Dancing in the Grey – Life with my Asperger’s
© Rory Matier 2015
The views within these chapters are mine and may not necessarily resonate with others on the spectrum – however bear in mind the quote by Dr. Stephen Shore .. “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
Chapter 5 – Ep 6
Differing Shades of Grey
Island of Lost Gardens
And yet there l sat, lost in thought and pregnant pause,
The significance of moments in time from afore,
Ghostly shadows of remembrance haunting me like squalls,
That threatens drying pastures begging for more,
Looking out amongst the voiceless and silent ruins,
Tumbledown remnants of a once lively secret paradise,
Now just wild with the imaginative essence of all lost gardens,
And filled with yesterday’s gentle whisperings and lies,
Like watching spilled canvasses, or unbottling of chained memories,
Forgotten traces of the dusts of discarded and broken times,
Runaway rainbow tears falling gently and caressing treacheries,
The islands’ sorrow filled heart seeing between the lines,
And there quietly looking out on yesterdays’ romantic garden,
Times of softest memory floating dreamily away,
Blurred visions, and questions of ‘how did this happen?’
Is life nothing more than broken promises and decay?
With lazy bullets in my skull and a handful of shattered rocks,
And hidden and faceless sunsets running manically wild,
The gardens’ invisible surreal faces of upturned clocks,
Finally allow me to see, yesterdays’ adult and tomorrows’ child.
© Rory Matier 2010/2012
Differing Shades of Grey
There are many shades of grey as in confusing topics with Aspergers, and of course the interpretation of each grey can l think leave the NT a little fuzzled at times, hardly surprising given the fact that it is not always them that are befuddled by our actions, but us too. Equally as much there are the ‘greys’ belonging to the NT‘s themselves that award us their own brand of confusion. I have discovered much whilst being with my own NT partner and no matter how hard she tries to think like me, there are still the occasional blips to be had in communications and action. This chapter is aimed specifically at such tidings, as well as ‘sense as in common’ and sensations as in sensitivities and quirkiness.
How grey is a subject? Well in my honest opinions of confusion l have found that at times, one topic might be a light grey therefore not baffling logic too much, yet other times the matter is horribly grey almost charcoal and defies any logic what so ever!
Life is not as confusing as it used to be, this is not to say that there are not the ‘occasional blips’ for there still can be, they are just not as often as they used to be. I joke when l make mention to being a NeuroAspie, but to be honest there is an element of truth to that. I am more balanced with Suzanne in my life than l have ever been. But then we both know l am Aspergic, we both know what my limits are and we both know what ‘Aspergers’ actually is, so this does go a long way to assisting with that balance. These days l am very happy, not just in myself but with my life and my relationship, and this too aids in the balancing act.
All of us in one way or another take our lives for granted, we live each day as it arrives, accommodate the rules of society, and many of you will feel a certain security and safety when grouping together like a herd. As a herd grazing in a field, there is always safety in numbers. However occasionally something odd will stray amongst that herd, it will not be noticeably different at first, and those differences will perhaps appear over time. It might just be seen to be behaving slightly off kilter to the rest of that herd, you might walk forwards and it trots backwards.
It will be noticeable ‘because’ it appears to be deliberately going against the grain of the herd’s conformity. You might confront the outsider and try and get it to fit in, the more it tries to perform this task, the more it might fail. In the end, the herd cautious of the new member will start to fear it, and instead of trying to understand, they will shun it, or subject it to herd humour which frustrates the newcomer even more. Eventually, they will cast it to one side and let it be, knowing that whilst it ‘may well be’ part of the herd en masse, it simply doesn’t fit in to the herds’ overall societal structure.
Reluctantly they will accept its presence, and get back to the correct way of grazing as a herd and in time the newcomer will find a routine that they are content with and continue to live with them, but apart. Neither a leopard nor a tiger can change their spots or their stripes, they will always be different. They can not pretend to be a lion, anymore than a lion can pretend to be them. In the wild, all these three fit into their own environments and learn to adapt and evolve and fit in the best way they can. And this, in many ways is sadly the way of Aspergers, no matter how hard you try at times, you ultimately will always stick out. You will learn to fit into your own form of society and live with that.
