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Old 03-19-2014, 06:53 PM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Default Poly and aspergers syndrome

Hi, I'm new to this forum and poly too. I've been reading a lot of threads here trying to find things applicable to my situation (and there's been a lot of helpful messages). One issue I still have is it looks like I have aspergers syndrome (where I live, you can still be diagnosed with it). I'm in the middle of diagnostic process (or whatever it should be called).

So… onto how this relates to polyamory. I've been in a relationship with Salamander (hope no-one has used that one yet) for little over a year and we've talked about polyamory right from the beginning. It has been clear that even though it's what ve both want, I still have some issues about it, so we have taken things slowly so far. (My issues are mainly related to loneliness and being left out. I'm working on it and he wants to help and support me in the prosess.)

About a week ago he met someone (lets call her Sunflower) and this on top of a million other stressful things in my life at the time triggered an aspergers meltdown in me. We talked about everything and I asked him to slow down for a bit, so that I could breathe and relax. He aggreed and talked with Sunflower if she was willing to wait or not, and she's willing. Now I really wnat to work this situation up. I feel bad for making them wait. I've read so much about insecurities and jealousy and everything someone new to poly could face and I still feel confused.

It seems that the biggest issue for me in poly is that it is new to me. I'm ok with so many things if I have time to prepare myself for it (I even imagined Salamander having sex with another woman, he was dating, and it turned me on… There is someone I love, and I'm happy for his marriage and that he has a really awesome wife). But this now… it all happened so fast that I freaked out.

I feel it is unfair to ask Salamander and Sunflower to take things slowly, but I really don't enjoy these meltdowns. Has enyone experienced anything like this? How did you manage? I feel like poly is my thing and it is something I want to do. And I want him to have the freedom he is able to give me. I'm willing to work on my issues, but it seems like my aspergers syndrome traits make things a lot harder than they would otherwise be.

(Also, english is not my mother tongue, so I apologize for any mistakes )
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:32 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I feel it is unfair to ask Salamander and Sunflower to take things slowly
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I'm willing to work on my issues
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I want him to have the freedom he is able to give me.
It's up to him to submit to your request to "slow down" his relationship (if that's even possible). You do, however, have control over how you deal with your jealousy. If you want to work on your stuff and give him his freedom then work on your stuff and give him his freedom. It might not be easy... many things aren't, but that doesn't mean we should have other people take action in service to our own insecurity.

It sounds like you have come to a decision that you need to let go of his reigns and work on your own jealousy issues but haven't worked up the courage to actually let go yet.

Keep reading, seek therapy, remember that you are fully responsible for your own actions and emotions. You can do it!
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:54 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Quote:
It seems that the biggest issue for me in poly is that it is new to me. I'm ok with so many things if I have time to prepare myself for it (I even imagined Salamander having sex with another woman, he was dating, and it turned me on… There is someone I love, and I'm happy for his marriage and that he has a really awesome wife). But this now… it all happened so fast that I freaked out.
So it's "speed" for the main part? Not directly the Asperger's but that with Asperger's you would appreciate and would want more of a heads up/some time to digest first? So you can better weather change and avoid having meltdowns or minimize having them?

That's not unreasonable to ask, but it could be easier for each of them to do if you could pinpoint the triggers.

Quote:
I feel it is unfair to ask Salamander and Sunflower to take things slowly
Could stop evaluating what is "fair" and "not fair" for them. Let them decide and speak for themselves. You already asked for a time out and they gave it. You seem to be asking now for a time to talk and sort out more specifics.

Your side of it is to ASK. So you could ASK. They each cannot mind reader you.

Each one can speak for themselves after hearing your requests.
  • "Yes, I am willing to meet your request at this time."
  • "No, I am not willing to met your request at this time."

Then you ALL can know what lines up right now and what does not line up and proceed from a place of full information. Finding data out is part of trying to negotiate. Could get ON with finding out what is doable/not doable with each individual at this point in time rather than not do this work because you are feeling timid about asking to even get the ball rolling.

Maybe it is more helpful in discussion to be specific: "Could you be willing to do ____ behavior for the next ___ weeks?" rather than general "slow down." Because what "slow down" means to you might mean something else to someone else and if you do not clarify that could end in misunderstandings.

Maybe it helps to read these together and discuss the page 5 & 6 things you might want to help with jealousy. Or more jealousy. Or how to handle poly hell. Because "Could you be willing to slow down long enough to read these articles together?" is also a measurable, doable thing.

