What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Hate Groups, or the Cassandras21 min read

Who are the Cassandras?

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was cursed to see the future, but no one would believe her. In the modern world of the internet, Cassandras are women who have banded together to fight a common enemy: Aspies.

Except…

Their part­ners are not aspies, at least the vast majority of them. I would feel con­fi­dent in esti­mating that upwards of 95% of them have part­ners who are diag­nosed by no one other than them­selves. In that micro­cosm, they cel­e­brate being neu­rotyp­ical as if it’s a severely oppressed minority.

Trigger warning: there is hate speech against autistic adults and chil­dren quoted in this article. Please do not con­tinue reading this article if you are not in a place to process the emo­tional burden of this kind of exposé.

A Hard Truth

It is hard to make a neurotypical-Aspergian (NT-AS) rela­tion­ship work. Very. The fact is, the dif­fer­ences in the way each is wired are per­va­sive. Their core iden­ti­ties are rooted in dif­ferent con­structs, which means that their values, per­cep­tions, and even the way they derive meaning are dif­ferent. Sensory issues, social per­cep­tion, cog­ni­tive pro­files, and emo­tional dif­fer­ences, too, will cause nuanced dis­crep­an­cies that are nearly impos­sible to rec­on­cile and dif­fi­cult to even pin­point.

It is a death of a thou­sand paper cuts for one or both par­ties. Almost anyone who has been in an NT-AS rela­tion­ship will con­firm this fact.

There is very little avail­able when it comes to helpful lit­er­a­ture to explain the dif­fer­ences between autistic and neu­rotyp­ical people (NTs), and most resources for cou­ples ask one of the part­ners to do most, if not all, of the com­pro­mising. Either way, it’s likely to strangle both peo­ple’s spirits unless they are a rare match that just hap­pens to align on the fun­da­men­tals.

Often, we grow to regard the other as childish, emo­tion­ally imma­ture, and selfish, our pri­or­i­ties for­ever at odds.

Anti-Autistic Hate Groups

As laugh­able as it sounds, they’re out there. I found out about this one the hard way by step­ping into the middle of one…

They often hide in Facebook groups for neu­rotyp­ical part­ners of aspies. Somehow, I ended up in one after a friend told me that she would like me to lend my per­spec­tive to help strug­gling women better under­stand Asperger’s. What I read was hor­ri­fying: They’re nothing more than empty shells that almost look like humans. They don’t have any empathy. They are all gaslighting mon­sters. They’re always looking for some­thing more shiny, like an object.

When you’re autistic, these state­ments hurt, and they’re ter­ri­fying. They ter­rify you for your autistic spouse and your autistic child(ren). You want to say some­thing, but you know how it will go over. You are torn between right­eous indig­na­tion, rage, and dev­as­tating sad­ness.

What con­ver­sa­tion has ever been pro­duc­tive when one party begins by having to con­vince the other that she is not the embod­i­ment of nar­cis­sism and sadistic evil?

We’ll build a bridge and break down mis­con­cep­tions together, I tell myself.

Hot damn, did it not go over well.

To tell them that all aspies are not serial cheaters, vio­lent, and abu­sive; or, to tell them what behav­iors were the oppo­site of Asperger’s was to them an inval­i­da­tion of their expe­ri­ences.

It didn’t matter if they were with someone who had the traits of a malig­nant nar­cis­sist with anti­so­cial per­son­ality dis­order. To them, the dis­tinc­tion was moot. They were with mon­sters, other people in the group were with mon­sters, and the name they were using to define all manner of mon­strosity was Asperger’s.

Undeveloped. Social. Conscience…

Seriously!? There’s a per­va­sive irony in a chart like this with a fun­da­mental lack of social con­science under­scoring the entirety of it. It’s a juve­nile demon­stra­tion of social Darwinism, as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of social con­sci­en­tious­ness as a rabid hyena. They ascribe autistic strengths to neu­rotyp­i­cals, too, like hon­esty, loy­alty, faith­ful­ness, and crit­ical thinking.

We socialize for our own ego/narcissism? Manipulate others by fear, anx­iety, verbal/physical vio­lence? No social con­science? Somehow, we’ve man­aged to be com­pletely socially inept, but also cun­ning manip­u­la­tors. And inability to laugh at one­self and one’s own mis­takes? Really? Have they ever met an autistic person? Most of us are Quixotic social jus­tice war­riors. A good 75% of our humor is com­prised of self-deprecation and jokes about our own suf­fering.

Asperger’s Guide to Humor

But, these women are not with actual aspies. Some of them are, but most of them are with general-purpose ass­holes, quite neu­rotyp­ical.

According to their logic, all deplorable traits point to Asperger’s: Sex addict? Must be Asperger’s. Doesn’t want sex? Must be Asperger’s. Screams all the time? Aspie. Never talks? Aspie. Stingy with money? Aspie. Lavish spender? Aspie. Genocidal war­lord? Bad tipper? Halitosis? Con man? Serial killer? Liar? Flat-earther?

They have web­sites and even a non-profit. There’s theNeurotypical.com and, no joke, heartlessAspergers.com. They’re on a mis­sion, and that mis­sion is to tell people that aspies are hor­rible inhuman beings. They are ded­i­cated to bringing aware­ness to the suf­fering part­ners of these zero-empathy, emo­tion­less, robotic, mind-blind, manip­u­la­tive, pathologically-dishonest, and just fun­da­men­tally evil aspies.

So what about aspies who con­tend that they aren’t any of the things as described on those sites?

As Aspies will tell you, they might seem like they don’t care about other people’s feel­ings, but that’s only because they don’t know what others are feeling. If they knew, they say, they would care (don’t believe that! You can tell them how you feel for decades, and they will never under­stand or care. Ask anyone who has been mar­ried or close in any way to one of them. All you will get is inval­i­da­tion).

-anony­mous NT on heartlessaspergers.com

They blame the autism lobby and the #actu­allyautistic move­ment for putting too much pos­i­tive infor­ma­tion out into the world about these “heart­less mon­sters.” By all def­i­n­i­tions, from their base­less pro­pa­ganda to their self-published garbage books, these groups are active hate groups oper­ating in the open world.

One of the authors they rec­om­mend is ebook self-publisher J.B. Snow. From her ebook, The Critical Nature of the Aspie or OCPD Husband: The Hard Truth: Living with a Partner on the Autism Spectrum (Transcend Mediocrity Book 15):

If you look at a tod­dler with Asperger’s Syndrome, you will realize that they run over other chil­dren. They are often abra­sive. They bite, punch, kick, push, shove, scratch and pinch nearly anyone who gets in the way or takes their belong­ings. The wife of an aspie might find her­self in an all-out war if she sells her spouse’s base­ball card col­lec­tion without his knowl­edge.

As the mother of an aspie tod­dler, this enrages me. There are people out there writing my tod­dler off, who has never bitten, hit, kicked, or pinched anyone, as a vio­lent nui­sance and defec­tive before she’s even learned to ride a bicycle. I’m per­plexed by the instant jump in sub­ject matter to selling off a hus­band’s base­ball card col­lec­tion without his knowl­edge. Would that not infu­riate anyone?

She goes on to sug­gest that an aspie man might hoard child pornog­raphy on his com­puter because he is a prim­i­tive and un-evolved col­lector like a cavemen, that he will take a mis­tress when he’s bored, that he will become a sexual abuser when he wants to exert con­trol, and that he doesn’t know what it means to love.

If there was just one example of an aspie man who is none of these things, then this would be a hor­rible, damning indict­ment; how­ever, this is a wholly inac­cu­rate account of most aspie men. Knowing hun­dreds, I have never met one who fits her descrip­tion. My own aspie hus­band is the kindest, most self­less, empa­thetic, hon­or­able, and loving man I have ever known.

Another self-published book is Broken by Katy Ford. Clearly, there was no editor for this one as every sen­tence is rife with errors and lacking in punc­tu­a­tion. The real problem, though, is in the con­tent:

I have read on count­less sites and forums and can indeed per­son­ally verify that the anx­iety of living with an AS/NT rela­tion­ship if you are not aware of the AS will lead to phys­ical ill­ness from colds to cancer.

What can I even do with this? Seriously…

From the next chapter enti­tled, “What is Asperger’s?”

People with AS are inca­pable of feel­ings and empathy and because of this their part­ners and chil­dren suffer from extreme emo­tional neglect which results in sig­nif­i­cant emo­tional trauma.

I know I’m not sup­posed to be capable of having feel­ings, but this has me feeling lots of ways. The thing is, they believe this. Her ex-husband was not even diag­nosed. She diag­nosed him. Almost all of them have diag­nosed men with any cluster of neg­a­tive traits as having Asperger’s.