This is in many ways the way l felt for much of my life, it was not as extreme as the herd example all the time, but it was a struggle to slot into normalcy as society dictates that term to mean. The diagnosis was a form of elation, but equally it brought with it – frustration. I fit in, but don’t sort of wake up call. My new quest in addition to learning about my personality again, was to try and understand the confusions of society as l perceived them to be. In my mid forties this news struck me like a thunderbolt – all those odd behaviours now made sense, not just for me, but observations of other family members. It was not a case of l was not that person, l was still that person, but different to the person that confused me. I was me before recognition, l was still me pre-diagnosis, but l was now a new me post diagnosis! Sounds complicated doesn’t it, however trust me when l say this is how most new Aspies feel at our age when finally being labelled correctly.
Over the first six months of the dramatical awarding of my new ‘label’, l began to change, l was unaware of the changes it must be noted – the partner at the time was in fact the first person to inform me that l was not the same person l had been six months previously. For me personally, yes l had relaxed a little, but in all honesty the official recognition did make me a little more apprehensive with the realisations of everything that had happened in my life before now. All that was really apparent was that this ‘disorder’ had shaped me, and the chain reactions which followed decisions from back then had created other problems for me.
I have always been a geek, this l cannot deny, my head has always been on the search for information, facts and figures, that l have stored and archived for possible use on a rainy day. Being me, and atypically a geek like me, the diagnosis meant l had to undertake hours, weeks and months of research into the subject in order to get more of a grasp of what it actually meant. All the way through my life, l have known quite a few things without ever being told, taught or even to a certain degree learned – l sort of just knew things. I should imagine that somewhere along the line, l had accidentally absorbed them, and it is down to that and not down to the fact that l might well be a 2000 year old wizened Druid. I have learned more in fewer of my years than many people learn throughout their lives, and l discard that information so very easily, so the phrase ‘l have learned and forgotten more than some of you have ever known’ makes perfectly good sense to me, and is very applicable without blowing my own trumpet. For I have this remarkable tendency and skill of absorbing data without even ever being truly aware of doing so.
So whilst some people struggle with concepts, l already have them and am eager to move on, however due to the slowness of other peoples’ learning and or absorbing, l become ‘bored’ very quickly and drift into an almost dream like or fantasy imagination state, where when younger most teachers would accuse me of not being there or constantly daydreaming. The ‘Lights are on, but nobody home’ syndrome! I am really horrible at advanced mathematics and never ever saw past the basic formulas, for these alone l knew l would need just to survive, so l am not saying l am bordering on pure genius, but in other more stimulating subjects in life l can grasp very quickly and yearn for more. I look back on my school reports and see that many are exactly the same, ‘creative, loner, quiet, book like, day dreamer, needs improving, distant in classes, ‘appalling hand writer!! In classes that required a creative inspiration l excelled, although hard core academics were a problem. Which is a funny thing in itself, for apparently a lot of Aspergics lack imagination and the ability to mentally create, favouring more of a natural inclination for facts and figures. I too have this desire for information, but this developed with me more as l got older.
I was liked by my fellow peers and yet they were always confused by my actions especially in the social interaction department and both teachers and friends alike said l had a real feel for the comedy in life. However whilst it appeared that l craved to fit in with the other students, once there l chose to be by myself and would in many cases shun their company. If l had stimulating teachers and subjects within class, l responded more favourably with them, their reports glowed, yet those other teachers who ‘struggled’ with me in their words, delivered serious detrimental reports of my performance in school. That is something that is still applicable even now to those whom are patient. If they listen, and not just hear me, but get to know me, then they can verify that l am well worth the effort. I excelled in English language and literature, was very good at creative writing, was superb in my grasp of understanding the written word itself and my spelling was always complimented from the youngest of ages.
I always struggled with my handwriting, and that stands with me still, l cannot write properly by hand, my coordination is appalling and places most Doctors in good stead! It is a combination of print and something else similar to Arabic. Although if l take time to think about it and not rush my writing l can write by hand, the more l use a computer keyboard these days, the less need l have to actually write anything, so l am the first to say that keyboards make us lazier in that creative skill. But if l had to write an essay by hand, after the first three lines it would be a jumble as my hand simply loses its coordination and feels like it has fallen asleep!
Certain emotions still confuse today, although l am getting better at coping and handling them, despite the fact, l handle grief very badly that is not specifically Aspergian for many NT’s suffer the same, the difference with me, is that some events in my life can leave very longstanding ‘stains or imprints’ upon my mind and as such the emotion can take a very long time to move on and allow me to recover.
