So I got married in October ’16, and diagnosed autistic in January ’17. I went in for an evaluation at my wife’s request: having a bit of background in youth development, my “lack of executive function” was glaringly obvious to her as she was (probably) considering murdering me over the distribution of wedding chores—talking to strangers on the phone stresses me out, creating timetables and budgets stresses me out, and I suppose being responsible for important things stresses me out most of all. These are all areas where she is hyper-competent, and on that basis I felt fairly safe trusting her with the details of our impending nuptials.
But even before we were planning a wedding, she had kind of become the keeper of our social schedule—even managing communications regarding plans with my family (it seems if I don’t answer texts or emails or voicemails right away, they tend to not get answered). In the past month or so, however, I’ve noticed my brain being blissfully clear of plans we’ve made, to a point where I have forgotten even about events I’m invested in and have weighed in on planning (my recent birthday dinner with the family jumps to mind).
In my single and dating lives before marriage, I was a reasonably competent adult male. Bills got paid, I made my own plans to go out—business got done. But somewhere between marriage and diagnosis, it feels like my brain has shifted into neutral in the presence of a motivated and capable planner. Have I lost something in the course of these two big life changes?
It’s not all doom and gloom, of course: now that we switch off kitchen duties, I’m cooking more, more frequently, and with greater variety than I did before, including for dinner parties with friends. If I’m not more Johnny-on-the-spot in my cleanup chores, I’m at least doing them better and more frequently. But I can’t deny I’ve given up a sense of agency I had before and miss, and yet haven’t taken steps to get back. As a married man or as an autistic man—or both—I’m not sure what this says about me or my path forward out of this.
Yours in neurosis,
[EDIT: I have no idea how the pop-culture headline gag escaped me.]