a quirky kid, it is hard for them to put a diagnosis to it since i myself coped so well... but regardless, their love and acceptance saw me thru the toughest times - i was suicidal for 2 years, and living far away from my familiar support group of 3... but their regular phone calls and emails held me together... things hv all but fallen apart for me... but i m here still fighting on becos of this love that i kw is holding me together... nothing else makes sense to me...
sorry... aspies do tend to ramble :-) ... what i meant to say to u is that there IS hope... u r not alone... especially if ur partner is loving and supportive... no, i dont mean fairytale perfection (ppl sometimes accuse me of perfectionism but actually i m very practical)... i mean that it is tough going - for the aspie as well as for those caring for us - but if u hv found someone who really thinks u r worth the journey, don't give up please!
seek professional help... together...
i sincerely wish u all the best... and i hope u will find a way to ride thru this into a new and better growth path in ur relationship...
Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one, I can definitely relate to people not believing you have aspergers because you never had that label before and people just assume the way you are is quirky. My usual reaction is to go on the defensive, I think because if somebody says I'm not an aspie, or that I am exaggerating my body movements to make sure people believe me I get angry and say a) I'm not exagerating, I'm just not holding everything in anymore, it's hurting me mentally and perhaps shouldn't have tried to be aything other than myself in the first place (because at least those who are close to me now would have known a decline could happen and at least had the chance to walk away and not have this problem with somebody else), or b) I just clam up overwhelmed with the demand for immediate answers that even I don't know. It gets to a point that even when I answer they can't understand my perspective, and because they do care about me and are desperate to understand they keep asking thinking suddenly it's all going to make sense; I end up screaming obscenities and telling people to shut the **** up and leave me alone because it is just not possible to give the right answer, one that explains in a way they can see that I am not sat at some control panel, with the ability to know what to say and what face to make when somebody says fr example; my life has gone to ****, several things factor in it but your conditions are by far the hardest thing to del with, it's making me depressed'. I mean what kind of answer can I give to that? Usually it's ''I'm sorry you feel like that, and it'snot that I don't care but I don't know how you want me to react, sometimes it's like people won't believe I feel remorse unless I am sobbing my heartout begging for forgiveness'. I think my biggest problems at the moment is convincing people that I do care about them a great deal, but I just don't want physical contact, it doesn't help that I had relatively few issues with being physical before and as I keep telling people I just don't know why suddenly it makes my skin crawl, then this lends itself to the 'exaggeration' theory.
Also since I found out that the way I am has a name and I'm no longer confined to struggling in conversations with people who think the way I am is weird, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who obsesses, flaps a bit etc,and that those things are ok to do, and not something to panic and be ashamed about when those things happen. But recently I must admit I have spent much more time on the internet and msn several times through the day, socialising mainly with a small group of aspies and have had to defend this - I can totally understand from Chesh's perspective that he feels discarded and unimportant, unloved etc, but I try to explain that it's not that I don't like his company, but this is the first time I've ever been able to talk to people with such ease and minus the 'oh god why did I just say that now they think I'm weird oh ****' bit and above all, I'm finding it easier to cope with my problems around people who understand that much more because they are the same. I'l never forget how awful I felt when I first said that to him, it was very blunt but I only realised after I thought back to it and replayed it in my head - sometimes I reckon he thinks I am turning anti-NT, and taking autisms' side and rebelling like some cheesy teenage film, but it's really not like that; just as I said I am gettng fed up of living to someone elses standards and it's about time I exercised the right to like and be at peace with myself. We are making an appointment to visit a mental health nurse who is going to asess wether I need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist or even both - I did want to go on my own as this is something very personal to me, though amidst doubts that I will/will be abe to metion all that needs mentioning it's looking like I have little choice, let's face it it's hard to convince a person of your strong points and capabilities when you have big headphones on, keep saying 'shut up' and type relentlessly on a laptop that gets more attention than people get face to face. Biggest worry now is if it is so hard cope at the moment, what if I get worse or even stick as I am - will our differences and inability to understand each other when we need to most result in an explosive breakup? Will we stay like this just riding it out in the hopes of one day waking up and me not being the way I am? I'm not sure what will happen, all I do know is that this guilt and confusion is like a drill in my brain, and if I lose anymore of my brain I'll be some kind of shell.
