Why my husband answers the phone- how we deal in a disabilty household.
I’ve mentioned before that my husband has aspergers (ok so it was a whole post) it was a bit of a rant post and I thought I’d try something a little more positive now I’m in a better place.
There are three of us (nearly) four in my household. Two out of three have a disability. My husband has aspergers and he is high functioning due to a lot of work that he puts into himself to hide it. I have emotionally unstable personality disorder (formally borderline personality disorder) with ocd tendency’s and PTSD. My daughter is so far ‘normal’.
Not everyone considers my mental health problems a disability and personally I like to pretend it’s not; but when it affects every point of my life even I have to admit that it is.
My husband and I have a running joke that I have stolen all his symptoms. As I mentioned he is high functioning so he doesn’t really display any of the more recognizable traits of aspergers. (feel free to correct me on these I can only write from my perspective and what we live with, what we do and the information that we have been given)
For instance, my husband has friends and actively makes new friends. I do not. I find it nearly impossible to make friends and other then his close friends who have accepted me in I have a grand total of one friend. Who half the time I don’t even really consider my friend.
I have trouble making eye contact, or sometimes in an attempt to better communicate I may stare at someone constantly. I have sensory issues with light, food and occasionally bedding. I don’t deal well with crowds or public places and get overstimulated easily.
My husband doesn’t have a problem with many of these things, mainly due to a huge amount of effort he has put into his own self development. Fortunately he does understand and support me through most of mine.
So... how do we deal?
For a start our daughter deals with everything with grace and love as most 14 month olds do some days I envy her that. And I pray every day that she will be stronger for having us as parents rather than harmed by what she may see while she grows up.
My husband makes the phone calls. He orders food at restaurants. He deals with door to door salesmen (while I hide in the bathroom). He talks to the big people like real estate agents.
We both talk to the medical professionals (often over the top of each other). He also fixes everything in our house (he’s magic with technology).
I deal with the little people who we encounter on a regular basis like my social worker or my own doctor. I can order food or ask for things in stores. Most days.
Both of us spend a lot of time on the internet. I can talk to people without having to use body language and such which is a huge relief. I can block people who upset me. I can delete nasty things people say to me. And I can write a blog post once a month if I try hard J.
I’m not always sure what my husband does on the internet but he does it a lot.
Without my husband I am appalling. He makes sure I leave the house, that I eat properly that I see my psyche team when I need to he occasionally reminds me to shower. He’s my catcher. He gets the balls I miss.
He wears his ‘crowd’ shirt when we go shopping so I can always find him easily (up until recently it was a bright orange one), he keeps an elbow available for me to fiddle with if I get overstimulated and will leave the supermarket in the middle of the groceries if I get too upset and need to go home.
He will clean me up and take me to the bathroom and sit on the floor while I pull myself together when I have a meltdown. He reminds me not to chew on my hair.
Without complaint he supports me and deals with my issues. Allows my obsessions and strange actions without making fun of me. All because he has been there. He has seen my box from the inside and although he no longer has the same view he understands why I HAVE to have that pillow.
Why I’m upside down. Why I have a gigantic jar of buttons. Why I can’t eat the food I just spent 2 hours making. And yes even why I occasionally have to suck on his knuckle....
For my part it’s just allot of listening. And repeated reassurance. And occasionally forcing hugs. And more repeated reassurance. I once thought there was a limit to how many times I could sit and tell someone that I do REALLY love them. But at four am it doesn’t matter how many times you have said it before if he’s scared I will sit there until morning confirming and repeating that I do exist and I am not a figment of his imagination. I will walk up and down the stairs fifteen times to remind him it is time to get up. And I will endeavour to use dictionary definitions with my language at all times.
We endeavour to accept each other fully as the people we once were, the people we are and the people we will be. And I like to think that the people who are important to us see us as a family who love each other and support each other in everything, not as a couple of misfits who got married and had a baby.