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.

It’s a Secret

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As we still trudge through this virus all over the world and we will for a bit, we will get through this, just not as quick as I would like, for you also no doubt. This is not just a my four and no more situation, dealing with a family stomach bug being passed from one family member to another, under the one roof. To think how vast this virus is, is almost inconceivable. Massive!

I am not here to discuss my theories or others about it but what I have noticed looking out over my face mask and the daily observations.  Looking over your face mask, for one, you do not see what is in front of you, your peripheral vision is blocked and can easily trip.

No doubt about it, the masks are hot to wear. Some have come to the point of let’s wear them and get through this pandemic perhaps faster. In the beginning, I wondered if it was a pride issue with the bully-type voice, I’m not wearing those. I had to question myself months ago for this reason or for the fact of possibly being made fun of 90F608BF-6BDA-4F1F-B9C9-E5C9B14C9DF7by wearing it. I believe that was my main issue, please don’t make fun of me, the freeze response that gets triggered within. Of course, we still have the rebellious ones that still will not wear one although pretty much mandated. We all have things in life we don’t want to do and sometimes they throw an adult temper tantrum.  Do I like wearing the mask? No, I do not. Do I wear the mask? Yes, if I am out and about, observing the rules or in a close quarters, such as an elevator and the other person has a mask on, out of respect, I will put one on. Respect for others, just wear the mask.

In regard to the mask, I noticed more yesterday in myself, I miss the full facial, one-on-one discussions seeing their mouth move, the smiles, just overall expressions. As I sat in my counselor’s office, both of us wearing a mask, both hating this, I missed seeing him, his full face and no doubt this makes it hard for him to not see my face in observation. They are great to catch tears that fall though. I just miss faces and how beautiful people are.

I have joked while wearing my mask at work as I pass a co-worker from another floor in the hallway or an attorney, etc., as we squint trying to realize who we are with one another and then I jokingly say, I really am 3263BBF5-F3C3-47A8-A0CA-917489263E90smiling under this mask and it is good to see you and we move on in that brief moment. There is rarely those moments of standing and talking, asking about work, their families, etc. Rules… stay six feet away, reading and being reminded of the many stickers on the floor. A lot like the game, Twister (go here, go there). I miss the freedom and the contact of reaching out to pat another’s arm to comfort them during a rough patch in life. Everyone is hesitant to show that concern or even offer a hug and if so, a hesitation not knowing if it will be received. This makes me so sad. There are certain ones in my life, we hug and to not get that hug, I am unsure how I will react. The mask, the virus is all like an individual jail cell.

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This past month though I have known some that did get the virus. A few are in the hospital, some are at home with symptoms and dealing with the fatigue is what I most hear. Too close to home. These people are those from my church. The churches were opening up and oh how nice it was to go, sing, worship, hear a message in person, actually see church family and feel somewhat normal once again. I realized early on in this pandemic that the last time I walked out the church doors, back in March, walking back in months later that I would not be the same person. I am not. I am better. I have had to depend upon the Lord even more than before, pray and worship alone and know that He is my (our) source to get through this battle with the pandemic. Draw close to Him.

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Attending those few services and our faith and joy being together once again, I felt within that I needed to back off and decided not to attend. Was it fear or was the Lord warning me, I was unsure. The next Sunday, there was not a live, in-person service but rebroadcasts, now for weeks. Strange! That is not like my pastor or church so I knew something was wrong and my suspicions were correct. The Covid19 virus was running rampant from the pastor and with members. Nothing was said. Questions within me of what is up. There was no Facebook talk or gossip between those that you know will have freedom to share. Nothing! I kept quiet and watched, listened and read but still nothing. I mentioned this to my friend in Arizona and that I feel something is not right, I feel like the virus has hit but nothing being said. Why?  It’s all secrecy of what is happening. It is one of those moments, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s a duck. Once, weeks later, I found myself disappointed and angry that the church members in attendance, me included, was not informed that this was indeed happening with others. No 7F392A62-BB59-412E-BE76-B4250382A69Ctracing of the contacts, just getting through it, hopefully. I did not care for it and felt like it was deception. Again, too close to home and I found myself more guarded with others, which brings isolation and distance. We need each other.

Just yesterday, which prompted this writing was when our accountant was in the office, using my desk for financial reports on my computer, she whispers that another employee she does work for has Covid19. The whisper. I had to ask what she had just said and sure enough what I thought she said. Wondering why the whisper in my office alone. Of course, in my mind I had to wonder just if…. if she was in his office and he ended up with it, now she is in my office and on my computer, a little panic stirred within me. I have no doubt we all pass people who have it, had it or carrying it. I know I/we cannot live in fear and the percentage of getting it is a possibility. It is just the secrecy of it all that I am seeing and hearing.

I guess I am still stuck on my Pastor not sharing right up in the beginning with his congregation. Perhaps not verbally but maybe at least a notice on the rebroadcasts that scrolls across the screen of an alert. I was in service. I may not have it but I could be a carrier. I deserve to know, as you would.

As we wake each day and have no symptoms, we need to be thankful. Pray for those that are dealing with symptoms and a full-blown case of the virus at home or in the hospital. Those front-line nurses and doctors and many others that help us maintain a somewhat normal lifestyle. Remembering, too, those that have lost loved ones through this  pandemic.

It is no secret that this is real.  …..Stay Well…..

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