The Collateral

So, what hap­pens to autistic people as these forums and groups expand and all manner of evil people are deemed to be autistic and all autis­tics are deemed to be evil? Many of these people work with autistic chil­dren. Many have autistic chil­dren they hate. They are nurses and mental health care workers, teachers and church mem­bers. They feel their hate is jus­ti­fied.

And, if it’s hard to believe that they are out there, hating autis­tics and seeing them as all evil, vile humans with psy­chopathy and greed and vio­lent rage, then look at their forum, AS Partners. It’s public. There, they con­jec­ture about every killer and rapist in the news, just “knowing” that he is autistic. It’s at this point, I’m seeing the dis­con­nect between our aspie “facts” and their “emo­tions.” These are def­i­nitely feel­ings I would inval­i­date.

They claim that autis­tics have a “look,” and that they can spot them at a glance with their “creepy, soul­less eyes.”

Evidence

If the books and the web­sites aren’t evi­dence enough, they have a public forum called AS Partners. You can browse it and see for your­self. Below are some com­ments from the site that typify what you’ll see there.

After con­jec­turing that Jamie Closs’s kid­napper was autistic, and that she could tell by looking at him, a woman said:

This social night­mare will NEVER end.  The Aspergers/autism pop­u­la­tion just keeps re-producing.  

And then there’s this from a woman musing on how scary it is that we repro­duce:

Do you think there are some cou­ples making the desci­sion to have chil­dren even though they know at least one of them have Aspergers and they could easily pass it on to their chil­dren, I think there must be by now. I don’t think they all see it as a bad thing to have autism, many of them think it makes them spe­cial and much better than other people. The part that wor­ries me most is when it’s the mother who has Aspergers, that seems to be the way it is just as often as it’s the father but I think that’s only begin­ning to come to light now. I don’t think any­body could say that Aspies make good par­ents, except them of course, how can any­body be a good parent if they don’t have the capa­bility to feel empathy or under­stand their chil­drens emo­tions. You have to be able to read your chil­dren’s emo­tions because they don’t always tell you about their prob­lems but you can easily see if they’re upset about any­thing if you have the capa­bility to feel empathy. 

That kills me. I am an aspie mother with an autistic child and an aspie hus­band. I’ve never been harsh to my child. We are so con­nected that we com­mu­ni­cate almost tele­path­i­cally. I breastfed her until she was 17.5 months old, slept on the couch for a year with her in a bassinet right in front of my face. She is cher­ished, safe, and loved and knows it.

I am not a per­fect mother by any stretch, but I am the per­fect mother for my daughter. I have the ability to empathize with her because we are so sim­ilar. No neu­rotyp­ical could innately empathize with my daughter. They’re not wired the way she is. That’s not to say that they couldn’t be great par­ents to a neu­ro­di­verse child, but their intu­itions would fail them in the same way that my intu­itions would fail me with a neu­rotyp­ical child.

The best thing a neu­rotyp­ical parent of an autistic child can do for their child is to rely on the wisdom of autistic adults to pro­vide insight and wisdom into the way their chil­dren’s minds work. The con­verse is true for neu­ro­di­verse par­ents of neu­rotyp­ical chil­dren

My hus­band is the best father any daughter ever had. He takes her out all the time, after working hard labor all day, to parks or indoor bounce houses and play­grounds. There are mothers every­where, and no fathers… and then there’s my hus­band with his daughter, encour­aging her, making her laugh, helping her to climb on things, playing with her while everyone else is gos­siping or staring at their cell phones.

He wears a diaper bag back­pack full of pup­pets and snacks and toys he’s packed. He makes sure she has enough water because she never thinks to ask for any. It’s true he doesn’t always intuit what she wants when she’s upset, but he does try hard and gets better every day. I think he does better than most men in that arena.

Father walks carrying toddler daughter.  Snow is everywhere.  Toddler reaches toward snowman.

But I shouldn’t have to be put in a posi­tion where I feel like I have to prove that my family is not made up of mon­sters based on nothing we’ve ever said, done, or thought. No one should ever be put in that posi­tion. No one should ever have the thought, “Are they going to think I’m guilty because I’m trying to prove myself, or will they think I’m guilty if I don’t qualify my good­ness and humanity?” This is what racism does to people of color. It is a life forced into defense and uncer­tainty. It is a life of beg­ging the ques­tion, Am I in friendly ter­ri­tory?

So when I read this web­site and see mothers talking about how love shouldn’t be wasted on autistic kids because they can’t appre­ciate it anyway, and how autistic people can’t have empathy, how all aspies are totally self-serving and abu­sive, how neu­rotyp­i­cals need to come together to “defeat” and “abolish” us, how Hitler and all the Nazis were aspies, and how aspies shouldn’t be par­ents… I feel a lot of things.

I feel fear that someone who has these prej­u­dices will maybe one day be a teacher in my daugh­ter’s class­room. I weep for my friends’ chil­dren. I am broken for the autistic chil­dren of these women. I fear for adults who are going to be judged by these stan­dards in cus­tody hear­ings or by employers. I fear that these stereo­types that are based on nothing but internet pro­pa­ganda are going to make life harder for people who don’t deserve it. It is a fun­da­mental lack of empathy that I fear, and not from autis­tics.

The Real Issue

The fol­lowing is another com­ment on that site that I think really speaks to the under­lying issue fueling all of this antipathy:

Yeah the inno­cent Aspie bull­shit is a huge lie that’s really hurting a lot of kind empa­thetic people and wasting years of their lives. Why does nobody seem to care about all the vic­tims of their emo­tional abuse, their parners and their own chil­dren ?. I think quite a few of the part­ners of people on this site should be added to that warning list. My non­partner isn’t a sexual predator but he still preys on women to get what he wants. They have nothing to give back to us but con­stant carping crit­i­cism and all the blame when any­thing goes wrong.

This is the core of the problem. Many of these women are with abu­sive men. I was with one before, and he was neu­rotyp­ical. He never com­pli­mented me. I could do nothing right. He com­pared me to everyone, yelled at me, iso­lated me, scared me to the point I feared for my life, and even became phys­ical towards the end. He didn’t care about anyone but him­self.

I read what these women are expe­ri­encing, and I empathize. I relate per­son­ally. Nobody should ever be treated this way, but I stayed more years than I should have. Everyone in a sit­u­a­tion like that should be encour­aged to leave. I stayed because I thought I was sup­posed to, because I felt sorry for him, because I feared he would be home­less without me, because my ther­a­pist said I would leave when I was ready, and because I wor­ried what would happen to me when I told him I wanted out. These women, many of them, are in the same boat.

But, in the same way that it would be wrong to scape­goat Catholics, Brits, artists, neu­rotyp­i­cals, or multi-racial people for my ex-husband’s behav­iors, it is wrong to paint autis­tics with such a broad brush.

But these greedy, vio­lent, abu­sive mon­sters without empathy aren’t aspies. Aspies don’t lack empathy, but they don’t empathize the same way. Neurotypicals don’t know how to empathize with us, either. It doesn’t come nat­u­rally to them. We (aspies) empathize with each other quite well… nat­u­rally. We’re graceful together.

Pickup Professor Meme | MIXING CHEMICALS WITHOUT SAFETY GLASSES? RISKY BEHAVIOR IS MY THING | image tagged in memes,pickup professor | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Some of these women are with actual aspies, and they are being emo­tion­ally neglected. Whether their part­ners can’t do better because they don’t know what to do, or they refuse to do better because they are stub­born is incon­se­quen­tial.

Relationship and family sup­ports are needed for this demo­graphic, but it’s pos­sible to put sup­ports in place without demo­nizing all aspies. Even if a neu­rotyp­ical woman is with a self­less, kind, giving aspie, he is still not neu­ro­log­i­cally in-sync with her. She’s not in-sync with him, either. They need to under­stand that they speak dif­ferent lan­guages. The right sup­ports could help them both to inter­pret the other better. Then, they can make an informed deci­sion about whether or not it’s worth the effort to stay.

If there were any hope for these rela­tion­ships, there won’t be once someone has accepted that their partner is a broken, infe­rior, sub-human mon­ster. A group like that thrives on con­fir­ma­tion bias, just like any hate group.

There is nothing lov­able about Autism/Aspergers. It is a life sen­tence for the one who’s got it and everyone they come across. [ … ] No. These people are rep­tiles pre­tending to be human as they don their people cos­tumes and recite their mem­o­rized words. They are preda­tors. They do not feel empathy. They do not under­stand emo­tion; they cannot truly feel.

A woman says in this AS Partner forum, and no one chal­lenges it. In fact, it’s a frequently-repeated maxim on the site. I have seen anti-Semites say the same thing about Jews. This brand of supremacy kills. Literally.

This is why ther­a­pists won’t sup­port the “Cassandra Phenomenon.” Because it’s based on the false premise that autis­tics are inher­ently abu­sive, without empathy, and a terror to those who have the mis­for­tune of being in their com­pany.

