05 April 2016

New Essay or Book Idea: Asperger's Man Saves Woman: Empathy be Damned

Sun image courtesy NASA.
I'm just playing around with this idea right now. Here's what I have so far:

Asperger's Man Saves Woman
Empathy be Damned
I met my husband through a dating website. Probably the only way to have met him. We bonded first over our dogs. Good way to safely enter a conversation.

Wow that's a long paragraph.

Having Asperger's, I have learned, doesn't mean you don't have anything to talk about; it means that you have so much to talk about that it overwhelms your system and comes out in small, forced bytes. Unless it's something you're clearly passion about and practiced in (politics, computer tech, and [from my wifely point of view] just a bunch of weird stuff).

Being married to an Aspie (person enhanced by Asperger's syndrome) doesn't make me an expert, just as I am not an expert on men just because I married one. I'm still in the middle of reading Steve Silberman's book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. And then there's The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband, by David Finch. Also working on that one.

Actually, I have five or six books on Asperger's syndrome but have yet to finish one. That puts me on par with my husband, at least.

You may be wondering what it's like for an Aspie to be married to what we politely call a neurotypical (me). If you ask my husband, he will just shrug. And really, that is the best answer for almost everything.

If I could expand on that just a little though: The good thing is he loves me. I see that in his eyes. I also see him try valiantly to cope with the daily struggle of understanding someone who continually communicates on scattered verbal and emotional planes.

The shape, texture, and color emanating off of a neurotypical can vary widely and be quite distracting: I imagine that I'm a great big orange ball with sharp beams sprouting out and waving wildly and loudly, trying to take up more and more space.

Sometimes, my husband sighs thankfully, I do turn a calming shade of blue, like the blue of a heavy spring snow.

Often he just has to close his eyes to ease the racket and give himself a little space.

I know—that's me talking for him. Sometimes he is OK with that because by now I've kind of gotten the hang of helping some neurotypicals understand what he is saying via a crude method of translation.