So, I'm going to babble through this introduction as I tend to do on internet forums so for those that read it and reply I massively appreciate it.
I have had a recent relationship breakdown with my other half which resulted in me coming to the revelation that I'm an abusive partner, I am an angry person and wasn't actually aware of just what was happening, the realisation has been absolutely huge. We are working through things surprisingly and this has been for a month now and things are going fantastic, even just being aware of it has made a huge difference to my mental wellbeing and hers, it's like a cloud has been lifted for me. I am working on self help through a book called love without hurt which I would recommend to anyone and I've also had 3 sessions with a therapist which is ongoing.
The stuff with the Therapist mainly comes from a trauma background, my dad was abusive towards me and my mum was somewhat emotionally closed off, they are both great parents in some sense and did the best job they know how but they had behaviours that have now been passed on to me.
On the third session last Thursday I was discussing something that had happened with me and my other half and my therapist couldn't quite work out a motive for my behaviour, she asked some more questions and gauged my responses on various stuff before asking me if I've been tested for Autism or if I'd heard of Aspergers, to be brutally honest my only knowledge is from Dustin Hoffmans performance in Rain Man and an ignorant view that all Autistic folk are extremely intelligent in some senses but are socially inept (yes I admit to being ignorant). The more we spoke the more she believed this to be a huge potential, mainly due to the lack of empathy I have and how I can be closed off in my first response about things (the conversation that prompted this was about sugar, tea and coffee pots and how even though I don't much care which we chose my first response to the ones we saw was an adamant no, not having them don't like them, not a care in the world to whether she likes them or not and I am completely blunt with things).
I am a little bit pissed off with my therapist because she is extremely aware of my tendency to research everything and anything (I mean literally everything and anything) so sure enough for the past several days I've done absolutely loads of research and I've pretty much become obsessed with it, the problem is that it drives me crazy, I need a formal diagnosis or even to be told 'don't be daft, you're just a messed up individual stop trying to put reasons on everything" (I do like to have an explanation/reason for everything, I see life very black and white). I'm completely at loggerheads with myself, I've done some online tests which seem to come back as there is a chance that I have aspergers but that doesn't mean anything to me, I need concrete proof either way, my fear is that a diagnosis is going to take forever and so I currently feel like my life is on hold.
Looking back through life (I don't seem to remember my childhood that well which is frustrating) I must admit when I look at the symptoms (of which there are many) of aspergers it does make me think that there is a high chance and to be totally truthful I would love for that to be the case because whilst it doesn't excuse my behaviour or justify actions it does allow me to understand why I've done certain things, it allows me to understand why the sound of glugging liquid being poured seems to send me squeemish, or the fact I shudder at the sheer thought of sandpaper touch, feel or sound. It allows me to understand that I'm not wired differently (or maybe I am) just because I seem to spot patterns in things that others don't (always said I'd make a great detective) or the fact that I do seem to lack empathy and compassion in many situations without meaning to.
It does confuse me because I consider myself a social person, I have a good solid group of around 5 mates that I've known for a long time, admittedly they get irritated by my constant eye rolling or the incessant need to be right or prove things all the time. Whilst I consider myself social I do not like large groups or loud people, I have recently been on a holiday with 9 lads and realised that it's not for me anymore, when everyone is together I seem to sink back into oblivion as I don't feel comfortable, there were times when I said I was going home purely to go to another bar on my own and have a quiet relaxed pint. The best time I had on the holiday was when 4 of us went out earlier in the evening on our own and had a great time chilling and having a chat however when the others arrived I did my usual and sunk back not really joining in. Another thing I do is I'm always super concious about not making mistakes and trying to be perfect, I care too much what others think about me, I get embarrassed easily.
To me these are just normal behaviours, I've never thought about labelling them or anything but I have always struggled with myself over the way I act with things and often find myself self loathing or wishing things were different.
I am a 31 year old male by the way, I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday about another issue but I'm going to make a request for a formal diagnosis and I won't be taking no for an answer as it really is sending me crazy. I have a feeling I'll be around a fair bit on this forum, understanding other peoples situations and no doubt posting about my situation. If anyone has any insight I'd greatly appreciate it. Is it really true that the wait could be up to two years?
Thanks for taking the time to read.
Hello, 1986, welcome and thanks for the introduction. A few quick thoughts before everyone else has a chance to pile in.
1986 said:I'm an abusive partner, I am an angry person and wasn't actually aware of just what was happening, the realisation has been absolutely huge
I'm glad you're taking responsibility for your own actions and attitudes, and hope you continue to communicate openly. It doesn't sound like violence has been involved, but you might be interested in the organisation Respect.
1986 said:my only knowledge is from Dustin Hoffmans performance in Rain Man
Could hardly be a worse image, really. Did you know the original script had no mention of autism? (As described in Neurotribes.)
1986 said:no, not having them don't like them, not a care in the world to whether she likes them
This behaviour can be changed, irrespective of whether it is an autistic trait.
