The Year That Wasn’t

I don’t know about you but the possibility to erasing this year all together would be okay with me. Let’s have a re-do. Let’s start all over.

The year 2020 did start out so well and everything and everyone was geared for a 20/20 vision, a year toward bright days ahead. Instead, we were all hit and blindsided by Covid19. The vision became poor and our mouths are covered with masks. Bound by rules that changed daily with confusion and chaos. Do we or don’t we wear a mask? Looks like we do and have to with the mandates. Fine, just stop the confusion.

So many lives, if not all and all around the world have been touched in some way, more worse than others. If that has been your case, I am sorry.

Now that we are at the end of October, holidays are gearing up and the excitement, planning menus, decorating, family and friends coming together, gift buying and all the things that make this the most wonderful time of the year. Now what? Do we actually do all of those things?

I think I have already heard one Governor say that his family will not gather at Thanksgiving. I felt as though that was a plea for us all to follow. Again chaos and wondering what is the right thing to do. How are we really to plan for such with purchasing food, the ingredients to make those favorite, yummy desserts, etc. I normally have around ten to fifteen in my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have no clue what to do or to expect.

Is it safe to do so? We are all from different places and some areas or is just one of our family/friends carriers of this virus. Hey, I am the oldest and probably the most at risk due to my immune system. Although none of us are exempt, no matter what age. Now it comes down to, we cannot see clearly, our nose and mouths are covered, we need distancing and gatherings are frowned upon. People need people. I don’t like fear and all this has caused enough fear this year. In this, we need wisdom, too. What to do.

I miss my children. As in a previous blog, The Bubble, I mentioned the distance and no hug. I have not seen my youngest since July 4th and even then, the hesitancy was prevalent. Even before, no Easter gathering at all. Now what? I don’t know what, honestly. What are your plans? If you meet, do you plan to also wear a mask in your house? Do you want your family to come for Thanksgiving?

My children, I want to hug so bad and I would take a risk of me getting sick in that, but I must consider them. Is it selfish to want this closeness? I don’t think so, it is just a mother’s heart that wants them to know of my love, feel my embrace but also feel my assurance we will get through this. If I have been fearful and concerned, no doubt they have also. I bet you have been, too, at times. Even though they are older, they are and always will be my sweet boys. Faith over Fear… although at times we trample through the fear or trip to regain the faith.

As we also begin the Christmas season, buying gifts. I have not been around our children, in my case, to know and hear about their lives. Usually, I can pick up on clues of what they might want or definitely need. To celebrate the birthday of my son and daughter-in-law this year, I bought them a storm door and had it installed. No dinner, no cake, no fun time laughing and sharing. How sad. The door looks nice though and they love it. I really don’t know what to expect or even do for Christmas. Do I even put up a Christmas tree if we do not plan to gather? To go out and shop is one of the joys of seeing the pretty lights glisten everywhere we look, feel the crisp air that will not fully hit our face due to the mask worn, this is all questionable. Online shopping is great but just not the same. Here we are now excited to see the Amazon Prime truck come up the street, happy and thinking, it’s here.

First we need to get past what is directly in front of us, even before the holidays. The unrest around us and with it being an election year of a President, no matter which one wins the position, one side or the other will not be happy. Chaos and hatred will follow. Lord help us all.

Growing up, no doubt you had heard the saying or even your mom say, ‘I am going to slap you into next year.’ Since March, I have thought that and while it is somewhat funny, I just want this over. (Actually, it is not so funny if the word ‘slap’ can be a trigger for some (and me) and if so, I am sorry as I do understand.) The quote though, as much as I want to believe it will all be over, like a light switch turned off, I don’t think it will be. It might even be worse before it gets better. This will be a wait and see in the days and months ahead. Lots of prayers.

Soon we will end the year 2020. The year that wasn’t enjoyable but at times full of misery, void of many things we take for granted. A grieving period for those that have lost loved ones and for those of us that did not get to see our loved ones. Let’s get this year over, which wasn’t a good one, and hope and pray for the New Year of 2021 to be somewhat better. Let’s have FAITH for just that.

I don’t know about tomorrow. I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine, For its skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future, For I know what Jesus said. And today he walks beside me, For he knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow. And I know who holds my hand.

I Am A Robot

Why do I even try to talk to this man? I ask myself that after I kick myself for even trying, each time. No matter what comment I make, I get a blank stare, eyes don’t blink and I hear, What? Let’s not forget the lack of facial expressions, there is no joy… ever.

At times I say never mind when he says “What” and then at times I repeat what I had just said but in a slow robotic voice. Simple or detailed, it does not matter. If I say it slow enough and make my point quick, it will be repeated back to me (insert banging head against the wall, here).

The processing of his mind is on slo-mo with me. Frustration to the max. Overwhelmed on his end and zoned out, even with small sentences I may say. So why do I even think I have a chance of having a conversation with this stranger that I married. How is it that he can work, be involved with work calls and process but completely, and totally braindead with me? Perhaps it is the routine, coding and the numbers in the details of his job that makes this man tick. Actually, it is. 

