The Neurotypical Meltdown

This post is in reflection to the Hub's post from today. We have been married for 11.5 years and just found out last month that he has been a lifetime member of the Aspergers Club, but never knew it. It explained ALOT but it also created a lot of confusion and anxiety and really re-learning how to be with each other. I am pretty fast-paced (great combo huh?) and when I think of something it is out of my mouth and in the air in a flash until I decide it isn't a great idea anymore or I thought of something bigger and better. I like feedback. Preferably instantaneous feedback. Also, the woman in me will drop hints and clues to what I really am thinking/talking about and I also expect my body language to convey that I'm clearly ticked off, or happy, or bored, or indifferent. Now that I know to chuck all of that out the window, it is quite a challenge to remember to not be the same person you were with your mate whom you've shared a life with for 13 years.

I keep forgetting to not leave room for extraneous interpretation. That includes "hinting" and conversely "indifference."

It really didn't bother me that we didn't go to the basketball game. It didn't bother me that we had to turn around for the blanket (I was playing a game of solitaire, therefore I had no reaction - WAY too much room for interpretation there). I really didn't care about my gloves (I literally said, "It's ok, they were a buck on clearance at Old Navy," and that was translated to "they were my favorite.") And I really didn't need Cracker Jacks nor did I expect a surprise (though I do like surprises when they are concerned with good things for me!). I tend to fixate on things/concepts/events etc. to the point where I think about it and talk about it without even knowing how much I am mentioning it. I think perhaps that is how the whole Cracker Jack incident came to be.

I DID however had an NT meltdown as a result of the "poorly asked questions." I admit to that. I also had another NT meltdown Sunday morning so that our routine was "thrown for a loop." I take responsibility for that one too. (Gluten is evil - and my patience ain't so hot either...)

I started reading Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison today after some conversations on Beyond Understanding and I was simply amazed at John's explanation of his thought process of why he was smiling at learning that someone had gotten killed. I mean in the "textbooks" they tell you in general that you need to give Aspergians "think time" once presented with information. But his actual thoughts make so much sense. You know, I can see this happening in the Elder's mind, but because he is 4 and I know most of what goes into his mind, and am informed about what he is learning when he is at school, it is rather easy for me to follow his train of thought. For an adult whom I've only known since 1994, it's not as easy to follow the Hub's train of thought and I only have my neurotypical expectations to compare him to...Cue: NT meltdowns.

The other great resource is a link I stole from the Hub's post. This is very very eye opening, a wonderful perspective of the "art of communication" and beautifully written.

7 Responses to "The Neurotypical Meltdown"

Maddy (visit their site)

Aha! We are reading the same book! I've not got very far though yet [one off sick from school today and you know how that goes.]
Best wishes

Jen P (visit their site)

I was kid-free for about an hour and the housekeeper came today so I was sans distractions to afford to read. I have 3 books that I'm reading for myself, and I pick up the Hub's book! Ha ha. It is a very easy read. I read 60 pages before I knew it and I'm not known to be a speed reader.

John Elder Robison (visit their site)

It's the most remarkable thing, the way so many people are connecting with my story.

When you get to the end, I think you'll see that Look Me in the Eye has shown how, despite our different behaviours, Aspergians and neurotypicals are all the same, deep down.

John Elder Robison (visit their site)

Hey, at the top of the page . . . are those kids of yours in the bucket of a front end loader or what?

I have a loader on my farm tractor and I've found small kids love getting hoisted in it. I can left them 10 feet.

Niksmom (visit their site)

Jen, thanks for visiting my blog. :) Wow, I need to bookmark your sit, too. This post just described me and my husband! I read your hub's post and went, "OMG, that sounds so like Niksdad!" I've often wondered if he is somewhere on the spectrum but not sure how to ask. Thanks for an eye opening, thought-provoking post.

David (visit their site)

This is a great post! And though I am NT, I understand some of the thought process of what you wrote. I think men in general, whether Agpergian or NT have some need to have things spelled out to them pretty succinctly. Amy and I have very similar discussions in which the woman in her will drop hints, or is sure that her body language surely conveyed what she was meaning.... except nobody told me that....

Jen P (visit their site)

John-
Good Eye! Yes, we visited the John Deere museum in Moline, IL, and this was one of the few machines that didn't have a rain puddle in it. I think my kids might have a mini-heart attack if you hoisted them up, at least the Younger would. The Elder might adapt, he's been surprising me lately.

Niksmom-
How to ask him or how to ask a professional? If it is the latter, that is funny because we kinda struggled with that too but once we got the official dx it seemed like teachers, therapists, and other professionals for the Elder were like, "no duh." Would have been nice for them to share the obvious with us.
Thanks for stopping by.

David-
Hey thanks for the perspective. Sometimes I forget what NT Men do naturally...now that I think about it, maybe I've never known....Hmmmm