Dealing with weak-minded mother



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asdmas3123
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Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:59 pm

My parents divorced soon 10 years ago and both found new partners. My father a woman who loves kids and my mother a man who is a work-addict but can't work due to overworking and ruining his back. I got diagnosed with asperger's last year and face ridiculous struggles I never realized before. I'm in my early twenties and will move out in two months to attend school. Up through the years my mother's boyfriend has ruined the family by trying to treat me and my brother as his own children and has earned our dislike. My mother is a weakling and thus lets him do all the work. Recently it has become worse as I feel personally attacked by both this person and my father's wife, even if indirectly.

I spend most of my time in my room reading and studying, writing computer applications and improve other skills such as psychology topics and foreign languages. I have friends online and see my friends in the real world usually once a week. Whenever there is a family dinner my 'stepdad' is just waiting for something to make an arguement out of, of which he is unable to defend. Apparently he is angry with me being in my room "not working enough", despite having a part-time job which I fully enjoy. He told me I wasn't allowed to spend my money when I bought things and tried to force me to seek out the social services to help me find another job. I confronted him and told him it's none of his business to which his stubborness responded by anger and complaints that I live in their house, the usual bullshit you get from people who have no idea how to discuss.

A few years later and several similar arguements I've had enough and have strictly confronted my mother to take control of the situation. She refuses to deal with her man and I've told her there is nothing I can do since there is no point talking to someone who won't listen and she as the house-owner is the only person that can do something. Whenever I bring up these things in a mature and proper manner with clear arguements she just rejects them with "He doesn't like you sit in your room" and the classic "It's my house". She supports his view. What right does any of them have to tell me how to live my life? The worst part is how she reads up on asperger's articles and strive to figure out how to handle my diagnosis instead of just listening to how I feel. I feel subtly and indirectly resented by my mother.

It has come to my attention that she escapes situations like this all the time due to having no arguements. She barely even wants to discuss at all, "Your arguements beats mine anyway" is something she tells me when I lay out my views. The fear that her boyfriend will leave has made her choose him over her children and I've already decided that when I move out I will ditch her completely. Our family dinners now are silent and nobody speaks. I don't speak because I don't accept that my mother has this anti-asperger dislike to her child and in case her smartass boyfriend might get something to argue about. Despite her desperate attempts to carry on a conversation I manage to keep a low profile and ignore most chatter at all.

Her boyfriend cut the power in the house two weeks ago and I went downstairs and asked him why he couldn't notify me first. He said he didn't know it would cut the power, so I told him that when he plays with the electricity he should warn on beforehand, because things are bound to happen when you play with things like this. This made him rage and he threatened me indirectly that he would beat me. I told my mother and got the same ridiculous defensive response. A week later he made a comment about me being in my room and I decided to confront him right away and simply asked "What exactly do you have against me?". He said he hated how bad my temper was, and while I was sitting there completely calm and keeping my act together he rose up and raged fully. I ended the discussion with a remark that he apparently didn't have a high enough IQ to carry a proper discussion, which was fair and square bad of me and I would apologize normally but my mother tried to force me to apologize both downstairs and upstairs when the dinner was over. I asked her why I should apologize when he has degraded me in so many ways over the years and has never been told to keep it down or similar.

Anyway, the point that I made this post is that it pains me to see my weak mother struggle with her confusion and breaking all contact with her will lead her into depression or worse. There is another struggle with my brother who is getting kicked out and thus won't talk to her either. I don't want to have things like this, but I also, and I can't stress this enough, will not accept pathetic behaviour like this from someone who calls themselves a mother. I expect to be respected for who I am, particularly when she's the one who made me this way, and being treated like a low-life kind of thing as I sometimes feel like I won't tread lightly on her web. I intend to destroy her mental health by passively moving on with my life and teaching her that you don't pick abusive boyfriends over your own children (which she explicitedly stated twice she would) by ignoring contact. After all, she refuses to seek out a therapist for her own problems and thus I become the victim of it aswell, and I refuse to move out and then everything should magically become better, because I have lived with this person and me moving out is no reason to suddenly improve. You either act properly altogether or simply take the consequences when your children are tired of your bullshit and don't want anything to do with you.

As a bonus, my father's wife has given me stupid comments as well contradicting with my personality. Every year my grandfather plans a trip for our family and invites everyone to join. I decided I didn't feel like going as I didn't find the trip interesting and thus declined. As with other similar things, my stepmother tells me I should be ashamed of myself and be mature. What exactly did I do wrong here other than bringing out the idiot in her? Also since she loves children she expects me to socially interact with my little brother who is a "point at it and get it"-boy, and after being forced to do this for years I have lost my motivation and thus avoid seeking out my father in his home to avoid her. This pisses her off. Why can't she just accept I'm different?

