Hi, I'm high functioning autistic (diagnosed 2 or 3 years ago) and have 2 kids, 5 and 7. I'm desperately looking for help .
In hindsight things have always been difficult, but things have reached a point where my wife and I are considering separating and me moving to make things easier on her and the kids. This is obviously heartbreaking for everyone .
The issue seems to stem from me. Me not being able to "read" my kids or read a situation so things escalate. I find it hard to be consistent with them because my moods can vary quite drastically so although I think I'm doing a good job that day my eldest likely will have a massive meltdown as a way of letting out all the tension from the day.
I've already phoned my GP so I can have a chat and maybe look at going back on meds and maybe looking into CBT, but that'll take time and I need to at least voice this now.
As much as people have already said "your wife will need to help make things easier" etc, she is under a huge amount of pressure trying to deal with 2 anxious kids AND try and monitor how I am and how changes will affect me. I can't ask her to do any more as it's hurting her. Hence us considering me leaving being the best long term solution.
Anyone with experience of anything like this, please tell me, how did you manage?
Hi chuckalicious, you're certainly not alone. My kids have all left home now (permanently hopefully!) and the bliss I found when the parenting phase of my life came to an end was one of the corroborating clues that led me to seek diagnosis (which I'm waiting to be finalised). My first marriage fell apart when my own kids were the same age as yours, almost certainly due to my need for alone time & unwillingness to get heavily involved in "family time" type activities. I found the bed-time routine unbearably protracted and stressful and it never quite delivered the peace and quiet that I craved before my own bed-time.
You at least have some insight *now* and the support of this forum. If you can create at least a little space for you to decompress, you might find that you can recharge sufficiently to take some of the stress out of life and hold your family life together. I hear your when you say that your wife is "fully loaded" but wonder if things might ease if you could both understand that some more adjustments might pay back more than her investment in them? If this works and gets you and her below 100% stress, that might create more opportunities for further improvements?
Thanks for all the replies. I will look into the parent help thing .
Thing is, I really want to be involved and be an active part of the family. My kids are amazing little people and I want to be part of helping them grow into healthy stable adults.
However, the issues all stem from me not being able to read the station. All the stress at home comes from my eldest daughter - she has frequent meltdowns and has a very strong need for control. This control tends to escalate into her going crazy as she battles with her sister for my attention. This generally doesn't happen when it's just my wife with them .
Although siblings competing for parental attention is normal, we think this has come from me being a stay at home parent with both kids for a number of years. In hindsight, I was not suited to this role and I think the way I tried to spend what I thought was quality time with each child has created a problem in our relationship.
So for examples when my eldest has a strop/grump/meltdown my youngest will come to me and be all nice and angelic and elicit a hug from me .my eldest sees this and loses it and gets angry at her sister, and then she gets upset etc etc etc.
The problem is is that this process has to be explained to me afterwards because I haven't seen it happen that way and so have been unable to stop it from escalating.
My wife used to try and step in but I asked her to stop because normally by this point she was at breaking point too and things could get shouty, or I would feel I was being criticised and that, over and over again, was exhausting. So now she doesn't intervene. Which frustrates her. So we can't win really.
Thats just one in a long list of issues that seem to arise on a very regular basis .