I process things verbally, out loud. That’s how I work through things. This is why I need to talk things out. I’ve learned this is probably an autistic thing, but it’s also crucial to my functionality.

This was a major problem for my ex, but Rory understands and embraces it, celebrates it even, and knowing how I’m doing helps him support me and my needs.

When I’m comfortable enough with someone (it’s a very short list of people), I also tell them exactly what’s going on with me at any given time. What my issues are, what problems I’m dealing with, what I’m smelling in the room, how I’m feeling, my responses to others and to situations, whatever. I have to restrain myself with the kids some because that’s what you have to do as a parent.

But Rory appreciates my utter transparency. He grew up in a traumatic atmosphere, and he never knew when people would yell at him or hit him for saying or doing something, or for merely existing in the room. But because I’m an “over”communicator, he always knows how I’m doing and where he stands with me, because I constantly talk about what I think, ad infinitum. So even when I’m upset with him, he likes that I talk about it with him, because then he knows what’s going through my head.

Any discomfort Rory and I have with each other or disagreements or “fights” are always from one or both of us not communicating sufficiently. (Yes, even though I talk about how I’m doing a lot, sometimes I don’t always immediately have words to put to my experiences.) Then, when one of us realizes that there is conflict (it’s usually me who realizes), we talk things out until we put into words what we’re really trying to get at. What the kernel of the problem is.

Sometimes this takes a while. Sometimes we have to go over things a few times over a few days. Sometimes we have to pick it apart into tiny little pieces, to figure out which piece of the situation is really the issue. But we always get there. Always. We haven’t yet not gotten there, after 10 1/2 years.

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