Thursday, 29 May 2014

Part 3 - What has it all been for?

Drowning, not sinking. This is where I find myself today. Parts One and Two may describe my futile grasping at the sides of the great aspie cavern as I plummet, weighed down by abuse and being taken advantage of, but at long last my journey is at an end. Final moments, or a final gasp of air before the ripples obliterate my ever having lived?

Some of you (if indeed anyone has had the stamina or the will to continue reading) may be thinking that this confession-trilogy is just self-seeking, self-pitying, petty lashing out et al, but you would be wrong. My only purpose of writing this is to explain why I find myself here, and to unburden what I have been carrying on my too weary shoulders, hidden due to how my autism was 'treated' as a child. But what of here and now... where I find myself today, sitting at the keyboard, typing what might be my last words? Be warned, it is a long, and painful (and painfully embarassing) record.

I honestly do not know how this final section will end. It isn't pre-planned... I am just letting go as I type to see where it takes me. I have nothing left, and can see no future. You may prefer to stop reading now, especially if you are/were part of my life.

So how does this 'symphony in three' parts conclude? Let's talk about sex.

Now this is no easy topic. It isn't gratuitous and is somewhat pathetic, but as with many in life (and I suspect true of other aspies) it is important in the specific, as well in a relationship. So where to start? What the heck, I may as well open myself for the whole shebang...

I don't know if I am typical or atypical, within the autistic cohort, when it comes to things sex related, but for me it has always been a very personal thing. If opening up myself to the world was hard enough, then sex would be the ultimate act of trust, love, faith and sacrifice.

I suggest you stop reading now unless you have a strong stomach or are into schadenfreude.

As you will recall from earlier, my first consummation of love with my wife (as well as being my first time) was a disaster that hit me deeply. But it was moreso crushing because this had not been the first time I had laid myself vulnerable to one I loved. The time described happened when I was twenty, but my first encounter with humiliation and pain was several years earlier. While at school I began a relationship with a girl. Now this was unusual given my autism and upbringing, but despite all these obstacles the relationship grew closer and closer... to a point where I allowed myself to become vulnerable for the first time. We were young, and obviously sexually charged, but we chose not to have sex "until the right time"... heck, we never even kissed open mouthed. Sounds cute? An "ahh bless" moment? Well it would've been had it not been for her having her first time (and more) with my brother behind my back. As you can imagine, this did nothing for my self-esteem, and feeling so betrayed, I was unable to trust any person ever again, let alone consider ever having sex.

But this wasn't the last time I was crushed. Years later, at the start of university, I entered another relationship. I was taking it carefully. Again, I found myself in a loving but asexual relationship. And yes, kissing was verboten. No matter how passionate we became, she always backed out at the last moment and I did not push it. I had too much respect. I was content (yet frustrated) to take things slowly as that was what she wanted. I told myself "one day she would be ready to kiss, and then touch etc.". What I did not expect, was to return to my flat early from a stint at the radio station to walk in on her and a man busy playing hide the sausage. What were the odds? My only two relationships where I felt safe enough to lay myself open, and both cheated on me, while feigning asexuality. Of course, due to my conditioning, I saw no coincidence but only saw that it was something about me that while happy to be in a relationship with me, when it came to anything sexual they were repulsed. And while I had thought that maybe they weren't interested in sex (especially as that was what they told me), it turns out they were very into sex...just not with me. Ergo, it was my being repulsive (it won't surprise you to learn that this truism has not been dispelled even today).

By now you will probably realise how crushing was the laughter from my wife, but I stuck with it... after all it couldn't happen again, right?

At first I thought that this was the real thing. Yes, she too wasn't into sex...but again I believed her (another aspie trait). And so began our 32+ year relationship. In the beginning it felt right... we were friends if not lovers. She earned money for herself, and I gave her mine, as we were a couple. After about eight years she said she was ready. She went on the pill and I finally lost my virginity (yes, I know how pathetic that sounds). I would be lying if I said it was worth waiting for. In fact, all she was interested in was me ejaculating inside her and nothing else. It was wank wank on my own, push once to cum then pull out, followed by her pulling away/pushing me away.