NT-AS Relationships

We’re not always a good match. I’d imagine that we’re not usu­ally a great match. This is a serious issue in rela­tion­ship health that needs atten­tion.

This New Year’s Eve, my hus­band and I both checked our phones at the same time, and we both gasped in unison. We had received a, “Happy Anniversary!” text from my mother-in-law. We looked at each other with that Am-I-in-trouble? face and both burst out laughing. We forgot together, and I was reminded that I was with someone who was per­fect for me.

As I read through these wom­en’s com­ments, many of them were com­plaints about behav­iors that would describe my hus­band. He responds often with only one or two words. He has audi­tory pro­cessing issues which are some­times worse than others. He totally can’t read my subtle or obvious hints, and his memory can be abysmal at times and ridicu­lously detailed other times.

Other com­plaints describe me. I don’t want to receive gifts on occa­sions or cel­e­brate tra­di­tion­ally for hol­i­days, I am ter­rible at keeping up with everyday minutia, and my house­keeping skills are less-than-great. I only drink out of Kerr wide-mouth mason jars at home, I like to eat with spoons and not forks, and hoodies are my winter uni­form unless I’m going out.

We both agree on the essen­tials, though. Facts always super­sede emo­tions. It is assumed that nothing is wrong unless we say some­thing is wrong. We feel like we’ve won at the game of life when we’re all alive and well at the end of each day. Nothing is sacred, small talk is a waste of breath, no humor is too dark, and nobody else is respon­sible for our emo­tions but our­selves.

I feel so fiercely in love with my hus­band when he chal­lenges me, those times when he wasn’t going to com­pro­mise his values or acqui­esce. I would be dev­as­tated and dis­ap­pointed if he said, “We’ll have to agree to dis­agree.” It would feel like the ulti­mate dis­missal, a cloying, patron­izing ceding, like I’m not a worthy intel­lec­tual spar­ring partner. The brand of par­lance with which we com­mu­ni­cate is dif­ferent and would offend or con­fuse NTs.

If someone neu­rotyp­ical is with an aspie (or any partner) and is unful­filled in the rela­tion­ship, he or she should leave… no guilt, no shame, no being told to com­pro­mise or make it work. Anyone in a rela­tion­ship that is mis­er­able and unre­warding with no reci­procity should not be guilted into staying. No unwilling party should carry 90% of the load in a rela­tion­ship, which is what hap­pens very often to modern women.

An Appeal to Empathy

If you were unaware that anti-autistic hate groups were a thing, now you know. We autis­tics have no recourse to combat these kinds of prej­u­dices if people are going to accuse us of being mind-blind sociopaths every time we attempt to advo­cate for our­selves.

In these com­mu­ni­ties, there are bla­tant calls for eugenics, arm­chair diag­nos­tics of everyone who is mon­strous as being autistic, and prej­u­dices that have the poten­tial to cause extreme harm to people based on their “look.” Some people even forego he/she pro­nouns to refer to autistic people as “it.”

As soon as I, or any autistic person, attempt to dis­credit false infor­ma­tion based on evi­dence, either anec­dotal, clin­ical, or aca­d­emic, it is rejected as “biased” or “self-serving.” I have had people tell me that my “inability to take own­er­ship for how messed up [I am] and my mind blind­ness cause [me] to have a false idea of having feel­ings and empathy.”

A person being cold, boring, hos­tile, robotic, empathy-disrupted, awk­ward, routine-oriented, lacking in inti­macy, clue­less, rude, or com­bative is not cause for armchair-diagnosing them with autism. All of those things in varying degrees and com­bi­na­tions can be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a hun­dred dif­ferent com­bi­na­tions of genetic, neu­ro­log­ical, med­ical, psy­cho­log­ical, mood/affective, or per­son­ality dis­or­ders.

We need neu­rotyp­i­cals to use their priv­i­lege, as par­ents, edu­ca­tors, friends, clin­i­cians, sci­en­tists, and researchers to sub­stan­tiate our humanity and con­demn this suprema­cist ableism since we are not given the floor to do it for our­selves.

The Series

This article is part of a series about the many antag­o­nists of Asperger’s, the word and the people with Asperger’s Syndrome.  To read other arti­cles in the series, click below:

What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and the APA
What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Employers
What’s in a Word: Asperger’s and Employers, a case study

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30 Comments

  1. Having just looked at both those web­sites; I am absolutely shocked. I knew there was stereo­types and a lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion out there, but this is actual hatred towards us. I am mar­ried to a NT and have two chil­dren. I do the majority of the child­care becasue I am unem­ployed at present. Of course, my traits can be frus­trating at times and cause some con­flicts, but we work through it. If my wife thought I was any of those things listed on those sites,s he would never leave me alone with my chil­dren. It is despi­cable and it actu­ally makes me wonder if there are people around me who see me that way.

    1. You can be reas­sured spec­trumhacks, that this does NOT rep­re­sent the view­point of the vast majority of NT’s in a rela­tion­ship with an aspie. The sites, self pub­lished books and fora from which these quotes were taken are not a good cross sec­tion, but rep­re­sent self pub­lished works, closed Facebook groups for angry part­ners and some less than main­stream web­sites.
      I am NT with a neu­ro­di­verse partner and have found many great sources of insightful, sup­portive and prac­tical infor­ma­tion about under­standing the cause of our dif­fi­cul­ties and help to work through prob­lems without resorting to back­stab­bing and vit­riol.
      This article does nothing to encourage a healthy exchange between typ­i­cally devel­oping people and neu­ro­di­verse people. It does just the oppo­site.
      Your wife chose you, mar­ried you, had a family with you, just like we did. There are chal­lenges, and there are bitter, angry people out there, the internet is full of arm­chair war­riors with agendas.
      There are women whose part­ners are undi­ag­nosed and they are mis­taken in believing (and com­plaining) that they have aspergers and are really just nar­cis­sists, abusers and everyday gits. There are many with a recently diag­nosed aspie, the process takes a long time where I live, even if you have a coop­er­a­tive partner. My expe­rienec is that older men are mostly not diag­nosed, as when they were chil­dren and younger there was no diag­nosis pos­sible, as Aspergers only began to become recog­nised more widely in the 1990s. These women don’t deserve to be stig­ma­tised like this by being grouped into this hateful group.

      1. Author

        I would like to know what women, exactly, were stig­ma­tized by this article who were unde­serving.

      2. Author

        What I would also like to know is why you feel that this article is addressing any­thing other than the actual hate groups, or why you feel that it is gen­er­al­ized to people without a diag­nosis who are sup­portive. It’s written with no sub­text, unlike this com­ment, where one has to wonder how much of this is pas­sive aggres­sively accusing me of vit­riol, being an arm­chair war­rior, and stig­ma­tizing women with actual aspies.

        You said that this article ref­er­ences self-published books, fora, closed groups for angry part­ners, and less-than-mainstream sites. Yes. Correct. That is lit­er­ally what this article ref­er­ences. This article also takes great care to rein­force, mul­tiple times, that there are real chal­lenges which NT-ND cou­ples face that require sup­ports. In fact, it was so impor­tant to me that that spe­cific point was empha­sized that I made a graphic with “Her needs aren’t being met. Her pain is valid.”

        I’m about 97% sure I rec­og­nize you from sev­eral of these groups (pat­tern recog­ni­tion in syntax). I once said some­thing about hyper­a­dren­ergic states in one group, and you thought I was ref­er­encing some pseu­do­science (right­fully) because I used the phrase “adrenal fatigue.” I didn’t know that was a thing, and was ref­er­encing sys­temic fatigue from being in the sym­pa­thetic ner­vous system all the time. You were very con­cerned with accu­racy, which I respected. Your syntax and your atten­tion to detail ini­tially caused me to think you were pos­sibly one of us (an aspie), and I called you “fam.” You thought this was con­de­scen­sion, but I was trying to honor you with insider lan­guage, to signal that I thought you were there to make sure someone kept things fac­tual. I was wrong, though.

        Perhaps you’re still annoyed with me for equating rape cul­ture with saying that a 90-some year old autistic woman should be able to require con­sent to unso­licited touch without impli­ca­tions that she belongs in an asylum. I know you thought that was an over­re­ac­tion, but if you ever expe­ri­enced what it feels like in some of our skin to be kissed on the cheek or embraced by someone we don’t want to touch us, you’d know how vio­lating and intol­er­able it is. Autistic people (or any people) shouldn’t have to say, “Hey, I’m sorry I would prefer to reject your hug because it causes me to feel vio­lated and have panic because I have autism,” or “…because I am a sexual assault sur­vivor,” or for any reason. It should be okay without people being made to feel crazy or like they are inca­pable of affec­tion in gen­eral.

        I didn’t even post the most dis­turbing things I saw. Not even close. What should I have done? What would you sug­gest would’ve been the better course of action?