I was led to believe by longer relationships and the women involved that l was only able to show intimacy during sex and this haunted me long after l separated from my last relationship. It made me paint a very dark picture indeed on any future and potential partner, l can now say ‘happily’, that this is not the case and my current partner will back me up and support my line of l am a very ‘sensual, loving and affectionately emotional man’, so again weight goes with finding the right partner, who is supportive and understanding and is willing to see the person beneath the mask. This is something l noted in the book ‘Alone Together’; l felt the frustrations deeply of the author as her writing reminded me of my own Mother who had so loved my Father but in the end after some thirty years could no longer tolerate his actions towards her.
However the author was able to see her true husband beneath his masks and just needed the right tools to be able to peel them away. Thankfully, his own diagnosis awarded her those tools, and whilst life is still hindered with confusion it has made all of their lives easier these days.
Social Communications – Social Interaction – Social Imagination
Relationships used to be seriously hard work – now l am living the best relationship l can, but l have over the years learned from my mistakes than many NT partners sometimes do not grasp. These days l think the confusion is mostly at ‘us’ as a couple by other NT’s especially family and some friends as they can not understand what it is about US that makes us work. But this topic is discussed elsewhere in detail.
Friendship has always been and l firmly do believe will always be my biggest confusion, as l don’t ‘get it’ and don’t understand what all the fuss is about? The social interaction is much over rated in my eyes, knowing what people mean inside friendship quarters is equally as toppling! AS from my own personal view point used to be very hard to live with, but since totally accepting l have the disorder, learning about it and understanding what it means, has made my life remarkably easier than once before.
I can live the life of a crustacean – notably a hermit crab or similar, but this just makes everything far worse. The disorder thrives on isolation and whilst this is great for cutting out the likes of unwanted noise, society contact and or conflicts it is not fundamental to allowing me to live my life with some form of normalcy!
In the caravan l lived my life like this, l shunned society as l perceived it shunned me, living in the sanctuary of my bubble, my two dogs and electronic means as my only contact or companionship. Whilst it appeared to me that it was causing no problems, l was too far gone to realise the implications of my actions. There were days when l literally never saw another living soul [human] and sometimes it would be a week or two before l actually spoke to anyone. The lonely side to that lifestyle never affronted me as l am perfectly happy in my own company, but l could see other Aspies suffering like this and that extreme loneliness would cripple them mentally.
I have as l have said, the ability to detach, not many people have this skill and in truth they should not wish themselves with this flaw. Normal people need people around them otherwise l think they could go quite mad. I began talking to myself at times simply so l did not forget how to speak! I was very alone when l lived in the caravan, but not lonely as some people assumed.
My Father can and does live by himself, but l do believe he fears loneliness, he likes solitude but only to a certain degree and then he needs interaction. It must be emotionally draining to be lonely. He has a very social life in comparison to mine, and is always busy, but l think this may be a wise move for him as it will combat his loneliness. He was the same when l was younger, he always wanted to be active, where as l preferred my own company back then. But for me, interaction was always such a strain, and l would have to take time out after each event just to recover.
The Linus Blanket Syndrome
Whilst these days l am a far cry from the person l was as little as two years ago, as my confidence has greatly improved, and whilst l can take credit for much of this, l can not deny how much Suzanne has helped me through many obstacles. And this brings us to the ‘Linus Blanket’. Linus was a character from the Peanuts comic strip, and l am firmly of the belief he may have been an Aspie himself. He used a blanket/blankie as a form of encouragement to face certain situations as well as the Great Pumpkin. I am not great in crowds, as l have got older my fondness for heaving surges of people has not improved; my tolerance has if anything decreased. I used to shun any parties of more than four persons, and yes sure l can cope ‘better’ than before these days, admittedly not by much. I still do not like busy areas, give me the quiet sanctuary everyday and any day is my motto. Before Suzanne was on the scene, ventures into town were very quick episodes, a case of in and out and then away!
Too many people would cause a mini meltdown, the streets of rural villages were a walk in the park, rural towns were alright, but trips into the bigger towns and within a short space of time l was looking for exits and starting to hyperventilate. My shopping was reduced to online as it was within the comfort zone of my bubble and l did not have to be near other people. I was like a cockroach before when in town; l would scurry from one side to the other, with short relief breaks in doorways before scurrying over the next bit of space. By the time l got back home l was near collapse so great was the stress. When walking my dogs, l was never around other people, so gradually got more and more used to simply not bothering to interact with them.