This made me feel like shit. And naturally I blamed myself. Surprisingly, she later told me that despite being on the pill, she was now pregnant. Wow! I never knew that I was so potent.

So we had our first child. He wasn't a sleeper...pretty hyper in fact. And to help my wife, I took on all the nappy duties (as she couldn't bear the smell) and the night shifts, as well as the feeds and the to-ing and fro-ing. I was able to devote my energies to him, giving my money to my wife to take care of the finances. Sex didn't come up again until two years later when she suddenly declared that our son shouldn't be an only child and needed a sibling. I was happy with this, though her attitude to our next offspring made me uncomfortable: it felt that she didn't want another child to grow our family, but only as another object for our son. Despite my misgivings (which expectedly gave way to feelings of inadequacies) we again copulated. As unpleasant as it was before, my 'super-sperm' were on the ball again and it only took once for her to get pregnant. This was lucky, as that was the last time that we ever had penetrative sex again.

Now during this second pregnancy, my wife's behaviour changed. She became recognisably nasty towards me, and cruel. I won't botther you with the details as this has already become a magnum opus, but I assumed that it wasn't me (as she was now behaving as if our entire relationship had been a lie) and that it was probably related to the pregnancy. But when our daughter was born, the first words my wife said to me were "I want a divorce but not until both children finish uni. We are to live as a happy family to give them stability then as soon as they fly the nest I'm leaving you". I assumed it was the PND talking, so I tried my best to be supportive...which turned out to mean hand over all my money, look after the kids, and leave her alone. All the while she bullied, humiliated, and controlled me. She did not mention the divorce again so I put it down to the post-natal blues.

So now we find ourselves in 2006 with me cutting my arms as I sat in a hot bath, but thinking about these same children, I stopped myself. No-one knew how low I had got, nor what I was about to do, so I decided to keep going, despite my disability and tragedies, to put up with being that 'victim in an abusive relationship'. After all, as my wife constantly reminded me, no-one would believe me as I was a 6'2 strong man, while she was a 'weak' 5'0 woman. I had no choice but to continue for the sake of the children, knowing full well that none of this was known to them. As far as they knew, their mother was the centre of their lives and I was a "useless and pathetic father that she heroically supported".

But this was even harder than I thought. My 'undiagnosed neurological condition with the symptoms of MS' continued to worsen, including loss of memory and bowel function, with bouts of paraplegia. What remained constant throughout was the neuropathic pain and spasms. My chronic depression escalated and developed into full blown clinical depression. And all this time I was alone... unable to talk to the only person I had (erroneously) felt safe with, nor my children (for fear of shattering their lives which was already fragile due to seeing my heath decline). More than once did I try to kill myself, only to find the thought of my children enough to stay my hand. But this all changed eighteen months ago.


In an attempt to drag myself out of this suicidal cycle, I realised that I needed to get some time to myself, away from the horror of my home life. So I joined Mensa (they had invited me 40 years previously due to my 'uber-intelligence'...though as you have read, intelligence means didly squat when it comes to autism and relationships). It was through this that I indirectly discovered that I was Aspergic/high-functioning Autistic. Both knowing this, and being in Mensa, did actually help. Though still depressed and abused at home, I was able to function again. It was at Mensa where I came across a young woman who was in trouble. She was suicidal but reaching out via Mensa. I and several others detected this and tried to help her, but she vanished as suddenly as she had appeared. Fearing the worse, we tried to find her and alert her parents. In the end I informed the police who were able to track her down and she survived. I have to admit, this did me some good, and helped somewhat to deal with my guilt over the loss of my pupil's life a few years earlier.

