Autism, Asperger’s, Relationships and Love

Being in a relationship is difficult for people without social impairments. Being in a relationship with an Aspie can be frustrating whether both partners are on the spectrum or not.

I love my husband. He is my favorite person in the entire world but I don’t envy him.

I can be a difficult person to live with. Being affectionate doesn’t always come naturally to me. When I am feeling tired or worn down I often retreat into myself, shutting out the world, becoming cold and robotic.

In addition to occasionally becoming the real life version of the ice queen, there are other Aspergian traits that my husband takes in stride.

Stores can be overwhelming to me, especially if I’ve had a long or stressful day. He talks to people at the supermarket checkout lines so I don’t have to. My husband also  helps to keep me on track during our shopping trips, since I am easily distracted in busy places.

When we go out with friends or coworkers, my husband is like my Neurotypical translator.

I have a very hard time reading the faces of people I don’t know very well (even people I do know can be hard to read). My husband’s face provides comfort, and his familiar expressions give me conversational cues that would otherwise be missed. He even stops me discretely if I end up going off on a tangent or am offending someone.

Being an Aspie in love can be difficult, our desire for solitude can put a strain on our relationships, especially if our partner  does not understand our needs. Being with a partner who is socially active can drive an Aspergian crazy. Social people thrive on communal gatherings much like Aspies thrive in solitude.

So is it better if Aspies date other Aspies? Well, that depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Being in a relationship with someone who has all the same deficits as you can create a very difficult or negative situation. There is no right or wrong answer to the question, but statistically Aspies do tend to end up with more introverted partners.

There is another dark side of being an Aspie in love, a very dark side – stalking and obsession. If the object of an Aspergian’s affection becomes that Aspie’s special interest some unhealthy behaviors can arise.

Shameful as it is, and it’s hard to admit, I was guilty of this in my younger and more naive years. My stalking was harmless, I would never hurt anyone, but could have easily gotten me into big trouble. This type of behavior seems to be common, especially in young Aspian women.

I feel truly lucky to have met my husband. In the years before I found out about Asperger’s, I had a lot of healing to do, and he helped me through it. He is my best friend, my true love, caregiver, and my protector.

Lucky for me on this Valentine’s Day – I am an Aspie in Love.

 

10 Aspergers Symptoms by The Aspie World

by The Aspie World

Everyone is different. Some of these symptoms I share, and there are a few that I used to but no longer have.

Here is my feedback on these things.

  1. My nervous stimms are biting the inside of my mouth, clenching my jaw and tongue.
  2. Changing my routine last minute really stresses me out IF I do not have a backup plan.
  3. Food has to have a LOT of flavor and needs to be the correct texture and temperature. Bland food makes me gag.
  4. Smells that do not smell like food make me nauseated or give me a headache. Especially cleaning supplies.
  5. Sounds – I hate florescent lights and loud car revs or sudden loud noises really grab me and send me into a panic.
  6. I am OBSESSED with my hobbies. Right now it is this website.
  7. I definitely like to wear the same type of thing all the time. I buy like 5 of the same shirt or pants in different colors if I find one I like.
  8. I never realized this was a problem until recently but I definitely cant read this on people I don’t know well.
  9. The grocery store is the worst, and I avoid crowded events. Cant do it.
  10. I can talk really fast but have learned to slow down, however I do have problems repeating the same thing over and over again when I talk to people. It is embarrassing because I don’t even realize when I am doing it.

What Would You Like to Learn About?

I value your opinions and would love your input. What would you like to see more of on the Anonymously Autistic Blog?

Direct link to poll – http://poll.fm/5jfcu

Was Elsa from Frozen Autistic?

I didn’t want to watch Disney’s Frozen when it came out. It was too popular and everyone loved it. Maybe I still have have a bit of a rebellious streak in me.

Eventually my grandmother asked me if I would watch the movie with her and my cousin. My grandmother means the world to me, so if she wants me to come over and watch a movie, I will without argument.