Hopefully someone can shed some light on my problems until I manage to get a psychologist to hear me out. And please, if you're going to use the "It's her house" argument, take into consideration that it gives her no right to tell her children they are not allowed to state their opinions in their own home and that letting her boyfriend talk about his own fantasy work projects at the dinner table every single day for -years- when we ourselves get yelled at if we simply discuss technology and computer games like teenagers enjoy to do.



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Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:28 pm

Show this post to your mom. Make her read the whole thing. She will get a perspective of how you feel. You don't even have to tell her it's your post, just say you'd "Like to give this guy some advice" and you need her input.

That's all I got. :shrug:


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asdmas3123
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Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:44 pm

Bump.



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Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:37 pm

asdmas3123 wrote:
Apparently he is angry with me being in my room "not working enough", despite having a part-time job which I fully enjoy. He told me I wasn't allowed to spend my money when I bought things and tried to force me to seek out the social services to help me find another job. I confronted him and told him it's none of his business to which his stubborness responded by anger and complaints that I live in their house, the usual bullshit you get from people who have no idea how to discuss.


I would ask you this: are you paying rent to live in the home? Do you pay for your part of food, utilities, gasoline, etc. - any of the things you use? Do you do your own chores and a share of the household chores (dishes, laundry, cleaning?) If not, your stepfather does have the right to complain when you spend money on things that don't benefit the household, not because "it's his house" but because he is spending money, time, and effort on your behalf to maintain the home where you live. You are an adult: neither he nor your mother owe you a comfortable place to live or a nice lifestyle.

asdmas3123 wrote:
Her boyfriend cut the power in the house two weeks ago and I went downstairs and asked him why he couldn't notify me first. He said he didn't know it would cut the power, so I told him that when he plays with the electricity he should warn on beforehand, because things are bound to happen when you play with things like this. This made him rage and he threatened me indirectly that he would beat me.


Obviously, physical threats are in no way acceptable. If you don't feel safe with your mother's response, I'd tell your father what happened and ask him to intervene.

As I read your post, I'm seeing how things make you feel, but no attempt to look at things from the point of view of your mother and her boyfriend. What I can surmise from what you wrote is that you're not communicating very well with the rest of your family and they are very frustrated with that; your stepfather is expressing his frustration via rage, and your mother by shutting down - two very common responses to a communications breakdown. Counseling might help, but you need to be prepared that addressing this problem is going to mean give-and-take - you will most likely have to give up some things or put in some effort in order to get something back: a counselor is not going to automatically take your side and argue your family into submission.



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Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:00 pm

Starting over in a new post below ...


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

audball
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Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:27 pm

You have given quite a bit of information here, so I'll try to tackle your question, bit by bit, in the order you presented your situation. I'll first say that I'm not an aspie, just the parent of a child on the spectrum, so please take my advice with a "grain of salt". I can give the "NT" perspective, but by no means am I an authority on step-parents and parenting step-children or new partners and children. I noticed that you mentioned then man your mother is with is your "step-parent" only once, but mostly as the person who is your mother's partner. But after 10 years with your mother, this man may feel that he has "earned" the right to parent you, even if you feel otherwise.

Most people feel that parents, step-parents, any adult (usually) should be give a certain level of respect automatically. In a perfect world, it's rightly earned - those adults who have raised a child lovingly, but with boundaries/discipline, and respect, in turn, garner it. In your case, it sounds like you have been pretty angry for quite some time. Some adults truly believe that treating their step-children/children from another's marriage as their *own* is a sign of love and affection; it is part of the responsibility that goes with partnering with someone with a child/children. This clearly was not the case, it seems, here with you and your brother. I guess just know that there are two sides to this coin - while you see that your mother's partner as having overstepped his boundaries, he may have felt compelled to do so because some elements of society would expect him too. This is particularly true if he is a "traditionalist" - acting as a head of your mother and her family. As such, he could be operating on the premise "What I say, goes!" and not willing to listen to much of anything else. Treating him and your mother as "her man" and "a weakling" may not help your case because you are treating them with disrespect also, by their eyes.