i absolutely understand what u r going thru... i went thru a similar upheaval very recently... so my heartfelt empathy for u... :-)
but i think love is a very precious thing to have and hold - and i sincerely hope u both can find a way to reassure each other that u still do care, but also that u r both willing to rediscover each other in new ways... afterall, i see it as a growing process, whether aspie or NT or whatever, we never stay static in life, our personalities grow along with our experiences in life... and if u can grow together no matter how rough the going gets it will be all the sweeter for love to have and hold... in this respect, it shd be viewed no differently than other relationships... just that being aspie is more unique in certain ways... but if the WILL is there to love and keep making space for love, then u've got it going there!
nothing stays the same way... not even what u r going thru now... u will settle down into a calmer perspective of urself and keep discovering new things but without the crazy flurry, becos by then u wld hv found a new inner confidence... i assure u both that this is just a phase, an IMPORTANT phase of self discovery - what u do with it after this is crucial...
as for the touch thing... everyone is different... for me, i dont like touch from anyone, as a kid not even my mom, but there ARE a few pple whom i feel very comfortable with... and i m by no means non-sexual, quite the opposite... but it has to be with the right person... i hope u will find ur niche where tactile expression is concerned... i LOVE touch, smell and taste... probably too much, such that i become very exclusive in my selections (sex, food, visuals, sounds, friendship hugs etc everything to do with the senses) - i am very very very picky and some pple think i m stand-offish, but when it is "right" - it is GOOOOOOOD !!!!
Hey again, sorry it's been a while my head has all but imploded, still no closer to finding a resolve and things came to a head today, I wound up snapping :/ After being extremely stressed all day I took some of Chesh's 'advice' said in anger, a couple of times (and I can understand his frustration) the words 'pack your bags and get out' occurred, and though that's not exactly true to what I am doing, I have decided there are certain ideal conditions to being able to sort my head out, and this house, lifestyle and situation are not going to allow it. So after much thought (even though some people think I suddenly thought of this spurr of the moment) I put across the idea that perhaps I should get a place of my own for a while, while I see this mental health nurse - before I could finish all hell broke loose, it was asumed I was breaking up and running out and I was made to feel very guilty; my dad of ourse had to add his piece and shouted 'sort yourselves out' as if there was some bloody off switch. My reaction to this I am rather ashamed of, every pent up emotion I've been feeling these last few weeks came flooding out, and it was terrifying. I started shaking, then felt hot all over, then tears, then screaming and flapping, something along the lines of 'you know nothing about my conditions, how can you tell me to sort it just like that? Shut the f up and keep your nose out of my business, you know f all'. My throat hurt pretty bad after that, to which he commented 'I'm only trying to keep you together' so I bit my tongue and told him, if I stay here like this I will have a breakdown, and we will have a messy and bitter breakup, I am leaving hopefuly to supported accomodation, with the aid of my new mental health nurse - I am not walking out on anyone as I will be here alot during the day, I still have kids and will not shun my responsbity to them or the upkeep of this house, I am doing this to salvage; it's either stay and break down and definitely have no relationship whatsoever, or leave each night to my own little retreat and with the aid of therapy hopefully piece together what's left of my head and come back a little more sane with a better ability to cope' to which he could come up with nothing. I know some people will still take the stance 'running away' but I am doing this so I can face my problems head on, hopefully without affecting Chesh and the little ones too much, I know this is going to get very, very ugy, and I am more afraid than I ever remember feeling in my life - though I'd much rather the kids see that I'm away a little bit of each day than see me crack and lose it completely. I do feel bad for Chesh, but there were numerous warnings that could not be mistaken - there's no mistaking 'Please help me I can't go on like this, things have got to change'. I guess at least now he understands I'm not doing this to be mean or a *****, I'm doing this because my kids need a mum, and I need to stay alive to do that; he even offered to help me move, albiet after alot of upset - it generally doesn't help that the only emotions I show well are extremes, happiness and anger and despair, the whole time I was selfishly defensive, however as ashamed as I am of the meltdown, I think it helped to show just how much I need this peace. You writing your experiences has helped me endlessly, I never felt truy alone in this, and I know that if I had there might have been a very different outcome.
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