Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cat therapy

After years of longing for a cat and a visit to the cat cafe 2 weeks ago . . . I threw caution to the wind, consulted Kijiji for cats needing rehoming and . . . picke up Abby on Sunday. It was quite the trek through small towns and concession roads to find her, but we eventually did and she is sweet, affectionate, and chatty. I'm not sure I can handle the chatty part after my many years of silence . . . but I welcome the affection and the company, particularly as E heads to Australia for two weeks on Wednesday.

Having an Asperger's spouse means you have to find many other ways of finding happiness.

I started reading When Breath Becomes Air last night and I realize that I must make my life my own and not wallow in resentment and frustration and stagnation. I've been feeling so down about everything, but . . . I have to move myself on, even if I stay in this marriage. There has to be a way to return to who I am and become my best self, even without my husband's attentive support.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekend Alone

I always look forward to the precious few weekends alone with my husband. This is one of them, except, well, he's out at his daughter's 17th birthday party and I'm at home, eating leftovers. It is better this way. I don't have to endure the craziness of his ex-wife, her 3rd husband, his Aspie son, his Aspie daughter, their ODD half-sister, and his ex-father in law. I really can't handle all that dysfunction at one time. I can barely handle being alone with my Aspie partner.

Yesterday, we went out to try a new restaurant. It was Friday and I was exhausted, and told him that I didn't have much energy, hoping he'd make the effort to carry our conversation . . . but that didn't happen. Instead, he sat across from me, blankly, while he awaited his meal. His conversation focused on the meal, but after that topic was more than exhausted, he was back to his blankness. I couldn't do much more than tolerate it, but later . . . waking in the middle of the night, I tried to talk to him about it, and his response was that he was "trying" to engage with me and that what he was doing was "all he could do." It is hard not to be offended by that.

When we do have these weekends alone, I hope that we can connect and enjoy spending time together without our kids and their varied needs and demands, but it never works out that way. We are so far apart now that I feel like we'll never be able to reconnect. Then what? Where do I go from here? What to I do if all he can give me is a blank stare and excuses for why he can't communicate with me?

It's discouraging.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Morning Reflections

The first thing I did when I woke up around 5 am this morning was to think of 10 things I'm grateful for. After that and rolling around a bit, I decided to do my usual online scan in bed. I found an article about how to determine you are in a toxic relationship - 1. Does it make you unhappy? Yes,  2. Does it make you feel good about yourself? No, 3. Do you look forward to seeing him? Sometimes, 4. Do you see your friends as often? No, 5. Has your style radically changed? No.

Well, there is a problem, but . . . there are always problems with relationships with aspies. Does this mean I leave? I haven't yet. I can't seem to. There always seems to be just a little more good than bad that keeps me in it.

There is love, sure . . . but I can't feel it when I don't 1. hear it, 2. see it, 3. feel it.

So, now I'm full on in complaint mode, whereas I started the morning in gratitude.

How does that happen?

My question to myself is . . .

1. What makes me happy?
Used to be connecting, still is, with like-minded, creative souls. Now . . . I tend to do this through books, book and writing clubs, but nothing intimate, nothing really significant, besides spending time with my daughter. Otherwsie, interactions all tend to be . . . social and somewhat superficial. I can become happier, I know, through outdoor activities, exercise, regular outings with my daughter, discussions with friends (time permitting), and creative pursuits. I have to try to do more of those.

2. What makes me feel good?
Solitude. That's the one thing I've relied on for a couple of years now. Just being by myself. Doing what pleases me - reflecting, reading, walking, and writing. That's what has kept me going.

3. Can I spend more time with friends?
Yes, and I should, but I tend to default to solitude because it is easier.

4. Can I spend more time expressing myself through my choices - clothes, etc.?
Yes, and I think I do, when I can.

5. Is there any way make my interactions with my husband more positive?
Well, we try to do things together that we both enjoy - eating out, movies, reading, and walking/running. If we could really communicate and collaborate - that would help, but it seems almost impossible. I can try to think of things to help - a question deck, a project, an outing. I guess that will take some work . . . because he can't think in that direction. The problem is . . . it always feels like me providing sustenance to me, using him to do it, but without his active intent to participate.

It isn't easy to feel good with an aspie partner. I think that's the bottom line.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Life Without You

I haven't seen my husband since last Sunday. I started teaching again, and he left Wednesday for a conference in Louisiana. He's coming back this evening.

How was the week? Fine. Not much different than usual. I returned home on the nights I usually saw him and "crawled into bed" like someone in a Swedish novel. Thus, I caught up on my sleep and was able to keep up to the demands of a new position and the chaos of the return to school. What now?