You say that you have an enjoyable part time job and spend quite a bit of time in your room. I would guess this is because of the conflicts that arise and also, frankly, you may just like doing what you do. Have you asked specifically:
1. Does he and your mother have an understanding about your diagnosis and what social implications it may have in communication between the two of you? Your "stepdad" may be feeling like he is very clear about expectations and objectives, but you may not understand "implied" directives.
2. What are his objections to your working at the job you have. Why would you need to find a new job?
3 . Are you expected to be doing something to contribute to the household in some way? Chores? Contributing financially to the household? He needs to establish some "ground rules" so you can either agree or disagree with his points. He may feel that you are holed up in your room when there are things that are expected to be done. To be fair, he and your mother need to tell you what those expectations are.
4. How he and your mother are feeling. This may be a strange thing to ask, but if you are feeling up to it, it may go far to reveal other stressors in your home. Maybe they are physically in a lot of pain, duress, or financial stress. It would explain why they react to the smallest things (to you). You may not have an answer for them, but just asking shows concern and in a future situation, they may see some compassion.

While it is "none of his business" that you find another job, he could be hinting that he would like you to earn more money to help the household in some way. Since he is out of work, perhaps there is a financial burden that he is under and he is not being transparent about it.

Your mother is in a difficult situation, in that you are telling her directly that it's "him or me". Frankly, after you and your brother leave the house, "he" is the only person in her life, front and center. She's probably thinking that yes, she can side with you, but she has to figure out a delicate balance between that and alienating her boyfriend as well. Perhaps she doesn't have the ability to see things in your light and as clearly as you do. Tell her but also listen to her side too. I find that most people who have Asperger's are excellent "tellers", not such excellent "listeners". I sometimes tire of arguing with my child who is on the spectrum because I may tell her the same thing over and over, but when she is agitated she is not hearing my point of view at all. Granted, she is much younger than you are, but I can see that her frustration makes us unable to have two-way communication.

I'll be honest, if I re-read your entry, I'm struck by how you feel so wronged by your mother and her partner. You have a lot of pent-up frustration from years of living at home and have already decided to cut off ties with your family once you leave home. Is it really worth pursuing the "how" and "why" of all this when you have essentially decided to wash your hands of the situation? I'm not trying to be flip -just asking for clarification. You say you have compassion ("it pains me to see my weak mother struggle"), yet at the same time you want her to pay for not treating you as you feel you should rightly be treated. Your motivation for asking for advice is confusing.

And your standards are a little confusing as well. It seems that there is only one way - yours? You speak about not wanting to go on the trip your grandfather has arranged. I presume you gave a logical reason to not go - does it warrant the hostility of the line "...bringing out the idiot in her..."? If you request to be treated as an adult, with your wishes respected, you may have to do a little more than just say you don't "feel like going". In some families, it's a sign of respect to do what an elderly relative has requested. In most social situations, if someone has gone to the trouble to request your presence, if you wish not to go, you usually can RSVP and say "No, thank you," perhaps offering a small gesture of a thank you note, gift, whatever. With relatives it's a little harder; your father and his wife would feel embarrassed about your not attending. They can't make up the excuse "he (you) doesn't feel like coming" because they are concerned it's going to hurt your grandfather's feelings - it reflects poorly on *them* as to how you were raised (to "respect an elder person's request"). I would suggest that if you truly do not wish to attend this family gathering, write a note or contact your grandfather yourself. In your stepmother's eyes, you are appearing "ungrateful" for the "generous gift" your grandfather is bestowing. It's a much bigger deal to her and your father than it is to you. Acknowledge that you understand how she may feel, but you will take it upon yourself to take full responsibility and tell your grandfather. Perhaps you could even tell your grandfather that if a trip in the future was to your liking, perhaps you could help him plan the gathering. If you are pro-active with a kind gesture, you will often find it softens the blow of declining a request.

Regarding your younger brother, do your father and his wife understand your diagnosis? Being forced to socialize with someone with whom you have little common interests can be akin to torture, but I challenge you to think of a way to connect and then do so - on your terms (between you and your brother), not hers. Please tell her that you are trying so she can stop badgering you and help set up a calm and friendly environment, conducive to facilitating a real bond of some kind. Also, ask your stepmother to be as specific as possible about why you should be "ashamed" about being "immature". Blanket statements such as that do not help you see their perspective and you would need concrete examples to take to a therapist for discussion in the future.

From the perspective of a parent of a child on the spectrum, it's very hard work and at times, plain difficult to deal with the day to day challenges. I know it's not easy for those who are on the spectrum, but for NT parents, we try - some with more immediate success than others. The levels of frustration and anxiety are much higher (as you know) in a household such as yours. Trying to see their perspective is just as important as them seeing your perspective. Just like most people may not be your "ideal" partner/sibling/parent/boss, realize that you are not always their ideal partner/sibling/child/employee. The trick is to find a common ground that will help everyone involved feel respected and at peace.



