Friday, June 8, 2007

Dealing with the Ex

My ex-wife, and the mother of my children, is about as neurotypical as they come. She is great at social interactions, even if she has a total lack of tack (but seeing as she's proud of her level of tack I suspect that it's on purpose.) She often has troubles understand why I or our son do some of the things we do. She also has a habit of picking and choosing what information she retains (i.e. her version of events is more inline with her wish and less in line with facts.)

When our son started having troubles socializing appropriately and was behind in speaking, she was quick to blame me. She had many stories of imagined abuse and other horror stories, but in her mind everything was my fault. She's the kind of person who rarely if ever accepts responsibility for their actions. At first we thought of him as some sort of ADHD, as that is the label I had as a child and he was identical to how I'd been at the same age (the differences between us didn't show until he was six, the point when I suddenly started talking with the ability and vocabulary of an adult after three years of no improvement in ability.)

When our son was in Kindergarten the school he was in told us that they didn't know what was going on with him, and refused to attempt to do so themselves (even though they are required to in our state if they suspect something.) We were told that we had to take him to a doctor, or they'd keep treating him as an unknown. By this time someone else I knew had pointed out that my son was similar to her son at the same age, and her son was diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum. This started me thinking that this was the case. We took him to the doctor and he was referred to a neurologist. The neurologist determined that he had ODD (oppositional defiance disorder after only spending 15 minutes with him.) This confused me some, but if it was true then at the time that meant that I also had ODD (even if that didn't seem like the correct fit.) Later our son changed schools, and they evaluated him when the data from the old district didn't match what they were seeing and determined he was on the spectrum. I took this information and went to my doctor and got referred to a neuro-psychologist who tested me and officially diagnosed me with "Classic Asperger's."

Now my ex believes that I obsessed on having to have something wrong with me, and that I manufactured being AS myself. Even though I told her about the testing and the results, she refuses to remember that I was tested and that the results are official. She also seems to think that our son was label ADHD by a professional, when it was me saying "he must be ADHD, because that's what I was labeled with and he's just like I was." Seems that to her what I said was "He has ADHD, I wish I was like him when I was young."

This of course is a clear example of what trying to talk with her has been like. No matter what I say, she hears what she wants. It was always a cause of stress on our marriage, and every time I said "that's not what I said" she'd say that it was what she heard, so she was right I was lying. And the same troubles communicating continue today. Saying I had plans and couldn't take the kids extra once three years ago means I don't want to be involved in the kids' lives today. But good news is, she did agree that our son is better off living with me and he'll be moving at the end of the school year. Soon he will not spend most of his time hidden away in a dark room hiding from the sensory assault that is what his mother considers normal light and sounds. But I bet the communications challenges will continue.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Good luck. Your son can only benefit from your understanding.