I know that it was probably mean not give him a great send off for his business trip today. I just could not bring myself to do it. It feels so horrible to be spoken to the way he does. He barked at me twice last night and even started in on one of his doomsday predictions. Or yesterday with the Sat Nav system. We were barely on our way and he had the feeling that we had gone slightly out-of-the-way, but of course within moments it became clear that we were on the right track. Still, within those few moments, he had decided that the whole system was crap and that he must write and complain to the Sat Nav manufacturer because it was all-wrong all the time. Like I said, within moments we were well on our way.
I feel like some life coach, but my student only progresses slowly, or doesn’t really ever learn anything. I cannot teach him to empathize with others. He can, at times, learn what to do in the right situation. And, of course, he cannot apply what he’s learned in one area to another situation. So, it’s like we have to have a plan for each turn in life. There are so many examples of how his behavior is torturous, hasty, and over bearing. I cannot say that he is malice, but it is certainly emotionally exhausting to go on so many highs and lows just to get through a normal day.
I risk feeling sorry for myself through all of this, which is probably counter-productive. Yet, it really tires me and yet he is the very person with whom I cannot speak about these problems. Because, like always, he will only be able to talk about him. “I’m fine,” he’ll say, as if that is his sincere resolution. So, then I feel like I have to prove to him that he is not fine at all, or that I am not. It’s one or the other, but nothing in between. It is so very emotionally exhausting. I want to tell him that, but of course, at best he will just start feeling sorry for himself.
At any rate, he will not be able to have any conversation with me about how I am dealing with this exhaustion. And this is why I am so anxious to get him to my family’s home, where at least I have an entire support system around me, outlets for all sorts of discussions. It takes off so much pressure. The exact opposite happens when we come visit his parents’ home, where he is a carbon-copy of his mother (another undiagnosed Aspi). Each time he and his parents end up fighting, and so I am left in my in-laws’ household with so much tension. It is a real struggle to be around these people.
I am tired of hearing myself cry over this. It’s not like we don’t get anywhere, but it often feels like we don’t get anywhere, back to square one. And the tantrums? Sometimes I wonder if it’s he who has managed, or me better able to avoid his triggers. Likely, it’s a combination of both, but it does mean a lot of compromise for me. He is genuinely incapable of taking any interest in what I am doing, and at the same time, he is so needy that I stay distracted unless I am really careful.
It’s sad because here I am living in a town where I could really use a job, and I have the time to go looking for work. But whenever he is away, I feel like I am just waking up or just coming out from under some heavy load. And plus, he stinks. Like many on the Autism spectrum, my Mr. Aspi has serious gastro-intestinal issues, so on one level I understand. Yet, he really stinks. He almost always has serious gas and pretends that no one notices. I have tried to train him not to fart while others are eating, but he still does it to me all the time. Now, I just get up and leave the room. I let him have it. And so he spends a great deal of time alone. Sure, it’s just like the Aspi couples books say, he doesn’t need a great deal of socializing. And then with me, he has this idea of how a relationship should be, and doesn’t quite seem to understand what he has, so he’s constantly telling me what I must do for him, how I must love him and so on. It’s like whenever we see a show or movie where lovers kiss, it always makes him want to kiss as if whatever fucked up thing is happening on the screen in the relationship is cancelled out but the intimacy. Movies are great for showing make-up sex, as if couples actually fight like dogs, and then suddenly screw like dogs, too. He acts as if we’re supposed to have whatever sort of intimacy he sees on-screen, as if that’s his model and we just mimic that. That also is quite tiring, though I can see that he is sincere. He gets an idea of what a relationship is supposed to be like, but has no clue about how to reach that point. Besides, he is always complaining about one thing or another.
He complains as a means to contend with what’s going on. And then I am left to explain. In fact, so much of our talk is about me explaining something to him. I recently got real tired of that, too. I am just not in the mood to explain. Sometimes I want to talk to an equal like any other rational adult. And it’s really hard for him to jump into any conversation. He mostly only understands what is specifically spoken to him. Yes, he is that guy who walks into a room and just start speaking, totally ignoring what’s going on else wise. Of course, this alienates those around him, so he drives folks away or else he holds court about some subject he masters, and people drink the words from his lips; that part is magical to see, and comforting to see him in his element. It is only on those occasions that his conversations are suited to his basic method of supplying information.
Just once I wish we could have a conversation where his contribution went beyond spewing out some stats about people, places or things. You mention a town and he will tell you the population and surface area, but he starts barking so loud that the adults in the conversation can hardly speak. Like yesterday at a girlfriend’s- once we reached and finally found parking after all his complaining at some point I just started ignoring him. He kept interjecting with talking points that were simply facts about the subject we were discussing, but nothing really about the subject itself in relation to us in the room. I know he’s like this, and so it should bother me less, right? But, the reality is that it bothers me still, to constantly have this barking boy next to me. And yes, he always speaks inappropriately loud, and usually says something inappropriate. That part I will leave for future posts.
- Aspie Strengths and Superpowers (musingsofanaspie.com)