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Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:12 pm

You have some really good posts from parents, and I hope you will read those carefully. I feel like audball did a good job of going through your points and relating how the situations appear from a parent's perspective, and I hope you will pay attention to what she described.

Now that I have a few minutes, I'll go back to finishing my earlier response, that I started before audball wrote her post.

momsparky wrote:
As I read your post, I'm seeing how things make you feel, but no attempt to look at things from the point of view of your mother and her boyfriend. What I can surmise from what you wrote is that you're not communicating very well with the rest of your family and they are very frustrated with that; your stepfather is expressing his frustration via rage, and your mother by shutting down - two very common responses to a communications breakdown. Counseling might help, but you need to be prepared that addressing this problem is going to mean give-and-take - you will most likely have to give up some things or put in some effort in order to get something back: a counselor is not going to automatically take your side and argue your family into submission.


The bolded parts are what struck me most reading your post, asdmas3123. You are very focused on what you want and your desire to be understand, without giving a single word of recognition that they also have needs and wants.

Families involve give and take, and you have to put something in to get something back. You aren't a child anymore, you are a legal adult, and because of that more is expected of you. Unless you are paying full fair value for your room, food, necessities and schooling, you can't expect to be treated as a roommate. They could, in truth, cut you off completely any time - they have that legal right. That they do not is because they actually care about you, and the currency to return there is to show that you care about them. When you spend all your time in your room pursuing your goals, it appears to them that you don't care about them and aren't willing to put anything into the family, which leaves them wondering why on earth they bother caring about or helping you. Can you see that?

OK, I understand that you don't seem to care about them, but that isn't fair if they are helping you and taking care of you, regardless of how flawed you think their efforts are.

I have to laugh when you talk about arguing with your step father, because NT logic (assuming he is NT) and AS logic can be so different, that his arguments could actually be the winning the ones in the broader world, and the real difficulty may not so much be who has to win or feels they have won, but that neither of you is capable of understanding and respecting the other's logic. But that is a whole other topic, let's just start with this: what is the big deal about letting the guy bluster a little? So he's wrong. It doesn't have to be your mission to correct him.

Abuse is, of course, a whole other matter, and abuse is wrong, but it is hard to feel sympathy for the abuse you say you experience when you give none at all to your mother for the abuse she experiences. If the man is abusing you, then he is abusing her, or don't you get that? If you are correct that this man is an abuser, then the situation with your mother isn't about a weak mind, it is about the very real insidious way abuse destroys a person. If the man is abusive, it is wrong of you to blame anyone but him for it, and downright mean of you to talk about your mother in the way that you do. So is he bluster or is he abusive? Deciding which it is can direct your actions, but I realize that figuring it out is tricky; the difference isn't always obvious. But hear this: if he is abusive, your mom needs you, really needs you, to be on her side. That doesn't mean you have to allow yourself to be a victim, but it does mean that you should not blame her for also being a victim.

It also sounds like most of your family hasn't had much time to learn what your diagnosis means, it is very new still. You can help by pointing them to books and articles that will give them a little insight into understanding how you communicate and what you need, instead of blaming them when they get it wrong. They are confused by your needs, they can't relate, it isn't like they run around trying to figure out ways to torture you. Help them help you, and spend a little time trying to understand them, too.

Remember that families do require give and take: it can't be all about what you want, and you have to talk and act in ways that acknowledge that if you want to live in harmony with these people.


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asdmas3123
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Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:14 pm

Thanks a great deal for the responses.

@momsparky I do housework and pay rent. I also pay for things I use. I've tried for years to communicate, and I've done so explicitly. I've had clear discussions with my mother about all these themes but she choses him in fear that he will leave, most likely.

@audball My mom's boyfriend parented me almost from day one. There is no fatherly role he wishes to take upon by the looks of it (though having his own child in another country might make him feel like he's wasting his time on the parenting front), simply resentment against me for reasons I don't understand. If I ask him why he bothers himself with what I do (this being their arguement) he has no explanation, none at all. It's just how it is. He is very stubborn to everyone, my mother doesn't like it either, a person who refuses to explain his actions because he obviously has no valid reasons.