What l did notice however was that if by chance l was with another person, l found l could relax more as l could then concentrate upon the task at hand, allowing the second person to absorb the greater atmosphere of society as they are more used to it. I noticed this more when Suzanne and l started to date, that she would in some respects act as a form of camouflage, l could relax again when out.
My confidences have returned greatly, l will not say that l would go into our local town on my own in such a relaxed manner, that is still a worrying thought, but if we are out as a couple l am able to cope with more than once before. I still have memories of a long time ago in Peterborough [pre- diagnosis] of becoming so overwhelmed by the volumes of the crowds in the streets that my stress hit an explosive level and l was forced to cower in a shop doorway to try and recover and regenerate my confidence before l could continue on my way. I am annoyed by this aspect of my life, for when l was younger l so used to enjoy solo travel in some of the largest cities in Europe and walk amongst the crowds or roaming the streets by myself. It’s strange, but as l have just written this, a thought came to me. Perhaps it was easier, because the culture of being abroad was not of my own, l was surrounded by a different language and never felt threatened by the society l was within at the time.
I had a neighbour back in Lincolnshire; he was a lovely Portuguese man. I did not speak his language nor he mine, but we still managed to communicate effectively. He and l became very good friends, and even now l still have correspondence with him and his wife [although we now use a translator on the internet] via email. Between us there was no judgement, no expectations, we simply enjoyed friendship. We could make hand signals, introduce a smattering of both English and Portuguese and we got along swimmingly. So maybe even when younger, l was not bothered by the crowds because they were not speaking my language, and l was not speaking theirs, we cohabitated the same space without any need to truly understand each other?
Abroad, there was no confusion – just acceptance as to what is.
I don’t dislike people; a lot of Aspies l have met don’t actually like people at all. In the main l ‘get’ most of them; it is mostly how they do things that at times can throw me off balance. I prefer them from a distance, and it is only when l am in their presence for longer periods of time that l become irked by them, l tire of their banality, their social narcissism and the way they over complicate sometimes simple issues. I find that l can detach from them fairly quickly, and it is not that l don’t care for their problems but they manipulate things at times until they get the answer they most desire. So many a time logic is thrown out of the window.
NT’s seemingly have the willingness to listen to another’s’ problems over and over again, a hundred thousand ways it might be told onto them and still they will listen. Perhaps l am selfish but after the first approach to their problem, if they then continue to bemoan l simply switch off and lose interest as it has become predictable and sadly for them, boring.
My friends l think like me more than l like them, and by this l don’t mean that l dislike them, but their social droning is just that, about as exciting as a dying fly. Social discussions of nothing [in my eyes] bore me and drain me very quickly. If l tell them how l feel, it is considered rude, impolite and inappropriate and l wish l had not told them the honest truth but said nothing. I am not anti-social, but think at times it is safer to let people think that you are! I do not have many friends, my Facebook Wall reflects that, but of the few that l do have, l have either met them in real life or have known them for a good many years.
Of the few ‘good’ friends l do have, l tend to understand them more than they do me. For some reason people ‘assume’ they know me very well, and l get annoyed at this, because if they DID know me that well, then they would know how very much they piss me off at times! And they appear to be completely oblivious to this fact. So logically, we can presume to say they DON’T know me very well then, can’t we?
The problem with me is that l do tire from my friends and in my younger years it was not uncommon for me to simply walk away from a friendship, because l had grown bored of their company. As l have aged, l tend to not do that anymore, l tend to justify why l will end a friendship. If it is not progressing the way l feel it should or if l feel that someone is taking the piss out of my nature or if l feel manipulated, then basically it is over, ended, finito!
The problem with many NT’s is that they feel hard done by when this happens, and logically this does confuse me. If we are not communicating in any format, have nothing in common and don’t speak to each other any more, then surely there is nothing more to be said? I think the big difference for me is that in truth, l don’t actually need friends, or if l do, l only want them to be temporary arrangements and of course l should imagine this is hard work for the likes of the average NT who expects a friendship to be more longer lasting.
Some of my friends are online friendships through my time in World of Warcraft which after some ten years of game time, l recently quit. I have come to learn … again … that in truth those friendships …only sustained themselves in continuum because of the game itself and although they are on my Facebook Wall, the ‘friendship’ feels strained and as such only verifying that if you take out a common denominator in this friendship concept, then people struggle to maintain it.
