Aspie apocalypse and how it's never our fault


The aspie stands alone, face turned to the setting sun as the walls tumble around him and the lights click out, one by one, along the darkened streets. The world as he knows it has ended and he is left, deserted, in a place no one can call home. He looks around, finally realising what has happened and wonders, How did it come to this?

I'll tell you: it started with a click.

The aspie has had enough of the clicking sound the washing machine makes, so comes to see what can be done about it. The noise only happens when the drum turns. In desperation, after trying a few cycles, he realises the machine is faulty.

Some time later and the machine is empty, with a spanner wedged between the frame and the drum so the aspie can fit his hand down the gap (don't try this at home, children).

The best beloved comes home to find the kitchen floor flooded from the piles of sopping wet washing and the aspie trapped in the machine, with his hand changing colour. He refuses help until he has found the source of the click.

The click turns out to be caused by the toggles on the tracksuit bottoms he likes to wear. As he will only wear tracksuit bottoms, there is always at least one pair in the wash, so it always clicks as the drum goes round. Having been enlightened by a furious best beloved, it is discovered that the hand cannot be released without the aid of the Fire Brigade.

One of best beloved's fantasies comes to life as a bundle of big, burly firemen surge through the door and into the kitchen. Unfortunately, the rest of the fantasy is unfulfilled because there's an angry aspie in the middle of the firemen, denying all responsibility for this predicament because how was he to know the annoying noise was from the washing?

Some small time later and the aspie is free, with advice to call at the hospital and have the pale purple hand checked out by professionals. Big, burly firemen leave, almost followed by best beloved who has had enough and only wanted to come home to a cup of tea and a little bit of the favourite soap on TV.

Instead, they now have to pull the shoes back onto those tired feet that have spent all day working so that the aspie can have a life they can cope with, rather than being out in the world, going mad and attacking little old ladies in shopping queues.

On the way to the car, the best beloved points this out to the aspie, who is still moaning about his hand and the toggles on his trousers. Aspie flounces back to the house, refusing to get in the car with best beloved who should have more patience when a person is in need of medical attention.

Best beloved makes comment that the person will be more in need of medical attention if they don't flipping well shut up about something they brought on themselves and should have had the brains to avoid in the first place.

More arguments ensue, followed by the aspie gesticulating wildly and hurting hand even more on the bannister rail as they try to make a grand exit up the stairs. Screaming follows as aspie believes hand has fallen off, pain is so bad. Best beloved considers pulling the hand off altogether and putting an end to the whole performance, but instead persuades the aspie to sit down and shut up.

Aspie does sit down and shut up and, thereafter, refuses to speak, choosing instead to have a high sulking session over the sore hand, lack of sympathy, the fact that their own trousers are to blame, the other fact that they didn't get to see the fire engine arrive with the lights flashing and the sorrowful state of affairs with best beloved going on about the bad day, as if it is their day that has gone wrong and not the aspie's.

Some time later, best beloved is faced again with the dreadful kitchen, puddles everywhere, all the clothes needing washing again and nothing to wash them in because the firemen had to break the machine to release the aspie's hand.

Silence ensues from best beloved who decides a night away would be the best thing and maybe, you never know, when they return in the morning, the kitchen could be cleaned up by a reluctant, but willing, aspie.

Words are said to this effect, to the monolith on the stairs, who only hears that the best beloved is leaving them and, to add insult to their injury, also wants them to do all the housework in the entire house before tomorrow morning.

Aspie monolith rouses self to speak, to point out that he cannot possibly do all that work, especially with a bad hand and it's probably better if the best beloved stays away, as they obviously don't want to be here.

This, on top of the hand, the firemen, the wet kitchen and the aching feet is too much. Best beloved packs their bags and leaves, hoping the mother won't go on too much about them being back in their old bedroom again.

Aspie, alone on the stairs, with no one to help look after their bad hand, may not actually be standing in the middle of a ruined civilisation, but it will feel like that to them. Those feelings, so rarely seen on the outside, will be roiling like drowning horses within them, to the point that whole worlds collapse within the heart of the deserted aspie.

They will be the sad, doomed hero of their own story, with not an ounce of blame on their shoulders. Well, perhaps they will concede some blame for the broken washing machine, but everything else was caused by the best beloved taking it all completely personally and not making any allowances for the aspie needing special treatment.

Once this period of dramatic sulking is at an end, the aspie will realise their hand really does need medical attention as it seems to have changed colour again. At about 3.30am, faced with riding in an ambulance or bringing down the wrath of their best beloved, they call b.b's mother's house and beg for help.

So, hours after the event, the best beloved forgives, yet again and comes out of bed to collect a contrite, but not vocally apologetic aspie and take them to hospital. The hand is saved (it was only a sprain) and so is the relationship. Complete doom is averted, thanks to the best beloved's ability to come round in the face of all-out provocation and also thanks to the aspie, in the end, for knowing which side their bread is buttered.

Reader, the aspie is not always a misunderstood, wounded animal. They can be the most aggravating creature and can combine real and actual need with absolute selfishness. When things go wrong and they are afraid or upset, the whole world pivots on its axis and begins to revolve around them. They will not, or cannot, see the other point of view at this stage. It is all about them.

When things calm down and they have been left to their own devices, some normality returns and things can be salvaged from the wreckage of either total meltdown, or massive sulk - or both. This salvage operation really does depend on the non-aspie being willing to recover from whatever has gone on in the dramatic stage of the action and to forgive the aspie enough to not want to lock them in a cupboard and poke them with a sharp stick through a special hole in the door.

I can only say, thank you non-aspies, and bless you best beloveds. Gosh, but we can be pustulous, ungrateful creatures, ready to get ourselves into trouble without a second thought, then willing to blame others for us being there, even when they're trying to pull us back out.

I would like to offer some rational, kind reason why we behave like this. I can say that all the usuals apply, like stress, confusion and dangerous curiosity, but really, when things like this happen I think it's a sign that the aspie needs to remember they are responsible for their own destiny and that best beloveds do not grow on trees.

It also serves as a reminder to best beloveds not to take everything the aspie throws at them. Sometimes you need to throw it back, or at least soak it in onion juice and hide it under their pillow to teach them a lesson.

Relationships are based on give and take, but it has to be from both sides. When the drama happens, as it inevitably will, count to ten, leave the house, eat chocolate, visit your mother and come back without doing anything rash in the meantime.

And aspies, dear aspies, please do sometimes consider the consequences of the proverbial hand in the washing machine drum. There won't always be a team of big, burly firemen to help you out of it. And next time, your best beloved may not come back from their mother's.

Amanda

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