Even though I didn't outline it in the post I have considered the other side of the arguement, but to be frank, if other people have problems they should not be taken out on me. I'm a very open person and I want to be of help, but I can't help if I'm not told the problem. If someone degrade me I expect an apology, none given. If someone wants respect, they should treat me with respect and it will come by itself. Being told explicitly how unsocial I am and how it "pisses them off" that I sit alone in my room studying is just ridiculous. I'm born unsocial, either deal with it or expect that I won't accept it. It's not like I want to sit alone in my room all day either, but it's way more fun than trying to play a NT and other things that other aspies go through. I've found my interest and socialization in the internet and find it annoying how people are allowed to trashtalk my interests just because it doesn't fit their view. "Because people who spend time hanging out with friends are just total losers, right?". I tend to relate being talked down to like this to that of someone telling a person in a wheelchair to stand up, and that's obviously very harsh. It's like people don't realize this when they pick on socially awkward others.

Answering the listed questions:
1) My mother has made an effort to understand my problem but despite this she refuses to listen to me. Just because her boyfriend loves to work his ass off and obsess over it doesn't mean I do. I love computers, doesn't mean I have to rage and be a jerk to him because he doesn't.
2) Two reasons. One being I don't earn enough money. For what? I don't need it, I have piled up heaps of it. The other being nothing. Nothing! I simply don't get it! Most likey what I said in 1), but then he has a serious problem.
3) There has always been an ongoing struggle with who should do what in the house. Not particularly because me and my brother have refused, I've grown mature enough to do what I'm asked. The problem is that we are never asked, we are ordered, and thus refuse from the lack of respect. Respect is earned, not by trying to be a dictator. (Chores have been agreed upon so I do them anyway).
4) I've been very open to my mother and tried to be on good terms with her boyfriend aswell over the years. His problem is simply to mind his own business and not mine. My mother used to put her nose in my business too but I simply stopped giving her information about school, work and such. At least she can't demand my thoughts. It has gone on for too long and my only conclusive answer to this question is: they can see a damn shrink instead of taking their shit out on me. If I have to, so should they. Denial.

It was my mother's father who offered a trip and I kindly declined with the reason that I won't enjoy spending time with the family as we have nothing in common at all anymore. Last time we visited almost nobody talked together except for the parents, and I don't feel like going to Sweden anyway. I appreciate such offers but I have to think what's best for me. Also, this probly sounds very autistic, but I favor honesty over beating around the bush. I don't want to go, I will say so and kindly decline, I won't make up excuses. If there are problems of embarassment over my decisions, this is not my problem and said people can respect my choices instead of being stereotypical and blame me for being myself. As you see, I avoid seeing my father in case his wife might be there now due to her lack of reasoning.

I was also getting angry when writing this thread, it's very hard to hold back when you feel you've been oppressed for years by someone you call mother, and her narrowmindedness and tendency to escape situations instead of dealing with them has made my asperger's burden double, and that is not a joke. Instead of supporting me she has just made it worse.

@DW_a_mom As someone with AS I feel my time is valuable and thus prefer spending my time being productive than sitting downstairs watching TV with my family. None of them have any interest in my life and what I do and when it's expected of me to care in return it becomes really frustrating as trying to talk about your own interests on the most basic level is met with complaints. Thus I spend my time doing things I like instead of wasting my time listening to how cement should be added to the basement.

You make it sound like I've always been on wrong terms with my mother. This is not the case. I've always been on good terms with my mother except for the past years when I decided that I won't let this man be allowed to control me -without reasons-. I tried to discuss with him with no success since he refuses to explain himself and says he's right even with no arguements at all. I then go to my mother and asks her to talk to him, because nobody else can, but she obviously share his opinions, as faded and vague as they are. When I ask her exactly what I do wrong and what the problem is she says "I don't really know". I think nobody would accept such an answer in a discussion. If leaders of nations sat in a conference and had no arguements other than "It should be that way because I say so, no reason", then it would be war, no doubt. So that's why it's war here too. If I think through my arguements in a discussion I expect to face arguements in return. Would it be fair if they came to visit me in my new apartment and I'd say "I don't care about your opinion, this is my house, so shush"? That's basically how it's been here.

Telling people about my diagnosis has been hard on every corner. Friends have had an easier time understanding but I don't intend to refer my parents to books and articles, because they have already done so and still don't get it.

I felt your post had a sarcastic kind of atmosphere to it with the repeated "don't you get that?", but all I want is to be able to be myself and speak freely in my own home. When people are not allowed to express their opinion anyone would get angry. Try telling your children they are not allowed to do what they want or talk about what they want and I'll wish you luck on that.



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Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:38 pm

I don't have the thermals to go into a detailed reply, but I would just like to say that it sounds like your stepfather might possibly be emotionally abusive. Having only seen one side of the story and not a lot of obvious signs of abuse I can't say for certain, but some things set off red flags for me.



