12 October 2014

Behind the dark path

I've had several people comment or message me about yesterday's post. To all of you, thank you. I'd like to particularly thank the one person who actually offered to help me with hair and makeup.

I think that perhaps the only way to explain where I'm at is to explain where I'm at and why I'm so stuck.

My wife and I met in 1998, and married in 1999. She always came across as slightly distant or aloof, but claimed that it was a trait of her Gemini star sign.

After our son was born in 2003, her behaviour changed for the worse in subtle ways. I thought that she was suffering from post natal depression, and repeatedly urged her to seek treatment. She refused, apparently believing that she didn't have a problem.

Over the years, I've probably expressed concern about her apparent depression and suggested that she seek professional help at least every six months, because in spite of (or possibly because of) how badly I suffer with depression, I can see that her problem is far worse than mine.

Recently, a relative of my wife's had her son diagnosed as very mildly autistic. Upon learning that Autism Spectrum Disorders are genetic, and that it is common for the carrier parent to be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome shortly after their child is diagnosed Austistic, she began reading up on Asperger's and realised that while she has some traits in that general direction, the symptoms fitted my wife far better than they fitted her.

She sent me the link to this web page, which has a section titled "Issues for partners of people with Asperger syndrome or ASD". It accurately describes the behavioural changes that I saw in my wife after our son was born, that I had been interpreting for all these years as depression.

When I read an article about a book about Girls and women who have Asperger's Syndrome, I was distressed to realise just how well it fits my wife's behaviour.

So I tried to discuss the fact that she may have Asperger's or a similar disorder on the autism spectrum with my wife. She has basically refused to even get a referral to a psychologist because she doesn't want to be labelled.

One person I know has been telling me for years that I should separate from her, and I already know that in spite of how biased towards giving mothers custody the family services system is, because of her behaviour and her relationship with our son, I would get custody. Our son struggles with her behaviour, and is more relaxed when they are apart. Aside from not wanting to be seen with me when I am crossdressed, my son prefers to be with me rather than with his mother.

The problem is that I still love her, and I've always seen marriage as a lifetime commitment.

Over the years, I've tried to make small changes in my work and around the house to try to make it possible for me to cope, many of which I've mentioned here in various blog posts. With my wife's refusal to seek diagnosis, I've tried to work out how to make changes that will help all three of us, and failed miserably, to the point that I've come to realise that my son and I would most likely cope better without her unless things change soon.

So, faced with the choice between going against my core beliefs and separating, and continuing to try to get the family to function again, I've continued to try. The problem is that crossdressing is an important part of who I am, and it is something that I have to do occasionally. While I struggle to keep everything else together, having my plans consistently ruined at short notice has put me onto that dark path. Even just one successful outing would probably be enough for me to cope far better with everything else for a few weeks.


  1. I don't have anything useful to say, I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you xx

  2. I don't know Newcastle, I'm in Sydney. Sometimes if I've been sick (migraines) the next day I've GOT to get out, I'll just catch a bus into the city for a cappuccino, walk around a bit, then come home. It's pointless, but it restores my sanity. I'll wash my hair, put on makeup & just BE. I feel the need to just dress up & get out sometimes - not the same thing I know, but please get out! If this is what keeps you sane - you need to find a way.
    Asperger's syndrome is complex. Have you heard of schizoid personality type/disorder? SPD appears very similar to Asperger's. Your wife hasn't been diagnosed, but you know her.
    Look after yourself AJ!

  3. Dear Alice
    I have not commented to any of your posts until now, although I have read them all over the last few months. I feel that I now need to write something to you, I don’t know if what I say will help you but I need to get my personal thoughts down and will let you hear them.
    I have only experienced depression at a very close second hand. It was not pleasant and it took us 3 years before we realised what it was following a burnout. Although I work in the medical field (clinical research) I thought I knew at least theoretically what was happening, I soon realised I was totally out of my depth in handling it. We sought professional help and “we” now have it under control, not completely cured, but under control.
    In past posts you have hinted on the family situation but never in great detail. I feel privileged that you have opened up to us concerning your wife’s condition and her unfortunate rejection that she has one at all. I believe that this revelation to us was hard for you and it shows the level of desperation you have reached.

    That you have now a clearer knowledge of the possible illness behind her condition will, I hope, help you to have a clearer plan of the future and prepare you in a small way for the difficult consequences you will have to make. The biggest and by far the most important hurdle in the short term is for you AND close family to encourage your wife to seek help. She must be assured that what she has is not her fault and that she hasn’t let everyone down. It is embarrassing for her to admit to having a condition of this type and therefore she rejects the insinuation that she has one at all. She must come to realise that you will be there to support her what ever the diagnosis is. This will in no way be easy, but you have a goal to concentrate on. You have tried to “correct” the problem over the years by making concessions / adjustments to your own life and have realised it has been a frustrating and helpless experience. It is time you stopped correcting yourself and focus on “correcting” in some way your loved one, for her sake and your own sanity.
    I can only hope, and we are all with you on this, that your wife will cooperate in the end so that more dire consequences will not have to be made. As has been said by the others. please seek profession help, you cannot do this on your own!
    What ever happens, you must start to work on yourself for yourself. Alice is a very important part of you, as Alice is very important to us. Please see that she gets out again if not for you at least for our sakes! - Doctors orders. ;-)
    Wish you all the best

    PS: I’m so fascinated with your nails! How can you keep them so long and immaculate with the work you do around the house! But enough for now, put on a pair of your lovely heels and go for a walk.

  4. I can offer no practical help (being the "wrong" side of the world) and will offer no advise, I'm sure you will have more than enough of that, I will just say that my thoughts and sympathy are with you and I will hold you in my prayers.