Buoyed by this new optimism, I picked up a pencil again and started to draw. Before long I was exploring painting again, and was even going to have my first 'proper' exhibition. Though my depression remained a continual companion, I was able to push it to the background by keeping busy. It was during this time that the young woman I had helped reappeared, during a Mensa gallery trip I had organised. It was a good day in London, and as it was running late I booked a room at the train station so that the group could continue to talk (Mensans...and aspies...are wont to talk constantly). Before long it was daylight with me and this girl being the last to leave. It was clear upon meeting this young woman that she was severely disturbed. I urged her to seek help, and should she ever find herself in that dark place again to give me or a friend a call. With that I returned home.

A few months later (March 2012) the girl emailed me to ask if we could meet. As I was attending a Mensa visit to a Royal Institution lecture later that evening, I suggested we meet up for coffee beforehand. When I arrived she was waiting for me. As we drank coffee she enquired if my relationship with my wife had changed at all recently. It hadn't (not that it could get any worse, or so I thought), but surprised at her question I asked why she wanted to know, and the reason for wanting to meet me. She told me that she had just found out that someone she knew (she wouldn't say who or why) had emailed my wife to say that I and this girl had been having an affair. I assured her that it was just in her head, and that no-one could believe this bizarre story, as she was an attractive 17 year old model while I a repulsive fifty year old disabled cripple who was impotent, incontinent, and totally dependent on his wife.

I did not hear about this woman again until the time of my exhibition in November. She called me and sounded in a very bad way. There was something in her voice that frightened me, so I arranged to meet her at the Royal Academy. She turned up late looking like a ghost. She finally shared that she had been been repeatedly raped on the street the previous night. Moments later she collapsed and lost consciousness for several minutes. The gallery called an ambulance, and I confided with the female paramedic what I had just been told. She was taken to hospital, and later returned home to talk to the police. It wasn't until several nights later that I received a late phone call from her friend who introduced herself to me, apologising for cold calling, but added that she was aware that I had saved the girl from killing herself about a year previously, and asked if I could intervene again as the girl was again about to take her own life, and had cut herself off from her family and her friend. To her friend, I was her last hope. Suffice to say that the experience was traumatic, but resulted in the girl being saved from poisoning, hating me for stopping her, and a mutually supportive bond developing between myself and her friend...who  also happened to be autistic.

Although the exhibition had been a success, the strain of those last several hours drove me over the edge. My depression took a stranglehold around my throat and dragged me deeper down into an even deeper hell hole of despair. I became morose and erratic. I was clingy and frightened and didn't want to be alone. My wife had already evicted me from the beds in our house, and was spending her time away in swanky hotels in London. Terrified of what I might do, and a prisoner to my co-dependence, I went to London to find my wife. When I turned up, she allowed me to stay but didn't even try to conceal her anger at my turning up. After she left the next morning, I had breakfast and a shower, and as I was getting dressed, without warning the girl who I had helped through two suicide attempts and a rape unexpectantly turned up and started fitting. Collapsing on the bed, my wife returned saying that she had been feeling ill and had returned to "catch me in the act" with the "girl she knew I was having an affair with" To say I was totally confused would be an understatement. From breakfast and a shower, to minutes later my world come crashing down in some bizarre and unbelievable farce.

Now it was Christmas time but I was unaware of everything going on around me, consumed by my depression. This time I was sinking beneath the water, and this time there was no way I could break free. Returning home to get my things (I had been thrown out with divorce papers in hand...funny that she happened to have them at the same moment she fell ill and at the same moment this girl I had only met a couple of times over the course of 18 months expectantly appeared) with pills in hand, and the realisation that the thought of my children could no longer save me, I found no way to cope. Fortunately/unfortunately I was found by my wife. "Oh no you don't get out of this that easy" she shouted as she called the ambulance and accompanied me to hospital.

At hospital she told me how much she resented being there and that she now wished I had just died to make everyone happy. It was then that I met the on-call psychiatric nurse who concluded I was a danger to myself and, as I was now homeless, passed me over to the crisis team who agreed with her diagnosis and took me to a 'safe house'. As this was all rather sudden, I did not have any of my medication (in case you forgot, I already had undiagnosed and diagnosed medicated conditions). Not being terribly with it, I had broken down after all, it was left to the nurses to contact my wife and ask her to bring my meds. This she did, but under much protest. And worse, when she arrived, she would not hand them over unless I signed a 'quickie' divorce leaving everything to her, except the debts which I would assume. Suffice to say that I did as she asked.