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Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:30 pm

asdmas3123 wrote:
Even though I didn't outline it in the post I have considered the other side of the arguement, but to be frank, if other people have problems they should not be taken out on me. I'm a very open person and I want to be of help, but I can't help if I'm not told the problem. If someone degrade me I expect an apology, none given. If someone wants respect, they should treat me with respect and it will come by itself. Being told explicitly how unsocial I am and how it "pisses them off" that I sit alone in my room studying is just ridiculous. I'm born unsocial, either deal with it or expect that I won't accept it. It's not like I want to sit alone in my room all day either, but it's way more fun than trying to play a NT and other things that other aspies go through. I've found my interest and socialization in the internet and find it annoying how people are allowed to trashtalk my interests just because it doesn't fit their view. "Because people who spend time hanging out with friends are just total losers, right?". I tend to relate being talked down to like this to that of someone telling a person in a wheelchair to stand up, and that's obviously very harsh. It's like people don't realize this when they pick on socially awkward others.


Here's where you're losing me: you are presenting very rigid ideas about how all this complex social stuff works. While your family could help you by learning that your preference is to be less social, they have a right to expect certain social niceties if you are living with them. It's a matter of give and take, and your wheelchair reference is not apt: it's harder for an aspie to socialize, not impossible. A more appropriate metaphor would be that they ask a person in a wheelchair to go uphill (sometimes people do,) and yes, they don't realize what it is they're asking.

asdmas3123 wrote:
Answering the listed questions:
1) My mother has made an effort to understand my problem but despite this she refuses to listen to me. Just because her boyfriend loves to work his ass off and obsess over it doesn't mean I do. I love computers, doesn't mean I have to rage and be a jerk to him because he doesn't.
2) Two reasons. One being I don't earn enough money. For what? I don't need it, I have piled up heaps of it. The other being nothing. Nothing! I simply don't get it! Most likey what I said in 1), but then he has a serious problem.
3) There has always been an ongoing struggle with who should do what in the house. Not particularly because me and my brother have refused, I've grown mature enough to do what I'm asked. The problem is that we are never asked, we are ordered, and thus refuse from the lack of respect. Respect is earned, not by trying to be a dictator. (Chores have been agreed upon so I do them anyway).
4) I've been very open to my mother and tried to be on good terms with her boyfriend aswell over the years. His problem is simply to mind his own business and not mine. My mother used to put her nose in my business too but I simply stopped giving her information about school, work and such. At least she can't demand my thoughts. It has gone on for too long and my only conclusive answer to this question is: they can see a damn shrink instead of taking their sh** out on me. If I have to, so should they. Denial.


OK, on the one hand it does sound like the parents are being frustrated and not reasonable - but on the other hand "The problem is that we are never asked, we are ordered, and thus refuse from the lack of respect. Respect is earned, not by trying to be a dictator." is not a way to handle a difference in communication. You can say "I would really appreciate being asked politely; the way you are asking now feels like a demand." but by simply refusing to cooperate, you are exacerbating the situation.

This is what I was talking about when I said you seem to be seeing things only from your perspective - it's entirely possible they thought they were asking appropriately (even if it seems to you - and other people - like they aren't.) You need to assume the best, not the worst, because you aren't inside their head and don't know their motivations; assuming you do is a choice I would not recommend for anyone with a social communication deficit.

Here's another phrase "His problem is simply to mind his own business and not mine. My mother used to put her nose in my business too but I simply stopped giving her information about school, work and such. At least she can't demand my thoughts. " Parents are not supposed to mind their own business as long as children are living in their home. It's perfectly reasonable for a mother to want information about your school and work. Part of this is that any good relationship requires communication and knowledge about what the other person is doing, and part of this is that she's a concerned parent and wants to check in and make sure you're OK. This in and of itself does not mean they are trying to find ways to control you, which is what you seem to be implying.

asdmas3123 wrote:
It was my mother's father who offered a trip and I kindly declined with the reason that I won't enjoy spending time with the family as we have nothing in common at all anymore. Last time we visited almost nobody talked together except for the parents, and I don't feel like going to Sweden anyway. I appreciate such offers but I have to think what's best for me. Also, this probly sounds very autistic, but I favor honesty over beating around the bush. I don't want to go, I will say so and kindly decline, I won't make up excuses. If there are problems of embarassment over my decisions, this is not my problem and said people can respect my choices instead of being stereotypical and blame me for being myself. As you see, I avoid seeing my father in case his wife might be there now due to her lack of reasoning.


