Hi all, I am new to this- to be frank, I searched google for Autistic forums. I have recently been diagnosed with Asperger's. I am in my late twenties. I am a mom , and a girlfriend.When I found out I had Asperger's I wasn't so much in shock at first - as I thought there was a possibility given the way I am (although if you tell people you're autistic they automatically think they're a professional and tell you you're not). When I got my diagnosis - I had just starting seeing someone. Amazing guy- made me feel special and beautiful- we got along straight away - the only man I have ever felt combatable around. I was with him when I found out I had Asperger's (still with him today). He is very supportive of me- specially social situations. When we first met we got into an argument and he brought me flowers- he was annoyed because I had not shown any emotion when he gave them to me (not because I was mad but to be quite honest - I have no flipping clue! inside I was dancing- inside I was sooo happy- no guys done this before- he must really like me to go out his way and get me these- ahhhh :)) that's how I felt inside but the outside showed dead emotion. This happens a lot - sometimes with family and friends , but with my boyfriend? I don't like this.I don't like the feeling of someone I love most in this world to think I'm heartless. He told me something today, something important to him, something that's a big deal (to do with his work).....When he spoke... a lot of thoughts went through my head. Does he want this? How does he feel? Is this new work going to be stressful on him? Maybe he will like it? Maybe he will love it! Maybe he will hate it! This is a big change. A change of routine. A change of workers, work load and I cant even begin to think what else- I think I only feel 5% of what he feels. I gave him a kiss and a cuddle- to try and show him I was there for him- we're in this together! (I don't know if this is an autistic thing but, I feel my hugs show my emotion - guess it don't to others)Anyway, I said to him.... you wanted a change, maybe this is it? I don't know how I feel- you have to do it! Out of all the things on my mind I said … I don't know- its you that has to do it!This has annoyed him...ALOT! I didn't even realise I had done anything wrongI didn't show him much communication- seeing as this is a big thing I should have done and said more.But.... I know this...this is how I felt....its just.not how it came out. Am I heartless? Is it really just me and not my Asperger's?Being told you suck at communication is upsetting enough but to hear it from my boyfriend...who I love so much. I care about every tiny hair on his head! he thinks I don't care!I feel useless, heartless, a *** , a bad girlfriend.... but that was never my intention... I never meant to make him feel like I don't care.Now all that's going through my mind is - is it me ? is it the Asperger's? I must just be evil - but it hurts...my heart hurts. It hurts that he cant feel my emotions - he would be very surprised at how much I do care. I am bothered , I do want to listen , I do want to help and give my advice but when a conversation comes up...…. I do it wrong! I fail as a girlfriend!either way- I feel like complete crap- it brings all my emotions up. When something upsets or annoys me- I get sad. I get sad because I know its my fault. I get sad because I don't realise I'm doing it. I wish I was someone different.
You are not heartless and your post proves it,
My partner is undiagnosed asd and I'm a slightly weird nt we have been together 10 years. He is not good at the emotional stuff luckily I'm not what you would define as overly bothered by it.
We have had some spectacular arguments over the years mostly because one of us misunderstood the other. What we found worked was if we started arguing or one felt hurt tell the other, walk away, think. process and then talk about it. Most of the time we can work it out.
But like I said you are not heartless not at all
Ok, firstly - you're not 'failing as a girlfriend', you're being the best girlfriend you can be.
But... because you have Asperger's that's different to being a 'typical neurotypical girlfriend'... and you (both) have to understand that.
I got diagnosed 3 weeks ago at 47 and the thing that 'drove' me to seek a diagnosis was the fact i was constantly upsetting the people around me... I felt like a porcupine surrounded by soap-bubbles...
Everything I did was wrong, I hated being like that. My psychologist has been working with me to help me understand that I'm not bad (I described myself as 'an arsehole' or a 'shitty person') I have ASD and that means I can't be 'good' in the standard neurotypical way.
My psychologist suggested that my wife reads "The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome" by Moreno, Wheeler & Parkinson
This might be useful for your boyfriend to read.
Other than that, I think there are probably people here who can give much better advice than I can!
Thank you for your reply :) That seems like a good strategy- finding something that works!Every time I am told I don't do or say enough hurts- because it feels like I have two personalities. One which is ME and how I feel- then the person the other person portrays me to be. Sometimes I don't wanna talk- in fear ill communicate wrong.
Why not e-mail him - tell him you're rubbish in the moment and don't know what to say or how to react to his emotions until you process it - just admit to him that you're an amatuer in this game and ask for his patience.
