Today is the day. The only day besides my birthday, that I have grown to dread. Timehop reminds me about it. Every.Single.Year. There was a shift in my opinion of 9/23 about my 6th anniversary. That was also the first time we weren’t just the two of us anymore and life with a newborn and an Aspie had become chaotic. There was absolutely no communication happening during that time in our lives and I was angry. Years went on. Hope for romance. Hope for a special token of validation. Hope for Something. Nothing is what I got. A big fat NOTHING. Ok, not nothing. Sometimes there would be 6pm grocery store flowers with the price tag on if I hinted that women like gifts. How could our anniversary mean nothing to you? Or celebrating me being born be too much to handle? What needs to happen here for you to freaking notice me?
About 18 months ago my hand swelled. My wedding ring was tight already and on this day it was squeezing. It had rubbed my finger raw and sore. My finger was being suffocated. At that moment the clarity of my choking ring and its obscene parallel to my marriage was too much. I had a panic attack and Hubs had to cut it off with garage tools. My wedding ring. Destroyed by garage tools. As soon as it was off I was so relieved! I felt free. In control. Liberated from the suffocating squeezing little handcuff. I mean it was legit making my finger purple so it needed to come off. The doctors at the hospital couldn’t get it off when I had my hernia surgery 6 months before. Then I felt terrible. Who does that? To rub in the pain and guilt of the whole freaking thing I had an imprint of the band around my finger for over a year. Another reminder of my shortcomings and failures as a wife.
Everything changed this week. There was a shift in my Life. I put it together because It’s the damn Asperger’s! I get it now. And so does He. We talked about my ring last night. He suggested that we get it fixed. Today is our 11th Anniversary and he left with my destroyed wedding ring to try to get it repaired. A new Ring. A new beginning! There’s another moment of clarity about the parallel with my marriage.
The last few weeks have been especially frustrating for me. With the beginning of the school year and new activities and new routines, I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Where is he? Why isn’t he helping me here? Why is he not running around like a chicken with his head cut off. For the love of God, Please just help me get through 4:00-7:30! I mean I have been stressed out. To. The. Max.
Earlier this week, I was messaging my best friend. My words were “his complete lack of empathy this week is ridiculous.” After I wrote that, hit send and read it back to myself, it hit me all at once. Literally like a loud train blaring its horn barrelling right into me. It took all of the air out of my lungs at once and I had to sit down. I said, out loud to I guess my reflection because I was alone, “Oh My Gosh! It’s the Asperger’s!”
I met my husband at 16. (I’m 36 now) His family was always clear that he had Asperger’s. It was never hidden. I knew it when we got married. I knew it in my head. There’s a touch of social anxiety and he is brilliant and maybe a bit off. I knew in my head about the situations that were difficult for him and for the last 11 years of marriage we’ve navigated through life fairly fine. I was busy with life and kids and everything else. I felt in my heart that I was missing something, but what? Seemingly our lives our great. 2 great kids (though I’m thinking maybe my son is on spectrum too) who excel at school and have friends. Hubs is doing well at work. I manage everything else.
Back to my revelation! Oh My Gosh! It’s the Asperger’s! Literally the first time ever that I saw the connection between the Asperger’s and MY LIFE! Holy Moly! He isn’t just being a dick. He DOESN’T GET IT. It’s not his fault. ITS NOT MY FAULT! All of a sudden I’m questioning the last 10 years and things are making so much sense. The feeling here is both liberating and freeing! I can stop being angry at him. The amount of anger someone can secretly hide over 10 years can be consuming and heavy. I literally feel physically lighter. All at once, I forgave him for all of the annoyances, and lack of getting it, and lack of empathy.
Something else happened as well! I realized that this is my life. This is nothing that can change or be fixed. All hope that I have been carrying around for years for romance and passion and being cared for as a wife, poof gone! That is a really hard bite to chew. He’ll never understand my emotions (of which I have plenty) He’ll never be able to understand the comfort that I need. We’ll never be the couple that goes on dates and publicly supports each other on social media. My feelings and thoughts will never be validated. I have a very grass is greener POV right now. Jealousy has hung its ugly head many a time in this aspect over the years as my birthdays, anniversaries, holidays get swept under the rug and overlooked.
Here we are though all the same. Why it took so terribly long for it to hit me I don’t know. We had a long talk last night about it after a number of hours of crying. I think for the first time in 20 years my husband and I can understand each other and there is hope in that.
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