Coping mechanism in time and space

Hi all

It only occurred to me 10 minutes ago to look for a forum online and speak to a like minded person instead of trying to explain my feelings again to someone who just thinks I'm crazy.  So. Excellent idea. Except does anyone get a bit obsessed with this and checking what other people are obsessed and over thinking about? I think I might!

Im 37. Married. Have only a couple of friends. Diagnosed with asbergers in 2015 after years of not knowing why I couldn't express how I felt in a way that was considered acceptable. My mother thinks I'm using my diagnosis as an excuse for my "poor behaviour" which is upsetting on many levels. I always try to model good behaviour! Anyway. I digress.

I got a new job a year ago and the last few months I've been getting more stressed for a number if reasons. I work in a big place (11,000) staff on site. It's busy. Noisy. Bright. I have an hour drive to get there down busy motorway. I get home and want to block all of life out - I've been managing myself with a lot of wine over the last few years. Ive asjed hubby for time and space in but he  thinks I'm rejecting him. But I'm just needing more time alone. Shut in.

There are gaps above as I could go on for ever. But. Does anyone have any ideas of what I could do to get space/time alone if I can't be alone in my house for fear of him feeling rejected and it causing  an argument? Where do other people go? What do they do? I think I should pay for a hotel once a fortnight. But that's still "out". Just not sure how to try and decompress. Not a fan of mindfulness or meditation. 

Advice appreciated! 

  • Sorry to hear that you're going through a difficult time. Just some random thoughts, but how much break time do you get at work? Is there somewhere you can go, if only for a few minutes, to be alone? (It's not very glamorous but toilet cubicles are better than nothing.) And would it be possible to stop off somewhere on the way home, say, to relax and unwind for a while instead of going straight back? Even if you just treat yourself to a coffee and a sit down.

    If you find nature calming, maybe you could go for walks, or take up gardening as a hobby, for example. It depends what you find enjoyable. You need to make time for yourself.

    Longer breaks would require a bit more planning and cooperation, but don't give up asking. My husband fortunately doesn't mind me going to the seaside for a day or two every few months without him, but he also appreciates time alone, and has the same arrangement in return. Maybe there's some mutual arrangement that you could come to with your own husband, which would make him feel that he's also benefitting.

    Best wishes.

  • Hi

    I totally identify with your post and with OrinoccoFlo's response. I also work in a busy environment and by the time I get home my head is buzzing, I'm tired and need some quiet time. Like you, I also self-medicate/or self-decompress with a glass or two of wine to try and enforce a quick relaxation of self (because the length of time I need to relax is not there at present). The fact that you are looking at healthier ways to give you the space you need is really positive.

    I am about to start a new job which will involve quite a commute each way and worry that this will afford me less "down time", I also have a OH in hospital who may need more care on his discharge. So, with this in mind what I am doing at the moment (with the wonderful support of those here online) is thinking of what I need in terms of space and time to by myself and how that would look to almost if you like draw up a routine for myself which will support my wellbeing better.

    Your idea of booking a night away every few weeks also rings true as an idea as I too are looking at being able to negotiate - "time away" to see friends or by myself at regular intervals to give me the space I need, as you say, "to decompress". This may just be an afternoon out enjoying a long walk or time to sit on my own and read a book.

    Time to be YOU is important to your own well being but I can see why your worried that it might be construed as rejection.  Does your partner understand your Aspergers? - not the mechanics of the condition (i.e. what you find challenging) but the impact that it can have - i.e. tiredness, feeling overwhelmed at times etc. It is also worth making him aware that a more content and centred you will have a positive impact on your relationship.  

    How about a compromise? - That you have time to yourself and also in your calendar make sure you have time and do things just the two of you? The fact he is feeling a little rejected I hope is purely down to the fact that he cares and maybe feels slightly hurt that you feel that you have to go away to get the peace that you need. Maybe he's feeling a little left out and wants to be more involved in helping you?

    In terms of your work environment. Large business premises and busy open plan offices can be a real nightmare.  Does your employer know about your diagnosis? If yes, have you considered making a reasonable adjustment request in order to make your working environment a little less onerous? 

    best wishes - Ellie