Families of Adults Affected
by Asperger's Syndrome
Case History 3
I have spent the last thirty-two years in some sort of bizarre, bewildering hell.
This is extremely difficult for me to write – as I have been subjected to 30 years of written “lists” and “reports” on my behavior and conversation!
Eg (written by my husband on cards or small notebooks):
9:05 am Wanting to go shopping
10:00 am Told to “be quiet”
l0:35 am She went into garden
ll:00 am Still in garden – crying, etc.
This began immediately after our honeymoon, e.g. not made bed properly, no custard with pudding, etc, etc, etc. I married my husband in 1964, having been pressurized into this, despite having broken the engagement, and very much against my instincts that something was very wrong. This included a complete lack of affection from my new husband. I was 20 and he was 30 at the time.
The extreme difficulties were present on our honeymoon – I was almost completely ignored. My new husband just continued with his long, solitary walks, early nights, elaborate washing routines – just as if nothing had changed at all.
This theme just continued, with my husband pursuing various hobbies with total commitment – as if they were a matter of life and death!
When our first son was born, my husband dumped me inside the doors of the Maternity Hospital, drove off quickly, and returned at mid-day on the following day, many hours after our son was born. I had to stay in hospital longer, until he could find “a convenient time” to bring me and the baby home! This has been the continuing story of my life; living as an almost invisible person. I have not been called by my name for thirty years – as my husband seems to be unable to use my personal name. (He also doesn’t say things like “what can I do” – but rather “what can people do”.)
Every crisis, large or small, in the home provoked him into running away – into the car, or a shut bedroom, or down a country lane.
I feel that even after thirty years, I have not been “married” at all. It is just not possible to have that sort of relationship with someone who lives in a sort of sealed capsule, only inhabited by one person.
My physical health has suffered very much, and I have a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis that affects my spine and neck. It began years ago. The result, I feel, of the huge amount of stress and hurt. Naturally, it goes without saying that the emotional distress has been immense.
This condition is very prevalent in my husband’s family, and indeed our eldest son shows traits of similar behavior. I think it is very important to research the genetic side of things. In my husband’s case it is just so obvious that it is an inherited condition, and his father had something then called “schizoid personality disorder.” Many of my husband’s relatives are either “eccentric old bachelors” or have no children.
At least now I am beginning to put the jigsaw pieces of my husband together, but I need much more help.
(This lady has been advised by her local Autistic Society office that they are unable to meet her needs and they have sent her a list of counseling services – none of which know anything about Asperger’s Syndrome. The advice given by counselors is to “care and share and communicate more”!)