Okay, shoe-on-the-other foot time.
I drive my Asperger family crazy at times, simply because of who I am, the different ways we think, and the different needs we have at times.
Of course, I do my best to understand and make life easier on the whole family. But wow, I’ve had my insensitive and difficult moments.
Here’s a list of what I do – or did until I learned better – that drives my Asperger family absolutely crazy.
- Ask for big family gatherings
- Spontaneously ask that we all go off on an excursion for the weekend. No advance planning, just go!
- Take a day that already has an event planned – say, dinner out with my parents – and add more to it!
- Leave a cluttery mess in the living room
- Start talking during a tv show
- Interrupt while my boys are intently doing something – and they do everything intently
- Announce dinner and expect everyone to drop what they’re doing to come eat (I’ve since learned to give 20, 10 and 5 minute warnings)
- Make a surprise dinner without telling them anything about the ingredients
- Forget to respect a need for downtime, and keep popping in on them to say hello
- Over-analyze words. So, dear, just what did you mean by that? Why did you phrase it like that? What were you trying to say?
- Forget to cap the bleach wipes or shampoo bottle and stink up a whole room
- Hug too much. I’m an affectionate person, and sometimes forget that others need space
- Expect them to read my mind. If I want to get something across, I really just need to say it directly, not beat around the bush or use body language
- Make plans without informing anyone
- Forget to leave notes letting people know where I’ve gone and when I’ll be back. I hear I’m still the butt of jokes at my husband’s office… something about alien abductions and Occam’s Razor
- Expect a specific gift with or without hints. I learned years ago to just let them know what I want for holidays and birthdays
- Forget to do the laundry, leaving people with a bad surprise and the need to scrounge for clothing or towels.
- Lose track of time and rush my family through bedtime routines… not good
- Take offense or get upset over a direct truth, even if it’s not meant to hurt. Yep, that shirt looks terrible. Yeah, they didn’t do so well with your hair this time, did they? And so on.
- Last minute schedule changes
- I love roses. Love and adore them. The smell drives them batty, but my husband, dear that he is, will still get them for me occasionally
For those of you with Asperger family members, I’m sure you can imagine the havoc and panic that could so easily have been avoided. For my AS readers, I can feel the wincing and sympathy pain, even if I can’t see you.
Thank goodness my boys are good at forgiving. Of course, they get a lot of practice. 😉