This sounds reasonable - but you can't expect people not to react negatively, especially if this is a change in your behavior. Sometimes doing what you want to do comes at a price, and often that price is that people get annoyed when an offer of friendship that costs them something is refused.

asdmas3123 wrote:
I was also getting angry when writing this thread, it's very hard to hold back when you feel you've been oppressed for years by someone you call mother, and her narrowmindedness and tendency to escape situations instead of dealing with them has made my asperger's burden double, and that is not a joke. Instead of supporting me she has just made it worse.

@DW_a_mom As someone with AS I feel my time is valuable and thus prefer spending my time being productive than sitting downstairs watching TV with my family. None of them have any interest in my life and what I do and when it's expected of me to care in return it becomes really frustrating as trying to talk about your own interests on the most basic level is met with complaints. Thus I spend my time doing things I like instead of wasting my time listening to how cement should be added to the basement.

You make it sound like I've always been on wrong terms with my mother. This is not the case. I've always been on good terms with my mother except for the past years when I decided that I won't let this man be allowed to control me -without reasons-. I tried to discuss with him with no success since he refuses to explain himself and says he's right even with no arguements at all. I then go to my mother and asks her to talk to him, because nobody else can, but she obviously share his opinions, as faded and vague as they are. When I ask her exactly what I do wrong and what the problem is she says "I don't really know". I think nobody would accept such an answer in a discussion. If leaders of nations sat in a conference and had no arguements other than "It should be that way because I say so, no reason", then it would be war, no doubt. So that's why it's war here too. If I think through my arguements in a discussion I expect to face arguements in return. Would it be fair if they came to visit me in my new apartment and I'd say "I don't care about your opinion, this is my house, so shush"? That's basically how it's been here.

Telling people about my diagnosis has been hard on every corner. Friends have had an easier time understanding but I don't intend to refer my parents to books and articles, because they have already done so and still don't get it.

I felt your post had a sarcastic kind of atmosphere to it with the repeated "don't you get that?", but all I want is to be able to be myself and speak freely in my own home. When people are not allowed to express their opinion anyone would get angry. Try telling your children they are not allowed to do what they want or talk about what they want and I'll wish you luck on that.


I don't think anyone attempted sarcasm (we all are parenting Aspies and our kids don't do well with it) I think the repetition is merely underlining important information. You posted this thread in the parenting forum, and we all assumed it was because you want a response from parents - we're going to give you our perspective, which is that our kids often have difficulty distinguishing between being a victim and suffering from a massive pile-up of miscommunication. The bolded phrase, to me, is an indication of this.

It's difficult to tell whether or not your parents are being unreasonable without hearing their side of the story. From what I'm reading, it sounds like everyone in your family is struggling. I do think family counseling might help you sort it out, but again I would caution you that a counselor's job is to make sure everyone is communicating clearly and not to "fix" people so they "act right." I would suggest a counselor that has experience with people on the autism spectrum, both so they can help you accurately explain your difference and what it means on a day-to-day basis, and also to hold you accountable to listen to what they have to say.



asdmas3123
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Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:58 pm

I don't see why I should have to compromise and force myself to be social more than I am at family occasions like dinner. Sitting there doing nothing is pointless and it gets worse when I have to listen to things I despise. Do they come up to take a share in my interest? No. Then I can't be requested to come share time with them if they won't do it the other way around.

I've told my mother that the way she asks favors are direct orders, it's a problem we've discussed many times and it's calmed down to somewhat of a compromise. If she asks a favor I say yes because there is simply no reason for me to say no, I don't mind doing housework. It's when I say no it goes wrong, because she expects a yes, but as I said, I don't. I only say no if I have other plans and need to postpone it. She accepted this or I wouldn't be willing to do it at all. Reminds me of my old job where I got called up in the morning and whatever plans I had made were shoved aside with carelessness, something which I find very disrespectful.

I stopped telling my mother certain things because she couldn't help herself but to always interfere and bother me with it. I explicitidly told her that I don't trust that she won't interfere and she promised she wouldn't. Didn't even last over the weekend before she did it again, so after that I lost my trust to her. She takes things for granted. Just because parents are parents gives them no right to demand information from adult children, especially if it will be used against them, which is what I intend to show with my behaviour now that I ignore her desperate attempts to converse with me about almost anything; I don't trust her anymore, and unless she is willing to change her controlling behaviour there is simply no reason for me to share. I want to take my own choices, not get forced into them, which is what happens when I give out information, especially in the presence of her boyfriend. Simply can't accept what I decide and can't shut up either.

I didn't intend to only have answers from parents, just that my issue was about parents.



momsparky
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Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:17 am

I guess my question to you is, then - do you want our opinion on what the problem might be, or do you just want to vent?



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Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:32 am

I am sorry if anything I wrote sounded sarcastic. That was not intended.