        But for all the hun­dreds of thou­sands of times I tried to ford those pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tions without judge­ment, and people were hos­tile or cruel, what did you say? Or when I said some­thing that you found insightful, what did you say? When people posted to me that hate group pro­pa­ganda, and I respect­fully said that it was not some­thing I was going to share because it was harmful, what did you say? And when I was pressed to explain, and I obliged, respect­fully; and everyone cried “unsafe” and “pedantic aspie,” what did you say? Or when I posted like 30 other arti­cles on this site with helpful infor­ma­tion, what did you say? What did any of the women from these groups say? When ever, in all of the words I have put out there, did I ever con­de­scend or attack or fail to answer some­one’s sin­cere ques­tions?

        And why do you think I agreed to join those groups every time someone invited me? Or that I spent so much time in there? Because it was enjoy­able and good for my mental health? Because of the money I was making?

        I know you think I’m angry, and that I’m an arm­chair war­rior. You’re not com­pletely wrong, but the “arm­chair” part is insulting. That’s fine, but it dimin­ishes the time I spend on this, having never made a penny from it and having no agenda other than to help people– all people. It dimin­ishes how hard I have worked for the cre­den­tials I have. It takes all the thou­sands of hours and dol­lars I’ve spent to obtain this edu­ca­tion, both formal and anecodtal, and dis­misses it with a single word.

        I am angry, and if you were con­cerned with fair­ness, you’d look at that article and see why, or think about what has hap­pened in those groups and see why. You would admit that I’m right. I’m rec­og­nized as an expert in this field, not because I’m some pop-psychology guru con­nected to power struc­tures or some woman with a per­sonal or selfish agenda. Yes, I’m intense and pas­sionate. What’s wrong with that? There’s a need for it, and this article was sup­posed to help people see what kind of atti­tudes and bar­riers are causing undo and ruth­lessly cruel hard­ships for autistic people. You should see what autistic reac­tions have been to this article.

        And if you are who I think you are, then you already know that encour­aging a pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion within these groups is not going to happen. Spending tens of thou­sands of words trying to swallow all the anger and dev­as­tating sad­ness at seeing these kinds of con­ver­sa­tions to actu­ally help people get accu­rate infor­ma­tion and to gently per­suade people that hate speech isn’t okay or that they have the wrong idea about what Asperger’s really means isn’t going to work. You have watched that happen. In our inter­ac­tions, I can’t remember any time when you’ve tried to meet me half way or interact with pos­i­tively. Did nothing I ever said res­onate? If I can’t be lis­tened to as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of autism, then who should be?

        It’s actu­ally very dan­gerous to advise someone how to nav­i­gate an aspie-NT rela­tion­ship if the partner is not aspie but is instead someone with anti-social per­son­ality dis­order, nar­cis­sistic per­son­ality dis­order, or actual sociopathy (which is more common than Asperger’s). All those people trying des­per­ately to diag­nose their abu­sive men are risking a lot to listen to someone like me and take my advice if their men aren’t aspies.

        Spectrumhacks did not say he won­ders if his wife believes these things about him. He said he won­ders if others around him believe these things. Did you want to really reas­sure him, or did you find an oppor­tu­nity to leave a pas­sive aggres­sive, demeaning com­ment without directly addressing me? Because if that’s what you did, then how could you really expect me to have these con­ver­sa­tions with you more effec­tively? Autistics all wonder these things and sense them, with or without my article. It’s dis­turbing but also val­i­dating to have con­fir­ma­tion that people feel the way they do. Those sites, when com­bined, have thou­sands upon thou­sands of mem­bers. I per­son­ally have been made aware of the col­lat­eral of some of those sites to indi­vid­uals who did not deserve it. And I did not post the worst and most dis­turbing things from them. Not even close.

        If you are not someone who spreads these kinds of untruths and hate speech, then this article isn’t about you. If you’ve faced chal­lenges as a result of being in an NT-ND rela­tion­ship, then this article addresses that in a very sin­cere way. Those strug­gles are extremely dif­fi­cult for both people, who despite loving each other very much, can’t seem to find a rhythm and thus are always step­ping on each oth­er’s toes. I addressed that in the article.

        Autistic people are at mul­tiple dis­ad­van­tages. The main one is that they are vastly out­num­bered as a minority. No one has to pay atten­tion to our words, and most don’t con­sider us at all in their pub­li­ca­tions about us. So, all the burden of proof is on autistic people… and what hap­pens when people say that we are serial liars who manip­u­late, cheat, and gaslight? Nobody is going to listen. What about when we’re too blunt? And what exactly is the cut-off in blunt lan­guage for when someone has said that autis­tics are really just rep­tiles in skin suits?

        It sounds like you agree with me. What was it that you object to? There are hor­rible web­sites that dehu­manize, there are hor­rible lies being pro­lif­er­ated about what it means to be autistic, and there are people who have autistic chil­dren they find to be inhuman and they resent those chil­dren… hate them. This is a problem. They talk about masking like we’re some kind of pur­poseful wolves in sheep’s clothing, but then they feel “unsafe” when we’re unmasked and can’t tol­erate how we speak. They read way more into our words than we intend and don’t believe us when we say we don’t have a hidden agenda. They get infu­ri­ated if you men­tion that with NTs and NDs, mind­blind­ness is a two-way street.

        So please, what is it that I or any of us could do here to bal­ance the dra­mat­i­cally uneven scales a little bit that would be accept­able?

        I think you’re a smart woman and a good person, but you are not being fair here. I hope that you’ll see this article with empathy and think about how much it hurts us to see people talking about how the world needs to know how dan­gerous we “dim blue lights” are and how if we rage even once ever, we are capable of being the person that will kill our fam­i­lies? I know people per­son­ally who had their lives totally and unfairly upended by these sites. There are teachers and nurses and even people who work with autis­tics on these sites. This is a human rights issue.

        One time, just once, you felt asso­ci­ated with a group that has been accused of doing some­thing wrong, and you cried “unfair.” But you are in those groups, even if you aren’t filled with hate. You’re still seeing it every day. Do you con­demn it? This arti­cle’s motive is spelled out clearly in its con­clu­sion. It is an appeal to the empathy of people like you to use your priv­i­lege to alert people when they are par­tic­i­pating in ped­dling bias and prej­u­dice that causes extreme harm.

        YOU’RE angry at ME for pointing out what you know is true. Why? Because you don’t deserve to be asso­ci­ated with mon­sters? Then maybe you know 1/100000th of what it feels like to be us, but you at least have a choice about the asso­ci­a­tion. We don’t.

        1. Just to cor­rect one thing — I was not refer­ring to you when I used the term arm­chair war­rior, but the very many people out there online.
          I do not agree with, or sup­port, any of the intol­erant, igno­rant and mis­guided prej­u­dice you high­lighted in your article. I am very sad and sorry that there is so much neg­a­tivity and unhap­pi­ness caused by the mis­un­der­stand­ings and mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion between us as neuro-different groups.
          I don’t “know” you and vice versa.

          1. Author

            When I first read this, I cried I was so embar­rassed and humil­i­ated. I put so much emo­tional labor into this article and seeing what it has done to autis­tics has caused me a new kind of pain that is abjectly mis­er­able. I put so much into the reply banking that you were the person I thought you were. I thought you were that woman that I would help because you had good­ness in you and you were whip smart. I saw her say nice things else­where, just never to me, and thought she was someone who might glean some things and get some insight and maybe her life would be a little less fraught with iso­la­tion and she would find some ways to make her mar­riage more rewarding and rec­i­p­rocal.

            Then, I saw this com­ment and how wrong I was, and the dam that has walled in my sanity through this expe­ri­ence broke, and I wept. I’m weeping typing this. What a foolish woman I am, I told myself. I’ve over­es­ti­mated my pat­tern recog­ni­tion. Here was some nice lady just being affirming, and I dumped all this on her plate. So, I went to the admin panel to get your email address to send you a per­sonal apology. I was going to issue one here, pub­licly, too. And your email address is lit­er­ally your first ini­tial and your last name. I was right.

            I don’t know why you couldn’t have at least given me that. That was cruel. On a pain scale of 1–100, emo­tion­ally, I’ve been at a 90–95 every day for a few weeks over this article. Today broke the 100 point. First, there was the total humil­i­a­tion of thinking I was wrong and having dumped all that at the feet of the one NT out of thou­sands upon thou­sands who read this article and actu­ally responded. The guilt of having some poor woman trying to be an ally have to read all that, and I was wrong. The fear that my Rain Man syntax pat­tern recog­ni­tion had failed me and that maybe I don’t even have that skill and just am “cat­e­gor­i­cally delu­sional” (bat­shit crazy in the clin­ical ver­nac­ular, and that the back­lash from this article was maybe deserved because maybe I am just a fool…

            In the past, I would have just con­tinued, for days or weeks or months, to gaslight myself about this. I would’ve said that I was crazy. I would’ve stopped blog­ging, maybe… either for a time or for­ever. But this isn’t for me. It’s for other autis­tics, who are gaslit all the time and who are too pure to know if they deserve it or not.

