Time makes all the difference.
When I have time, I can adjust my expectations. Time gives me an opportunity to analyze both what’s happening outside myself and what’s happening within.
I have limited processing energy for dealing with outward changes and if I’m focused on that, I cannot pay attention to what’s happening within myself.
Add that to the difficulties I already experience with determining what emotions I’m feeling and time becomes a necessity, not a luxury.
Asking for more time is nearly impossible. There’s a pressure to respond right away and it’s so easy to give in to that. Responding immediately often results in giving an inaccurate response, that sometimes I can correct later, but sometimes not.
Advance warning of a question or change in plans helps immensely, but can be difficult for others to facilitate. It’s a struggle for Husband to give me advance warning about most things. We rarely know ahead of time which things are going to be too surprising for me to deal with easily vs which things aren’t a big deal that I can just “go with the flow” about.
But we’re working on it. He’s doing better with supporting me in this area and I’m doing better with deciphering what’s happening inside myself/why and texting him with the information as soon as possible. I try not to wait until I can speak again if I’ve lost the ability to talk. Texting gives me an easier and faster way to dispel any of his incorrect assumptions about my reactions.
This takes effort from both of us. If only one or the other of us was trying to support the other’s needs it wouldn’t work nearly as well. It’s not all on me or all on him. We work together to figure out how we can make things easier on the other person whenever possible.
It’s not going to be equal because I have less energy for accommodating him after I have to accommodate nearly everyone else out in the allistic (non-Autistic) world beyond our doorstep, but he knows this. We’ve talked about it. I recognize that his contribution is always going to be more than mine and I’ve let him know clearly that I appreciate it ❤