Mentally prepared to watch a lame movie, I was presently surprised. The movie was pretty good and something unexpected happened.

When I first saw the movie Frozen, I knew almost nothing about Autism. I almost instantly felt a strong connection to Elsa’s character and her “conceal, don’t feel” mantra.

I’ve always felt as if I were hiding something, but before I learned about AS what I was hiding was hard for me to name.

Hans Christian Anderson is thought to have been somewhere on the spectrum. This cannot be proven, but if it were true many of his stories could easily parallel many autistic scenarios.

The Disney song Let it go stirred up strong feelings within me. How could a cartoon tell my story so accurately? Was Elsa from Frozen Autistic?

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know

 

Angela Goodwin’s How to Teach Autistic Children More Effectively Using Educational Psychology –

On of my readers shared a link something that she had written.

Please have a look at Angela Goodwin‘s Book  How to Teach Autistic Children More Effectively Using Educational Psychology and My Own Experiences and Knowledge Kindle Edition -An educational handbook to help those that interact with people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome correctly.

You can learn more about Angela and her work on her blog.

Another Emotional Intelligence Test

I recently took an Emotional Intelligence Test online. This is not the first time that I have taken one of these tests, and I could not find the test that I took last time but this one is not bad if you have 45 minutes to spare.

At the end there is a section that asks you to read faces and determine what the emotions on them most likely are. I knew this was an area that I have problems with but it was interesting to really see my own confusion. The obvious emotions like joy and anger I am able to pinpoint but the more neutral ones leave me lost.

However the situational questions that give context clues were much easier for me. I remember learning about context clues in elementary school. I use context clues in my every day life to help patch together situations and things that I don’t hear correctly due to my auditory processing problems. Sometimes I may only understand a few words in a sentence, but I can normally arrange them in a way that makes since in my mind to figure out what someone has said if I am feeling sharp.
This emotional intelligence test consists of two parts; a self-report portion and an ability portion. I scored a 61 and the test gave me the following description of my score.

You appear to have at least some basic skill when it comes to identifying, perceiving and expressing emotions in yourself and others. However, there is still a great deal of room to improve on this core ability. . . By improving your skills in this area of emotional intelligence, you will be in a better position to read others, understand how they feel, and effectively identify your own emotions. These skills form the basis of your ability to relate to others as well as your ability to understand yourself.

Emotional Intelligence Test 

Aspie Connect Message Board

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of questions, comments and discussions happening in the comments sections of this blog so I started a message board.

My goal is to provide a message board where Autistic people (Aspies) have a place to network, support each other, share stories and help educate Neurotypical people who have questions about AS.

The forum is open and anyone should be able to post and create topics. I do not believe you need an account to post.

Please forgive me if it is not what you are used to, as I have never created a message board before.

There is a link to the new message board in the menu to the Anonymously Autistic website, but just FYI the web address is below. 🙂

Welcome to Aspie Connect! 

http://aspieconnect.boards.net/

My Autism Was Obvious But Everybody Missed It

I grew up without and Autism diagnosis. All I knew was that the other children thought I was weird and I did not fit in. Growing up I wondered what was wrong with me. Feelings and emotions that others had escaped me. I remember feeling disconnected and thinking I was incapable of love.

Recently I watched all of the home videos from my childhood starting with my first bath. Even at a very young age my Autism was obvious – if you know what to look for.

Being my mother must have been difficult. In almost all the videos I want nothing to do with her. She (and everyone) calls my name over and over again, but I act as if I cannot hear her. I have no interest in my mother in my baby videos. It is as if she does not exist to me.

My toys however DID exist, but not the dolls and stuffed animals. Little me LOVED the toy phones, radios, and record players. Anything mechanical with buttons to press or wheels that spun, and I had no interest in sharing these items and experiences with my family members.

