I’m watching True Detective again, and this minor scene reminded me how it used to be with my partner and me. Rust (Matthew McConaughey) is basically me against the neurodiversity counseling industry (played by Woody Harrelson).
As I say, we’re getting passed this now. He’s learning to suspend judgment and I no longer feel put down when waxing poetic. We get a lot of help, you know. RO-DBT is decent therapy for the autistic. My job is to beat back the benighted advice of the AS/NT prescriptivists, who treat women who don’t let others cramp their style as incomprehensible and stubborn bitches. Stop acting like we’re hard to figure out. Truth is, the more self-developed a woman when she settles down for real, the more trouble she’ll have holding onto her quirky, unrestrained manner. This multiplies exponentially when your valentine’s on the spectrum.
ND counseling resources are obsessed with disambiguation — removing linguistic uncertainty. We’re to cater to the autistic aesthetic which is limited to the literal. Of course, no one comes out and says so unambiguously, those ironic motherfuckers. Simple “clear communication” is the goal. Yes, yes, I know, it’s more than an aesthetic, it’s neurological, he can’t help but be literal-minded. Well, then. Whatever the source and meaning of my own selfish aesthetic, it bears no consideration and is instantly expendable. Their mistake.
If ambiguity makes an autistic person anxious, and anxiety must be avoided, then “clear communication” will keep his anxiety at bay?
What do they mean by “clear communication?”
It’s not something the ASD partner typically contributes to, since autism is, alas, a communication disorder. Predictable, blunt, unequivocal speech is required by others to avoid generating confusion and unease in the ASD person.
You know what this means for the neurotypical partner?
Nice lexicon you have there. Shame if something were to happen to it.
How to get along with your ASD partner: Adopt a proper vocabulary and divest yourself of your words. The window to her world.
Whether psychic mutilation makes her anxious is a moot point, as it’s never acknowledged by the neuro-friendly counseling experts. The resources I encounter make this ludicrous, red-pilled surrendered womanhood tripe sound perfectly reasonable. You don’t have to give up a thing! You’re not even involved, really. In place of agency are lines like — Speaking in concrete, logical, factual, succinct and unemotional terms will keep the lines of communication open. And keep me talking like a mental midget. Maybe that explains why few who recommend this adjustment spell it out in plain speak.
Here’s the underlying thinking: Mixed neurological couples speak different languages. The autistic has a social and communication disability. Their partner must make accommodations to get her message across, whatever it takes. Healthy couples strive to understand every word each other utters.
Fuck these enablers. Couples who think they need to comprehend each other’s every word fight, a lot. What do you mean by that? This is a good way to feed each other’s mistrust and ill will.
For heaven sakes. If you want love, welcome the mystery.
Lighten up. Go fishing. Throw a line out. Sometimes people nibble, some never do. Their loss. Who says it’s all about trying to get a message across? Lucidity is overrated, says the wind. Lucidity has a stick up its ass and tries to make Neil Young wrong, the way incurious autocrats make everyone but themselves wrong. Never diminish yourself, never censor your observations because they don’t align with his vibes or special interests.
Speak your mind. Notice what happens next.