Perhaps the years l lived by myself having only my two dogs as permanent company, somehow disorientated my views on having friends. I found that l was able to cope remarkably well without having other people in my life, but this may have done more long term damage to my understanding than l will ever know? I could bring into play as my Mother is keen to suggest that when l lived with my parents, because as a family and my Father’s career moved us from pillar to post and as such l was unable to form a solid foundation that this too may have caused a ‘rift’ in my ability to make friends and understand it. Alternatively l could just say this – l am an Aspergian and as such it is a renowned fact we have problems with social interaction – l will let you the readership decide what you think it might be.
As an Aspie, you will not have any regulation on your oddness, your quirks, obsessive thinking. Since being with my partner Suzanne, l have become more balanced in understanding a lot of greyness, not so much friendship admittedly, but l think that the way l am is basically part and parcel of my personality. They say that good friends will accept you for all the good, bad and the ugly and l guess this is true, after all, l have to accept the same from then. It must be pointed out at this point in time, that a lot of the so called confusion is not always specifically from NT to Aspie, but sometimes l find that l can confuse the hell out of me anyway!
Classically we share a reputation of clumsiness, this can be both socially as well as physically, but to a certain degree also mentally [we think slightly differently, our wires are crossed and because of this we have a tendency to be more random and abstract]. In addition to AS l was also diagnosed with dyspraxia which in basic terms is a form of impairment with regards movement, my motor coordination skills can be off kilter, for me this is displayed largely in writing by hand, clumsiness, over sensitive to certain things like touch, noise and smells, and some of my emotions and other behaviours can be seen at times to be inappropriate with society normalcy.
I have been known at times to be terribly clumsy, some have said it is because l do not think properly or do not look, for me it is simply a case of misjudgement, l am so eager to get something done that l do not plan my movements in a sequence of logic, rather l just act and as a result of this find l have accidents. Most commonly these days l tend to walk into walls, doors and desks, other times l bang various parts of my body notably my head and knees. I perform this with such a frequency it can be alarming at times. I recall as a youngster having similar problems, but back then many simply laid down accusations of not thinking at all. I have always had motor coordination skill problems, my hand writing is appalling even to this day l would ask if something needed/needs to be written in pen or could it be typed?
Principally down to the fact that with a computer as such l can write straight and more importantly read what l have written in comparison to by hand. Hand to eye coordination can also be poor, l have noticed this significantly in gaming. Many games require the gamer to be able to use, mouse, keyboard and screen simultaneously these days and in some cases another application like Ventrillo or Mumble [ability to talk during gaming]. I am mouse skilled, screen skilled and keyboard skilled, but simply can not manage all three at the same time. Riding a bike has always been problematic as l must look straight at all times, if l look behind me whilst cycling, l veer off the road, and my balance on said contraption is also rather dangerous. I noticed when working in the stables that if l was to use a wheelbarrow l also had problems aligning my legs within the handles correctly and would oft stumble over the bars.
Mentally l am also somewhat accidental for l lack certain emotional responses, and some emotions last for very long periods of time such as grief and sadness, which lends some to believe we are always depressed. Another small at times endearing example of the mental clumsy me, is that although l know what l am thinking, delivering said thoughts come out differently. Such as ‘look at the church spiral’ The word of course is ‘spire, it is a small err, however this is what l mean, l can say quite literally the completely wrong word. Some people find this ‘cute’ others become seriously taxed by it.’
Socially, to those who DO know me well l am fine, to those who meet me for the first time and after listening to me speak, l oft catch casting side long glances in my direction with a certain bewilderment in their eyes. I would not say that my voice is odd in itself, but of course with my time abroad, l still have certain traces of an accent present, and at other times my voice can change its pitch. I was always as a youngster mimicking other accents and dialects, and to this day am constantly playing with words – sometimes loud enough for others to hear!
I used to fall victim to manipulators and bullies – so called ‘friends’. But these days l have very little tolerance, and so if l think this may be on someone’s agenda, l just walk away. But sadly have been caught out by this a lot in my past. I remember back in school, when l was quite good at certain sports, but l do also recall that l did not specifically participate for pleasure, but more along the lines of getting it right. I stuck to sports which did not rely upon me actually having to catch anything as l would usually drop it! I never played football much, l could kick the damn ball, but many a coach made the wise decision to never put me into the goal, because l would never stop anything. Equally my coordination on the field was quite atrocious and so usually l ended up as the ‘jester mascot’.