Try to frame your requests for "slowing down" so the request lists behavior you would like to see. Then ask if they are willing to do it or not at this time.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-20-2014 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:10 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Wow, it seems that both of you totally ignored my description of the situation and my question and autopiloted an answer to something else. I'm dissapointed. I hope to see replys that address my original question even in some way. Also any other comments on how hawing aspergers syndrome has affected your transition from mono to poly are welcome in this thread as I at least couldn't find a similar thread. (There is one about dating someone on the spectrum, though.)
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:01 AM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Your guilt over asking them to slow down is contributing to your meltdown. Don't feel guilty for asking as long as you are working on things.

Aspergers and change don't do well at first . Are you getting what you need communication wise? Is your partner keeping you informed of schedules, plans, etc or do things just seem to happen last minute?

Do some "tag" searches, there is a lot of info on the board about making the transition.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:19 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Generally I think we communicate well. There is nothing we can't talk about and even when the subject is difficult we remain calm and listen and try to understand where the other one is coming from. With this insident though… not so much. He has a tendency to say things in a way that makes them sound a lot worse. For example now he meant to say that there's propably something happening, but he ended up saying that he is with someone (that he hadn't even expressed interest towards before). After I calmed down from that one, we talked (all three of us), but it seemed like every little thing just made me feel worse and worse until I asked to have time to properly relax and think things through. I really appreciate the fact that they aggreed to this.

Yes, it's guilt I'm feeling. For always being the difficult one and having to process everything more thoroughly. Once I came very near to having a meltdown because someone tried to get me to go to a beach I had never been to. Too many new things to process from that one too… So this is what I'm dealing with. I read the jealousy theory text, and I think I do feel jealous too, but that seems like something I know how to work with. But only way I know to handle new things is to take things slowly and do a lot of thinking (imagining all possible situations beforehand). And that means I need to ask them to slow things down for me, and that means I feel guilt for having to do so

On the positive side. He stayed by my side while I had the meltdown and didn't feel threatened by it. Afterwards he said that now he understands my need to be informed about possible changes. I feel like I need to get to know Sunflower, she was someone I was hoping to make friends with before the whole thing. And I really think getting to know her would make things easier for me, as all things unknown tend to trigger me.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:07 AM
london london is offline
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Ive also struggled with change recently. It's affected my relationship. Im also autistic. I will try and speak more about it later. It's been hard.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:11 AM
london london is offline
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First, accept that going slow is a burden of being with you. Everyone has flaws, burdens, our partners have to tolerate and pander to in order to be in a relationship. Mine is that I can't deal with rapid change. Acknowledgement helps us both find a happy medium.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:18 PM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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London, nice to hear that I'm not alone, but sorry to hear things have been hard for you.

Ok, so if I accept that I need to take things slowly (and other people accept this too), then what does this actually mean? One thing about being an aspie is that things don't generalize that easily. So will I have to go through this chaos every time either one of us meets someone new? Or will the newness wear off eventually? And how long would that take… For example I have two children 9 and 5 years old, and this year was the first one when I didn't stress about their birthdays (even when surprising things happened). And what I used to stress was the unfamiliarity of the situation. If we'd move, I propably would start to stress again.

But I'm not one to give up or to avoid scary emotions. I just wonder how much will I have to work to be able to actually live the life I want.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Quote:
But only way I know to handle new things is to take things slowly and do a lot of thinking (imagining all possible situations beforehand). And that means I need to ask them to slow things down for me, and that means I feel guilt for having to do so.

We all come as we come. Part of the price of admission to date you is to live with you having Asperger's. It's no different than dating someone who needs glasses, a hearing aid, diabetic medication, has kids, is allergic to pets, etc. People come as they do.

It sounds like your partner and his new dating potential are willing to learn and roll with it. So how can you become more willing to let go of the guilt so YOU can roll with it?

Quote:
On the positive side. He stayed by my side while I had the meltdown and didn't feel threatened by it. Afterwards he said that now he understands my need to be informed about possible changes.
See? Willing to learn and roll with it.

Quote:
I feel like I need to get to know Sunflower, she was someone I was hoping to make friends with before the whole thing. And I really think getting to know her would make things easier for me, as all things unknown tend to trigger me.
Sounds like you identified a trigger then. Even if Sunflower doesn't work out, you and partner know now that you want to ramp up slower to meeting new potentials of his and that actually meeting them and getting to know them makes things easier for you to avoid having an Asperger's meltdown.

It's a learning curve for everything. I see that you feel guilty about it sometimes but... aren't all people on a learning curve?

What makes it hard to let the guilt go? You thinking you "should" this or that?

Galagirl
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