            But now, I’m past that 100 point thinking that after all that, pouring all of that out, you couldn’t just give me the acknowl­edge­ment that I was right. That was bru­tally cruel, S. I won’t dox you because although I am a ter­ribly, deeply-flawed and clumsy indi­vidual, I do have honor. But shame on you. This is proof, though, that autis­tics are extremely vul­ner­able to dan­gerous people who aren’t afraid to virtue signal, lie, deceive, manip­u­late, and wash their hands of any fault. And they say that we lack empathy… No. I read you better than you read your­self, and you wouldn’t even extend me the grace of telling the truth.

        2. Full hon­esty, I didn’t read the whole wall-of-text in this com­ment, but thank you for pointing out that sociopathy is more common than autism. My “spe­cial interest” is in ana­lyzing how sociopath/psychopathic behavior is nor­mal­ized in neu­rotyp­ical society. I actu­ally think all NTs fall on a Psychopath Spectrum, it’s just never acknowl­edged because they are the majority so their psy­chopathy is con­sid­ered normal. Also, the dis­tinc­tion between sociopath and psy­chopath is only deter­mined by their posi­tion in the social hier­archy, and lim­ited only by what they think they can get away with.

      3. This article specif­i­cally addresses people who run hate groups that dis­sem­i­nate mis­in­for­ma­tion about autis­tics in a grotesquely self-serving way. There is no need to gen­er­alize this dis­cus­sion to anyone else. When you dis­parage and crit­i­cize someone from a mar­gin­al­ized group for exposing abuse through orga­nized sites, you are aligning your­self with those groups. No mar­gin­al­ized group should be asked to tol­erate hate-speech and the prop­a­ga­tion of lies that make their daily exis­tence harder so that you can feel com­fort­able. You need to cul­ti­vate your own ego bound­aries.

    2. Relax. These web­sites are just a show­case of how all NTs vilify anyone who fails to wor­ship them at all times in the way they all secretly believe they deserve, but would never admit.
      You’ve been living with it your whole life, you just didn’t know it, because NTs are patho­log­ical liars (which they pre­tend is a virtue because they’re “just being nice”).

  2. As I needed to log in to leave a com­ment, and this is your word­press site, you would auto­mat­i­cally have my email address and I am easily iden­ti­fi­able as you say. I gave you that infor­ma­tion from the outset. I have a word­press site and as the admin you would see this. I knew this when I replied to spec­trumhacks. Secondly, there is absolute truth in my agree­ment that the quotes and com­ments you picked up for your article are neg­a­tive, dam­aging and not to be sup­ported.

    I am very sorry that my inability to agree with all you said and have said else­where has caused you to feel upset. Indeed, I am very sorry you are upset now. If you feel that I have mis­lead you by saying we don’t “know” each other, then per­haps there was too much pre­sump­tion on my part that you would under­stand the pur­pose of the quo­ta­tion marks around “know”.
    You used the details of our pre­vious inter­ac­tion in a closed group to high­light that my crit­i­cism of your article was from a place of bias and malice.

    This is your plat­form and I have no busi­ness being on it any fur­ther. I under­stand very well that you intend to edu­cate, advo­cate and inform.

    1. Wow, if this is not a mas­ter­class in gaslighting and con­de­scen­sion…! Bravo!

  3. I love this article

  4. Terra,
    *Every* mental health diag­nosis has online hater com­mu­ni­ties like what you describe.
    It is not sn autism problem, it is a neu­rotyp­ical problem. NTs uni­ver­sally lash out this way against any­body who fails to val­i­date them con­stantly. Using mental health ter­mi­nology to describe how much they despise their part­ners is just a very common NT tactic for pre­tending their hatred is val­i­dated by sci­ence, as well as removing respon­si­bility from them­selves for staying in these hor­rible rela­tion­ships rather than face their innate fear of being alone (all NTs would rather stay in abu­sive rela­tion­ships than take respon­si­bility for ending it and pos­sibly ending up alone, which NTs con­sider worse than death).
    NTs gen­er­ally stop all emo­tional growth around age 2, and they express them­selves like manip­u­la­tive 2 year olds; nothing is ever their respon­si­bility, every­thing is always someone else’s fault, every­body is just mean to them, and and anyone who fails to give them exactly what they want exactly when they want it is LITERALLY THE WORST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. In this way, NTs can deflect all per­sonal respon­si­bility for will­ingly engaging in abu­sive rela­tion­ships by blaming a “dis­order”, while also making them­selves feel val­i­dated by using med­ical terms to try to appear more knowl­edge­able than they actu­ally are (mis­using “grown-up words” to mask infan­tile pleas for attention/validation.) This is uni­versal among NTs; if you fail to notice their new haircut or com­pli­ment their dog (or what­ever stupid thing they want to use to val­i­date them­selves), YOU ARE LITERALLY A MONSTER FROM HELL.

    Nothing about this trend is unique to autism. For every dis­order in the DSM, you can find online com­mu­ni­ties of NTs who are in mis­er­able rela­tion­ships they have no inten­tion of leaving, and mis­using psy­chi­atric terms to covertly express their vicious hatred of their partner, which is really just covert hatred of them­selves, which is why they felt the need to get into an abu­sive rela­tion­ship in the first place.
    This has nothing to do with autism, it’s just NT Psych 101.

    1. You cer­tainly are bashing neu­rotyp­ical people…Really???? Woman are not to blame for the abuse by these abusers. My” hus­band” in name only is aspergers and let me tell you that alot of the stuff people are saying about aspergers is “spot on”.He is hor­rible to deal with, mean, hateful, vengeful, selfish , manip­u­la­tive, con artist, hates his wife , scares her, socio­pathic and nar­si­sistic behavior, with­holds affec­tion and inti­macy, no empathy or con­science, lier, cheater , online date sites con­stantly looking for sex but neglects his own wife, con­trol­ling, anger beyond any­thing I have ever seen, dr.jeckle/ Hyde per­son­ality, charming to out­siders but mean at home to wife and chil­dren, stonewalls, ignores, silent treatment.,gaslighting ‚crit­ical., must always be right and have own way, , I can go on and on what life is like with an aspergers husband.…We the wives are left lonely, unval­i­dated, not believed, not heard..Yes I believe in “Cassandra syn­drome” it is very real and us woman are going through a lonely hell with these asperger/narcisistic , socio­pathic man/child who has the matu­rity of a 16 yr old.I don’t believe all men with aspergers are evil mon­sters and some might make ok part­ners but my expe­ri­ence is that I am mar­ried to the most dif­fi­cult , vin­dic­tive , angry ‚nasty man/child.He threatens to leave, abandon, divorce etc. daily if I don’t learn to con­form to him and let him have his way at all times.This is called emotional/ psy­cho­log­ical abuse.He con­trols all money, mis­man­ages it, won’t pay bills inten­tion­ally to cause me pain and suffering.Can’t keep a job for long…Just because a person is autistic/personality dis­or­dered etc. does not give a green card for abuse to other family mem­bers. My point is that neu­rotyp­i­cals and aspergers mar­riages are very hard and often don’t work and end in divorce. Unless the neu­rotyp­ical con­forms to all the demands and needs of his melt­downs etc. Police have been involved as well due to his anger and rage towards me. Aspergers is not an excuse for abuse..They the abusers make a choice to abuse and behave badly..We the wives left in the after­math are not to blame for the abuse in any way .Aspergers can be hard to deal with as they are not wired the same.Why would an asperger marry if all the asperger person wants is to be alone, no inti­macy ‚affec­tion, nothing to do with spouse and chil­dren and behave like a tod­dler most days..I’m sure not all are like my soon to be ex hus­band one day. But believe me alot are what you are seeing on these websites.No empathy , no con­science, no mar­riage for the neu­rotyp­ical. My hus­band is hor­rible and now I’m done and hope for a fresh start with a good, decent, non aspergers person oneday. I lived it and the mar­riage was pure hell but had no idea he was on the spec­trum until recently. Let me be clear not all aspergers men are abu­sive , angry jerks but some are.There are woman suf­fering in abuse to aspergers men but not heard or or val­i­dated by pro­fes­sionals etc .I expe­ri­enced severe trauma, suf­fering in my lonely mar­riage .He could not care less as he is not equipped to be mar­ried or be in any rela­tion­ship. But he can fake a charming act to get the girl but after the wed­ding the dark side came out. I truly have seen aspergers com­bined with nar­si­sistic /sociopathic traits well com­bined together…Doctors, pro­fes­sionals, police etc. need edu­cated more on the dark side of aspergers abuse going on behind closed doors.Take a hard look at the worn out, sad looking wife who may look scared etc…While the aspergers man is being charming to police, doc­tors etc…When others are out of site the mask comes off and the ugly true face comes to light.He knows he can fool everyone but the sad looking and scared wife remains that way until she is val­i­dated, believed .The angry , mean asperger hus­band con­tinues to tor­ment and be hor­rible to her but no one sees it because he hides it well from everyone..So I have first hand expe­ri­ence with an aspergers spouse and the” mar­riage “was pure hell .By the way not easy to leave to as the aspergers hus­band becomes worse and ups the game to become more vin­dic­tive and malicious.Can’t wait for better life for me and my kids..Will never forget what this horrid man did to me and my family and yes he has aspergers/personality dis­or­ders . Aspergers can also have sociopathic/narcism traits, depres­sion etc.…My spouse had all but denied and shifted blame to me and kids.A classic thing they do.He laughs at my tears. when my dad died recently my hus­band screamed at me, yelled and told me to get out of the car for crying and my dad dyeing on a day when my aspergers hus­band had other plans.I was his target and he blamed me for my dad dying as it interupted his day and schedule of video gaming etc. His anger was in a car and 16 hours to my dad’s funeral.I will never forget the evil doings this aspergers man/child did that destroyed lives. My anger and frus­tra­tion towards him is jus­ti­fied and normal..My hus­band is evil and a com­plete mon­ster and my ex hus­band one day soon.