Over and over again, my mother enthusiastically said my name in a sing song voice, but I did not even flinch. Eventually I learned, out of fear, to pay attention to my mother when she called me. When I became a teenager, failing to hear my mother would bring out her wrath and got me into trouble.

Another marker for autism, stereotyped repetitive speech and movements filled all my videos. I flapped my hands, spun in circles, rocked back and fourth, and in an earlier video when everyone is singing the birthday song to my aunt, I seem stuck saying “happy balloon” over and over and over again (as I flap a balloon in the air like a maraca).

Even in later videos, at about the age of seven, my verbal and physical stims are hard to miss. It is as if I cannot stop moving. There is a video of my step father holding me still and tickling me, watching it makes me want to cry. Doesn’t he know?

Being tickled was the worst and being held still was almost as bad. I say over and over again “let go, let go, let go!” in the rhythm to the song playing on the radio as my family sings along. He was torturing me, and laughed as he did it. I hated my step father.

There are things that I remember about my childhood that we did not have on tape. My mother would always telling me “Look at my nose. Look at my nose” when she spoke to me, trying to teach me the eye contact that has never come naturally.

I also remember my family constantly reminding me to “use my indoor voice” becase I had a VERY hard time modulating my speech when I was younger, I still do from time to time if I get excited. Sometimes when I am feeling extremely enthusiastic, even now, the tone of my voice becomes squeaky and high pitched.

Thirty years ago Autism was not as well known and understood as it is now, and was primarily thought of as a “male disorder”, but still I remember my mother fighting back when the teachers at school tried to suggest she have me examined by a professional.

She was protecting me. I know that, but can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different if I had been diagnosed as a little girl. Would I have been diagnosed correctly or would I have been heavily medicated with Ritalin like so many other kids were back then?

I will never know because although my Autism was obvious everybody around me missed (or ignored) it.

 

For you visual learners – more info about the early signs of childhood Autism in the video below.

Early Signs of Autism Video Tutorial – Kennedy Krieger Institute

Autism Stories – Submit Your Stories NOW!

Hello amazing readers.

I would LOVE to start a section in my blog titled “Autism Stories”. My goal is to share positive and encouraging stories from and about as many amazing Aspies as possible.

I started this blog with the hope of showing the world that Autism is NOT a disorder. It is up to us to combat the negative stigmas associated with the word “Autism”. People on the Autism spectrum are different than “Neurotypical” people but in the words of the great Temple Grandin we are “Different . . . Not Less

Each and every one of us is brilliant in our own way. The world needs Aspies. We are the engineers, the world changers, and the unique thinkers that make innovation possible.

Unfortunately many parents of newly diagnosed Autistic children go home feeling as if their world has ended instead of seeing the gifted and brilliant child in front of them.

These stories will also be for (or from) the parents  to give encouragement. We may not be the child that you always thought you would have, but that does not mean you do not have an amazing child in front of you.

Over the next 2 months I will be collecting stories. I want positive Autism  stories from ANYONE who Autism has touched. Lets be honest, there is mostly a negative stigma associated with Autism. It is my goal to share as many positive stories as possible through Autism Awareness month (April) spreading the awareness about the brighter side of Autism.

What I need from you is YOUR stories OR your re-blog / social media shares / spreading the word to those around you.

If you have stories to share please send them to anonymouslyautistic@gmail.com.

If someone you know has stories to share, please send them to this blog post or ask them to send their stories to anonymouslyautistic@gmail.com.

Thank you all for your support! I look forward to hearing from all of you.

With Love,

– “Anna”

A Video About Panic Attacks

I haven’t had a panic attack for several months, but as Wes Murphy says in this video they come and go. If you have ever tried to explain a panic attack to someone who has never had one, it can be quite difficult.

The video below (not mine) has some helpful tips to help combat and overcome this horrifying phenomena.

 

#ActuallyAutistic – An Aspie obsessed with writing. This site is intend to inspire through sharing stories & experiences. The opinions of the writers are their own. I am just an Autistic woman – NOT a medical professional.

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