• ASPIA

Aspie-lock

By Carol Grigg (October 2016)


Recently I was reminded of that feeling of being like in a head-lock when negotiating the daily happenings of life with a partner with Aspergers. The term “Aspie-lock” just occurred to me as fitting for how I felt.


Things might seem to be going along ok, and the level of effort we’re putting in is second to none, but one is acutely aware of how delicate the balance is. One carelessly spoken word, or badly timed question or request, a suggestion of something new or different, a role or task not completed on time or in the right way, a preference or need not anticipated, a different opinion voiced, and everything comes crashing down like a house of cards. Angry reactions, blame, resistance, a meltdown, rage; or withdrawal and silence.


Everything collapses, and we find ourselves instantly switching modes to that of dodging verbal missiles and criticism, trying to reason with them, trying to cajole or appease, trying to defend ourselves or our motives, explain what actually happened, justify our mistake or unintended inconsideration, and desperately trying to restore the status quo, and that state of pseudo-peace. Typically to no avail, or perhaps briefly, until next time …


Clearly, we know what’s required to keep the status quo, and we do a pretty good job of it, demonstrating our good theory of mind, and empathy. We care about our partners, we know how they think and what’s important to them; we care about the relationship, and the family dynamic, wanting to keep things as positive and functioning as well as possible.


But it’s so nerve wracking and limiting, and completely unnatural to have to constantly work so hard to maintain the status quo, and peace. Not to mention exhausting. And disheartening and defeating when it collapses so quickly and easily. Often every day.


Carol Grigg OAM, Dip Counselling, Member ACA Level 2


I provide phone and skype counselling for partners who need to talk. Please see my website at www.carolgriggcounselling.com.au.

Recent Posts

See All

The Vitriolic Dump

By Carol Grigg (September 2017) I want to talk about the vitriolic dump. Frequently, either at ASPIA meetings or in personal counselling sessions, partners talk about the catastrophic caustic reaction

Coordinator honoured with OAM

The 2014 Australia Day Honours List named Carol Grigg, Coordinator of ASPIA, as a recipient of the Order of Australia Medal for 'service to families affected by Asperger Sydnrome'. The nomination in 2

Sydney, NSW, Australia  |  Email ASPIA  |  ABN 30 583 771 917

© 2005-2020 ASPIA Inc.  |  Website terms and conditions  |  Disclaimer