      1. Author

        What you’ve expe­ri­enced is an extreme amount of abuse. Extreme. It’s pure hell.

        Zero of those things are related to being autistic. Those things are related to sadism and nar­cis­sism. I’m sure some autistic people have been abu­sive, but that is not the norm. If you’re get­ting infor­ma­tion about what autism means from Cassandra web­sites, you’re reading about nar­cis­sism being called Asperger’s.

        Regardless of a diag­nostic label, no one should have to live with that kind of abuse.

  5. I am hor­ri­fied reading this as an aspie, but I believe you! This per­pet­u­ates so much blind igno­rant hated and, sad­dest of all, self hatred!! Narcissism and autism are clearly not the same!! Some autistic people are, in fact, nar­cis­sistic, but it is likely less common in us than in NTs! I admit to self hating as an autistic person for years. In large part, this is because my dad hap­pens to be both autistic and a nar­cis­sist. One had ZERO to do with the other, but I did not know that being exposed to this garbage. His nar­cis­sism and not his autism made him an iffy father and hus­band, yet I feared I was just like him and tried not to be myself. I now know the truth though! I am autistic and proud and have been a great parent. The overlap of nar­cis­sistic and autistic traits in my dad was a hor­rible coin­ci­dence! It has NOTHING to do with me or the vast majority of autistic people!!!!!! The only line I dis­agreed with in this entire amazing piece was about the AS-NT rela­tion­ship being “death by 1,000 paper­cuts”. I’d say it depends on both people and espe­cially the quality of the NT partner. It works for me. 🙂

    1. I agree. I felt like crying when I read all that hate. So wrong, so unjust.

  6. I’m really weirded out by the behavior of those people, because I’m a light autistic and *I know*… I know what those Cassandras’ part­ners really are, what are those rep­tiles with people cos­tumes who have no empathy and use emo­tions as masks.
    I know they are in fact talking about the hyper­so­cial psy­chopaths who con­trol the world, or as a ther­a­pist would call it, *the pervert-narcissists*.

    They are really both close and very far from autism at the same time, and those things like lack of empathy and emotion-masking, along with lack of morality and solip­sism were once con­sid­ered autistic symp­toms, until they were (recently?) debunked.
    Those women are acting along­side that biased, prej­u­diced “old def­i­n­i­tion” of autism.
    But who­ever defined autism as such did so with lack of under­standing, which led to either hatred by frus­tra­tion, or lit­er­alism in a “neu­rotyp­ical set” of values to like, paint us as jerks because we weren’t con­forming to society and they didn’t under­stand why but they should have under­stood and they had to have under­stood (because they were paid to dis­cover a reason, and feared failure as it wound have resulted in loss of cred­i­bility in a social-scientific world where cred­i­bility is key to suc­cess).

  7. Hello,
    I’m an autistic woman and came across http://www.theneurotypical.com when I was trying to research some­thing.
    I was hor­ri­fied by the hate there and had to google to make sure other people where aware what a ter­rible group they were. One of the tes­ti­mo­nials there is just someone com­plaining about a co-worker whom they have decided must have Asperger’s. The lack of any under­standing of Autism would be laugh­able if it wasn’t so serious.
    Thank you for writing this, it helps so much to know that people are aware of how dan­gerous groups like this can be.

  8. I can see that in your expe­ri­ence, you dis­agree with what the “hate groups” are describing as Asperger’s. I agree that some of these hus­bands may have other per­son­ality dis­or­ders or just be jerks. I thought my hus­band was a garden variety abuser until he was diag­nosed. I can see why you’d want to advo­cate for the people with Asperger’s who aren’t abu­sive, but some are. It really doesn’t make sense to take offense over descrip­tions of a diag­nosis that looks dif­ferent for each indi­vidual. The fact is that there are some women suf­fering ter­ribly with an Asperger’s hus­band. I’m quite sure there are other Asperger’s people who are much nicer. However, the traits that you describe that you and your hus­band have, like for­get­ting your anniver­sary, I’d find quite dis­re­spectful and hurtful. It’s all about per­cep­tion. You and your hus­band are per­fectly matched, it seems. That’s won­derful. My hus­band courted me like an NT who was my prince, but then lit­er­ally during our hon­ey­moon com­pletely changed into a person I’d never met before. He knew because of my reli­gion I couldn’t divorce him. Now that we have chil­dren and I have stress related health issues (this is a very real part of Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome, just like PTSD) if I threaten to leave him he tells me that he’ll make sure I never see my chil­dren again by putting on his NT mask and pre­tending to be father of the year and con­vincing them that I’m an unfit mother. He can act per­fectly NT and even charming when he wants to. Even if we agreed on split cus­tody, my chil­dren aren’t safe with him alone. I have no choice but to stay. I’m not alone. And this is Asperger’s. That has nothing to do with what Asperger’s looks like in your home. If my hus­band had been honest about who he was, we wouldn’t have mar­ried and he might even be a friend. He can be great when he tries to be. It was dis­honest that he mar­ried me knowing he wouldn’t keep up his act. I know that most of the things he does day to day aren’t to inten­tion­ally hurt me, but he does know that it does hurt me and he makes no effort to change or even under­stand my point of view. The problem is that whether it’s inten­tional or not, it’s still painful, con­fusing, extremely stressful and chaotic for me. And then there’s the abu­sive, cruel and ter­ri­fying behavior that he exhibits when he feels threat­ened. If I could simply walk away, that would be so nice and easy but that isn’t an option for everyone. There are many older women sick with a variety of ill­nesses who are now depen­dent on their AS partner for their care and being com­pletely neglected. Their only life­line to sanity is the internet. They don’t come together to enjoy hating anyone. They’re looking for sup­port and val­i­da­tion of their sanity. They’re looking for help. I don’t think we can group Asperger’s people together because the symp­toms vary. But there is a very real pop­u­la­tion of Asperger’s people who are whether they mean to or not, ending up with part­ners with their lives destroyed. Some can’t leave because they’re too depressed to sup­port them­selves. Some have been told that they are crazy so many times that they believe it. Asperger’s, with all of its gen­eral traits can be fine, great even. But an NT has a deep appre­ci­a­tion for their con­nec­tion to their loved ones and reci­procity is their greatest joy and secu­rity. It’s an invis­ible cord of con­nec­tion that is the NTs greatest value. The feel­ings it inspires are hard to describe but they are the best joy that we expe­ri­ence. It’s intan­gible and I think it would be very hard for someone with Asperger’s to under­stand its value to us , or the pain and iso­la­tion of being denied that joy and sat­is­fac­tion of a life well lived. This is at direct odds with Asperger’s and that is emo­tion­ally detri­mental to the NT the same as abuse is. There are very dif­ferent per­cep­tions about the same thing hap­pening. They are all valid. And there is a large pop­u­la­tion of women mar­ried to AS men who say he never let on even a hint of his real self until after the wed­ding. Whether that manip­u­la­tion was inten­tional or not, it’s dis­honest and unfair. Why do so many men with Asperger’s look for NT wives? Usually nur­turing NT per­son­al­i­ties. It looks very much like they’re looking to take advan­tage of them, with no regard for their needs that will go unmet. I’ve heard over and over from wives who say they are doing every­thing except that he goes to work. His home life is for his hob­bies and for shut­ting down. He ignores his chil­dren. These women need help.i asked my hus­band why he mar­ried me and he was quite blunt about telling me that he wouldn’t marry anyone who didn’t have their act together, that wouldn’t be good enough for him. He dated one woman on the spec­trum and has no respect for her at all. He was looking for what he could get, with no regard for reci­procity. That’s what they mean by heart­less. No one is blaming everyone with Asperger’s, but there are some who fit the descrip­tions found on the “hate sites” exactly. Perhaps the cruel behav­iors aren’t inher­ently Asperger’s, but stem from the neg­a­tive impact of living with Asperger’s. It’s under­stand­able that when their expe­ri­ence with people is so reg­u­larly neg­a­tive, they may excuse returning hurtful behavior as a pay­back. My hus­band says everyday how much he hates people. And I know I’m included in that state­ment. He does not care that I’m hurting. He wants me to serve his needs like I agreed and then be quiet. He calls that “just wanting some peace”. And talks about how he’s a peaceful person as if I’m not. I know from expe­ri­ence that there is no help for us either. You can leave or lower your expec­ta­tions and give up what you value most in life. I enjoyed hearing that you don’t see these behav­iors as AS. It gave me a more hopeful per­spec­tive and I’m glad to be more informed about the great diver­sity within the Asperger’s diag­nosis. I hope that what I’ve written will help someone under­stand that Ongoing Relationship Trauma Syndrome is very real as well. I hope that my expla­na­tion of the NT expe­ri­ence will help someone under­stand why these women seem so full of hate and why the unin­ten­tional AS per­spec­tive is so detri­mental to an NT’s well being. This is my expe­ri­ence. I’m sure there are many other dif­fering expe­ri­ences. My describing my expe­ri­ence has nothing to do with those. My expe­ri­ence with my hus­bands type of Asperger’s has nothing to do with anyone else’s dif­ferent way of having Asperger’s.

