He can’t go into therapy unless he first acknowledges that he’s autistic. Then he must admit that he needs help dealing with it. Only THEN can he actually go into therapy for it.
When I was diagnosed I had just turned 50. I had suspected it for several months prior to making it official. Even so, there is just no way to prepare for a doctor looking you in the eye and saying “You’re autistic.” Even though I had fought to find this doctor, then put myself and my family members though rigorous tests, even though all my oddball symptoms pointed to only one logical conclusion, I broke down in the doctor’s office. I thought I was crying from relief. I finally knew what was going on! The answers I’d searched for – a quest 2 decades long! But no, not really. The moment the quest to finally get diagnosed was over, that was the moment the quest for acceptance began.
For some reason I can’t quite comprehend I was able to handle my Bipolar diagnosis more or less in stride. After all, Princess Leia was Bipolar. If she could handle this, I could. Psychotic? Actually that one was no surprise at all. Neither was Borderline, once I got my mind around what a dumb name it was. But this? THIS? Just as Deborah noted earlier, this was beyond what I could handle. One simple reason – autism = brain damage. Retardation. Pills won’t help. Therapy won’t cure. I keep imagining a misshapen human brain lurching about in my skull, a foul, steaming thing full of odd colors and writhing shapes.
Yeah, I have one of THOSE imaginations. I tend to go to dark places.
I know, logically, none of that is true. I know autism can be a gift. I know I walk with giants of science and art. I know my quicksilver brain and massive creative streak, my ability to write as well as reason all stem from autism. But I also see the ruin of my life behind me, the opportunities I couldn’t take advantage of because I had NO idea why I did what I did. For the longest time I didn’t know anything was wrong with me at all.
I’m glad I finally know the truth. No matter what, knowing is better than wondering. I’ll always opt for the red pill. But had you told me two years ago that I’d still be struggling to accept this diagnosis today I would have laughed. It’s not the first one I’ve received that changed my entire life. But it’s by far the hardest.
It could be that your husband is going through a similar struggle. If so, be patient with him. The autistic mind is wired differently to begin with. We’re not adept at going down rabbit holes unless we make them ourselves.