When I began writing this latest post it was my original intention to expose myself, sharing what I have been through these last few years. What instead happened was a much longer expose covering my autism, and its impact upon me which has lead up to the more recent agonies of mind, body and spirit. I guess it is unavoidable, as I am my autism and my autism is me. So here is the second part of what I wanted to share. Some of it very personal and as yet not shared with anyone, and the rest probably too uncomfortable for those who were close to me.
Having touched upon my childhood and how I became who I am today, I will skip forward to the 21st Century, with flashbacks where necessary. Why jump to this century? Because this is where my current travails find their genesis, with tragedy, betrayal, illness and a return to suicidal tendencies. But before describing these changes in my life, which have left me vulnerable and alone, some previous milestones need to be shared.
I successfully finished school, 'passing' as an NT (Neuro-Typical / non-Autistic), and began university. It was the promise of a 'new start' away from my past that helped spur me on, through chronic depression and loneliness. Yes, I had 'friends' and family, yet I was alone unable to be just myself, with my authentic self unseen by everyone. This is why I can fully understand the topical 'Virgin Killer' although my depression was turned inward, to a place of self loathing, rather than outward as was his case.
I had systematically built a protective cocoon around myself, unable to let down my guard, but also which left me alienated and alone. It was at this point, at university, where I met my future (and now ex-)wife, and my future (painful as it turned out to be) was mapped out.
This might be a good place for anyone who was/is close to me stops reading
This was an incredibly traumatic time for me, insecurities abounding and experiences new. Not only was I a naive innocent, but this was an incursion into an alien world in which I was emotionally defenceless. I was extremely fragile and vulnerable (something with which I suspect others on the spectrum can identify), and ill-equipped to deal with it all. To survive meant that I would have to place my life in the hands of someone I could totally trust. The woman who later became my wife presented what I perceived as this safe guide. However, as I would subsequently come to recognise, I was simply following the scapegoat narcissism pathology (as codependent) and replacing my narcissistic mother with my wife. And for this I was totally faithful and loyal...despite how I was treated. Now because of how I had been 'cured' of my autism, I was conditioned to feel that I was always at fault in every situation (and only yesterday a friend wanted to criticises me...for always saying "sorry"). So when the time came to lose my virginity, it failed to happen, due to my being laughed at. Apologies followed, but the laughter continued. At the time, and for decades after, I believed that this was something I deserved (which is understandable if you have read Part One). This laughter, mocking and humiliation was to continue for the next 32 years.
I am asked today why I put up with this, and other abuse. The only answer I have is that this was what I had been conditioned to accept and deserve, and that as this was a 'loving relationship', which if left would plunge me into an unbearably hostile environment (a combination of the effects of the narcissistic behaviour with my autism. So I endured. I took the abuse. And I hid it from everyone...including my family and children, all for what I perceived as the security of a 'normal' relationship/life. This, I now realise but way way too late, was a mistake.
Hypocrisy in action: Narcissism Revealed
Here is a Facebook post from my ex-wife, promoting #CarersWeek. Such a martyr, she clearly has deep empathy with others who care for their partners with disabilities. It is ironic then (or just plain narcissistic and hypocritical) that while promoting this 'side' of her, she has just ditched her own disabled husband, who had devoted the last 30 years supporting her, rather than care for him. As for obligatory financial support, she went to extreme ends to ensure said disabled husband had nothing, and left unable to pay for care (which she refused to do). Well at least her FB persona of a loving caring person is intact.
Returning to this century I now had a wife, and two children whom I love dearly. Although my chronic depression was increasing, and my loss of any self-worth completing, I had settled into a way of surviving. At times it became unbearable and when my parents died, my unstable emotional state shook violently. It was at this time that I also became disabled. My eidetic memory started to become damaged as I started to lose cognitive function, and bodily control.
I won't bore you with the details (they can be found elsewhere herein) but it was at this time that my older brother, who had been aware of my treatment in childhood, contracted Motor Neurone Disease (ALS for my US readers) a horrible and cruel fatal disease. His death, and the subsequent breakdown of my family, along with my condition remaining undiagnosed, occurred while I was being attacked in my place of work by a vengeful headmaster who took advantage of my physical and mental collapse.
To cut a long, and ugly, story short this resulted in me becoming a vulnerable adult under the care of my wife, who rather than be supportive chose instead to keep it secret (and as I was to subsequently discover, describe my condition as my being lazy and a sponge on her and our children). In retrospect this response was predictable, given my wife's narcissistic traits. And when a vulnerable 13 year old child I was mentoring at school was told by the headteacher that I had abandoned him, he returned home and hanged himself, my world collapsed and I attempted again to kill myself. There was really nowhere else to turn, I had only myself, who was no-one, so it was no longer enough.
As the razor cut my skin, I became hyper-aware of my young children...innocents in a terrible world. I had up to that point given them all of me: my wife took everything I earned, I paid bills and mortgage, and endured all the crap I suffered at her hand while protecting my kids. She would let them down at every turn and it would be left to me to cover it up, protect the kids from the truth, and most times take the blame upon myself.
Sadly, so successful was I at protecting the children, I came to discover that this too was manipulated by my wife, and that they believed that I was the 'bad guy' she portrayed, despite the evidence of their own experiences. Please be aware of the long term and deep and lasting damage a mother (and partner) with NPD causes to those in her family. It is often unrecognised by those who are the victims. Despite my having supported the family up until the point I became a dependent, my wife was able to turn everyone against me through lies and misrepresentation, using my condition. She had decided, upon my becoming dependant, after 20 odd years of her taking everything from me, that she no longer needed me now that I was unable to continue supporting her. However, ever one to preserve her carefully created image, she felt unable to divorce me without the truth becoming known. So with resentment (which continued to build) she feigned the role of dutiful wife and carer, while enacting her frustration on me in private. And so she waited for an opportunity to cast herself as victim, abusing me in private and portraying herself as a saint in public and to our kids. And this opportunity presented itself to her around 2011.
Now this seems like a good point to take a break, as the final instalment is heavy and long. It will not be pleasant reading, but hey...that's my life. So if your stomach is not easily turned, or you are okay with talk of sex (now don't get all excited), then go to Part Three for the conclusion of what is my sorry pathetic life.