While I understand your frustration, and realize from the new information that much of it is justified, the point that you have to try and understand where they are coming from remains.

I ask my son about his life not to interfere, but because he is my son. I don't know how to explain it, I will feel responsible for his success in life and happiness until the day I die. It would hurt me so much to not be let in anymore; it would make me feel like we've forever lost the emotional connection we had when he was younger. I know that you have to raise kids to let them fly away, and I don't expect to be let in like I was when he was little and needed me to give him everything, but just a few moments here and there, that feel like those long past days, is a gift.

I think you let her in, and when she starts mothering inappropriately, you just say "Mom, my life, remember" or some little thing that let's her know, "oops, too far, back off" without permantly penalizing her for doing, well, what comes naturally to moms.

I hope my son never outgrows this little thing he does that just let's me know he remembers and everything is OK: he likes to come up to me same as when he was little, say "mommy" in a little boy voice, quick hug. And then the moment is gone. I can see he is a happy and confident teen; that helps hold back the mommy instinct to interfere.

You know, I feel so guilty sometimes about not having the patience to listen to all the details of my son's interests. I wish I could, but it is so far out of my field of experience I can't even process it. We joke about that, and I don't expect him to be interested in my things, either. But we've bought him a nicer computer than anyone else in the family owns, and I took him to a convention for one of his interests and tried to entertain myself there. I know we can't give him what he most wants, but it isn't like we never try. Can you think back to your relationship with your parents and see any little things like that, where they did something hoping to show their support?

There are definitely huge communication gaps that exist between parents and kids in any family, very much compounded when AS is involved, but you are at the age where you can be a part of the solution. Learn a non-confrontational way to open dialogue in these difficult situations, don't just assume that they will never listen, even if you feel that has been true in the past. Keep changing up your approach until you find something that works. Even try out sentences that you dislike, try to see what they respond posItively to. Be honest, but willing to bend. No, you are not responsible for doing all the work, but your parents aren't posting here, I can't tell them what you need, I can only work on it from your side.

Third party counseling would be great. Change up your approach suggesting that, as well.

I would guess that your mom can see you are frustrated and, well, unhappy, but she doesn't know what to do about it. Probably a big part of why she tries to interfere, as you see it. See if you can give her something to start from, to know to go to meet you.


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Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:52 am

I'm in what seems to be a unique situation here as an aspie parenting a NT child. But here is what I see:
I was raised by a seriously unstable family by an abusive mom and alcoholic stepdad. My mom had been prom queen, head cheerleader, homecoming queen, etc. and suddenly she had no clue what to do with this weird little girl who wouldn't look her in the eye or talk to her classmates and just recited lines from movies. Her answer was to make me pretend to be normal by whatever means necessary. You can imagine how well this worked. I am almost 30 and she still gets pissy on the rare occasion I see her that I won't wear anything but jeans and a t-shirt or that I can't tell my left from my right or drive a stick shift. But my NT sisters (captains of the basketball team, Prom queen, head cheerleader, etc.) can do no wrong. Mom once introduced them to a friend of mine as "These are my 2 daughters".

So with where I've been and what I've seen, I don't think a child should have to automatically respect an adult just because they are adults. Or even because they're your parents. What do I have to respect her for? Because she brought me into this world? If they could have told her I would be autistic, she would have found a way to abort me. She supports genetic research for autism for just that reason, so someone else won't get stuck with someone like me. Because she let me live under her roof? My dad fought for custody for years, would have done anything to get me to live with him, but mom didn't want people to see her as anything other than the "perfect" mom of a difficult child that she playacted at.

I respect my dad. When I was a kid, he tried to learn everything about my special interests, looked at flea markets and yard sales for the old out of print books I loved, knew all the characters from my favorite shows. Today, he will tell you about what I've done with my life and who I've become and about the wonderful little boy I'm raising with little help from my loser ex. the word autistic doesn't even enter into it. I'm just his kid and he loves me.

I respect my pastor, some of my teachers, some of my coworkers. I respect respectable people. But I see no reason a child should be taught that certain people's thoughts and opinions are more valuable than their own, simply because they are children.



DW_a_mom
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Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:58 am

EMTkid wrote:

I respect my dad. When I was a kid, he tried to learn everything about my special interests, looked at flea markets and yard sales for the old out of print books I loved, knew all the characters from my favorite shows. Today, he will tell you about what I've done with my life and who I've become and about the wonderful little boy I'm raising with little help from my loser ex. the word autistic doesn't even enter into it. I'm just his kid and he loves me.



Sounds like a good dad :)

Sorry your mom couldn't bridge the divide to understand you.


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