In Chameleon: An Asperger’s Memoir, I delved into my life from a broad perspective and focused through the lens of a woman with Asperger’s. I wanted to illustrate for both those on the spectrum and those who are not the experiences that became the framework for living in the world and how that affected me in many different situations, from childhood to adulthood.
When I was thinking about what I’d like to write next, I knew I wanted to write something autobiographical once again, but it needed to be zoomed in on an aspect I felt needed to be expanded upon and about which I had a lot more to say. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was, without a doubt, the experience of being married as an Aspie to a neurotypical. Over the next several months, I will be releasing this work chapter by chapter right here on the blog. Perhaps down the line I will compile everything and do some editing in order to turn it into my second memoir. For right now, though, I’d love to share my story and make it a conversation. It’s not like I have everything figured out, after all!
While there are many complexities and nuances involved in the emotions and social complexities characteristic of women on the spectrum, I do believe that with a little effort and some thoughtful writing, I can convey these experiences in terms that are universally understood, even as they are projected across a backdrop of fundamentally differing cognitive spaces. There exist many seemingly contradictory tendencies; at least, at first glance. But I don’t think it is difficult to reach a point of understanding when you consider the contradictions that are created in emotions, reason, principles, morals, belief systems, behaviors, habits, etc., among any group of human beings. Why do we insist on making the same mistakes twice even after we’ve learned how to do it right? How is eating tied into emotions and why can’t we reach what we are told is the perfect weight when all our bodies want right now is an entire bag of chips? Why do I keep getting into abusive relationships? I know the dark won’t hurt me, so why do I feel panicked when the lights go out? You get the picture.
So let’s look at the main difficulty I come back to over and over again in different forms throughout the course of this story: A very large part of me is screaming to be left entirely alone a great deal of the time; I also desperately want to share the deepest parts of my soul with another human being; and another thing—I don’t connect with most people; honestly, I can’t stand most people in large doses.
There you have it. One of the conundrums I’ve been wrestling with since my early teenage years when I first realized that boys can be cute and not just annoying, dirty, and silly. From there, you’ll find a series of such conundrums being dealt with in a kind of spiral loop growing ever outward, the largest section of which is situated squarely in the marriage realm. My hope is that I can offer you insight into these experiences on a deep level through narrative storytelling and without too much repetition of the content already out there in Chameleon. I also hope that the resounding emotion underlying even the darkest of times recounted here is that of happiness and a deep peace found in those rare personal connections between a husband and wife. As the Buddhist teaching goes: “Thousands of candles can be lit by a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”