E-mail him and tell him all the nice things you really think of him. Writing things gives you time to select the right feelings rather than being a rabbit in the headlights when under pressure.
Thank you for your reply, I know (because of my diagnosis) that some things will be a struggle- even with the people closest to me. But I feel like I'm asking a lot- a lot being should I expect him to understand and accept I'm like this? I never said this about someone - but I love him to much to keep making him sad. I'd rather he be happy (in a dream world- this will be with a better version of myself) but in this world- I cant help but think he deserves better.
Thank you for your reply :) I do find that writing things down is a big help!That's the reason I looked online to see if there was a community in which people with Autism can share there thoughts and challenges. I have tried writing what I feel- I have mentioned this to him before (once I wrote something on my phone and passed it to him because I couldn't verbally say it). I never thought of it that way.... having time to process what someone has just said. Is that a autistic thing? I'm not sure what's part of my Asperger's and what's just me at this point. lol
Yep - time delay processing not only the words but the emotions is very common. Giving him reassurance that you are alive inside will be a big help to him. From the way you wrote your post, you're clearly a capable person so just let him know how you feel.
As the realtionship blossoms, you're likey to calm down and feel less anxiety and things will flow better for you as you get comfortable with him.
Thank you, I will look into this time delay - never heard of it. Yes , I am totally capable, 'normal' living- which makes it harder to understand the certain things autism effects. Sometimes I just think I'm a heartless/ignorant person- I forget I have Asperger's and maybe the things I do/say are because of that - but then I think NO its just me! *Stressful*
I considered myself totally normal and was only diagnosed at 42. I am aware of just how much chaos affects me - anything unpredictable or random changes or dealing with people really tires me out with all the processing needed.
People are a mystery. They do chaotic things all the time so if you're having difficulty with spontaneity, make sure you plan some nice things in advance. Approach him rather than get caught off guard.
You will probably be stressed when you get home from work/the day so you are likely to need some time to decompress until you are fully receptive and your brain is back in the room and ready for the next challenge.
Ask him about his day so you are prepared for him to download rather than him suddenly dumping his day on you.
Do some experiments yourself to see if adding a small 'quiet time' into your routine makes it easier for you to interact with your BF.
There's also the underlying stress of 'will he leave me' running all the time in your head - this is actually using up a chunk of your processing power which isn't helping you. Try to have an honest talk/e-mail with him about your issues to see if you can lower that stress.
Clear, honest communication is the key.
There is no such thing as "heartless" and the fact that you are on here expressing emotions in a perfectly normal fashion about situations many, many millions of couples have found themselves in over the millennia is proof of that.
How do you think your boyfriend would respond to reading your post? Does that idea scare you? I am far from knowledgeable about relationships only ever having been in one of any significance which ended years ago but I did learn this, your partner has to know you as well as is humanly possible as you have to know them, sometimes a single fact about our lives is enough to change our partner's whole perception of us and vice versa so we have to find the means to impart as much detail about ourselves as we can and the more we are safely able to do this, the more relaxed and comfortable we will be within and also become even more agreeable partners.
There is always the risk that it will backfire on us and that the relationship might be ended. The pain of this should be weighed against the knowledge that in the long term, things would probably have fallen apart anyway because we had not been with the person whose love for us was complete, without reservation for who we truly are, wart's and all.
So,perfect for you in so many ways this exciting new guy of yours does sound, if he is unable ( and this is not necessarily a fault or failing of his, we all have our own specific requirements of a relationship which if left unmet, leave us dissatisfied) to accept you as you are then, ipso facto, he is not the right guy for you.
You say that your Aspergers diagnosis was quite recent, this was obviously pretty seismic for you I imagine that the new information has caused you to have to re-evaluate and correct huge chunks of your self-perception, past behaviours, chronic difficulties, etc,etc.This has to have put you under additional strain and it's hard to imagine feeling and giving of your best in such circumstances, your guy has to know you as well as he can so that-better to find out sooner...he knows whether or not he is able to commit.
I wish you the very best of luck, remember though that the ideal outcome for you would be to learn as much about yourself-as quickly as you can and reach an accommodation, you are young, intelligent and I am sure, every bit as beautiful as your guy makes you feel but at the moment you have a lot of surprising stuff to process, it may turn out that you have found the guy who would like to be with you for this, it may not but there is absolutely no need to despair because if you embrace the challenge of mastering yourself and your condition, when the Right Guy does turn up you will feel far better equipped to make the most of your relationship.