Ok, before I get into this post, please understand that it is in light humor and I mean no offense or see any credibility in my reasoning, hence the title. However, I think that it is humorous the way I think and I am writing it. Since I started to understand what autism spectrum meant and the different autistic traits and different sensory issues there are as well, I have been known to say to David “I am more on the spectrum than you!” “You can’t possibly understand what I am experiencing, since I show more traits.” or “My sensory issues are worse than yours.”. Like many of my ridiculous outbursts such as these, they have turned into our own jokes.
Doing this helps me to gain perspective.
In the past my meltdowns have been extreme and my rigid thinking has caused me to either think everyone can read my mind and know everything I am thinking, so why are they doing something they know will upset me? Or it has caused me to go in the opposite direction and I think no one can possibly know what I am thinking or feeling and they never will! Both of these are extremes that caused a lot of pain for me and others in my life. With David I really haven’t been able to have meltdowns about this because he has a way of looking at me or reasoning with me that no one else has been able to do. Since he is able to communicate with me in a way that will help my extremes be revealed, it has exposed how funny they are. I mean really is it necessary for me to get so upset at how he folds towels?
Do the towels really need to be lined up in a perfect pattern, so they look very nice and neat?
Yes, they do! But now I see how silly it is for me to get upset about that, also before I thought people were folding them wrong on purpose to make me upset. How ridiculous is that? Thanks to David, I see that it really is not that big of deal. Although, it is a big enough deal to me that now only I do the laundry. I have a thing about the laundry. I know, I know. But at least I see that he is not trying to upset me and that in the big scheme of things it is ok, if the towels do not get folded to the exact. That sounds a bit OCD but to be honest I like the patterns, the flow of them and the way they are all the same size.
Back to topic.
So with David, the truth is every quiz or going over some of Daniel’s questionnaires, he ranks pretty close to me with AS traits. I have some serious sensory issues with clothes, food textures, smells, sounds, certain lights and temperatures, just to name a few. But that does not nullify all what David experiences sensory wise. I continually need to work on remembering this. I tend to think that since I am getting overloaded that no one else is. I forget how sounds and textures can affect him. I am pretty good at acknowledging this with the kids but if I am completely overloaded, I do find it hard sometimes to understand why Joshua is screaming that a drop of water is on his face, Ariel is on the floor rocking with her hands over her ears or that Daniel is walking the perimeter of the house with a car on the wall, making a horrendous scraping sound. It seems I should be quite in tune with what is going on but the reality is I have shut down and I am stimming myself.
I forget that David and I are quite compatible because we do think so much a like.
We have our own opinions and ideas but we tend to reason and discuss a lot with each other. We do not always agree, which I also tend to forget and when it is revealed I have a moment of shock. I quickly get on and we discuss why we do not agree. All of this is from years of us just talking, challenging one another and growing with each other. I still forget that David has his own social anxieties and that we share similar anxieties like talking on the phone or going to a new place. I forget because he loves me so much that he does it for me, he has to do conference calls for work so he has to force himself to talk on the phone. I only remember that he has a phone problem when he does have a conference call because he is all out of whack. I get confused by his behavior, he gets antsy, spazzy, anxious, and talking non-stop about his special interests. I then ask him “What is wrong with you?” Discovering that he has a call and the entire day will be waste for him.
The energy that he uses to talk takes everything out of him.
There are many things like that for him. I see where I get absorbed in my own world and forget that he is even affected by anything or even the same things because his responses do not look like mine. When it comes to social situations, I have always said “Well you understand much better what is happening.” He is able to explain things to me going on in the movies or when we are in a social situation. I have discovered that it is not because he understands it, it is because he has studied the patterns of people’s behavior. He took classes and read books to try to understand human behavior while in school. The only difference between us is that David has a whole arsenal of social scripts that I never gained because of my limited life style.
He has been exposed to many types of people and social situations.
He has older brothers, I am an only child until 10yr olds (actually 11 yrs old in the house). As a child his parents moved a lot and he was forced to socialize and encounter new people. I lived in the same city until I was 18 years old, with only two moves once into a new trailer in the same spot and once into my grandparents house. My mom and grandparents switched homes. So it was all familiar to me, my entire life.
He went to various schools.
He took college course during high school, while living in CA which exposed him to all types of people. I lived in a medium-sized mid-western town, everyone practically knew everyone. I went to the same grade school, middle school and high school the whole time. The same people and same environment. No diversity there. He went to graduate school which exposed him to all kinds of people and situations. He was able to travel Europe with his ex-wife for several months and had gone to The Netherlands to work for several weeks. I only had a trip to Sweden, my employment experience and church experience.
While I have many scripts they are not as diverse and multiple as David’s.
There are many things that David experiences as well as I do socially, in our thinking, our special interests, our loops, our anxieties and our sensory issues that I just forget about. I seem to think that he has it all together because he is working and writing about cool things, he is talking to people, he seems so confident and capable, while I feel so lacking in my abilities to cope. I get so easily overloaded and confused.
The problem is that he does as well.
I am incapable of reading him properly most of the times. His overloaded doesn’t look like mine so I think he is fine. His anger doesn’t look like mine so I think he is angry, when he is not. His sadness doesn’t look like mine, so I never know when he is sad. His need for touching and hugging confuses me so I don’t understand that he just needs a hug. We get each others humor though, most of the time. Even though our humor is different a lot of the time, we are able to laugh together and we are able to talk to each other openly. We have enough commonality that it makes us compatible and enjoy our differences and sameness. I just need to work on being more aware of his issues and acknowledge that he does have them as well. I think writing this all out is helping me see more and that is a good thing.
He is able to get past me being preposterous….most days and that is a gift.
1 person likes this post.