This fabulous series on “Lessons from an Asperger’s-NT Marriage” hit home with me. In it, the author explores how she, with Asperger’s, relates to her “NT” (neuro-typical) husband of twenty-five years. She writes:
[I]f you’re in an Aspergers-neurotypical marriage, you didn’t get there by accident. You’ve made a deliberate choice to share your life in what is essentially a cross-cultural partnership. Like any cross-cultural exchange, an aspie-NT marriage can be a rewarding experience or a nightmare.
…It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes it’s been damn near impossible. More than once we’ve considered whether we might be better off apart than together. But we’ve also found some surprising benefits to our aspie-NT partnership. Hopefully some of what we’ve learned will be helpful to other couples that have taken on the challenge of making an Aspergers-NT marriage work.
I’m so proud of them in reading their story. I have known couples who ran out their married lives never knowing what it was that always kept them at loggerheads. The disagreements the author describes are very like the ones I was often witness to, although what I witnessed never had any resolution because there was never any diagnosis and both parties assumed they were right and the other was wrong. I find myself wondering, what if they’d known what the underlying issues were? What if they’d been able to gain the psychological tools and communication skills that would have allowed them to cope better with the situation? What if there had been more understanding and less judgment? More patience and less taking things personally? How would everyone’s lives have been better?
What if, what if. These things are no longer possible with the people I knew, at least not in their marriage. The author of the series above didn’t find out she had Asperger’s until she was 42. Rather than tear her to bits, this information helped her to understand herself better.
In my book Daddy Issues, I offer a ray of hope that with new understanding, the NT half of a relationship can at least find some closure and peace. I’m beginning to feel that early discovery is a blessing to all concerned, because everyone deserves to know what’s going on. Knowledge is power; understanding is empowerment. On all points of the neuro-spectrum.
People sometimes tell me that my book’s ending makes them cry. And that makes me happy.
Not that I want to cause anyone any angst. Readers usually mean that the ending has moved them somehow, that they related to it deeply enough that their emotions overflowed. What could be better news for a writer?
I am hoping, when telling my stories, to use the tools of fiction to communicate truth. Are my characters real? No. Is the situation real? No. Is the transformation real? Yes.
I’ve often thought that fiction allows us to experience things we would otherwise never know. If the fiction is “real” enough, we gain a memory of something we didn’t have to physically experience. Yet, in experiencing the fiction, we become more compassionate for those who have experienced it in fact.
This has been known to change the world. Look at The Jungle. How else would people have discovered the misery of the meatpacking industry? Certainly few had ever walked those blood-soaked floors. Yet they read that book and felt something. It caused them to take action. And lives were changed.
What books have changed the world for you?
I wrote to my dear older friend to tell her about launching Daddy Issues. She’s someone I’ve known for years and really respect. She’s also the matriarch of an astonishing family and one of the most spiritual people I know. So, I had to warn her a little about the, you know, sex.
She wrote me this:
Whoo Hoo, yippee, hooray for you… I’m proud of you… Keep in mind that our sexuality, explicit or otherwise, is part of our humanness and should be celebrated, especially when we come to terms with, AND WRITE ABOUT, it… Your writing, it seems to me, is a blessing and a step forward. It’s your unique take on life. Now, go bask in the bounty of good all around you, and that includes your talent…
So grateful for that vote of confidence! And for the truth that I believe as well: that we should celebrate our completeness, see ourselves as whole, not as bits and pieces where some parts are good and other parts are bad.
It’s all good.
I got a new insight into this Bible passage this morning. I’d never understood the last part before:
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Matt. 11:5,6)
Suddenly this morning, the last part meant to me, “Blessed is he who is not offended when I help people most others don’t like.”
Which is kind of why I wrote Daddy Issues. To shed light on things some folks find offensive or disturbing. And yes, some people are offended by some of what I wrote. So I’m doubly, triply thankful this morning for those of you who are not. You are changing the world.
Thrilling Thanksgiving. Even though I was thousands of miles away from family, I still had the super-charged excitement of publishing my debut novel, Daddy Issues.
I have a lot to be thankful for, indeed. The support of my family in this quest, many friends who have stood by me, beta readers who gave essential feedback, and the many vendors who added their professionalism to the final product.
I send this out in to the world hoping it will increase understanding about the issues it addresses: intense sexuality, relationships in the face of mental conditions, parent/child dilemmas, and finding one’s inner truth.