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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Aspergers: Disturber of the peace

On this Remembrance Sunday, I'm reminded of how fragile peace and harmony is, at home as well as in the world.
I came home from church - having led a lego re-enactment with the 4 and 5-year olds of the Christmas Day Truce. Ethan had taken our kids on the Remembrance Day parade. I'm always a little nervous about what I'll find on the other side of the front door when I've been absent for a while, but all was well. Ava was muted and rendered immobile by the magic of the Movie star planet website and, amazingly, the boys were playing - animatedly, cooperatively and imaginatively - together in the front room. In the context of peace reigning in the house, Ethan and I were chatting amicably. It was, my friends, a scene of domestic bliss.
Until Ethan decided to investigate what game the boys were playing. Within seconds the feelings of well-being in at least 4 out of the 5 of us were destroyed.
"Who's thrown this?" boomed Ethan. Then, not pausing long enough to let the boys reply, "No. You're not playing in here. Get out. Now. Now,"
All this to the backdrop of the boys protesting their innocence and trying to tell Ethan that they hadn't thrown anything. But it was useless. He wouldn't, or couldn't, listen.
I know without having to ask that the issue at the forefront of Ethan's mind, that had been determinedly niggling at him the whole time the boys were playing in the front room, was that his widescreen, HD, flat-screen TV was in there. along with his very expensive stereo surround, extra base speakers.
So never mind that the boys, for once, were playing brilliantly together. That they, in fact, hadn't thrown anything and that we were all enjoying the peace, electronic pieces of equipment take precedence over family relationships every time.
I blew up, of course, about the fact he hadn't even bothered to find out whether the boys had thrown anything or not (they hadn't) and the fact he just didn't listen to them when they tried to tell him this. Sam ran to his room crying in frustration, Oliver was left at a loose end. And another all too brief moment of family harmony was, once more, lost forever.

6 comments:

  1. Laura, I sympathise and empathise.
    I won't bore you with the very long story now, but may blog it in future! Mr H is not the father of my now adult sons, but he really struggled to live with them, (albeit briefly) had no concept of their relationships with me, with their father, and with each other. He could not (and still cannot) cope with them playing about together. No wonder he has no contact with 2 of his 4 adult children. I despair sometimes. (Often!)

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  2. K loves his children very much but does either get upset with them for things he shouldn't or pick at them in fun for things he shouldn't. The kids love their dad and yet things are rarely stable when he's in charge. It's a no win situation.

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  3. Dear Laura, I wish I could give you a big hug as I read this today. It's easy for me to picture the scene here but the sadness, disconnectedness, lack of love and prioritizing human value, is what gets me in scenes like this. I hate that feeling of having been fooled for a moment in thinking that I am relaxing in my husband's company and he is enjoying me and us as a family. Soon after such folly thoughts, it is dhattered. Sometimes just because I ask a question related to what we earlier were supposedly chatting about. Just to realize that there is no golden thread running through and between him and me, and us as a fsmily.
    Sad to say, but I withdrew from all AS blogs for months now, and came to a decision that as far as my life and my daughter's life is concerned, I am not willing to endure anymore. Neither is she.
    We are moving out end of Nov. We are sad to leave but happy to foresee relief for our human selves. Sad for my husband, but also trusting that he will eventually give in to being diagnosed and achieve some relationship improvement with us, eapescially our daughter, through therapy. At this stage he says he'll do 'anything' it takes so we don't leave but I suggested therapy and he refused. Time will tell.

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  4. Hi Karien,So sorry that I'm only just replying to this comment. I've been swamped (as you may realise from the fact that the blog posts are very few and far-between these days - although, if you're not really reading AS blogs anymore, you may not have noticed!) I'm really sorry that things have come to this with your husband. I'm sorry that you weren't able to work through things together and find a way forward. But, if he won't seek help and is struggling to see/admit for himself that he has AS, it must be really difficult to move forward. I hope that the realisation of what his AS is doing to you and your daughter (that he's so difficult to have a relationship/family with that you're moving out) will be enough to spur him to seek help and address the issues that are causing problems. I often challenge Ethan (a bit unfairly) to go and find himself a bedsit to live in on his own if his kids (and I) annoy him so much. I know this is the last thing in the world he'd want and that it is us, despite being his biggest challenge, that keep him as sociable and engaged as he is. Without us, I feel he would slip into isolation, with us - this isn't an option. I hope that, being alone for a while, will make your husband realise how much he needs you both and that you are worth addressing what for him must be a frightening diagnosis - and that you're all able to move forward, whichever way things go. Lots of love and a big virtual hug. xxx

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  5. Dear Laura, thanks for your encouraging and tactful reply. Yes, still checking in on your blog and realise you must be snowed under at this time of year.
    My daughter and I are settled in to our new home. I opted for us to move in next door to my husband in the complex where we live. This way we as parents can still share duties towards everyday driving routines for our daughter and she will be within her familiar surrounds. Family have not been supportive. They just don't understand the inner workings of our conflict as a family unit. I can't refer to AS because there is no diagnosis. My husband is playing on family's feelings and taking the victim's seat. He adopts an air of innocence as usual.
    However, in the New Year when dust has settled, I will be requesting formal diagnosis for AS. If he does not agree to that, or if he does and fails to stick with therapy, I will have to move on to divorce.
    Even as it is now, I am not willing to see myself in marriage with my husband anymore because the way I am treated makes me feel so degraded and my contributions, talents and skill

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  6. and skills are never good enough, or rarely valued even. The narcissist side of AS has been the leading role player and still is, and I won't live with it anymore.
    I just wish for my daughter's sake that my husband will be able to grow beyond his superimportant self to give her the nurturing that her developmental needs require of him as a father in her teens. This is not possible without some changes and if he can't be persuaded into diagnosis and therapy, their relationship won't grow much.

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