Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plugged In and Checked Out

January is almost here, and with the new calendar comes more appointments for me and hopefully more answers. You see, three of us are officially diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently I have two children in various stages of evaluation, and my youngest just got referred as well. I'm so used to the testing and the questions that it seems almost silly to get official diagnosis's for anyone, but I know that without it, they might not be able to access services they might need in the coming years.

I wish I had more support, but I'm married to a man that carries different diagnosis's, all of them given in his childhood.. so really, I don't know whats going on with him. For all I know he could be on the spectrum himself. Getting him to seek out any help for himself is challenging. And being married is more like having a 6th child most of the time. He spends all of his time with his Iphone stuck to the front of his face. He doesn't play the PS3 during the day because we finally came to the agreement that he needed to stay tuned into life. So instead, he games on his phone. Somehow he thinks its different. When I talk to him, and he doesn't listen to anything I'd said. Or when I look at him and feel those feelings of love, and realize.. no matter what I can't get him to look at me back long enough to have "a moment." He's tuned into his phone literally 24/7. He's worse than my 13 year old. And he's totally checked out of life completely.

I often wonder if other women feel this way in their marriages. I feel like we've long since passed that in love stage, and we're straight into argue about absolutely everything area.

Ever since his leg surgery and his addiction, Chris has been an angry, isolated person. And since I have Asperger's you'd expect this to be okay with me.. except its not. Because its not the relationship I came into. We BOTH were introverts and we relied on each other to help us peek out of our shells. One of us continued to try and push every day, and one of us fell into the shadows and has let his childhood demons come back to haunt him.

I don't know about you.. but its not that much fun loving someone with a history of trauma. I should know, I have my own baggage and it can be daunting sometimes! Its not easy to be told that I'm doing things that remind the person of their abuse. This is something new to our relationship. We used to share our stories and talk about what happened.. never did we put blame on each other for anything.

Maybe it comes with being together for so long? Its been a decade now. The longest relationship I've ever had. Even longer than my parents had with me, ...only my grandmother knew me longer.. and its fast approaching the 15 year mark.

What I can say is this.. sometimes talking doesn't help. Most of the time it makes things worse in my case. The type of conversation that I think is helpful and makes me feel better, makes him feel shame and because of that he withdraws. Then we spend hours deadlocked. I alternate between crying and withdrawing, to trying to talk using all my communication skills and feeling defeated. Eventually I give up. After some time, if I give up completely and pretend things are fine then he'll come around. On his own time. In his own way. But the issue that caused us to argue in the first place is never resolved and inside my heart I feel sad and alone.

I think about our marriage and those feelings of sadness and isolation are what caused me to leave my last marriage and seek out that love from someone else. Knowing that I don't want that, my instinct is to work through things and try to fix it. However its really hard when one person isn't communicating at all, and the other is somehow not communicating effectively. At least half the time I feel doomed. Like a gerbil spinning in a wheel. I feel like I'm giving all of myself, my soul, and heart to my children and this marriage and not getting in return what I need to feel fulfilled and loved. I want so much to reach out, but the past has shown me that talking does no good. And it hurts so much to be rejected the way I have been lately.

I don't know whats in store for my life down the road. I only know where I am and where I want to be. I want happiness and love. I'm struggling, but still trying to keep this relationship together. I wonder if we have what it takes to still be together. I wonder if thats the right path or if we're fighting a losing battle. I don't have answers to any of those questions and its frustrating that Google can't answer it for me..

I think I need to find a pen pal, or a forum somewhere and get back into communication with other people. I need to feel like people are listening to me somewhere because I'm not feeling the bond in my home right now. Its not just being a woman with an autism spectrum disorder, but its parenting 5 children.. several of which have autism as well. My life isn't an easy one, but somehow I will make it work because I know others have it far worse. Its what keeps me going. Knowing that to someone else, I have it easy.

So how much does communication really matter in a marriage? Do you think its possible to love someone, be married, parent and have a gap in communication? Does it feed into trust or distrust? Am I doomed?


  1. Shannon Johnson12/29/2011 3:21 PM

    Boy, I don't know what to say but I wanted to comment to let you know that I hear you and that I care enough to comment. I have a son with Autism and a husband with ADHD. He is an amazing man and takes his medication and is 100% invested in helping me not only build an amazing life for our son but an amazing life for ourselves. I wish I had some advice for you. All I can think to say right now is that your kids are your #1 priority and that marriage and life, for that matter, is what you make it. But you can't completely forget yourself or you will end up resenting your children. I hope marriage counseling is an option. Best Wishes. Shannon

  2. Today I am still hopeful. I love him, I really do. And I know he loves me. I want our communication to be better and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make our marriage and family stronger. I hope that he is as well.

    We had a good day today so I think the talking we were able to do this afternoon reached him somehow. I am thankful for that. :)

    Thank you for reading and commenting. It really does help to know that someone cares, even if they can't make it all better.

  3. Your comment "Having a 6th child" really resonated with me. I have two children, 1 with autism and 1 NT. On top of that, both me and my husband have Aspergers. I often feel like he's my third child. His iPhone is also constantly stuck in front of his face. Angry Birds, Peggle, Words with Friends. Its always something. The marriage is confusing. I mainly feel like a single parent of 3 children, with flashes of support from Aspie husband every once in a while. I love him. He is a wonderful person. But dealing with the Aspergers and Depression leads to a huge communication gap.

    I hope you can find happiness and love. I know I am searching for that as well.

  4. I'm so glad you left me a comment Emily! I'm glad I'm not alone. It *is* an odd marriage and I often feel like I carry all the weight. Sometimes I'm not sure if its my anxiety and autism coloring how I view things, or if its his issues largely at play.

    I hope we both can find happiness and love where we are in our lives. I've added you to my list of blog I follow and look forward to reading more posts by you.

    In my travels on the internet I haven't found many females with Asperger's that also have a husband with his own issues AND several children to care for. :)