So here is our latest challenge. How to help/what to say when he's aware of his behavior affecting others? My partner can at times understand that his behavior negatively affects me/himself. I don't blame him for it and I'm very careful when he says things like "I'm ruining your life"/"I'm a problem."/"I'm defective." (Referencing himself.) He grew up in the 80's, and with parents who wouldn't entertain the idea of "autism". Like many children he was blamed for his actions. Eg: a meltdown, was your choosing to throw a tantrum, and that ruins the party, so you are the problem. It's a vicious cycle bc now as an adult he can see that, well yes having a meltdown DOES objectively cause others stress. But unlike others I don't blame him. I see he's having a hard time, and needs space, and to have the stressor removed/dealt with. I might not always be able to magically "fix it", but I do try my best, and continue to repeat he's not a problem, he is safe, loved, and accepted. My question is where is the line? How can I properly say "yes you are accurate in assessing that this behavior has caused others stress, BUT that doesn't mean you're a problem/defective. It doesn't mean I blame you for having a meltdown. AND we can work on reacting in better ways/finding different solutions." I know that's A LOT to unpack and I don't think he can emotionally handle it in a meltdown, but he certainly doesn't want to talk about it after a meltdown either due to the internalized message that he's a problem/defective.
Posted by millersam07 at 2022-04-02 20:20:36 UTC