A suggestion from a counselor many years ago to hang a keyboard around my neck to spark life into this man. Trust me, I considered such but knew I would get that blank stare of confusion from his beady eyes, as he processes why I have a keyboard hanging around my neck, wearing nothing else. Forget that, in order to seduce him. He would not get it although wonder if the keyboard was an old one not used or if I took it from his desk. What spark? Fizzle!

My energy is depleted after all of these years to even try to communicate, forget the other. Different wavelengths, different floors, different life.

Explaining this life of mine to counselors up until recently was like unlocking my own padded cell to walk in and throw away the keys. They did not understand but advising me to leave. I could not in my right mind, of what was left of it, to leave our boys in his care. As they grew up and to be in their teenage years, they would run this man over and he would not see it coming or care. What? I had to stick it out and deal with the craziness it brought between the both of us and the grieving of a marriage that I will never have with this man, just a business partner. 

The boys were finally in college, empty nesters we were, existing under one roof. At this point, I was beaten down to nothing left within me to fight. It felt as though I could only mumble, “Lord, please help me” in desperation. Thinking, “Lord, I know you know my name and I know you know where I am.” Otherwise, I was slowly dying within. 

I knew I had to get an upper hand on my life and for living if I was to survive. Little by little, progress but healing of my spirit, soul and body was needed to take place. I decided in 2014 after having a major surgery and hearing cancer but it was found early, I think gave me the push I needed. I was going to give it one more shot with a counselor. Otherwise, I am done, stick a fork in me. 

After much research, narrowing my choice of counselors down to two, I kept returning to one and that one, I made contact to meet.  First meeting, I will never forget sitting down and looking at this woman and saying when she asked why I was there, which was “I think I am going crazy.”

You cannot tell me that the Lord did not put her in my path for this period in my life. The first three months, as we began to know one another, with me describing what this life and marriage was and is like, she had a clue. I was unsure, thinking it was a child issue, which was Aspergers (AS). How could that be? Still, she was convincing enough that this truly described this man. I began my research on Aspergers. This explains the craziness I was experiencing. Finally, I had a spark of hope, at least. 

I found one book that seemed like a good fit for me to read and that I did. I underlined, marked it up with highlights and made notes all throughout this book. It looked like my Bible, all marked up, etc. Actually, this book felt like a Bible to me in the sense of describing this man that I married in 1989.

The lightbulb moment and understanding the craziness I have felt and relief that I am not crazy.  Although, at times those thoughts come and I still wonder. I will not let these thoughts torment me any longer. Also, understanding why he did this or that and why the ‘keyboard moments’ made no spark fly.  The spark or even trying to spark was out and done. Now, I just want to survive and get healthy within myself and I have been doing just that. He will never change and he has not and does not care to change. There is no working on us as I tried numerous times early on, only to be looked at in a blank stare. Sooner or later, you give up and get the help you need and let the other remain, as is.

Still today, even though we are still under one roof but on different floors, it works as we have our own interests and routines. There might be days that we may not see one another, or only in passing. Thank God, when we moved into this house, we remodeled the lower level as an apartment. Thinking this was for the kids the whole time, if needed when they got older, or perhaps used as an in-law suite. Never to think until just a few years ago, it was for us. Tell me that is not God. In that, back when we moved in, back in 1999, and I was planning the layout for this remodeling. I remember laying on the floor and counting how many drop ceiling tiles and brackets we would need, drywall sheets per room, etc. I had a lot of supplies delivered to the garage before even having a handyman. Crazy enough, this one handyman called me saying he never calls people but felt he needed to reach out to me. I will never forget that call and how surprised but also increasing my faith. Only the Lord knew of what I had done and what I needed. Interesting, actually mindblowing. Talk about faith increasing. It was when Bill worked and had this lower level all completed and then he asked me how I knew how much product to order that was needed. We had one box of ceiling tile left over and it was perfect to have for damage through the years. But God!

Aspergers is exhausting for the spouse. Whether it be the husband in my case or the wife. It’s a different world and the Neurotypical (NT) spouse must be a part of it. I have heard too many state the same thing in support groups. While there are some good traits, which is the only reason sanity remains, it is possible to exist. The good outweighs the bad and you feel as if you can stick it out a little longer and then there are those times when you are lucky to know your own name. Knowing early on in a relationship, there is an advantage of knowing your spouse has Aspergers. Later on, not so much. I have found that in life when we realize others deal with same circumstances, as in the Aspergers support group, we don’t feel so alone. We are not crazy. A spark of hope outweighs the monotone voice of the word, What?

https://www.spectrumrelationships.com/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/self-care-tips-for-those-married-to-someone-with-asperger-syndrome/

https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2016/09/26/in-case-you-were-wondering-god-knows

If you would like to know more about Aspergers, just look up Aspergers on Google, etc., and you will find plenty. Perhaps this will help just one other spouse to know, you are not crazy.