Hockey was my preferred sport – here l could whack the living crap out the ball and just relied on brute force to get the field covered, l always thought it strange back then that l could not dribble a football as l was too clumsy yet l could feed a hockey ball perfectly well across the fields with ease. And as for my Fathers’ much loved cricket, nope not a chance in hell! When l was married l did take up horse riding, but also experienced problems with balance whilst in the saddle! These days l basically stick to walking with Suzanne and Scrappy.
‘Oh dear sorry … maybe’: Unusual and Inappropriate Behaviour
It is suggested that we lack empathy or even that we are uncaring, to a certain degree l can attest this, and yet again, it is not that l am without compassion, just sometimes logic and the lack of being able to see clearly in the grey makes me look less sympathetic to another’s plight. Because of my incredible ability to upset, insult and offend at the drop of a hat [without ever meaning to or even understanding how] l am often perceived as being without empathy or tact. I personally feel that it is really the misunderstanding of most people who misinterpret my actions, combined with the fact that some people are just way too sensitive! The answer for me is again ‘definition’ if people say exactly what the problem is, l usually am pretty quick to react.
My partner asked me to include this conversation we had recently as an example of the fact that l do have empathy and as such react in an appropriate manner in comparison to the myth concerning Aspies possessing none. This took place in 2013, when we were not actually living together. She lived in Kent and l was in Lincolnshire. We communicated when not together with various methods, mobile, telephone and Skype. She had been relatively non talkative for most of the day, and our Skype conversation whilst she was at work was somewhat lacking in lustre, sometime later in the evening, l text her in Skype to the manner of ‘oh so it’s not just a one way street, NT’s can also be very quiet then?’ It was said in jest as all partners involved can appreciate the gentle humour between lovers. She came back with the facts that she was not herself, felt lost and was unhappy in work, tired, fed up, tearful, achy and felt over all hum bugish. During the conversation that followed, we had a look at various issues and l offered some solutions, but to not much avail. There was no denying that she was tired, she led a very busy life in comparison to mine. Being a Mother of grown up children, a Grandmother and most of the time burned the candle at both ends trying to get all her commitments met with family, friends and work. At that time for her as the driver, it was a 300+ mile round trip by car that could take anywhere between 3-5 hours pending traffic on the M25.
She said she was missing me, and that the distance was getting to her, especially like now when she needed a hug.
She apologised as she put it, for ‘placing me in the grey’, yet strangely l did not feel that way, it was after all her grey not mine, l could see everything she was saying in black and white, her complaints and aches were perfectly logical, if anyone was confused, bless it was her. The early days of our relationship were indeed hard, it would take us two years plus from the time we met to the time when like now we are living together under the same roof.
The following is the end of our conversation:
Me: You think you have a problem or you are the problem?
Her: Who knows…
Me: Darling l love you, if you need to chat l am here, and if you don’t and you just want to take some quiet time out, then this is fine and l will catch up with you when you are feeling chattier or happier or not so lost or … ‘who knows …’
Her: Babes I adore you….
Her: And thank you for caring and being so understanding,
Her: I think this needs to go in the book as according to most literature we’ve read this sort of emotion is not possible for an AS xxxx
For me to say this was just how l felt at the time, as l could not physically reach out and give her a hug, but it meant the world to her. And this is the point, if someone’s feelings or emotions are expressed in a way l can comprehend easily and as such understand, then l am not lost, and as such can award back the emotion myth says we can not.
Over my year’s l have been subjected to mental cruelty by many, some even that l loved and who would have me believe that loved me. Yet l am not without guilt on this level, for l too perhaps unwittingly have directed a form of cruelty also unto those that l also loved. I remember an incident many years ago now, but early on in my marriage, and l can not quite recall with clarity the actual topic, but l reduced my young wife to tears through such a display of cruelty. I think that she was attacking my personality and was telling me that l was not the person she had courted; she simply wanted that man back. We had l believe been married at this time for around a year, and l was already starting to descend the stairs to a breakdown, life was catching up with me and fast. I had simply said if she felt this way, then she perhaps would be better off alone.
That is a light description of the argument, but principally it was a form of mental cruelty. Not like others l had witnessed when l was growing up and listening to the arguments of my parents, but afterwards when at home I felt terrible. It was not that she was attacking me, but felt confused as to how l had changed so dramatically in her eyes, whilst to me l was not aware that l was any different.
Chapter 5 – Ep 7 – Soon