In every major emotional situation there are many landmines and many more in portentia. The risk of triggering someone can seem impossible to avoid quite honestly. For a person like me who is Autistic, the social cues that indicate a major life event is happening are too easy to miss. It feels like every day leaving my house is a large minefield if I'm honest.
While it has been my personal experience that people make a broad range of assumptions about ASD people, about me in particular, and about how a situation "ought to be handled" (neurotypical or not); it has also never been useful when this happens. It has also never once stopped a solitary person from engaging in this assumptive and asinine behaviour when I calmly (or not calmly) point out to them that they are making assumptions.
I can say that I have my triggers just like any other trauma and abuse survivor. It is absolutely possible for me to go off the rails, but like any other person, it commonly has a logical explanation. I admit the logic may only be readily apparent to me in the heat of the moment, but I will explain it once I have had a chance to calm down. By the same token, there is validity to someone saying to me that they have their own triggers which deserve respect.
It is not my point that Autistics or because I am myself Autistic, that my triggers are the only ones that matter or deserve validation.
Therapy has been a part of my life since age 5 and it did not stop me from suffering the trauma I did. It also did not prevent me from being subjected to the abuses I am currently trying to escape. Therapy has helped me see it as it happens and it helps me be better at knowing things in real time instead of hindsight. It helps me break patterns my mother (first abuser) built into me. It helps me spare my children from what I endured.
What it does not do is make me something *other* than Autistic. No therapy on Earth can change my genetic truth. It can not magic into me an understanding of social cues. It can not make me suddenly understand how subtle looks or casual phrases *actually* mean a whole universe of other things. It fully harms my entier self to even try. I have had migraine issues from the age of 8, diagnosed as such age 10. I was one of the first in all those who very likely got given Imetrex injections as migraine treatments. That is how bad they have always been.
All of that to say that when someone like me is going thru something like I am right now, divorce, people telling me to "let my anger go" or "just accept that...." is not now nor will it ever be helpful. If letting it go was possible, if acceptance of something was the "just" possibility you claim it can be so simple to accomplish...do you not think that is EXACTLY what I would do?!
It is only between NEUROTYPICALS that what seems such a passive attitude can be taken about such emotional tonnage as divorce or grief. For me it is every other waking thought. It is a compulsive thought train that I can not escape because it goes 5000 mph and in a loop at that.
How do you escape the weight of thoughts when you have been cheated on and lied to by someone who told you miscarring their child "didn't really happen" because it was so early in the process??
How do you handle it when you offer them endless acceptance for who they are and their response is PUBLICLY OUT YOU against your will; then say they did nothing wrong??
How do you handle it when they profess love and devoted protection for their side piece because if they told you what they'd done "you'd just divorce me anyway, so accept I destroyed evidence and move on already?"
How do you handle it when you are hit in front of a witness AND YOUR KIDS and they tell you "it wasn't that hard a hit. stop complaining." while in couples therapy and the THERAPIST TAKES THEIR SIDE??
How do you handle it when you say "Look, I'm pregnant!" and they *barely hug you* before going to sleep and then say NOTHING for DAYS about it??
How do you handle them dictating how you give birth AGAINST your wishes because your whole family has listened to their lies and taken their side against you?
How do you handle it when the next pregnancy their whole response, WHOLE RESPONSE, is "I figured based on your youtube video choices." FULL STOP! ZERO JOY!!
How do you handle learning they shared everything about their body on social media but never once sent you an intimate TEXT let alone image?!
And all that is only the major points. It is not anywhere close to all the times you were told your body autonomy meant nothing because if you said no to intimacy you were shunned and punished and told how unattractive you were, but it was ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that when they said "NO" you had better fucking not ask again or push the issue because it would be 3x the abuse because their word was law since they paid for everything. I was always willing to leave them alone, months and months of no touch because they did not find me at all attractive or interesting UNLESS they felt the urge for satisfaction. But I was called pushy for showing interest more often than that in them.
I was used for their sexual gratification. I was a sex toy to them; nothing better than a prostitute. You will never convince me I was not a victim of manipulation and coercion of marital r***.
I have spent many years and many fights trying to get them to understand this, both in and out of therapy. They chose to have an affair instead. Once my body was no longer available to them, without question, they stopped pretending they ever had any interest in me in any way. The person they cheated with couldn't be more opposite to me in fact.
So how do I handle all of that? Telling me to let my anger go is not helpful. Telling me to just move on and accept they won't ever change isn't helpful. It in NO WAY stops me from needing answers about all the WHY questions.
Why did I deserve this?
Why did my kids deserve this?
Why am I not worth loving?
Why was cheating on me so easy to do?
Why was it so easy to lie to me for so many years?
Why does my grief have no value?
Why does my pain not matter to anyone but me? Why does everyone believe them and not ask me what they did to us as a family?
Why does it only matter what someone else says and not what I actually endured?
Why is making me feel like trash ok for them to do? Why does it get a pass if they did it all to be validated for the life they now chose to live?
Why is invalidating me and erasing my humanity and ACCEPTABLE COST to give them their validation???
When anyone of you reading this can give me solid answers to these lists, can give me step by step responses to how to handle that all and process it.... maybe I'll find a way to "let my anger go".