To tell or not to tell partners about Aspergers, that is the question…

Now, before you all start shouting at the screen saying “it’s on your blog you silly cow! Of course they’re going to find out!” Hold fire….

The reason that I am writing this blog is because, prior to starting this blog, the mere mention of telling dates or partners about my Asperger’s sent me into a cold sweat! After all, saying “I have Asperger’s Syndrome” is not the biggest aphrodisiac in the world in my mind!

However, soon after starting this blog, I started seeing my ex girlfriend and, like a complete genius, I’d completely forgotten that the link to my blog was on my Facebook page. It was not until I got a text from her saying that she’d been reading my blog and found it really interesting that I remembered. When I read the first part of the text, I felt my heart thudding at the realisation that she knew and the unknown question of how it would affect her perception of me. Then as I went onto read the text, I realised that she didn’t (or was at least hiding it very well if she did) think any of me for it because she was in fact finding my blog interesting. However, through hindsight, I’m not too impressed that she also said “don’t worry, I study psychology”. Hang on a minute…. why should I be worried? What had made her think that I’d have anything to be worry about? She meant well. She meant that she studied Psychology and so had come across Asperger’s in her BA, and that’s how I interpreted it, but the phrase “trust me I’m a doctor” also came to mind!

When I tell partners that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, I fear two things.

Firstly, I fear that they will not want to go out with me because they will assume that I will have far too much ‘baggage’ for them to handle. I don’t want to be seen by them as someone with ‘problems’, I want to be seen as a fun, intelligent sex goddess! Ha!

Secondly, I fear that they will assume that they know all about Asperger’s Syndrome just because they’ve met one or more people with Asperger’s Syndrome who do a, b and c, or because of their field of study. Sometimes people’s education on Asperger’s can actually be a hindrance rather than a help because they can be so easily seduced by stereotypes and assume that certain ways of helping people with AS will suit that person just because they have AS. We’re not clones of each other, we are all individuals who have been influenced by our own upbringings, past experiences and geographical locations, so certain traits will be more prominent for some than for others. So, I fear that they’re going to think that they know what’s best for me or think that they know all about me based on a mere diagnosis which is, ultimately, only about a 10th of my full character. However, if she did start to make out that she knew all about me and if she started to try to tell me what is best for me based on my diagnosis, believe me, she’d get shown the door faster than you can say “ASD”! So I should really give myself a bit more credit where that fear is concerned!

When you’ve been bullied at school, the jibes and digs stick by you for life. So, being teased for things such as flapping my hands when excited (I haven’t done this for quite a number of years) and other things which made me different from others, still makes me cautious about making new friends and getting into relationships. I feel self conscious about the fact that I have something that they don’t have, and thoughts of being different still plague me. I am also still scared of how partners will react or perceive me when they find out. I know my fears are completely blown out of proportion and irrational, but they are there niggling away at me nonetheless. However, they are not as prominent as they used to be. Through extensive counselling and talking to various other people with AS, I have managed to come to terms with my diagnosis (coming to terms with it took YEARS by the way) and am now much more willing to disclose it to people and to talk about it.

I don’t know if any of you share my worries or fears when it comes to telling your partner you have AS. I’d be interested to know….

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