Friday, December 3, 2010


Well, it seems like I completely neglected this one once things started to get busy. Autumn is always busy, no matter how little seems to be going on. Mike's fixing to graduate college in a couple of weeks, I just finished another year of NaNoWriMo (and my first as a municipal liaison) and now we're just sitting around trying to figure out what to do next.

We had planned on moving after he graduated, but the option came up for me to possibly be able to attend grad school for my MA in the fall so we might be sticking around for that. It's all up in the air right now and that's really starting to bother both of us. To different levels, we both like to know what we're going to do next but right now there is no clear direction. It's something we have to wait on. In the meantime, I will be studying for my GRE and getting some reading and knitting done. I'll even make Mike do some reading in his off time until he finds a job. We'll see what comes of all this.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When Mike's Away

Mike's been out of town since yesterday. I like him being out of town because I get time alone (which I can never seem to get enough of) and I typically get more work done than when he's here. The problem? When he's gone my insomnia goes crazy. I can't sleep, often I can't even get tired. I hate going to bed because it doesn't feel right. Often to get sleep I have to pile and extra heavy blanket on because that's the only thing that feels close to "right".

As for the cat, well, he's his usual self whenever Mike's gone. It gets worse overnight, though. When I do decide to get some sleep Stormy decides that it's not right that I'm in the bedroom alone and he has to make his opinion known. Vocally. Loudly. Repeatedly. It gets annoying and I have to throw him out of the room every single time.

So what do I end up doing while home alone? Usually nothing. I set out with big ideas about what I'd life to do but little of it actually gets done. So far, I've written an article for a Pagan e-zine, edited a chapter of my novel, been to the store, visited the library, fixed the digital camera, and worked on my grand-nephew's baby blanket. I haven't gotten anything that needed to be done started yet. I need to be working on items to sell in my store but haven't done anything more than find new patterns I'd like to knit or crochet.

Hopefully today will see me getting more stuff done before he gets home tonight.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School

Classes here started yesterday. Mike got up early for his 9am class not yet ready for the summer to be over. He has a problem with the summer ending. It makes him depressed and moody because no matter how much he may do during the summer, he never feels like he's done everything he wanted to get done. His mother tells me that he's been like this since he was a kid and it's such a foreign concept to me.

I always loved school. I never wanted it to end no matter how hellish the year might have been. I hated the summer months because they were focused on things I had no interest in. I spent my summers reading books and studying new things. For me, the fact that I'm not attending classes this fall is a bit depressing.

It all just has me thinking about the differences between Mike and I. Our different views of summer and school are just the least of it. He's very active and I'm very sedentary. I love to read and could read all day--he likes to read, but has only recently (since we've been together) begun to want to read. He's the outdoors type and I prefer staying in. With so many differences, it's hard for us to figure out what we want to do sometimes. It makes for roundabout and sometimes pointless discussions about our day-to-day activities.

At least, though, with Mike back in classes, we'll have some structure to our lives that we've been lacking all summer long. He's in class three days a week so I will have time to work on finishing my novel (those character emotions are hard to write!) and keep the house up while running my store. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons will be dedicated to homework and working on his remaining English class which he's taking online. Structure is good for us, as long as we don't get too locked up in keeping to it every second.

This is his last semester. Barring problems, he'll be graduating with his BA in December. Then comes the real fun part--work and moving to Shreveport in January.

Talk to you soon,

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Balance for anyone on the spectrum is usually difficult. With our obsession and interests, finding the balance between being alone and spending time with others can be near impossible for some people. I have that problem more than Mike does. He doesn't really have any overwhelming interests; I have more than enough for both of us. Often the time spent on these interests causes problems. While Mike doesn't have many, one he does have is me and my interests get in the way of us spending time together.

Finding the balance is key and after four years, we're still looking for it. My current obsession is trying to get my book finished. I've started on the rewrite and it takes up a lot of my time and energy. I just hopes it gets a little easier to find that balance when Mike starts back to classes on the 23. I'll have about 5 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to get writing and other stuff done. Hopefully that balance will lead to balance in other areas.

Ideas for balance as proposed by others:

Time limits on each interest--a sound idea, but comes with problems of its own. How do you put a time limit on an interest that overwhelms the senses?

Involve the other side in the interest--tried and works, to a point. Be considerate of interests on both sides of the relationship, which is hard.

I'm sure we'll figure it out. It's just going to take time (of which there is plenty) and patience (of which there is usually little). I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cats and ASD

A lot of people joke that cats have Asperger's. After watching our cat, Stormy, I have to agree. It's quite funny to watch, actually. One second Stormy is a nice and loving cat who'll walk up to you purring his little heart away and the next second he turns his tail to you and will bite you if touched. He runs if anyone comes to visit and stays hidden until long after they leave and takes off at the slightest "wrong" sound such as a computer chair being moved or opening the oven.

He hates anything to be out of place and will meow and complain like crazy if something is moved. A few weeks ago I cleared off a bookshelf so we'd have a surface to put food and drinks on and Stormy complained for days about it. He would look up at the bookshelf and meow, meow, meow. We even put him up there to see if he'd like it as a perch but he wanted nothing to do with it. He wasn't happy until the pictures were on top of it again.

