Family Life: He Just Slammed the Taxi Door and Ran off; Agony Aunt Barbara Jacobs Thought She Was Finished with Men until She Met Danny. but the Relationship Was to Be Fraught with Difficulties: Danny Had Aspergers Syndrome. Yet as She Tells Caroline Foulkes, There Were Many Happy Times, Too

The Birmingham Post (England), July 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

Family Life: He Just Slammed the Taxi Door and Ran off; Agony Aunt Barbara Jacobs Thought She Was Finished with Men until She Met Danny. but the Relationship Was to Be Fraught with Difficulties: Danny Had Aspergers Syndrome. Yet as She Tells Caroline Foulkes, There Were Many Happy Times, Too


Byline: Caroline Foulkes

When is a relationship not a relationship? When it's with someone who doesn't return your calls then turns up out of the blue.

When it's with someone who says they love you and then goes and gets engaged to someone young enough to be their daughter.

When it's with someone who, when you go away with them for the weekend, leaves you on your own in a hotel room for 12 hours and never calls, just leaves you there, worrying. And then, when they do turn up, they simply say they've been for a bacon sandwich.

This is not a joke. This is for real. Not real in the Jerry Springer-Kilroy-Trisha sense of real, the kind of 'real' that makes you spit out a mouthful of coffee in disbelief. It's the kind of real that is happening all the time, the kind of real that people make excuses for, because they don't know how else to deal with it, how to explain it.

Because how do you explain being in a relationship with someone who can never truly give back everything you'd want?

Barbara Jacobs couldn't.

She thought her boyfriend Danny's behaviour was odd, sure. Maybe a bit more extreme than some of the other men she'd been involved with: after all, how many men go out for a meal with you, say they'll come back with you and then once you're in the taxi slam the door and run off, telling you they're going for a drink with their friends?

'At first you just think 'this is typical bloke behaviour',' she says.

'The not answering the phone, the not talking about emotions. At the time, him running off when I'd got in the taxi, I just saw it as an act of extreme callousness.'

She tried to explain it away to herself as some kind of psychological problem, that he'd been hurt in the past, maybe.

'But I was on completely the wrong tack.' It wasn't until she saw him standing in her kitchen one morning, reading a newspaper, that she finally realised what it was.

'He was standing strangely, supporting his weight on one foot while the other leg was turned in at the knee and resting on the toes. His elbows were drawn in, his hands hanging limply downwards.'

It was a gauche, awkward stance. It reminded her of something, someone. Something she had seen before.

After watching him for ten minutes, she realised what it was.

'About 30 years before I'd taught at a summer camp for children with behavioural difficulties, and one of the children had exactly the same posture. He had autism.' After Danny left, Barbara phoned the National Autistic Society. The advisor she spoke to told her that Danny probably had Aspergers Syndrome.

It was 1998. Very little was known about Aspergers, a form of High Functioning Autism. Certainly nothing was known about adult Aspergers.

The advisor told Barbara that most adults with Aspergers were simply seen as eccentric, people who like being what they see as sociable, but who constantly make mistakes.

'Think of your average geek, and you've got it about right, a geek who makes social blunders and can't communicate properly but doesn't realise it,' he said.

Barbara wasn't horrified at all. Even though it was only a telephone diagnosis, going on information supplied by her, she knew it was right.

'It just made me understand him more,' she says.

'I started to become absorbed by this whole other way of thinking that Danny had, I just found it fascinating, intriguing.'

It was also wearing, frustrating. The kind of thing that can break you down, even when you do understand.

The thing is, Barbara hadn't even liked Danny when they first met. And she certainly wasn't looking for anyone.

'I didn't like him at all, the way he looked, his manner, nothing. But as soon as he started talking I just warmed to him; we had huge amounts in common.

'What touched a big chord with me was when he told me that his ex-wife had been his best friend, because that was exactly how I felt about my ex. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Family Life: He Just Slammed the Taxi Door and Ran off; Agony Aunt Barbara Jacobs Thought She Was Finished with Men until She Met Danny. but the Relationship Was to Be Fraught with Difficulties: Danny Had Aspergers Syndrome. Yet as She Tells Caroline Foulkes, There Were Many Happy Times, Too
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.