Knocked sideways

Hello,

I just never expected this. As my bio alludes, life is, erm, interesting right now. Here's the short version:

My wife and I hadn't been getting on too well for a while. Everything seemed to go south when our son arrived some years back, then get steadily worse. Last December, my father died. It was expected, and a much-needed release for him. I was fine.

This year, I walked out of my job for a whole bunch of reasons, fully expecting to find something else after taking a few months off. My employer could not quite believe I was going to go through with it, and seemed to be quietly hoping I would change my mind. I have never really been out of employment before this.

Sorting through some of my Dad's old fishing tackle after the Summer made me realise I am not actually fine at all.

Suddenly, I have an AQ score of 36, have been referred by my GP, have found out within the last week that my adult son from my first marriage was diagnosed with Aspergers years ago, and tomorrow we're going to try to get our youngest checked out(!)

From my reading of the paperwork, I'm likely to get, "Congratulations, you have Aspergers! Goodbye", because I am in my forties.

Immediate questions (there will be others...):

  1. What resources might help out a forty-something laggard such as myself?
  2. Any tips for helping me save my second marriage?
  3. What can my wife and I do to support our youngest? How should we approach our son's school with this?

Oh, and my handle for these forums? It's a Chinese ICBM yielding about three to five megatons, which just happened to be what was on my mind whilst I was registering with the NAS...


  • Any tips for helping me save my second marriage?


    There is a book titled "PARTNERING - A NEW KIND OF RELATIONSHIP - How to Love Each Other without Losing Yourselves" by Hal Stone, PhD. & Sidra L. Stone, PhD., which may prove particularly useful perhaps.


  • It’s a big hit, that point of realisation and it does sound like you have ASD coming at you from all directions. It was June when I realised the cause of all my issues in life and I still haven’t found any equlibrium, not helped I am sure, by being on a seemingly endless waiting list for assessment.  You wrote this nearly a month ago and you are in the right place to find understanding and shared experience as you’ve probably already found.

    book suggestion sounds interesting and knowledge is power, if you and your wife know what you are dealing with you stand a fighting chance of making it work with adjustments all round, figured out gently. 

    I’m female, nearly fifty and in a less than perfect relationship that has limped along for 20 years, if that’s relevant, it has made me sad to realise that the relationship issues are probably largely from me looking at life through a different lens to everyone else (apart from here).

    Hope your New Year has some light in it.

    • What resources might help out a forty-something laggard such as myself?
    • Any tips for helping me save my second marriage?
    • What can my wife and I do to support our youngest? How should we approach our son's school with this?

    Well DongFeng

    Firstly, there is a lot that you are dealing with and processing at the moment - in terms of relationships, bereavement, employment, your ASD status and your children. That is a lot for anyone so ...take it slow and be kind to yourself and your family.

    In terms of supporting such a laggard as yourself - how much of your difficulties with you partner is down to the shifting sands that you are dealing with that you have found it difficult to find common ground?  You are in an unsettled period in both of your lives (and the lives of your children) and you are also dealing with, understanding, and coming to terms with so many things.  

    Do you think that your marriage is really in turmoil? People deal with things in different ways and each of you are affected by these things because they have either a direct or indirect impact. I hope that there is no anger or resentment and I hope you are able to talk.  However the latter can be difficult if you are still processing what is going on to such an extent that you are not yet able to put it into words or articulate it as well as you like.

    Maybe trying to unpack each issue in turn and working through what can be done, how it makes you feel, where you need help, the impact it has, and the support you need an the support you can offer.  

    The following link is useful in terms of understanding a NT/ND relationship - https://musingsofanaspie.com/2012/10/22/lessons-from-an-aspergers-nt-marriage-part-1/ i don't know if it will help...but nothing ventured.....

