Overwhelmed – can I even survive this?

Note: As a reminder, this journal is a journey, a progression, and if something bothers you, keep going to see what happens. I plan on doing that, too, and I’ve not given up yet.

It doesn’t matter anymore. I just don’t know what to do, and I mean right now.

Somehow, every attempt I’ve tried has failed, made things worse. People who should have helped have not. A very few who did could not sustain it. They never even knew what was wrong.

I feel like my entire life is coming apart, but it’s not just that. It’s our lives, the lives of my family: my parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews, and wife. And, why? It didn’t have to be this way! I tried so hard to help them, so hard for so many years. Almost twenty years of begging, warning, listening, playing along, a role I hated. I didn’t want to do that. I just wanted to exist. So did my wife.

Now, it’s all over. And, my wife has the audacity to blame me? Me? What my father did to my sister? For what my mother did to me? And, more than that, what they didn’t do, not back then but in recent times, as recently as last month but the last couple. But, it’s not all on them either. I mean, I don’t know, I really don’t. But, to drop a nuclear bomb into a family takes some real thought, though we did, I think. I tried for so long, but, in the end, who had to ask if it was time to press the button? Of course . . . the person who’d been trying to help not have it happen.

My life died in some ways in March. Then again, in May. Really, a long time ago, but now I’m reliving it again.

So, my “reward” for wanting to protect someone is what? It’s a disaster. Everyone else goes on. Somehow. I doubt they are happy. No, they are not. They are in pain, too. But, they still have work to do. I don’t even have that? And, those people were all I had! All I had any chance of talking to, relating to, helping me. I can’t be in therapy 24/7. I just need friends, though maybe that’s not even enough.

I need my wife to listen, to hold me, to be with me, not just doing “positive activities” when the world is on fire. My emotions are not some random internal ball of craziness like she tends to think.

I’ve been in therapy – I’ve gone on my own, my own decision – for nearly 20 years. Even though I’ve wanted her to go in past, to try to help understand me and her children, she refused other than counseling as a couple. This year, as I continued to suggest it, and with enough other stressors on her, she finally decide to go. Somehow, in one session, without meeting me, her therapist thinks she knows my problem. My wife gets a book, hides it from me, lies, repeatedly about what’s going on. I discovered this, not long ago. She refused to discuss autism with me until this week again and then only minimally. Twenty years of therapy, an official autism diagnosis, largely for her, to explain to her, and it got dismissed in a matter of minutes. Why? I think it’s because it give my wife a reason not to listen to my requests for help. And, I really needed her help this past year.

I explain my problems are external, but somehow my wife thinks I get upset for no reason. How does she live in a world full of emotions? She is so unemotional. I know that I’m probably overly so, especially according to societal norms for my gender, but it doesn’t matter. She won’t support me in that way.

How crazy is it, just a couple of hours ago, as I need so much just to talk to someone that she won’t do it. Emotions are off limits. Only positive things. Emotions are for your therapist, not for her. After all, I might get upset about – my family falling apart, for starters. She is upset too, all those years my parents have done things for us. And, why now, why has this happened? She blames me, but I did nothing wrong except do the right thing. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice. And, people made choices after that. They did not have to make those: my brothers, my sister, my father, my mother. Now, my children.

This is a disaster. It’s more than I can handle. And the only real support I had is gone! Why? I don’t really know, but it’s people misunderstanding me, not helping me, putting me off on other people who can’t help me, and so on.

All I need is someone to listen, to hold me, to cry with me. I need a hug. Lots of hugs. My wife doesn’t even do that without prompting. I had to teach her. She won’t run her hands through my hair. At least, her response one night recently was that it was strange to do that to a man’s hair; it was only what women do. Seriously? What planet is she from, that’s the question?! She won’t just be with me and talk about how bad things are, to cry together. God forbid something happens to one of our children. I don’t know if she’d share that grief with me.

It’s why she could not one time – not ONE TIME – in a year stay up with our suicidal child. I was not well either. “How many dead bodies do you want to find when you wake up,” I’d ask her. She didn’t get it. All she knew was she was tired and had to sleep. Every night. I was up – until 2am, 3am with my child, refusing to go to sleep until he did. Period. Night after night for a year. She did NOT ONCE. NOT ONCE. How? She needed her sleep. What about my sleep?? I was working, two jobs, four days a week. She didn’t stay up on the days she was off and I wasn’t. I would be gone thirteen hours one day, and she didn’t stay up the night before.

My wife would buy me as many energy shots as I wanted, not wondering why I suddenly needed them. I had to stay awake to drive to work! But, she needed sleep. When questioned on this, her response was she’d taken time to take our son to appointments. Yes, that’s true. She had to miss work . . . to take him there. I had to give up sleep. I would do it again, of course. My son asked if his mother cared. I said she did. She does things for us even though she doesn’t understand. That is no small thing. In my brief time observing conversations among autistic people on Twitter, I’ve learned to appreciate even more the practical things she does. Although, some of them I think I could do for myself, but that’s another story.

And now, just when I think maybe I have a chance, again, my wife will not talk to me unless is positive. THER IS NOTHING F’ING POSITIVE NOW! Not right now. That is NOT reality. Reality sucks, and at least admit that. Her invalidation has about killed me. It still may.

I had a friend who understood me, at least, I think. Now, she’s no longer a friend. She hates me, and I’m not certain why, but I was too needy. Still, why she took all my friends from me at this time, I do not understand. That was cruelty heaped on pain. Of all people, she should have known, so something happened. She would not do that to me! I don’t know what she believes or she was told. I know plenty of people have told me things that made me doubt, caused me to fear. There were too many people against us because they didn’t understand how we understood each other. And, it doesn’t take a lot to make people become paranoid when they have a mixture of serious mental illness, past trauma, and very present pain.

