When this man feels infantilized by his girlfriend's alarm sound, he asks Reddit:
I (Nonbinary23) am autistic. I was diagnosed at seven years old, and after that, my family always treated me like I was several years younger than I was.
I was deemed incapable of looking after myself, never allowed to walk or take the bus to school or go out on my own (to the shopping centre, for example) without my parents in the same building. My mother in particular insisted on singing a lullaby to me every night for eleven years.
I moved out as soon as I hit 18, and had to miss out on the chance to go to university so that I could work full time to support myself (most of my family, including my parents, cut me off for being "ungrateful).
I have been in therapy to help me process these issues, but they are very deep-seated. I met my girlfriend (F24) two years ago at the local library. She asked for my number and we hit it off right away. I have told her about my issues, but not in great depth.
Three weeks ago, the lease on her apartment was up and we decided to rent a place together. We went half on everything, the deposit, the utilities and the rent. We also share a bed. I get up for work at 8 AM every week day, because my boss supports me in my newd for routine so my shifts always start at the same time.
My girlfriend has odd shifts, and can wake up between 5:30 and 9 AM. I have no issue with this, I would just roll over and go back to sleep, but her alarm tone is what I don't like.
It's a lullaby. Not the same one my mother sang, but it makes me uncomfortable with how similar it is. Four times so far, her alarm has gone off before mine, and I couldn't go back to sleep because I was emotionally upset. Yesterday, I had a meltdown after she left the house, and had to call off work.
This evening, when I was calmer and she hadn't had a day of work that would maybe make her too tired for an important conversation, I brought up that I'd her to change her alarm tone, because it makes me feel infantilised again.
She sighed, and said that she liked it because it was the same song as her grandma's music box and woke her up gently. I tried to explain why I disliked it so much, but I was rapidly losing my composure.
I stuttered for a bit, then she got angry and told me "If you don't want to feel infantilised you should man up" (I am nonbinary, but assigned male at birth) "and get over it, it's just an alarm. Grow up."
She went to stay with her mother for the night. I still love her, and don't want to break up, but I told my sister who I still have contact with, and she said it was a stupid thing to fight over, and I should have just left it alone. AITA?
She plays this music at other times too, sometimes in the evening, and I have no issue, if I'm uncomfortable I can go to a different room. It's just in the mornings as soon as I wake up, when i can't emotionally regulate as well.
She’s expressed her frustration badly, but she’s not exactly wrong. Why should she change her alarm simply because it’s the same genre of music that your mother used to sing you asleep? It’s been a part of her routine for as long as she’s needed it.
She has fond memories of lullabies. It makes waking up easier for her, and her sleep schedule is irregular so it’s already more difficult for her to wake up at different times.
And what if you have kids in the future? Will you ban all lullabies from your household forever? You will not allow your kids to be sung to sleep by any lullaby simply because you have bad associations with 1 singular song?
No one should “man up” or subscribe to sexist terms. But yes you’re wrong for banning an entire genre of music from being played by your girlfriend simply because you have bad associations with 1 singular song of that genre.
It’s not the same song, it’s just the same genre of music. You have to learn that one song is not representative of an entire genre and that other people can have positive associations with a genre you’ve had a bad experience with.
YTA. I'm sorry but your issues with lullabies are exactly that, your issue. It's not even that your issue is with a single lullaby but all lullabies.
It maybe fair to ask her to change her alarm temporarily while you sort this out through therapy or other means, but not permanently. Your girlfriend's alarm has sentimental meaning to her.
Also, if you admit you can barely keep your composure in a conversation about a lullaby alarm then that's just more reason to deal with your trauma. This seems to be really triggering for you so I wish you the best in working this out.
NTA for asking. But this whole thing went down pretty badly. I understand you got upset, which is why you had trouble verbalising your issue clearly. It happens to us all sometimes.
She went above and beyond a civil conversation with what she said and how she has behaved. No one needs to 'man up'. Men have feelings too and you have very negative ones attached to this sort of noise.
In saying that, she does not have to change it because it brings her good memories. Idk if a compromise can be made somehow.