By Carol Grigg (August 2016)
I’m becoming increasingly concerned at how many stories I’ve been hearing where partners are actually ignored, neglected and even targeted with ridicule or malicious attitudes and words by their AS partners when they’re ill.
It just leaves me speechless and traumatised to hear about the lack of care that so many partners live with. In fact, it’s inhumane. Sadly, a very negative manifestation of ASD deficits, though thankfully not in every situation.
Encouragingly, I have heard some stories where the AS partner actually behaved better and more caring when their partner was ill, as though they knew or could learn the script for caring for someone who was ill, even if they didn’t show adequate care for their partner when they weren’t ill.
Once again, we seem to be observing the benefits of good early role-modelling, or the establishment of a pattern early on in life that has equipped them to be able to fill a caring role when a partner or loved one is ill.
Some have been willing to learn how to fill a caring role. How we wish this capacity could be generalised to daily care in a normal reciprocal relationship with a partner who is well.
But getting back to the concern that led me to writing this thought. Perhaps by writing about this in a “thought”, those partners who are neglected and even attacked when they are ill will feel acknowledged and validated.
These “thoughts” that I write are often useful for validating the most painful and confusing aspects of our experiences. Perhaps these thoughts can also be useful for uniting partners in heart, with thoughts of care and kindness for one another.
How wonderful would it be to have a “refuge” or a place for respite where partners could care for one another, and especially at times when the neglect at home is extreme or severe to the point of being dangerous.
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.