Keeping secrets is fun, sometimes.
Being transparent is dangerous all the time.
Balancing both....difficult at best and noxious at worst.
We are finding that secrets make things very stressful for our son. He doesn't do well without full disclosure and he needs details in order to feel remotely comfortable. These details can be small things, like working out who sits where, who is coming and what is going on....minutiae to most people but vitally important for those who need some kind of mental plan in their heads before going to even a "basic family party".
Lately we were planning a, no strike that, others were planning, oops I mean are planning a, well party is a stretch, so lets say get-to-gether. We have little or no information. Several others are asking us questions about the details and since we were....um... removed from the planning committee we have no information. Well, not NO information. I have a few details but sketchy at best....and most likely inaccurate by now. This is not a group that does teamwork very well.....Ok they don't do it at all.
The funny thing is, trying to explain all this to the boy is kind of like explaining what the pastor meant today when he said "You get what you get. It might not be what you want, but it is what it is." In the meantime we are left explaining (poorly) why we don 't know the details of this get-to-gether and what is going on (ask the others don't ask us we are clueless). Oh and it is a BIG secret. For years I hated secrets, largely because I was battling them every other weekend and the boy was messed up because he was dealing with some scary ones regularly.....it was too much. So now, tolerance for secrets is even less. What we are going tell everyone and broadcast it??? whatever, you have issues.
My cuter half has a funny story, last year I wrote about entitlement and in the story a woman had issues with people who had invited themselves for roast beast and ham hog over the holidays. The new story goes like this:
"Hi we are coming to your house. You will have the angel choir and the sounds of reindeer hooves on your roof for us if it is Christmas. WE only sleep in 1000% Egyptian Cotton sheets and please hire a maid to clean your house because your home won't be spotless enough for us to come and visit you. Oh and could you have the utensils ready and the serving dishes out there for our use? Oh by the way you do have a COSTCO card don't you? You have to have one to bring food to your house that none of you will eat and most of it will end up in the garbage (because that is what it is). We know you only eat food that is real (veggies, nothing fried) but we are coming and this is better. But that is OK right and you don't mind right? Make sure that you have everything ready for us to come and trash your kitchen and house; although we didn't ask we know you wont mind because it is us and the world stops for us whenever we come around. Don't forget now that we require absolute control and we won't be able to tell you a thing because it is us and we have to do it this way...."
Think Peppermint Patty and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and you about have it down only go faster and and really extravegant ideas and then you are there!!
I know that is totally extreme but do you see how this appears to a kid with social problems ....BTW we got this from him and are now trying to get him over this viewpoint. It isn't easy. We have been having regular psych appointments to explain things to him....he still doesn't get it. In fact, he is thinking this is how you handle going to other peoples homes and we are trying to get him out of that line of thinking pretty quickly. His thought is "Well if that is how family is then everyone is like that" It isn't necessarily so and it is hard to get him to understand what is going on and why.
SO therefore, in this house we go the full disclosure route although some would say "You can't handle the truth."
What does this mean for the house with the every loving Aspie boy teen? Well it means that we do things straight up around here. Trying to control us with half truths and secrets is only going to make us mad, frustrated and annoyed (the cuter half and I don't really care, it is the boy that has that problem)....then we will decide to avoid you like the proverbial plague. Then do whatever we are going to do and go from there..... which is usually more fun and much better than the way Peppermint Patty planned it in the first place.