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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been married for about a year now, and the entire time has been clouded by abused and hate from in-laws. To make a long story short, shortly after we got married, my in-laws decided to add to the list of things they disapproved that they had come to believe that I had "the autism gene". My mother in law believes she is an expert in autism because she wrote a paper on it for her sociology class. I do have some history of ASD in my family, fairly minor compared to others, but still present. I didn't think it was something that should have ever been discussed with my in-laws, or that mattered to us getting married, but they saw it different. They suspected all along there was something wrong with me, and behold! Here family history proves she's got the gene!

I decided to ignore all this and focus on my studies. I refused to take them seriously until I had even had an opportunity to focus on my marriage and my school. We weren't even ready to begin thinking about family planning. When I finally did sit down and try and figure out the tangled web of facts and fiction they'd put together, I figured out they were concerned not about autism, but about Fragile X. I genuinely don't think they realize that there is a difference, and although the two often go together, and Fragile X is one of the leading known causes of autism, it is far from true that Fragile X THE cause of autism.

But now I am left with this feeling of dread. We plan on having children, but could I be a carrier? Of course! Should I be tested? of course! Although there is no history of Fragile X in my family I do have some risk factors. It was always our plan to engage in comprehensive family planning before having a child. But now I feel marred by the experience. DHs family has demanded that we commit right now to only adopt children, and if I say otherwise, to them I'm a liar and a cheat. The "know" I've got the gene. And, what scares me more than anything is that now, if I do happen to have it, then it will be "see! we knew all along! and so did she! she's been lying to you!". And, I know this is irrational, but my thoughts turn to the fact that DH (and me for that matter) desperately want our own children one day. If I do have the genetic defect, and he can't have children with me, will the sense of loss crush our marriage? Before engaging in pre-pregnancy planning was something I was excited to start. Now I'm terrified that if something goes wrong, it's because there's something wrong with me. I'm damaged goods.

For what it's worth, DH avoids his family, and puts little stalk in their crazy talk. But, we're both struggling with the effects of this hateful and abusive communication. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?
 

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First, it's none of their business what you do. It's not their decision. It is your decision. We don't truly know what causes autism and Fragile X Syndrome is only 1 part of the spectrum. You don't know if you could pass it on. If you are genuinely concerned, see a genetic counselor and get tested, and then you will know. There will be nothing to argue about. (And if you do find you are a carrier, and you don't want to take the risk, you could use an egg donor and still have a child with your husband.) Also, you are not damaged goods. All kinds of people have genetic issues. You didn't do anything wrong. Your husband could be a carrier for something even worse. You don't know. They don't know. There are probably lots of people who carry around some type of "bad" gene but it may never get expressed or cause any problems for their children. My family has a history of cancer and alzheimer's. These are terrible diseases, but I wouldn't avoid having children because I am afraid to pass these things on. Anytime you create a child, there is a potential for something to cause problems for them. Most often, you can't control it. You can't predict the future. Sometimes you just have to have faith that everything will be ok. Don't count yourself out yet because of some nosy busybodies. You can tell the family that this discussion is off the table.
I'm sorry you have to go through all this stress when you're not even trying to get pregnant yet. Hang in there!
 

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I’m sorry you are going through all of these. I agree with pokeyac that you get tested first. I just said a prayer for you that God will apply the power of His healing touch to your thoughts and emotions. Have you ever heard about the book titled Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend? I hope you and your husband will find it helpful.

Amaze0707
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, both of you. I just picked up a book on working through trauma together. I will look into the Dr. Cloud. We do plan on getting testing, right now we don't have the money (i know insurance will cover it, but we are pretty healthy so we still have our deductible), we are waiting to get to a stable financial place before we start family planning.
 

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I don't think it's a universally held belief that autism is bad. I think that there's a whole movement and a neuro non typical community that makes some good arguments for why autism (especially lower spectrum variations) isn't necessarily a bad thing. To me it seems somewhat compelling since there are a lot of people with ASD that can do amazing things and lead very meaningful lives. So why do we all have to be the same? I'm pretty sure i have mild ASD but i don't care. I've learned how to do okay in social situations and even though they still make me nervous i'm perfectly happy with the way i am. Diversity is important. Evolution doesn't make mistakes. Maybe there's a reason for this rise in ASD.

As a possible approach, have you considered extolling the positives of ASD every time they bring it up? You know, as a unique way to try to diffuse the situation. Just take their premise and turn it upside down. If the underlying assumption is that ASD is bad, put forward the theory that ASD might actually be good, and stick with it.

One of the most amazing people alive has ASD, here's a documentary about him:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Personally, I know many wonderful people who are on the spectrum who have accomplished wonderful things. I would not have a problem with a child on the spectrum at all. This is something we tried to point out, but they believe it is immoral to have a child if you "know" you have any risk of a "defect". There words, not mine. They believe I am evil and have poisoned their son, and that us having children will ruin their precious family genes. DHs parents don't speak with me, only through DH. They have on two occasions tried to get me to communicate with them, and on both occasions started out calling me names and yelling at me. I told them I was happy to have a conversation with them, but would not be called names or yelled at by other adults. They called me a pig, so I hung up the phone... I think I could try that approach with MIL, but FIL is convinced that anyone who doesn't parrot exactly what he says is out to get him and his family. There's no reasoning with him, he will simply resort to yelling, threats and name calling if you don't say exactly what he wants to hear.
 

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Personally, I know many wonderful people who are on the spectrum who have accomplished wonderful things. I would not have a problem with a child on the spectrum at all. This is something we tried to point out, but they believe it is immoral to have a child if you "know" you have any risk of a "defect". There words, not mine. They believe I am evil and have poisoned their son, and that us having children will ruin their precious family genes. DHs parents don't speak with me, only through DH. They have on two occasions tried to get me to communicate with them, and on both occasions started out calling me names and yelling at me. I told them I was happy to have a conversation with them, but would not be called names or yelled at by other adults. They called me a pig, so I hung up the phone... I think I could try that approach with MIL, but FIL is convinced that anyone who doesn't parrot exactly what he says is out to get him and his family. There's no reasoning with him, he will simply resort to yelling, threats and name calling if you don't say exactly what he wants to hear.
I think you should stop seeing them. Maybe at very special occasions like Christmas (if that's your thing) or for birthdays. Other than that avoid them. They sound very poisonous.
 

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I think you should stop seeing them. Maybe at very special occasions like Christmas (if that's your thing) or for birthdays. Other than that avoid them. They sound very poisonous.
Hello,
Welcome to the forum site.These site will be best way to communicate with others
Try to avoid hurting things which the other person tell you.Ignore and don't think of it
anymore.Always try to adapt good things in your life and leave behind the dark memory.
Be happy.
Thank you.
.........................
................................
 

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I agree with Viola P - you do not have to be in touch with these people. At all, if that's what you decide.

I have some crazy in -laws, and yours are boundary stomping wrecking balls. Do yourself the favor of, in future, not reading the essays they provide you. If you can avoid taking them, great, but if it's less of a fight to just shred them at home, that's fine. What they gave you last time was a mass of assumptions and demands, which you were right to reject. Its only value might have been to show to a marriage counseloras an indication of tge kind of challenge involved in dealing with your in-laws.

So - they want you to agree to only adopt and they have concerns about your genetic risks. These things, however, are absolutely none of their business. If asked,you say that these are very personal matters, and you and your husband prefer to deal with them privately.
 
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