My name is Gary and I am a new member as of today. My wife and I have been married for over 20 years now (second time around for both of us) and it is because of her that I am here.
My eldest daughter has been diagnosed with Aspergers as was her former husband. She is now divorced from him because of his unreasonable behaviour due to Aspergers.
I am 64 years of age and have known for several years, probably since a teenager, that something was 'not quite right' with me. I had no clue what it was and it did get me into a lot of difficulties as a teenager but of course, back then, not many people understood what Autism was let alone HF Autism like Aspergers. So I have lived most of my life not understanding some of my odd behaviour and the 'melt downs' that I suffered over the years, as I described it as like someone 'throwing a switch' and, when it was all over, not knowing why I had 'blown my top' over something so trivial.
My wife's persistence in trying to find out what was going on, seeking medical intervention by my GP, the MentalHealth Crisi team and some psychiatric analysis, failed to identify my issue despite suggestions I had Bi Polar and concluding I was suffering from complex PTSD! However a chance viewing of a video on you tube led her to look into the whole aspect of Aspergers, which for her seemed to tick all the boxes that explained my behaviour. I am exceptionally grateful that she has 'stuck it out' as I have no doubt that a lesser woman would have given up on me years ago and chosen a different route without me.
As of today, having spoken to my eldest daughter and asking her bluntly if she thought I had Aspergers, I was shocked by the response of 'yes dad, you have had it for years!' When I think back to how I behaved towards my kids at times, I broke down in tears. It has been very difficult coming to terms with how my behaviour has affected my children and my first marriage.
Ok, so I haven't had a professional diagnosis but having watched the same you tube videos as my spouse, read some of the 'signs and symptoms' of Aspergers, I have to conclude that indeed it is my issue.
I am here to learn much more about this misunderstood condition and to try and find strategies to alleviate, as far as possible, those behaviours that have damaged my relationships. My wife has been an absolute rock and my eldest daughter, because of her diagnosis, understands what I am going through right now in trying to rationalise what has happened over the years.
Thanks for listening.
A lot of us on here are newly diagnosed later in life and it does seem to be a revelation for everyone - even those of us who were expecting it!
It's certainly allowed me to re-evaluate my whole life and see it through a different lens. There are a lot of 'should've', 'would've', could've' moments but there's no point in going over the past or beating ourselves up over it. I believe it will do me and my family a lot more good for me to try to understand this diagnosis and what it means NOW so that I can, hopefully, make more informed choices from now on. (And maybe a couple of apologies / explanations to my nearest and dearest.)
This chat forum has been of enormous help in that. I hope that you will find it just as useful. It's a lot to take in!
Thank you for your response. The 'should've', 'would've', 'could've' part resonated completely with me and looking back I had a lot to apologise for. I do understand you can't take back what you've done or said, but the understanding of my loved ones, who have taken the brunt of my behaviour, was really important to me so that I could move forward. In this regard my eldest daughter has been crucial as her understanding and knowledge of the condition has helped me put everything in perspective. Her main comment was, "Dad, don't beat yourself up about it, you couldn't help it so it wasn't really your fault was it?" She said she had spoken to her siblings about it and they too felt the same way that she does. Sadly their mother will probably never forgive me, though I am not seeking it from her, as there were too many other issues that brought our relationship to an end. I am just grateful that my spouse has 'hung in there' so that we can both look forward to a happier and more fulfilling future.