Sunday, June 7, 2009

Autism and Divorce

I'm having a divorce. When you go through the big D you wind up going through all sorts of emotions. There is nothing to gain at this point as far as you're concerned. Only loss. Average folks do all kinds of crazy things when it comes to divorce. Desperation over property and children can drive you up the wall.

What can that be like for people with autism? I've explained before that autistics depend highly on their world being predictable and stable. I'm actually doing pretty well in this case, but that wasn't so true for the last two major breakups in my life. In today's case, we are splitting peacefully as possible. My wife wants to change her life and the best I can do for her is let her go. Unfortunately that means I'm not just losing a marriage or my wife, but my entire support system. I am my son's support system and that's no easy task with trying to apply damage control on myself. I'm thankful that I'm on medications for my comorbids or I might not be able to handle this. It's a scary situation because there is no one to help me if I have real trouble.

That's the unfortunate reality of divorce for anyone, but when you have medical problems that force your mind to depend on and view reality in a certain way. It's more than just an emotional issue. Denver is very good at observing, but he's not that good at decyphering. Now he worries when I drop him off at school that I won't come back. We have to make sure he knows, not only that none of this is his fault, but that not everyone goes away and stays away. He will always have both of us, just not in the same house anymore. That cracks the world he depends on right in half. There's no way around it, only through. Fortunately I do know what to do and what to tell him. It's going to take time.

Even with knowing, my brain still wants to go into a five alarm state because what I knew is no more. I have to will myself past that and resist it. I've had three major relationships in my life and not a lot of partners. I have children in all three relationships and try to stay in contact with them all. That doesn't always work the way I intend. Each one has lasted longer than the prior and I suppose that's a good thing. But back then, I wasn't on the meds and I had a really hard time.

The toughest thing is accepting the changes, then there's letting go. Autistics, as a general rule never embrace change, they naturally resist it. That's even if it's good for them.

I suppose all I've already survived has prepared me for moments in life like this. What an ironic and interesting point of view. I want to point out a blog I was introduced to recently. The person running it is a divorce lawyer who went through her own divorce involving her son who has autism. She brings up fantastic points of what such heavy changes can do to an autistic child and why the courts and all who work in them need to know. Her name is Pegi Price and you can google her or find her in my followers on my blogspot page. She recently published a book through the Bar Association called, The Special Needs Child and Divorce. Because I have trouble with posting links, I suggest you give it a google or search.

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1 comment:

LAA and Family said...

Hang in there! My brother (who also has a child with autism) is going through a divorce as well. It's been very hard on his son, and it sounds like the hard times will continue for some time. I'll check out Pegi Price's book, thanks for mentioning it.