Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Resource by the Best AS/NT Author!

The very clearest explanations of how Aspergers Syndrome affects a relationship with an NT partner are found in Ashley Stanford's book "Aspergers Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships."  That was my Aspergers bible when I started this journey, and I strongly recommend every NT who is in any sort of relationship (but particularly a romantic one) with an aspie, read that book, even before reading any others.  It simply hits the nail on the head for the NT partner who is struggling to understand the crazy AS/NT journey (that now finally has a name!) that she has been on.

When I recently stumbled upon a new book by Ms. Stanford, I could not wait to purchase it.  Troubleshooting Relationships on the Autism Spectrum: A User's Guide to Resolving Relationship Problems by Ashley Stanford.

Hope these resources help you as much as they have helped me!

aspmom



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Toxic

From the book Toxic In-Laws by Susan Forward:  "People can only give what they can give, and can only be who they are.  We are all limited in certain ways, and we are all the product of our own history.  Let go of resentment.  Find realistic acceptance of what can and cannot be regarding the relationship."

What can your aspie not help being, and what can he choose to help?  The aspie may not be able to help that he only sees things from his own perspective, due to his brain wiring.  This means, in my situation, that he will believe I am always wrong anytime we disagree/differ.  I can expect him to believe I am always wrong.  I can accept that it is pointless to try and share my perspective or ever reach mutual understanding.  But he can choose to be calm rather than out of control.  He can be held responsible for speaking in anger.

I've struggled "through the pain and error that so often create wisdom" (Toxic In-Laws).  Struggled so hard to find "realistic acceptance of what can, and cannot be, in a relationship" with all of the difficult people in my life.

From Foolproofing Your Life:  "Your goal cannot be to have the fool change; instead, your goal must be to find a personal freedom that allows you to be the person God intends for you to be, no matter what choices your fool makes.  Turn from being consumed by the behavior of your fool."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In an Asperger's Marriage or Relationship? Grieving the Death of the Dream


An asperger's diagnostician informed me that 80% of children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (high functioning autism) have either a parent or a grandparent (likely undiagnosed) on the autism spectrum.

Many parents have a light bulb "aha" moment after the diagnosis of a child.  "AHA!  So THIS explains why my spouse (or parent) has always done such and such.  He (or she) has traits consistent with autism!"

And the relief of finally having a name to go with the confusing characteristics and behaviors is quickly followed by grief.  Please know that this grief is normal, and oh, so common

After going through the grief myself over the past five years, my advice to you is to go with it.  Don't fight it.  The dream of ever having a normal, typical relationship with your autistic loved ones is over.  GRIEVE! 

It's okay to have been in denial.  Don't beat yourself up if you had been denying the symptoms in the past.  You did the best you could with what you knew at the time.  And it's fine to be angry.  But try very hard not to take the anger out on those around you.  Journal.  Pray.  Confide in a highly empathic friend, or seek a good counselor during this time, to help you process all the emotions you are feeling.

Familiarize yourself with the stages of grief:  http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/  But most importantly, call this what it is.  This is the DEATH of a dream.  GRIEF of a true loss.

As you are able to better understand what you are truly going through, post-diagnosis, you will grow, and then be better able to take care of the differently-abled people in your life.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FOUND! A Christian Counselor for an Aspergers Marriage!



Check out this link:

Several good articles for the Christian living with Aspergers Syndrome

The link above has some good articles for the Christian, or Christian spouse of someone with Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism (as it is now called).

Best of all, there IS now a Christian counselor and marriage and family therapist who is very familiar with autism and Aspergers!  Go to: CounselorStephanieHolmes(dot)com for contact info.  She has both personal experience in her own life, and professional experience, with autism spectrum disorders.

AND . . . Drum roll . . . This Christian counselor will counsel patients all over the world via Skype, so no worries if her office is too far away.  That may sound iffy, but I vouch for her.  This counselor is legit.  She knows her autism stuff, and seems biblically solid, too.  I recently attended  a large conference where she was speaking.  I am in no way getting compensation or anything for recommending this therapist.  I'm just so thrilled SOMEONE has the skills to counsel women and men in Aspergers marriages.

 C'mon therapists and counselors out there....the future is here!  These Aspergers kiddos diagnosed in the 1990s will be getting married soon, and there will be gazillions of spouses seeking therapists with knowledge of autism.  This is seriously an untapped gold mine in the future of the counseling field. Aspie spouses may be the very best therapists due to their personal experience and wisdom acquired over the years.  So if looking for a field to study or career change . . . consider counseling with an emphasis on autism and families with special needs.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Learning to Trust Again

The single most helpful book I have read to date throughout my asperger's syndrome journey is "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend.  The second is like it, but goes deeper, once a person is ready to go deeper.  "Beyond Boundaries:  Learning to Trust Again in Relationships" by Dr. John Townsend is worth adding to your bookshelf or Kindle.

It's rare for a Christian to be biblically counseled that it's okay necessary sometimes to set strict limits on what behaviors one will put up with from a spouse, relative, coworker, or friend.  When hurt becomes harm, it's time to set protective limits around oneself.  Such limits may even mean ending the relationship entirely. 

And that's okay, too.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Conflict with a Female who has Asperger's Syndrome

Oh, HELP.  Holiday drama time is here again.

Conflict, conflict, conflict.  This time with a woman who has Asperger's.

Her "feelings are hurt."  She is demanding certain actions and behaviors from another person.  She "takes no delight in understanding, but only in airing her own opinions."  (Which the Bible calls a fool, btw.)

There is zero desire to hear the other person's perspective (of course).  There is no compassion or empathy for the struggles the other person is going through.  There is an air of superiority, and there are many demands to have her own way.  Guilt messages are vomited out of her mouth.  And it's all making me sick.

There is no point in trying to share a different perspective, right?  So, what do you do?  Really.  What do you do? 

Reading, and re-reading Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.  The chapter that deals with Guilt Messages is excellent.  This relationship may completely break down, for a time, anyway.  And that might be a necessary, and eventually, a productive thing.

DEEP,
DEEP,
SIGH.

Difficult, Disappointing, or Destructive? Video Channel

Great YouTube Channel from Leslie Vernick on the Emotionally Destructive Marriage or Relationship!

Several videos from the author of "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship" Leslie Vernick:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3IYGT8rM_0&list=UUb80rbYCcnTUYMJGsla7NYQ