Being a newbie and all, I should share our story so you can get to know us on a deep and personal level (ooooo).
Well, I was born and raised in SLC, Utah. I wasn’t happy, and it was obvious. My brother moved up to Washington state in 2007, and by June 2008, he’d convinced me to move, too. I quit my job, broke up with my boyfriend, and booked it up here. In about a month, I’d met Justin through an online dating website. I wasn’t really looking for a relationship, but mainly just looking for someone to hang out with. I was unemployed when I first moved up, and living with roommates (and my baby, Waffles, a darling dachshund).
Waffles, the most adorable dog that ever lived.
Justin was born & raised in Washington, and he wanted to show me SO MUCH of it. The first few months of dating, he’d had me convinced this is the most beautiful state in the US. I still believe that to this day. On July 4th, 2008, he introduced me as his girlfriend, and it was official.
(He got over the flipping the camera thing off pretty quick upon realizing I’d still use the pictures anyway).
Justin was living with his parents at the time and working part-time. I didn’t really notice anything strange about him when I first started dating him. And, it wasn’t love at first sight (GASP!!!) for either of us. We just clicked. It was easy. There was no awkward “Does he like me?!?!” “Why isn’t he writing me back?!?!” Most of our deep talks were via AIM (remember AIM???).
There were a few things I noticed, looking back, that were symptoms of his autism. The first melt down I experienced was weird. I refer to this as our first fight (which I think I can disqualify now…). It was a HOT summer day, and we were looking for jobs for me. I was sort of stuck up at the time and said I didn’t want to work at Walmart. Oh no, not Walmart. Not for someone of MY stature!!! We bickered, and Justin blew up. He got pissed (I really don’t blame him) and threw something. I don’t remember what it was. But it upset me. I started crying (I always cry when I’m mad…why?!?!) and left without saying goodbye to anyone. He texted me not long after to apologize, but I stayed home that day. I chalked this up to him just being mad and irritated with me, which again, I totally didn’t blame him for.
One day at work (we were working at the same place with his mom), my car was repossessed. I knew it was happening ($400 a month…yeah, no…), but still, when my roommate texted me and told me that my car was gone, I cried. It was sad.
When I told Justin about it, I was upset, and he reacted with anger. I was crying, hoping he’d hold me and tell me everything was okay, but he was mad about it. I didn’t think he was mad at me, but just mad in general. He got over it, but it took a while, and it was weird to me.
Okay, so that’s a misleading title. We didn’t break up. But, I seriously thought about it.
We were following Justin’s parents up to Point Defiance Zoo one day, in Tacoma, WA. His parents were 100% convinced they knew the way without using a map. Well, we ended up not having a CLUE where we were going. Justin got PISSED and had a SERIOUS melt down. He was yelling, angry, punching the steering wheel and saying how useless his parents were. Of course, there’s me in the passenger seat, just crying, unsure what to do, scared at his anger–and thinking I should break up with him. This is such a perfect melt down example for someone with Autism. I wish I’d known that at the time, because I was just thinking damn, his anger is a serious problem.
He told me he was going to stick me with his parents so I wouldn’t have to be around him, but I didn’t want to, and stayed in the car until we got to the stupid zoo. By that time he’d calmed down and went back to normal, happy Justin, but I was still puffy faced and wasn’t speaking much. He apologized profusely for that. It took me a few days, but I decided to stick with him. This was the biggest melt down (to that date) I’d ever seen him have.
Justin proposed in 2013. I didn’t think he ever would, and at that time, I didn’t really care. I had come to terms with the fact that we would just be boyfriend and girlfriend forever, and I was cool with that. But then,
New Year’s Eve, 2013 happened.
And then, June 13, 2016 happened.
We were married in our little town’s court house, and I’m so glad we did it that way. I didn’t want to have a huge wedding, we couldn’t afford it, and we didn’t want it. Thinking about his diagnosis, it was probably much less stressful for him to have a small, intimate ceremony than have lots of people staring at him.
I couldn’t be happier with the man I married. Every day I fall more and more in love with him.