Under that context, people were telling me things about my friend that I normally could handle, normally could ignore. But not this year, not in the year when it all falls apart . . .

I defended her the best way I knew how, and it worked! I did it! But, I didn’t know the cost was myself, that I would misunderstood to that degree. And, I don’t think she would even believe me if I told her, and I don’t really want to tell her. Then I’m just some asshole who purposely hurt her. I did upset her, that is true, and she can view me that way the rest of her life if she wants.

This is too much. All of it. Too much. And, my wife is here. RIGHT HERE. I just need a hug! An arm around me even. Something. Cry with me. But, no! Emotions are not allowed. Feelings are confusing. And, I’m the autistic one? Maybe she is not. I’d be relieved if she were, in some ways. I’d be relieved if I were not, in some ways, but that’s not the point.

Whatever labels we could put on ourselves is irrelevant. I’m in pain, I’m suffering, and I have nobody to turn to except maybe some Hail Mary attempt with an old woman or two I know. But, what can they do? I need my wife. I need her. But, she cannot give me what I want or need. Nobody can. But, I can’t do it alone. People who say to find inner strength invariably are ones with friends. Imaginary ones help some. Twitter friends help some, but it’s not the same thing as having someone there, if not all the time, at least you know they would be if you needed them.

Well, I tried friends, and what did it get me? More pain.

So many people have let me down when I’ve asked – even begged – them for help. How am I supposed to deal with that? I guess I just show up at a hospital and say that I’m there because I need a hug? I am out of ideas. Maybe nobody can help me, but just some validation would be something, right?

I don’t want to watch a football game or a movie or play a game now, as my wife keeps suggesting. I want her to lie next to me and tell me it will be OK, even though it is not. She refuses? Who does that? I specifically ask – beg – so many times.

She is even worse now that I have no job. She says she is working on being less controlling, but I think it’s in reverse. It’s self-care by a person who already practiced it. It’s a person who thinks her happiness is not to be hampered by someone else. The advice she is getting might be great for 99% of people, but it’s probably not for someone who already is happier than 99% of people.

Thank goodness our marriage counselor, the one we started seeing right before the pandemic at my request, has gotten my wife to give me fifteen minutes a day to discuss emotions. But, I’m the autistic one. Yes, I am, and I try so hard to do the right things, to say the right things, be there for people when I know what it’s like when people are not there for me. But, that goes wrong. That costs me friends. I always lose, and I don’t even want to be playing a confusing, hurtful game.

I have no life. I did, but it’s gone. Even my friends are gone. I was too stupid to know how to keep them, but I was also too upset.

I know struggles of mental illness, but this is not something medication and therapy can fix. When you are abandoned, you need a person, not time alone to contemplate being alone. I’ve done enough of that. I’m tired of faking trying to get better when nothing will be better. It never is. What am I supposed to do?

Oh, talk to women other than my wife all day? Yes, that’s what my wife is perfectly fine with, as long as I don’t tell her. Then she is irritated I’m bothering her, and things go wrong. But I can’t find a replacement for my friend that quickly. It won’t be real, at least.

If my friend was a fake as people wanted me to believe, I don’t want another friend again. I don’t want to be around people again. How can I trust anyone? It mirrors my family situation so perfectly. Maybe that is the problem. It was too much, and I was already so upset and paranoia was inevitable once people decided to open wide the cracks in my emotional state.

Well, I will try to see if there is anyway I can pretend to be happy doing something with my wife. I doubt it will last long since Christmas is coming, and my parents, instead of seeing all their children and grandchildren, will have only what my family chooses to do. And, that will be scrutinized by my siblings, and with good reason.

Any choice is wrong. ANY! But, I can’t discuss it with my wife, and I cannot with anyone else. Nobody is left. My head is about to explode.

I tried contacting someone earlier today without success. I found someone I know and messaged her some. That was going well, but she doesn’t really get it either, not quite. It’s good advice, but it’s not that deep, and it’s not the same as what I’ve had in the past. I need someone to cry with me. Is that allowed?

It all comes crashing down, and this year kept getting worse. I did so much, put in so much effort, so much time and money into therapy, week after week, every week this year. SO MUCH. And, still . . . STILL . . . it was not enough. I have no idea what else I could have done. My record speaks for itself. I know.

Others don’t care. I need so much to feel connected to someone, but it won’t happen, not today at least. My kids are frazzled, too, by all of this, not knowing what to make of their grandparents. I don’t know what to make of anyone other than think about helping my kids. That is enough, but that seems impossible now.

It’s too much. So many things. Being cut off from my social group, yelled at by someone I went to for compassion and understanding, and then getting nothing close to an apology. And, so on. I am overwhelmed.

I need hugs from an empathetic person, I need love, I need care, I need validation, I need someone to listen. And, I have none of those things, save for people I pay a canine with smelly breath, and that’s not quite good enough. Yes – I NEED – and, if that is selfish, I’d ask who doesn’t need that?

These are basic human needs, not some silly requests. I’m not asking for anything more than most people who ignore me already have in abundance. Well, my wife actually doesn’t need them somehow, at least not much. Besides, she can go right now and call up any woman she knows, go over and get some empathetic hugs and tears. I cannot do that, but a person who can doesn’t need it. I feel like curling up in a ball and waiting to die. I don’t think anyone would notice, and, to be honest, that’s not far from the truth.

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