Some months ago the members of this forum gave me a huge boost in understanding & coping with my ASD hubby of 26 yrs. Our life is complicated w/a profoundly special needs teen, a 20 yr old w/ASD, artist hubby well-known but perennially unable to support us, & my very long fight w/*** & endocrine cancers that I am losing. Frequently hubby embroils us in chaos & trouble due to inability to comprehend circumstances (words, explanations, implications, directions, facial expressions, ....), pure naivete & near complete rigidity. He is regularly taken advantage of & this extends to me & our daughters as he is unable to "see" the pawns he makes of us. This has extended to agreeing to allow a doctor to repeatedly sexually assault me because the doctor thought it was "okay", drugging me at the same doctors suggestion & refusing to engage in anything to do w/my cancer care because it's "unnecessary". Most recently we lost our home of 25 years on 60 days notice because my husband didn't think I needed to know when he was advised of the plans to close the house more than 2 yrs previously. In a new location now, more than 7 hrs from our community, we have no supports & he is continuing to make sure as always, that I in particular, make no new friends - difficult anyway as I am so ill. Hubby is thoroughly unable to comprehend his own behaviour & genuinely shocked - over & over - that anything he has said or done has resulted in such terrible consequences. Genuinely horrified. Yet he refuses to even attempt change or learning or taking advice of any kind. He recognizes no patterns in his behaviour & believes sincerely that nobody "should" be hurt or taken aback by his behaviour, refusal to modify or learn about his behaviour. Bottom line, he is a gentle man with extremely destructive behaviours, keeping his family hostage to his ASD due to my inability to flee w/ the children during over 15 yrs of surgeries (33), chemo & everything else part of living w/cancer. I sincerely wish I had never been lured into any treatments- much of which was "signed off on" by hubby despite him knowing my wishes & my objections.
Recently, recognizing my inability to protect my children's futures, the only reason I ever agreed to any treatment & in despair that the changes due to losing our home had driven hubby into even more entrenched ASD & unending passive aggressive behaviours - I tried to end my own life. I notified him of what I was doing at the time, explaining exactly the reasons why, from literal hunger to emptying bank accounts w/out consultation or notification. He did nothing then or since. My effort did not succeed obviously, largely because I have ever been hopeful & tenacious despite all the evidence of the uselessness of my accommodating & seeking to "help" & understand hubby. My problem has never been w/the fact that hubby has ASD. My despair has always been & remains, that hubby will not make any effort to shift a single behaviour or acknowledge that his behaviours are nuerodiverse rather than neurotypical. In recent years, he's taken to saying things like, "I know I have ASD but I just think I don't fit the diagnosis" & "I will do anything to make you happy" whilst doing nothing I have directly told him must be done. For example, I need to eat small meals regularly, but rarely have the capacity to fix a meal for myself. I say, "make sure I have food regularly throughout the day, here are the resources listing exactly what foods & quantities that will help." Yet I live on the odd yogurt & meat pies because he will fix food only when I literally beg him or he believes it's "time" for dinner. He makes me tea throughout the day & doesn't understand why this is not enough, why I'm often too dizzy to even get to the bathroom & remains oblivious & obdurate about at least trying to hep me have regular food. Yet, he repeatedly says "I'll do anything...." while ignoring black & white lists, sometimes literal lists, of what is necessary to just help me stay alive. As I was recovering, alone, from the after effects of the suicide attempt, nauseous, crying & exhausted, he came to me & offered to take me to a restaurant for dinner. He was surprised & dismayed by my anger & rejection of his offer.
Now he says he will "talk" to someone else with ASD, something I've begged him to do for years, because he really doesn't know what to do to "make you happy" & to "get help for my ASD". There is little therapeutic help available - the last "specialist" we saw spent the session ridiculing me & handling hubby w/kid gloves. I later found that she had no specialty & no license to practice as she told a gullible hubby who didn't check. I did find a social worker who also claims ASD expertise & may put us on her wait list in two weeks time.
Will those of you who have found some success in living with NT's please "speak" with hubby in this forum? There's far more than can be sorted here but perhaps you have some guidance to help him help me - just to survive. It's clear he has PDA (pathological demand avoidance). Perhaps those of you here w/the same "twist" to the ASD also have found ways to enable you to "engage" with an NT partner. I've found the people in this forum to be not only wise, but exceptionally compassionate in the past. Will you urgently try to apply those qualities to this crisis & help hubby & me? I'll ask him to identify himself as The Canadian in this thread.
This is my first experience in any sort of online forum. I'm pretty much a complete communication idiot and talking via modern technology is no exception. I am a 62 year old guy diagnosed with ASD about 6 years ago. I've read a bunch of books ,some things I identified with, some not so much. I've come away from reading them not with the 'aha' moment so many seem to have but rather feeling depressed and still very confused as to what to do to make life tolerable for the folks around me."Seek therapy help" I'm told but real expertise doesn't seem to be there. Especially at $160 an hour. I'm hoping by being a part of this forum I can pick up some ideas and thoughts to help me navigate the urgent every day stuff. (I'm the husband of tnenacioust who wrote the message above) Thanks!
Apparently, a lot of non-ASD people do things they don't really want to, just to please those around them.
Does that make any sense to you?
Apparently, this is supposed to be a reciprocal arrangement.
Welcome to the forum - I've found it really useful as a resource over the last few months to see what other people are posting and seeing how it fits in with my experience (some of it doesn't but a lot does - and more than I anticipated).
I'm 59 and just been referred for assessment but there are quite a few on this forum around our age that regularly contribute and I have found it helps that there is that "peer" support. Initially I was reluctant to get involved but I found local meetings where ASD adults could get together to share experiences and discuss challenges that I finally came round to acceptance of the condition (that only happened a couple of weeks ago after 10 years knowing!)
TenaciousTwrote about you that "I know I have ASD but I just think I don't fit the diagnosis" which indicates that you don't truly accept it in yourself. But I have found (after some months of despair) that there won't be a big 'aha' moment but lot's of little ones as you gradually come round to seeing how a particular ASD trait affects you but only when you take that important change in thinking.
I hope you find this valuable and now that you've taken the first step you will continue to use the forum for feedback and help going forward.