When the nurses found out, they informed me that what she had done was not legal, as I was not "of sound mind" when I signed it, so it was void.

When I was released home, I noticed that my clothes and belongings had been thrown away. It was as if I had never lived there. I told my wife that the divorce was invalid and she hit the roof. I also said that I wanted a fair divorce. She insisted I re-sign the papers which stated that I had been having sexual intercourse (impossible due to my condition) and wanted to leave the house and everything to her, except the debts which I would take. I said it wasn't possible as that would be a lie, and I am incapable of lying (another aspie trait). She was not happy, and 'made me pay' for not doing as she wanted.

To wrap up, what followed was a very bitter, vicious and nasty no-holds barred divorce, intended to cause a relapse in me, I shall keep it brief (the details are still raw and painful).

Because my wife could not get what she wanted, she hacking my email and facebook accounts and planted some quite absurd 'evidence' there. She escalted her attack to a full-on onslaught. Nothing was sacred. She used the children, manipulating them with lies, to turn them on me. Even my own family and friends were poisoned with her words and used against me. She even stooped so low as to send emails from my hacked account to our children containing truly disgusting sexual descriptions, purportedly between me and teenage girls (all of whom she was keen to point out to our daughter were her age and looked just like her). This was beyond sick.

Naturally this destroyed my relationship with my children. I had hoped that the sheer absurdity of it all (like why would I forward sexually explicit emails to my children saying therein that I hated them and was only there pretending to love them because I was after their inheritance) would be obvious to them, as well as the fact that they had known me their whole lives. But I was wrong. My wife had been able to spin my illness, depression and everything into some convoluted and nefarious evil plot to hoodwink them, steal from them and my wife, to disguise a perverted lie. And the more it became clear I was innocent, the more devious I looked for "hiding it so well". My children hate me still.

Despite turning everyone against me, this still did not affect the divorce settlement, All that was left to her was to drive me to suicide. And she nearly succeeded had it not been for the aspie girl with whom I had spoken on the phone that time realising that I was about to kill myself, and saving me. Of course, this was spun as just another teenage whore with whom I was having an affair. At least this time the GP put me on antidepressants, and I was able to get through the court case.

In the end, my wife succeeded in taking everything from me, leaving me with enough money to buy this flat in Dover, but not enough to feed myself (despite her being instructed to pay maintenance by the judge) or pay the debts. So I am now blacklisted for credit, no cards and no security. I sit here alone with everyone believing that I was some demon that bled everyone dry, while the reality is that I was the victim of an abused relationship, with all my money taken over the years before kicking me out on the street with nothing to my name. Yes, I am out of this damaging relationship, but it was my life for over 30 years, and now I have nothing.

And still no-one believes me... I suspect that subsequent guilt for allowing it all to happen, the decades of abuse, the lies and dirtying my name, and joining the chorus to punish me further, would be too much for everyone that turned on me to bear. Better, I guess, to pretend that none of this is true and that the outlandishly absurd story they tell themselves is true.

And so this is where I find myself now. Alone and hated, in the middle of nowhere struggling to buy food. Betrayed my whole life, with no hope for a better future. And I have still never been kissed, nor will I ever. And as for a loving sexual relationship? More likely would be England winning the World Cup 2014.

Thank you (to all those who made it to the end of this mammoth exposition) for taking the time to read this. And remember how vulnerable children on the spectrum are, and how vulnerable they remain as adults. And be vigilant of damaging narcissistic behaviour. Yes I am a pathetic loser who probably deserves all I got for being too nice, but there but for the grace of God goes another autistic. Just because we look okay does not mean we are okay. Whether you believe what I have said or not, it is too late for me anyway, please think twice before you allow an aspie to let you in, or to fall in love with you...we are ill equipped to cope with anything but complete honesty and understanding.

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