    1. Hi Lu. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. I’m won­dering whether your hus­band might not have co-occurring con­di­tions. Besides this, I just wanted to say some­thing about “being someone dif­ferent in the begin­ning”. This hap­pens with everyone. We all seem dif­ferent in the begin­ning. We show our best sides. This is normal. Most rela­tion­ships start off won­der­fully and we see only the best in the person, but it’s only over time that we start truly seeing who someone really is. A ther­a­pist once said that before you get mar­ried, live with the person for 2 years, and only then will you be able to deter­mine who the person really is. This hap­pened to me too with regards to an abu­sive rela­tion­ship. For the first 8 months, this person was a dream come true, but then she just seemed to change com­pletely and I saw the dark parts of her. Looking back though I could see little signs even in the begin­ning, but they never made it into my mind com­pletely so I was “blinded”, if that makes sense.

  9. I sus­pect myself to be on the autism spec­trum (waiting for a diag­nosis for nearly two years, thanks for nothing nhs!) and I made the mis­take of asking my then partner about these sites I had seen and wanting him to reas­sure me I wasn’t really a bad person. He made noises about why do you believe this stuff, only he went and googled this stuff and he read these hate sites and then he decided he agreed with them. A few weeks later he left me and he was so so cruel, telling me I was a psy­chopath with no empathy that I was like a robot with a pre pre­pared script in my head, that I was heart­less because I didn’t have ‘theory of mind’ (the first time I’d heard that term) going on about how he was ‘normal’ and proud of it and going on about the ‘cas­sandra com­plex’ sending me this hate stuff about that term and writing THIS! under it. Then he didn’t get why that upset me so much. “When will you get it’s not about you!” he screamed at me. Uh…you’re per­son­ally attacking me, how is it not about me?

    He started to get bor­der­line vio­lent towards the end. Really seemed like he gen­uinely hated me. You see a lot about these poor put upon nt wives moaning and bitching about eeeeeevil autistic hus­bands, but no one ever men­tions how absolutely hor­rible it is for an autistic woman to have this hate sud­denly turned on her by a nt partner…it’s not pleasant. I’m not a psy­chopath. I am more empathic than most people but he wouldn’t have it. Suddenly he had what he thought was jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for all the prob­lems he had with our relationship.…I hate those hate sites. There were other prob­lems with the rela­tion­ship but they were the cat­a­lyst for him leaving me. It’s now nearly two years ago and I am only just begin­ning to recover emo­tion­ally.

    I am afraid to have another relationship-he accused me of starving him of affec­tion and of depriving him of a social life (I find social­ising very very dif­fi­cult prob­ably because of my con­di­tion) of being silly and childish so people would think he was a peadophile taking advan­tage of me (I am an adult in my 40s) he accused me of all sorts of things like that. I don’t want to expose myself to that again. Even though now being alone is putting me at the brink of gen­uine poverty now I only have my ben­e­fits to live on. I don’t want to risk that again. I don’t want to hurt people. Unlike in his imag­i­na­tion I am not indif­ferent to the suf­fering of others 🙁

  10. I think these shocking web­sites are actu­ally describing nar­cis­sistic per­son­ality dis­order and anti­so­cial per­son­ality dis­order in their most extreme forms rather than autism. To be able to create hate pages against autistic people makes me think that the site cre­ators are per­haps pro­jecting their own sociopathy onto their spouses. The con­tent is more sim­ilar to arti­cles and social media posts written by sociopaths than any­thing I have ever read written by a neu­rotyp­ical.

    1. You may be right! Hadn’t thought about that. I just came across one of these train­wrecks of a site today. I wish I hadn’t read any of it. It made me want to cry and throw up at the same time. It can still baffle me that people can be so cruel. My expe­ri­ence with people with ASD is that they prob­ably wouldn’t even talk about their ene­mies that harshly. So very sad. 🙁

    2. Stop psy­chi­a­trizing this problem. It’s a polit­ical problem, it’s pure ableism. Stop removing respon­s­ability for people by looking for imag­i­nary trou­bles.

  11. Thanks SBC for giving them the ter­mi­nology

  12. I recently found your web­site The Aspergian after reading TheNeuroTypical.com.au from a friend trying to under­stand more about Asperger’s on Facebook. I told her that even though I too had Autism/ASperger’s/ASD and Schizophrenia and ADD along with sev­eral other mental ill­nesses, devel­oped from being bul­lied through pri­mary and high school, that most people go through what is called “pri­mary autism” stages, neu­rotyp­ical, neu­ro­di­verse and oth­er­wise, from my read­ings of philoso­pher Ken Wilber and how our psy­cho­log­ical devel­op­ment is related to our phys­ical, bio­log­ical, cul­tural, tech­no­log­ical and spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion. I’ll explain his the­o­ries below.

    Basically when we’re born into the world, we’re unable to dif­fer­en­tiate our­selves phys­i­cally from the external world. This is known as “Sensorimotor” in Piaget, and those who remain mostly undif­fer­en­ti­ated can have “Autism” or “Schizophrenia” caused by adu­alism which is an inability to sep­a­rate our phys­ical body from the phys­ical world. This is where such things as “melt­downs” but also moments of psy­chosis such as schiz­o­phrenia can man­i­fest from. But most infants from 5 months onwards begin to dif­fer­en­tiate their phys­ical bodies from the phys­ical world. But this doesn’t mean that they’re going to be neu­rotyp­ical.

    In tod­dler­hood, we may have sep­a­rated our­selves phys­i­cally, but not emo­tion­ally. Toddlers may have nar­cis­sism where they can’t think of them­selves as sep­a­rate emo­tional beings from the world and see the world as basi­cally an exten­sion of them­selves. The clouds are moving to rain on you to wash you off, the thunder hits because the sky is angry, the sun shines on you to dry you off. We have mag­ical thinking here. But even­tu­ally when we realize not everyone has the same emo­tional view as we, that’s where tantrums and the ter­rible 2s begin to man­i­fest. But also a person who has real­ized their sep­a­rate emo­tional self, may still feel attacked by other peo­ple’s emo­tional states, sim­ilar to a “melt­down” of sen­sory over­load in the Autistic state. But in this case its emo­tional over­load, which is usu­ally a blending of psy­chosis and neu­rosis. The person is on the border of the two, which is where the term bor­der­line per­son­ality dis­order comes into being. However this emo­tional dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion can occur well, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to still become neu­rotyp­ical.

    In young child­hood, a child has their emo­tions, but may not be able to con­trol them. It is here with the learning of lan­guage and con­cepts and ideas that young chil­dren begin to take con­trol over their body. They can walk, they can talk, they can con­trol their bladder and anus and so on. They can also begin to repress their emo­tions, leading to psy­choneu­rosis or neu­rosis, where repressed or bot­tled up emo­tions can lead to wor­ries and thoughts and even­tual erup­tions of emo­tion. However the young child is not yet able to take the role of other. It may under­stand cer­tain ideas and rules and so on, but not realize that other people see the world dif­fer­ently in their own mental model. They may be able to under­stand them­selves indi­vid­u­ally on a con­cep­tual level but this does not mean that they are neu­rotyp­ical yet. They also become aware of con­cepts that lead to things like depres­sion about the past or present and anx­iety about the present and future.