Stormy, like other cats I've owned, is obsessive about time. He knows when his box is cleaned and will come bother me wherever I'm at and meow at me until I go clean it. He's the same way with his food. It's quite adorable sometimes.

Whenever Mike's gone, even if it's just going out to get something, Stormy goes through the house meowing like crazy and opening up all the doors trying to find him. He hates having his environment changed by one of us being gone for any period of time. He's only content when he knows where both of us are and that we are where we're supposed to be.

The reason I'm thinking on this line today is a conversation Mike and I have been having about ASD and pets. For me cats are best. I can relate to them and understand them batter than any other type of animal I've ever had. For Mike it's always been dogs. It's been my experience that animals are good for anyone who has any type of "problem" with communication. Cats and dogs help us to see the world in a different way and help us by giving someone with whom to communicate on a level we're comfortable with. For both ASD and non-ASD children, animals teach responsibility and caring for a creature other than ourselves. I wholeheartedly recommend animals for anyone on the spectrum; they are more important than you can imagine because animals have communication problems too and it's up to us to figure out what they want.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting to the Store

It takes us forever to get to the store. We (well I) make a list as we run out of things or as I plan meals. That list will then sit on the dry erase board for days, weeks until we run out of that one essential thing we can't live without. We like to go shopping at night. There aren't as many people which, theoretically, means there won't be as many chances of being bumped into or getting frustrated at the people who can't decide what they want.

Mike's problem with the store (especially Wal*Mart) is that it's so busy. Crowds bother him and when he comes out of the building he is frustrated and annoyed at someone's stupidity. He hates looking for things and gets frustrated when items aren't where they're supposed to be. This has come up a lot recently since our local Wal*Mart is getting a remodel and everything has been moved around all over the store.

I can tolerate the crowds mostly. I put on my headphones and ignore them. It's much easier for me and better for everyone else if I do this. I get annoyed when people crowd the aisles talking instead of shopping. Shopping is what the store is for; it's not a food court. Mainly, though the fluorescent lights bother me. I can't stand how bright they are and how they reflect off the floors. It's worse now that Wal*Mart has switched to white labels for their Great Value brand. Too much white!

Alas, there's no where else to go in this small town. We're stuck with what we have and we try to make the best of it, but it's quite difficult when we both get frustrated by the stores and then people look at us like we're crazy when we're complaining to each other about the company's lack of consideration for the individual when they design their product labels.

Ah well. We'll see how this run goes. We're heading to Wal*Mart after dinner. Hopefully it won't be too bad tonight.


Monday, August 9, 2010

The situation between us

In case you haven't read the bios yet, here's the breakdown: I'm the autistic spouse and Mike is the Aspie. I'm quiet, withdrawn, obsessive, and lack understanding (and even at times a want to understand) emotions and the world. I am more content to sit and read or write ignoring everything around me. Mike, on the other hand, is talkative, has a need to figure everything out, repetitive, and has problems reading people and fully understanding motives.

Individual issues are much more complicated than that, but there's the basic breakdown. In a "normal" relationship Mike would fare well as his problems are more socially oriented and it is in this where our balance comes into play. Since the beginning, Mike and I have had a pretty steady balance. Where he understands emotions, I can read many social behaviors. When I become withdrawn and moody, he tries to figure out what's wrong so we can fix it. There's noting to balance our equally obsessive behaviors and those often clash in rather interesting ways.

Many of the problems in our relationship come from emotional understanding. Mike can get very emotional about issues between us where I often don't see the point in having emotion about some things. Emotions are difficult for anyone on the spectrum and in a relationship with these two extremes, emotions can be downright hell to get through.

But...But once they've been figured out and once Mike and I reach an understanding about the emotions involved in a particular issue, it becomes much easier for a little while or at least until the next issue pops up. I'm not trying to say that our relationship is battle after battle, but more like rough, rocky terrain that tends to change from day to day and for which we lost the map 500 miles behind us. We figure out each step as we go and make note of those techniques which work and ignore those that don't. We move forward with love and understanding that we both have issues.

Good morning and Welcome!

I'm Robyn and I'll be your tour guide on this adventure. I'm starting this blog for many reasons. Not the least of these is that my husband, Mike, and I have had our fair share of ups and downs. While this is typical of all marriages, the looming cloud of Autism hangs over us both making emotions rage in all directions. Both Mike and I go through highs and lows with our emotions and it makes talking about things difficult because while I may be talkative here, I hate speaking in general. Mike will talk your ear off and then some if you let him. (Sorry babe, but you know it's true.)

Another reason why I wanted to start this blog was to give a place for other couples with this same issue to go for support. Having one Autistic partner in a relationship is difficult enough, but for both parties to be on the spectrum brings double the stress. I want this to be a place for others to come for hope and insight. Mike and I don't always get it right in the beginning, but we figure it out somehow.

Lastly, I did this for parents of those on the spectrum. Often times I've heard parents despair about how their Autistic child won't be able to have a normal, healthy relationship or marriage. It is possible. It just may be with someone else on the spectrum.

I plan to use this blog to chronicle some of our issues with each other, the outside world, family, and anything else that comes our way. I want to show everyone that each relationship is unique and a blessing in its own way and spectrum marriages comes with a whole heap of blessings you might not even know existed.