    I would also advise phoning your sons school and explain that you are seeking a referral....Speak to their SENCO team, it would also be good to use that opportunity to get feedback from his teachers about his behaviour and progress.  As a teacher myself i teach a number of ASD children and am mindful what can cause challenges and how easily some of these can be improved with the application of very simple strategies - which 9/10 also improve things for the whole class without your son feeling like the gooseberry!

    In terms of relationship advice, I am glad your marriage and the health of your relationship is important to you and you realise your need to support each other.  Your honesty here says alot and I hope you are able to be this open with your partner and conversely, they with you.  

    Bottom line, take what I say with a pinch of salt.  I am on marriage number 2 and my challenge at the moment is since my Aspie Epiphany (and yes, it is as painful as it sounds!) that existential "WTF" moment really cuts a focus on who you are, where you are, what you want, and what you need.  You also seek that validation and understanding from others in that they acknowledge who you are and still love you despite "coming out" as miswired.

    right...this is Ellie shutting up now!

    Ellie 

  • I have to go through the diagnosis etc myself but I understand that you can get help at work, a plan for your needs to be met and there are things that protect/help you. 

    knowing all this now, if you feel you could be helped at work with your condition needs, could you speak with your past manager about returning to work and your needs being met?  but if that job/working there is completely out of the question for you then no worries, just trying to help. 

  • Thanks for the suggestion, . I have just got that book from Amazon, and added it to the ever-growing pile of aspie-related material. I want to finish Philip Wylie's book first, and my ageing mother has walked off with the Gillan Drew book that I'd previously seen recommended somewhere on this site... We are all on a learning curve!

  • Thanks, . Yes, like you, I am having to "eat humble pie" right now. 40-something years of it. Hmmm.

    Really want to save marriage #2, because she is wonderful and has been / is going through a great deal in her own way.

  • Thanks for the valid suggestion, , but I don't really want to go back. It is time for a change, and the type of job I have been doing for umpteen years is arguably a lousy fit for someone on the spectrum. The loss of my father last year really brought it home to me that the level of hassle just wasn't worth it - both in terms of its impact on my own health and that of my family relationships.

    Having reached something of a "dead-end", I am prepared for the possibility that I shall have to accept a pay cut in order to head in a different direction which better fits the second half of my life.

  • , your post is quite lengthy (not a bad thing at all - I very much appreciate the effort!), and I feel it therefore deserves lengthy cogitation and a consequent response from me - so I'm afraid I am going to keep you waiting a little while longer - more from me soon! 

    Thanks again.

  • how much of your difficulties with you partner is down to the shifting sands that you are dealing with

    If only it were that simple. We were in Relate counselling in 2016. Now I think we're both numb.

    Do you think that your marriage is really in turmoil?

    Yup. I have nowhere to go, but don't feel like I belong here anymore. I love my son so dearly, but things do look pretty bleak.

    I hope that there is no anger or resentment and I hope you are able to talk.

    Thanks for your good wishes, but wrong on both counts, I'm afraid.

    We can still talk, but it is like we are speaking different languages, so you got an "inverse hat trick", Ellie.

    Speak to their SENCO team, it would also be good to use that opportunity to get feedback from his teachers about his behaviour and progress

    Yeah, we've done that already. The letter from his class teacher seems quite ominous really, since it strongly hints at autistic traits. We've had sets of forms about our son for the two of us, his teacher, and after-school childcare. The whole shebang has gone back to the organisation which requested them but we won't see them again until May owing to waiting lists.

    ou also seek that validation and understanding from others in that they acknowledge who you are and still love you despite "coming out" as miswired.

    Yeah, that's one of the problems. Since getting the high AQ / low EQ results, I've been dropping my mask a lot more. Unfortunately, it seems the world finds the real me unacceptable. So it feels like Hobson's choice:

    1. Continue to mask, despite the obvious damage to mental health
    2. Be myself, but then fall foul of society because I am "unacceptable". I would feel happier if society had the balls to go through with extermination, but they don't. Cowards. 
      1. If you want something doing, do it yourself.