So, being sick at home, or quarantined at home, is probably putting a lot of marriages to the test. If you are one of these people, skip this post, because I will probably piss you off.
My husband John is
pretty much the best person I know. Strike the “pretty much”, he is legit the best person I know. Of course, like any other marriage he does little things that occasionally drive me crazy, but that’s just run of the mill differences. He was raised a Republican, I was raised a Democrat. He likes video games for relaxation, I like books. And honestly, none of those things “drive me crazy” more than they occasionally perplex me.
We met on Match.com, like a lot of other people of our generation. And he got me with alliteration; the phrase was “ham-handed”, and instantly I knew that he was something special. This is one of his proudest achievements. He got me, his wife, with alliteration.
He’s a lawyer that started in computer science, you know, like most lawyers, right? He’s a partner in his own firm. He works incredibly hard to be the big bread winner in our family. (Even though he would be just as willing to stay home and take care of our son.) He is patient, he is kind, he is literally all the things that Corinthians said love should be.
He’s also autistic. If you have read my blog before, that’s probably not a surprise. But it sure is for everyone else.
“You don’t look Autistic,” they say.
Anyone who is autistic knows that is not a compliment. (Just ask Autistic Barbie on Instagram. Smart and gorgeous woman, who also happens to be a fantastic advocate. I’m a big fan.)
John and I both discovered our autism after our son was diagnosed when he was about two years old. And honestly, our son’s autistic traits were so “normal” to us that if it hadn’t been for his Apraxia, I don’t think anyone of us would have ever understood why we were so different from everyone else.
(That is probably the only time I will be grateful for my son’s Apraxia. Apraxia is the reason he is non-verbal, at the moment. That deserves a whole other post though, so look for that one on the horizon.)
No, John and I really came together because we were just so perfect for each other. Little did we know that one of the main reasons we were so perfect for each other is that we had mostly the same disorders. Neither of us are ashamed of this, in fact we find it to be kind of amazing. Two Autistic people with ADHD, OCD, and occasional agoraphobia, unwittingly came together and fell in love. The only thing that I have that he doesn’t is the RSD and the Sensory Processing Issues. Most of the time we say that we are neurodiverse and leave it at that. Still, what are the odds?
It makes for a pretty fantastic marriage most of the time. We both prefer to stay in. We each have our own interests (or obsessions if you want to call it that.) We are both extremely empathetic to our son. We are compassionate of each other’s more difficult moments. And we both know the ironic and exquisite pain of wanting more friends, and fearing social engagements at the exact same time.
It’s true, we occasionally run into the problems of two neurodiverse minds rubbing against each other the wrong way, but we have learned to always trust the intent of the other person, and the validity of all feelings. That doesn’t mean we don’t fight. Of course we fight, we’re human. He’s a lawyer for goodness sake. He’s a professional fighter. (Not like kickboxing or anything, we don’t fight like that. Although I maintain that my old cheerleading high kick could still take out his 6’4″ nose. I’m only 5’3″… so that may be bluster.)
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, I am sick. Just like a huge percentage of the world right now, my body is fighting the Coronavirus. It’s not as dire as the poor people on ventilators, my fever is still very mild. The only worrying symptoms I have are some weakness from the the slight oxygen deprivation, and the horrible pain from inflammation hitting all over my body. Both come and go, so I won’t be rushing to the hospital anytime soon. But that also means, I can’t go grocery shopping. I can’t put our son to bed. I can’t hug and kiss either of my boys.
So it still really, really sucks.
Not just for me, but for my husband too. The grocery store gives him a lot of sensory problems, between the lights, the smells, and the people, it just makes him very uncomfortable. He can white knuckle his way through it, but I’ve always been able to tolerate it just a little bit better than him. He’s working from home even though our son is extra clingy because I can’t hug or kiss him. And he’s dealing with me, constantly making sure that I drink water, especially when I get a little loopy from the thinner air I’m living with.
It’s moments like these that you get really thankful for the people in your life. Especially when they step up to the task as well as my husband has. So yes, this is just a public love letter, friends. A declaration of bragging rights. I am so damn grateful for my beautiful family, even with the troubles we face from time to time.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Except the corona… the coronavirus really, really sucks. Stay safe everyone!