A death of a thousand small cuts kills, too. That is what i was thinking of tonight, when i got rejected again.
i mentioned before that i had been reading books about communicating with autism and women with autism over the winter. i’ve been meaning to come back to that and write about it for awhile, but can’t ever seem to get it placed in my head right to get it on paper.
Still, i need to try.
When i got the chance to be in another house over the winter, every single thing that was done had a specific way it had to be taken care of. i was trying to help out, but since i didn’t know how to do anything, she would explain each detail. She would start by saying, “This is weird, but…”
Except i didn’t think it was weird. Sir Raven had her own specific way every single thing which needed to be done, she just hid it better than this other man, because her words imply that she isn’t highly interested in how things are done. This is entirely untrue.
Slowly, it occurred to me what i was seeing was how a slave had been conditioned to allow the Master to exist in the perfect autistic bubble, one they both needed. All of the signs were there-the hypersensitivity to smell, the order, the fine detail of how many ice cubes go in a glass, the formal language style, the formal manners, the need to spend countless hours on his Special Interest without any interruption, the texting as a preferred method of communication. It all came together to form one conclusion, one i’m certain of.
But that’s not all.
As i read the Aspien Women book, more understanding emerged. One of the important points was that women who are on the autism scale often find other autistic partners. Some are so disturbed by their sensory issues that they develop personalities as a coping mechanism. Women seem to have better adaptive skills, better communication skills, and Special Interests that are easier to adapt to wider areas than males. While a male Special Interest might be Quantum Physics, a female Special Interest could be Self-Improvement.
Simply, the woman with autism can blend in better, though some males fit the female profile as well.
i kept thinking about how hard it is for Sir Raven to express emotion and how hard it is for me to not be passive, to not obsessively apologize. One way autism can manifest itself is through these traits, ones that Sir Raven has been hyper critical of in me, especially the apologizing to strangers because i don’t know the difference between if they walked into me or me into them. In any event, the more she criticized me for basically being me, the more withdrawn i became because any conversation became hostile and hurt me.
One of the books offered a lot of practical suggestions. Oddly, several of them i have tried many times, like asking her to quantify how much something matters to her on a scale of one to ten. Or pointing out that constant criticism damages relationships and ways to combat that (gratitude journals, jars that are for positive remarks). They also suggested using very clear and precise language, which seems sensible. Rather than say, “Could you help me around here?” it is better to ask for what you actually want.
But i don’t want her help around the house. i want affection that doesn’t come with disdain, hurtful words, or only from the child part of her or the child part of me.
i want the same things i’m continually assured of, that we will get to, that time will be made for, or that she is working on it.
So, i try more clear, more precise language. i make sure she isn’t exhausted, hungry, distracted, or stressed first. Just getting those things taken care of is daunting. But finally, the stars align. And i ask. Clearly. Precisely.
She offers to turn on netflix in bed instead. i’m hurt, more hurt for the clearly asking, more hurt for the years of empty promises. She goes back to watching TV. She says something, and i think she is just talking to the television. When i realize she has asked me something about what is on, which happens to be about celebrating sexuality, i notice my tone comes out flat and have to force myself to lighten it. Behind my eyes, pin pricks of hot and angry tears want out. But we have a talk about nothing instead. Just out normal, hanging out stuff.
Maybe hanging out is her Special Interest.
i was her Special Interest once. And that is all i was. A fleeting obsession.
i know she has drifted so far away that putting her arm around me in bed is a big deal, proof she is trying to reconnect. The problem is i’ve been sliced a thousand times before.
Yesterday, when i picked up groceries and was coming home an old Spanish man stopped me in the street to tell me that i’m a good wife. This kind of thing happens often, out of the blue, for no reason. Then, a few blocks later, a person whose build and energy that reminds me of Dawn so much that i had a visceral reaction. i had to talk myself down, noticing every increased gush of blood roaring through my head. i was calm, made it home, got everything put up, and asked to bring my floor pillow over to Sir Raven.
i considered not saying anything. i often do not when something triggers me. But then i thought if i want connection, i have to start with me. The lack of passion, of sex, of s/m, of reaction to my hurt-it all depersonalizes me. What Dawn taught me was that it’s painfully easy to be cruel when your victim is depersonalized. If i had been smart enough to use sex, she would have been far less cruel. i ended up her kidnap victim, overpowered, unable to think or feel, or do anything but clean and watch tv chained up. She was so obsessed with having me, keeping me, that she shattered me totally.
This newest realization, this understanding that i’m being depersonalized again, see saws back and forth between me fighting for love and sinking into nothing but what i’ve been programmed to be. When Dawn loved me i had a measure of safety and the lesson was so well learned that i equate love with safety now. Because i’ve seen what people can do without it once they have had total control.
The only actual control that i have is to tightly control myself, tightly manage my emotions, because there is no outlet to vent, to examine ideas, save here. Of course my sex drive is insane due to deprivation, due to being a non person, due to my brain not being medicated, and because it is a way that forces connection. Forces me to be seen. Forces emotion to be expressed.
Through it all though i’m happy overall. i’ve been programmed to be happy in quiet domesticity. One person suggests i brain wash myself, which goes to prove her lack of true understanding of how brainwashing and stockholm syndrome work. The same person suggests i’m uber controlling and i look around my life and laugh. It is both true and profoundly false. i’m just trying to seal up the tiny cuts, siphon out the rage, smile and be happy in the life i am given. i don’t know anything else, never have.