Traveling with the Aspie

We don’t travel much.  Actually, neither me or Justin have ever been on a plane (or a train).  We do love to explore, though, and we often go for drives just to get out of the house.  We start getting crabby with each other if we don’t.

Since we are childfree (by choice!), we can go anywhere at any time and explore the amazing state of Washington without any problems.  We love to just get in the car and go.  But traveling with Justin has its issues.

Justin has a routine before we go anywhere (even the store).  He probably doesn’t realize he does, but I certainly do.  They say the women usually take longest to get ready, but I beg to differ!  He has to make sure he has the right shirt and pants and belt on, make sure he has the right hoodie, get his shoes, put on cologne, then smoke.  I can’t stand and wait for him, or he feels like he’s rushed and it annoys him (sometimes I am rushed, which I’m working on).  Once he’s finally ready, then I usually get ready, because chances are, he’s forgotten something in his routine, and he has to do it or he gets crabby.

We all know by now autistic people have routines and they have to abide by them or they tend to get irritated and that’s when meltdowns can happen.  But I wonder if this is something that all adults with autism struggle with?  Just leaving the house–does that require certain steps or they just can’t handle it?

Once we’re finally in the car, it’s usually me driving (hello, no DUIs here).  I get comments from him–a lot.  He probably doesn’t realize it, but he will make a lot of comments on the way I’m driving or ask why I don’t take certain roads or why I’m hitting the freeway instead of going through town.  Sometimes it really irritates me–but I remember that this his brain is probably just a little weirded out because it’s part of his routine to go a certain way or drive a certain way.  It’s his Aspie routine, and that’s how he likes it!  It doesn’t piss me off or drive like an ass just because he commented, but I’ve noticed it’s usually every time we drive he will comment on something that’s unusual or unexpected of him.

travel

I know Justin stresses a lot about driving, and he doesn’t drive by himself much.  He’s constantly stressing that his car will break down (even mine, which is completely under warranty and only 4 years old) and it’s the unexpected-ness of it that really freaks him out.  We’re hoping we can find him a specialist to help with this stress and worry he tends to have.

At any rate, I’m curious what it’s like for other Aspies out there to travel.  What is your routine of leaving like???

–TARA–

Childfree by Choice

I am 32 years old, and Justin is 34 (going on 12).  We have been together for 9 years this July 4th, and married for one year on the 13th (holy crap).

Translation:  WHY HAVEN’T YOU HAD KIDS YET???

I hear this constantly.  It’s just something that we’re going to have to hear probably for the rest of our lives.  Our friends and families near us are out having child after child, and we’re just expected to do the same.  Well, here’s the thing.  You’ve got kids–cool.  You want kids–cool.  I respect that, and all the more love and power to you to have those kids.  I will love them too…and then give them back.

Justin & I don’t want kids.  Period.  No, we’re not “going to change our minds.” No, I don’t have a biological clock that’s ticking.  And no, we don’t care who’s going to take care of us when we’re older.  And no, I’m not just saying that because I secretly want kids and I’m too scared to tell him (that’s a terrible thing to do anyway).

Part of the reason, besides the obvious (we like our time together), is Justin’s autism.  He doesn’t want any future children seeing his melt downs.  He doesn’t want a change in routine (which is constant with kids) to mess him up and have his entire day ruined because of a change.  He has full on panic attacks when he gets nauseous.  Kids puke a lot.  If he’s around people who are throwing up, he’s booking it out of the premises ASAP.  And what do kids do for the first part of their lives?  Puke.  He doesn’t want to risk having a child with autism either.  This doesn’t mean that we’re bad people.  We’re making the conscious choice to not have children and enjoy the family of two that’s more than enough for us.

To be honest, I get tired of hearing about people getting pregnant and having kids.  Why isn’t just having a husband enough?  Why do they think they have to have kids?  Do they think their lives aren’t complete without them?  I never thought I’d get married when I was younger.  I didn’t even think I’d have a boyfriend, let alone actually get married.  So when I met Justin and we got married, I’m fulfilled.  I don’t want another kid taking away our time with each other.  It’s how we both want it.  And no matter what people tell us, that’s how it’s going to stay.

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