My Mam's mother was abusive. My Da's mother and father were both abusive. But neither Mam or Da were angry at their abusive parents. They're a little sad. A little hurt. But not angry! Surely not. That would be wrong. That wouldn't be nice. No, they love their parents — their distant, dysfunctional, cold, neglectful, and abusive parents.
In the film-making industry, there's a technique called 'in the camera'. I first learnt of it when an old boyfriend screened the old English movie I Know Where I'm Going for me on date night. In one scene, the romantic lead played by Roger Livesey is supposed to be striding through the hills of Scotland in a kilt (be still my beating heart!). He pauses at a stile, turns his face to the camera and calls up to Dame Wendy Hiller in her hotel room.
Generalities are always dangerous, but I've learned that while people with Aspergers Syndrome are savant-brilliant about many things, emotional intelligence isn't usually their forte. So how does a neurotypical in a relationship with an Aspie work on their own emotional recovery while the Aspie they share their life with doesn't understand (sometimes loudly and frequently)? How do you cope with the accidental invalidation that occurs when your Aspie, trying to help, applies their searing logic to your NT methods of emotional recover?
Teaching children about human sexual relations is probably the hardest part of being a parent. Some parents are too embarrassed to look into the eyes of what was their innocent little baby and admit that 'Ma and Da did the nasty'. Other parents reveal too much, too soon. Other parents bring their own emotional baggage into Sex Ed, leaving their children convinced that sex is dirty, shameful and abusive. For too many children, they learn about sex by being sexually abused. The rest glean what they can from telly, their friends and, of course, pornography.
Usually I believe that second wives fare better than their predecessors. A man on his second marriage has cut his matrimonial teeth. He's learnt a thing or two. His second marriage can only benefit from the lessons gleaned in his first 'starter marriage.' That's been my experience as the second wife to Rhys. I believed that until my friend, Bethan, bared her soul on the truth behind what appeared to be her picture-perfect marriage to husband, Morgan. 'He never talks about his ex,' she said, 'but she's the third member of our marriage. It's like some kind of miserable ménage à trois. Ada, Morgan's ex, is always between us. I can feel it in all his likes, all his dislikes, how depressed he is on certain significant dates that were significant to him and her, not to him and me.' (As always, all names have been changed.)
He always looked at me with condescension, disapproval, contempt. Always. There was the constant scent of disapproval whenever I was in his presence, coupled with his plentiful criticisms of me. Criticisms I took to heart as I tried to win his love and reservationless approval. But until recently, when the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, it never occurred to me that it wasn't me he despised. It was himself.
Much is made of the difficulty people with Aspergers experience in trying to read the facial expressions of neurotypicals. But the other side of that coin is that Aspies themselves may wear the 'wrong' facial expression, at least, as neurotypicals understand facial expressions. Aspie's faces may be interpreted by neurotypicals to convey something other than the Aspie's true emotions. This can be very confusing and upsetting for a NT who loves an Aspie.
Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag! Sometimes it seems like that's the only way to move others to do the right thing and pull their weight. When I met my husband, Rhys, I'll admit to being a bit of a nagging wife. It was all I knew. There were no other tools in my arsenal to remind Rhys about those myriad of little 'Honey Dos' that men hate to do and women hate undone.
Sixty-four years after her death, French writer and libertine, Colette, has once again been resurrected for our entertainment pleasure. With the Autumn release of the 2018 film starring Keira Knightley as Colette, I am reminded once again of something I'd much rather forget: step-mother/step-son incest. It's not actually portrayed in the film but articles about Colette inspired by the movie make sure we never forget: Colette seduced and bedded her teenage step-son, Bertrand de Jouvenel. For the rest of his life, she actively or passively made his marriages and romantic relationships as transient as their affair had been. Yet he blindly loved her passionately for the rest of his life.
Recently, the DailyMail published an excerpt from America's self-styled 'first supermodel', Janice Dickinson. You may remember her as the hyper contestant in Season 16 of Big Brother House who bragged that Stallone paid for her breast implants Yes, that Janice Dickinson.