Poems

My Asperger Marriage | The Face You Can't See

 

My Asperger Marriage

From the beginning an awareness that something is wrong
A relationship that’s fundamentally flawed and limited
Intimacy eludes every effort
Subconscious grief
Cold reality slowly settles in my heart
A loneliness that shouldn’t be
A relationship that consumes every facit of my being
Yet abandons my basic human need to belong
Controlled, yet abandoned
Dominated, yet neglected
Needed, yet no-one
Promised, yet nothing

Diagnosis acknowledges what I already know
It is everything I thought, yet more
Blackness engulfs my soul like a shadow with form
Crushing out every whisper of hope
Or anticipation of something better
At first a relief
A book of answers for decades of questions
Reassurance of my own sound state of mind
Acknowledgement of all the hard work and pain
Just keeping it all on track

No healing, no solution, no remedy
A new way to live
A new way to love
New rules for ordinary things
Strategies for daily functioning
Mechanical methods
Altered responses
For better or for worse, in sickness and in health
All of these, all at once
A different state of being
A different definition of marriage
Bound, but alone
Alongside, but solitary

The sense of loss is engulfing
Loss of hope
Loss of dreams
Grief for what will never be
No union of two free minds and souls
Bound in love, care and respect
It’s not like that and never will be
One free mind
One with sharp corners
One soul that lives and breathes with love and spontaneity
One that calculates and orders, hides, fears and rages
No effort on my part can change his state of mind
My love doesn’t warm him
My care doesn’t reach him
My personality doesn’t win him
My feelings and opinions don’t sway him

A different life


- Anon
14 December 2002

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The Face You Can't See

Asperger’s Syndrome
What does this mean?
So few have heard
Fewer understand
How can I define it?
What is it like?
Once words are applied
Meaning seems so lost

Behaviours kept secret
For the world that he shares
With wife and child only?
How can this be?
Real, yet intangible
Unseen by others
How we seem like liars
Bitter, neurotic

Uncertain, incredible
Blamed, demoralised
Yet I am the backbone
Why would anyone believe me?
I look for your assent
You must tell me it is true
But you can’t see it happening
To you it is not real

He seems so clear,
So certain, so adamant
No need for compromise
His way is best
His opinions correct
They have to be
Or why would he possess them?
Somehow I believe him 

But I know …
Something’s not right
How can I be sure?
How can I find help
When those who do listen
Only pity and placate
Look after yourself
All men are like that 

Intellectual, gifted,
So verbal and self-assured
A guide, we thought
For a life of purpose and drive
Clear-cut values
Strong morals too
Admirable principles
Interesting views 

Activities and interests
Show competence and skill
Loyal, faithful
Committed to a cause

Yet it seems like a façade
So perfectly worn
For when we go home
He’s nowhere to be seen

Just somebody there
Who looks quite the same
But sounding so different
He looks at me strange
Misunderstanding, getting angry
Taking tangents when we talk
Where did it start?
Will it ever be resolved?

Where is the truth?
His logic is not mine
My words carefully chosen
Don’t mean what they do
He resists my requests
He questions my needs
He loses touch
A disconnected world 

Things seemingly trivial
Matter so much to him
His children are afraid
Not sure what he’ll do
Yet he misses the point
That we need him so much
We need him to love us
To be gentle but strong

To care and show empathy
Mutual understanding, support
But it all goes wrong
We do what we can
But to him it means something else
His competence under fire
Every comment I make
Is a personal attack

Some friends find him brash
Intrusive, tactless, cold
I try to explain
Smooth it over
Mend the rift
I feel ashamed
Though his rudeness disconcerts
Belief in my tale still isn’t won 

His words cut like glass
Shattering in my wounds
My motives misunderstood
My love misconstrued
My spirit is broken
My strength nearly gone
Like a strangler fig vine
Asperger’s Syndrome consumes my being
Till I wither . . . 

- Anon
3 August 2004

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Updated: January 31, 2017
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