1986 said:incessant need to be right or prove things all the time
Could be an autistic trait. I can relate, anyway.
1986 said:Is it really true that the wait could be up to two years?
Could. It depends on the area and the policy, but I'd say 3-6 months is more likely. In the meantime, I expect people can recommend preferable reading, like books by Tony Attwood. You might also like to try some self-screening tests. There are a bunch of common ones at https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests particularly the 'Autistic Quotient', and also the 'Empathy Quotient' at https://www.theguardian.com/life/table/0,,937442,00.html
On the subject of empathy, many autistic people I know are highly empathetic, but one underappreciated aspect of autism is the tendency (for about half of us) not to empathise with ourselves. There's something called alexithymia which is basically not being able to describe your feelings and that might link with not being able to explain your behaviour: http://www.alexithymia.us/test-alex.html
Finally there's the 'RDOS' Aspie test: http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php which helpfully distinguishes different types of neurodiversity. Here's my result, suggesting I'm not the most autistic person in the world:
Good luck to you both.
Many thanks for your reply it is most appreciated.
Definitely no violence more emotional which can be far far worse than violence.
I'll definitely look at all the links you have posted this evening (I'm currently working from home but find myself distracted today, I'm a data analyst by trade), the online tests I've done so far are the one done by the cambridge university guy and I got a 30 (my partner got a 13 which surprised me), one on a site called dealwithautism.com which charged me $1.99 and it came back with a 90% probability and then the rdos one which had the below result which I must admit to not fully understanding. For me though it provides me no more or no less clarity, just leaves me still confused, I crave something formal.
i did the alexithymia test and it came back an extremely high score so that was interesting. Thank you
So tomorrow is when I go to the GP and ask for a referral, anyone have any suggestions what I should do or say. I'm not nervous per se but I am eager to get it right?
Cassandro said:particularly the 'Autistic Quotient', and also the 'Empathy Quotient' at https://www.theguardian.com/life/table/0,,937442,00.html
Just done this and got 13/80...
Or maybe you are nervous and don't realise it? (Only half-joking.)
I'd just say what you've said here. I'd start with the problems you've been having recently in the relationship and generally, and your worries about that. Then what the therapist said, as that may (or may not) carry weight with the GP - is the diagnosis necessary to the therapy progressing? Then probably mention that you've done the EQ and screening tests and they're consistent with autism or Asperger Syndrome (or PDD-NOS). Although it's pretty much a defunct term, a less-up-to-date GP might find the idea of 'Asperger Syndrome' easier to apply to you than autism.
Under statutory guidance, there must be a pathway to an autism diagnosis, although as I say the waiting list is probably several months. There won't be much or any NHS support after the diagnosis, and the GP may ask what you hope to get out of the process. The GP will almost certainly not be a specialist in this area, and neither will the vast majority of mental health services, so try to go straight to the diagnostic service because that's what you want.
Probably am nervous you're right, I tend to not recognise emotions as well as I should, but I guess everyone does that when nervous.
Thank you for your response once again, it's greatly appreciated.
Cassandro said:GP may ask what you hope to get out of the process
I'm really hoping for this question because it's one question where I can answer with absolute confidence because if I don't get a formal diagnosis I will probably go some form of mental! ha.
Cassandro said:is the diagnosis necessary to the therapy progressing?
No the therapy will be going ahead regardless, I'll be having a session tomorrow at 1pm which I can't wait for. The initial plan was that I would be using the self help book to help me with intense CBT like stuff for my anger issues and the therapy would be the platform to helping me understand the issues, the aspergers suggestion has kind of thrown that as I was thinking it was all about learned behaviour from my parents and then going ahead and unpicking those learned behaviours.
I'll be speaking to the therapist about it tomorrow as whilst it doesn't change the work I still need to do with the book in terms of the anger it does kind of change the reason for therapy so it's really caused a bit of a dilemma for me.
Since she suggested it on Thursday I've been on a bit of a downer due to overthinking (obsessively) about it and the other half has pointed out that whilst for the last month we have been doing so well she has noticed a change and that makes her fearful that I'm reverting back to the angry me so she is reverting back to the walking on eggshells person so I had to have a word with myself yesterday and I'm going to do my level best to try and park this and not let it plague my thoughts too much (sort of like compartmentalise).
I did admit to someone yesterday that the way I obsess about it makes me wish I could end my life in a sense so the war going on my brain thinking about it would stop (but I'm not saying I'm suicidal in the sense that I'm going to go and hurt myself, been down the self harm route as a kid and young adult and whilst I may have thoughts about it the action is highly unlikely nowadays).
Hope that makes sense, I do tend to babble as I type just as fast I think so it all just comes straight out.
Good news, Been to the gp this morning and he has referred me, did warn me of the long waiting list but didn’t know how long. Least it’s the first step done.
Well done. Let us know how it goes.
My mum has blagged me by getting 28 on the AQ and 14 on the EQ, I don't recognise many traits in her that are Aspergers related more so my dad. Could it be that I've just got learned behaviour from my mum.