Well, he's back for only two weeks before heading to Australia for another two. That means his kids will be with him and I'll be sidelined. This is never any fun. Most of this isn't fun, but I'm used to it. Next weekend, my daughter will be with her father and I'll be alone. This is always the hardest thing, feeling like I have no one to share my weekends with. Thankfully, winter is a good excuse to stay in and read . . . but sometimes it is nice to get out and play, which A and I did today, sliding down the icy slopes of the nearby park in the midday winter sun, the blaze of white and blue sky making it seem bright and balmy. After several trips up and down the hills, we sprawled back on our sleds and sun bathed. It was just what we needed, after a stressful week of snarling cold.

We are in the worst of it . . . or almost . . . the deep freeze and burn of mid-winter. I can't say I like it. I'd rather try to pull of the Danish Hygge - staying in and cozying up to candles, faux-fur throws, and sweets. Since I'm having a Dry January,  there's no comforting toddy or mulled wine libations around . . . but the month is already halfway gone. February will be fast upon us  . . . and I'll look forward to more light and love and libations.

More insight would be nice, too. I'd like to know how to get through the challenges of living alone while committed to someone who even when present is emotionally absent. There must be some better way to survive the cold.

Friday, January 6, 2017

4 am

In the middle of my night
nudged awake, I think by
conscience, I wrestle and fight
myself, asking the shadows, "Why
am I
with him?"
They, in their quiet wisdom, gaze
meaningfully at me, and my
dark thoughts deepen.
Every morning I must
choose to be, lost in the swirl of
light and noise, the clamour and chaos
deafening their whispers of

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Alone again

After a whirwind morning of shopping with my girl, she is back with her father until school starts. I'll be alone for days. I'm trying not to think of this as a bad thing.

My partner, my husband, is on the other side of the river. His children are with him after being at their maternals grandfather's through the holidays. I can't begrudge him this time. I need time myself, but find it hard to make good use of my freedom when I'm forced into being alone. That's how it feels. I was supposed to have my daughter this weekend according to the schedule, but my ex wants her and . . . I acquiesced because I knew I needed to sort and plan and . . . I do, but I'd rather hang out and enjoy the embers of the holiday, reading and watching movies.

Being by myself isn't nearly as exciting and hanging out with my daughter and it reminds me too much of being single. I feel single most of the time, because I'm not in a normal marriage.

I'm in a second-aspie marriage, which is like dating a narcissist all over again and feeling like a long-suffering mistress, but it is slightly better than being entirely alone. At least, that's how I've felt until now.

Until now, I've put up with this because I think it has some benefits, which it does, but I am really hoping to understand whether those are outweighed by the many unfortunate deficits I also experience on a regular basis. Being alone on the last holiday weekend of the holiday season is one of those negatives that I will wrestle with over the next few days. The problem is . . . I have little strength for it.

New Year's Eve Day

It isn't yet evening. It is just before 10 am and I just finished the first round of exam marking. I have the weekend to review my essays and exams and compile final marks, which are due on Tuesday. I can almost breathe a sigh of relief, but unfortunately, I can't. I'm stressed about not hearing from my daughter, who has been with her father for the last 7 days and hasn't called. She would call, given the opportunity, I'm sure, which is partly why I am stressed. When she is with me, she knows she can call her father anytime. I don't think that it true when she is with him.

A few years ago, when she was much younger, I had to take him to court in order to get an order for nightly phone calls from her when she was with him. Those calls have never happened, but I really don't want to go back to court. It is stressful and expensive. I just want to know my little girl is okay. It really worries me when I don't hear from her.

That's one stressful thing. A large one. Another is that my now 90-year-old father sent me a strange email two nights ago telling me he had to change his will. When I asked my brother, the state executor, what was going on, he told me he had no idea of any change to the will. All this makes me quite suspicious of my older sister, who had been visiting my father recently and who is extremely avaricious. I don't trust her, particularly because my father is already suffering from dementia. I keep wondering what is going on and, although I asked my father and my brother to clarify, I've heard nothing. My sister, for some bizarre and unknown reason, has not spoken to me since my mother's death 15 years ago. I believe she resented my decision not to sell my mother's childhood home, because my sister wanted the money. She never explained what was wrong, just broke off all contact with me and everyone for the last 14 years, only returning to visit my father this year after his massive heart-attack last year. I think she is sniffing around for the spoils. Have I mentioned that I don't trust her?

The third reason I'm stressed is that I've been alone with my husband for the past 7 days and . . . nothing has really happened. I mean, he makes no effort to connect to me, we spend time together, but he is mostly blank-faced and silent. This is partly attributable to his AS, but it is also frustrating and lonely to be with someone who shows so little interest and enthusiasm for me or for our shared experiences. I do wonder how long I can handle this and look forward to the return of our children so that I have an excuse for getting away and finding other people to talk to.

Living with an AS partner is stressful. It always feels like I'm alone, or worse, neglected. I keep thinking I should try harder to expand my social circles, but there is only so much of that you can do, especially when your life is busy with a young child and multiple workplaces and commitments. I do what I can and will continue to seek other like-minded souls. Obviously, my husband isn't one of them.