    In older child­hood, the older child learns of the view of other. Suddenly how others view one­self becomes so impor­tant the older child tries to con­form to the group at large. They learn about soci­ety’s rules and roles. The problem with any group and ide­ology is that they view things in very black and white ways of thinking. There’s the in-group, who are saved, and the out-group who are damned. It is also from these ideas and roles and rules, that people can label them­selves neg­a­tive roles, and thus suffer from what is called script pathology. They see them­selves as bad people com­pared to other people, or may view them­selves as sin­ners, or respon­sible for say a deity’s death and res­ur­rec­tion, which can become a mytho­log­ical burden of their own to deal with. This can exac­er­bate anx­iety and depres­sion, and self-esteem issues. But this doesn’t mean they’re still neu­rotyp­ical.

    In ado­les­cence we learn that there is more than one group. There are as many indi­vid­uals as there are groups who have dif­ferent views of the world than the old group we belonged to. We realize that there are many truths, which can lead to a decon­struc­tion of a mythology and a replace­ment of a new model, such as sci­ence or ratio­nality. This can also lead to a view where many dif­ferent groups are incor­po­rated as truthful and people move from an ethno-centric or group-centric per­spec­tive into a world-centric per­spec­tive. Both modern ideas of sci­ence and moder­nity, as well as the post­modern ideas of decon­structed ide­olo­gies and epis­te­mo­log­ical plu­ralism (or believing mul­tiple belief sys­tems from dif­ferent groups). This may be more inclu­sive, but indi­vidual ado­les­cents may now have an iden­tity crisis not knowing to which group they feel like they belong, which may be very stressful to go through, not to men­tion con­fusing. People may move on from this stage but this does not mean they are still neu­rotyp­ical.

    In young adult­hood, we begin to learn about other con­cep­tual models, such as devel­op­mental psy­cho­log­ical models. These can show how world­views can emerge from the pri­mary autistic state men­tioned pre­vi­ously to this new inte­grated per­spec­tive where each world­view built upon and tran­scended as well as included the pre­vious world­view per­spec­tive. This under­standing of mul­tiple per­spec­tives and world­views leads to what is called an inte­grated per­spec­tive where we realize that all of humanity in all its var­ious forms are con­nected. That the human indi­vidual has the same basic needs like in Abraham Maslow’s hier­archy of needs, phys­i­o­log­ical, safety, love and belong­ing­ness, self-esteem, self-actualization, etc. The human body and human mind are like a vehicle for con­scious­ness to become aware of itself. This is the basis of meta­mod­ernism, where mul­tiple truths and per­spec­tives are true and impor­tant for dif­ferent times and pur­poses. It is how­ever from this per­spec­tive that we can nihilis­ti­cally think of all world­views as con­structs, and thus that there is no essen­tial truth or meaning to exis­tence at all. This may lead to an exis­ten­tial crisis, where we worry about whether our lives or life in gen­eral mat­ters or not, or that there is meaning to things. Life may seem absurd, or point­less, anxiety-inducing and depressing at the same time. However people may move on from these stages to others. The exis­ten­tial crisis may seem like our pre­vious belief struc­tures can’t save us, and that we’re just going to die. But these per­spec­tives of older child­hood through to young adult­hood are what are called per­sonal stages, relating how we as indi­vid­uals relate to others around us. The infancy through young child­hood stages are pre-personal, where we are not aware of our unique sep­a­rate self as existing. The next three stages fol­lowing young adult­hood are what are called trans-personal, as they go beyond our indi­vidual bodies or per­sonal forms, and how we are more con­nected to things than we realize. But again this does not mean we have reached neu­rotyp­ical levels.

    IN middle adult­hood, we can extend our psy­cho­log­ical devel­op­ment and con­nec­tion with all humanity to now all of life and nature. We can basi­cally realise that our psy­cho­log­ical devel­op­ments extend not just to humans but ani­mals and plants and life as a whole. We realise that life has evolved moving through world­views as brains devel­oped and became more com­plex over time from early neural cords in early life to the rep­tilian and limbic brain sys­tems in land based life, and the com­plex neo­cortex in pri­mates and other mam­mals including humans. We begin to learn the capa­bil­i­ties of dif­ferent types of ani­mals, and thus show a kin­ship, a familiar ancestor to all ani­mals and plants, the roots and branches of a plant being like the sen­sory ner­vous system, the neural chord of the plant-world. We don’t see our­selves as a strand of life, but we are all life. It is this that leads to us being able to under­stand other minds that are not human, leading to what could be called a psychic-like aware­ness of how other beings are feeling. Again if we relate our­selves to the purely bio­log­ical, we may again fall into an exis­ten­tial crisis over the course of life itself. If we have dam­aged the envi­ron­ment through cli­mate change, for example, have we caused the death of life as we know it? This may cause quite con­cern, worry, anx­iety and depres­sion as men­tioned before. But again this is not neu­rotyp­ical.

    IN mature adult­hood, we can extend our con­nec­tion to all bio­log­ical matter to now all matter in gen­eral. We are not made of the earth, but we are the earth, and thus through atoms, all planets, all stars, all galaxies. We are one with all phys­ical exis­tence. Humans know that all matter are merely forms of energy that cannot be cre­ated or destroyed, only changed. Thus in this sense we realise a par­ticle is con­scious or aware of other par­ti­cles, which is why wave func­tions col­lapse and gravity occurs and how par­ti­cles can com­bine into atoms and mol­e­cules and so on. We become subtly aware of the world around us, but we may have another exis­ten­tial crisis. We have learned our uni­verse is expanding, and that not only that the expanding is increasing due to what is called dark matter and dark energy. We realize that even­tu­ally all stars will die, all galaxies will dis­solve, and even­tu­ally the uni­verse itself could phys­i­cally go into heat death, where the only thing remaining is black holes. This may create another exis­ten­tial crisis on a phys­ical level. But again we can move beyond this, but we are not yet neu­rotyp­ical.

    In elder­hood we realise that although we have phys­i­o­log­ical brains that have thoughts in them, our aware­ness or con­scious­ness is more our aware­ness of there being objects in our lives. Thoughts, images, ideas, phys­ical roles, rules, objects, are things that move through our field of aware­ness, like clouds across the sky. From this more mindful based view, what is aware of all this or is con­scious of all this doesn’t seem tied down to any mate­rial thing, until it seems for some that our con­scious­ness or aware­ness is non-physical. This relates to the causal form­less­ness from which every­thing came. If matter as we know it is what is called pos­i­tive energy, then dark energy or space could be con­sid­ered neg­a­tive energy. Now dark energy makes up most of the uni­verse and 99.9% of all atoms is space, so we may realise that we are space wit­nessing phys­ical reality moving in forms. This may con­nect us from the tran­sient and tem­po­rary to the eternal unchanging void. This is what some Buddhists have said to achieved in enlight­en­ment, but again this is not the final step.

    In sense­cence, we realize that pos­i­tive energy (light and dark matter) and neg­a­tive energy (space, dark energy), added up may equal zero. In other words space is not nothing, and nei­ther is matter some­thing, they are both all things, they are every­thing, and thus we enter a non-dual state where we realize that both pos­i­tive energy (matter) and neg­a­tive energy (space) are both real and both come from the same source. They bal­ance each other, but one is not better than the other. Nore is the state they equal to from which every­thing we call the uni­verse came from. We may realize there is a mul­ti­verse of many uni­verses and that all pos­si­bil­i­ties are playing out in exis­tence, and that we all come from the same source. It is this view that we inte­grate our­selves with every­thing. But this is not neu­rotyp­ical still. The answer is there is no neu­rotyp­ical stage. What came before may have been con­sid­ered neu­rotyp­ical before the next world­view after it devel­oped. Neurotypical, as post­mod­ernism and meta­mod­ernism has shown is sub­jec­tive.

    Sorry again for the exten­sive post, but I hope this has helped some­what. I’m hoping to write a book exploring this evo­lu­tion of thinking with the evo­lu­tion of the uni­verse itself.

    Thanks for reading this.

    Peace out.

    Matthew David Bowron.

    1. Thank you for writing it and Matthew. If you write your book, I’d be thrilled to read it.

  13. >The wife of an aspie might find her­self in an all-out war if she sells her spouse’s base­ball card col­lec­tion without his knowl­edge.

    I love that we’re sup­posed to be the ones who can’t com­mu­ni­cate, yet this person can’t even form and artic­u­late simple sen­tences like “have you thought about selling your base­ball card col­lec­tion?”

    1. Please. Neurotypicals. Don’t listen to these People. They are only pro­longing your plight. The simple fact that they don’t realize the harm they are com­mit­ting shows that they are dis­abled. You will never change them. Walk away now.

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