If I say there have been misunderstandings because I’m literally confused or recognize that there has been a literal misunderstanding, it feels like my assessment is either not taken seriously. Worse yet, I feel like I’m being judged for deliberately dismissing a problem or trying to manipulate the beliefs of another person.

The reality is simple. I’m confused. I truly do not understand what is going on, what has happened, or what I’m trying to imagine in the future.

For example, in discussing upcoming trips with my wife, I try to get as much information as possible on what we will actually be doing. It’s not a trust issue but a coping mechanism, a way to pre-plan to take away as many surprises as possible. I know, unexpected things happen! Moreover, I accept my limitations as to how many of these I can handle, so I’m trying to do what seems like the responsible thing. Sadly, this tends to seem like obstinance, arrogance, or indifference. That, in turn, adds a layer of guilt to my confusion.

Many people do not understand this. My wife, at this point in my life, is at the top of the list. Marriage counseling has turned into a disaster because my therapist also doesn’t quite follow what I’m saying. My autism therapist, thankfully, does understand. But, I have a long way to go and many years of abuse, indifference, and anxiety to overcome. Much of this is a product of “misunderstandings,” and I’ve just about given up on understanding what “misunderstandings” are.

My primary concern is for my autistic children because the more they see me flounder, the more they are likely to be anxious about their futures. I have to teach them, if I can, how to live in a world full of people who don’t think like they do. These are people who will use the word “misunderstanding” as a weapon, just one more way to confuse those of us who actually are confused.

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