Published on 12, July, 2020
To be clear I am not diagnosed, but have been doing research the last few months after meeting a female colleague diagnosed Asperger's and realising we experienced life very similarly. I'm starting to think I want to pursue a dianosis but I haven't discussed this with my partner really because I struggle unless I write so i can edit in a way that isnt half backwards (I'm the worst storyteller/messenger I know). I've talked about my findings but struggling to take the courage to relate them to me personally.
So today we got on eachothers nerves. I get utterly overwhelmed with form filling, online booking, purchasing (say filling tax forms, passport forms, buying plane tickets which we do a lot of as LDR atm etc) which makes me VERY slow at such things. He is blunt with me when I'm getting stressed. He reassures me he understands I find these things difficult, like I still haven't finished a short email to my mother-in-law that I started 4 hours ago difficult. But it feels like he starts rushing me or getting frustated which speeds up the inevitable of me snapping at him. I feel terrible when I've done it. But in the moment it's like, I cannot express why I'm frustated in general or specifically with him. Sometimes (but not always) the words are there, but they won't come out. Obviously he then rightly is upset that I snapped when he thinks he was helping by pointing something out my muddles brain might have missed. But it just feels like I'm being treated as stupid or lazy or exaggerating because I can't really read his intent all that well especially if I'm overwhelmed already.
I don't want these kinds of avoidable issues to wear us down. I know I have to discuss what's going on with me, I'm just terrified of him being dismissive. He's very supportive but I'm so bad at talking and I get discouraged easily, if he asked why I think I might be I'd easily just end the conversation with a 'nevermind maybe i'm wrong' and pretend it never happened instead of persevering. He's maybe experienced one true meltdown after an awful GP appt where I was dismissed as being the cause for my chronic inflammatory skin condition, and I was particularly rude to him then too when he suggested I process this calmly and I yelled some choice words about this being how I process things. The closest I get to talking about my possible want for diagnosis is my saviour sentence 'MY brain doesn't work like that' which barely scratches the surface tbhMy question here is how do I bring this up? What did y'all do when you started seeking diagnosis
I found some articles online about ASD in women and sent them to him with relevant bits highlighted! He was far more suppo time than I had anticipated - the fear that he would think I was being crazy to suggest it was totally unfounded in my case.
Hi a lot of what you say rings bells, and I can understand about you and your partner falling out as that's what me and my partner used to do over simple miscommunications.
I am not diagnosed but relate to a lot of stuff I've read re females and ASC. It took me a few months to pluck up the courage to speak to my partner but I'm glad I opened up that dialogue. He's very supportive and means we'll even if not fully understanding it all.
When I first mentioned it, I had a list of traits in females and said "do you think I do XYZ?" then brought up the possibility of ASC. For a couple of years after that whenever i would try to open up discussion we woudnt get far and we would go round in circles. He would say "oh but I do that/everyone is like that". We would fall out because i would get frustrated he didn't understand. It took me a while to realise how to deal with the frustration as I didn't know at the time. I would say "but we aren't discussing you!!" Also, that other people might have the same behaviours but does it cause them the same discomfort or difficulties? I gave him something to read and it took him about two months to read it. I put my point across, that, if you don't feel different to other people, you don't go seeking answers to why you feel that way.
The main difficulty I have had is trying to put into words how the different aspects relate to me and my experiences. He would say that I was trying to make things fit. This wasn't true. I knew in my mind they slotted together but couldn't communicate this well enough.
He's much more understanding now as he knows what it means to me. He says I am who I am. He will support me if I decide to go for a referral. I can talk to him more openly about difficulties such as social situations. It's helped me reframe a lot of stuff. We are closer now and don't fall out over silly things. I can see when a situation could potentially escalate. I am more accepting of myself and know that when I'm getting uptight this could potentially be ASC related. For example black and white thinking/something not how I expected it to be. He knows me well enough to also see things coming from either of us which might escalate. We are good at keeping a lid on it now!
What I'm trying to say is, I opened it up by not explicitly mentioning ASC until we had discussed some traits. Be prepared for comments like "I do that too" and how you will overcome this.