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A fight with my stepmom....again

Stan Z.

Well-Known Member
Basics: I'm 19, I have ASD, and I still live with my parents during this pandemic due to financial problems with my previous college, and now I'm going to community college.

I got into a fight with my Liberian stepmom again.

She was surprised and angry at me as I didn't wear gloves when I put back the trash can. I know what I did was wrong, but I told her that I washed my hands after I put the trash can back to the backyard. That still wasn't enough for her, so she decided to insult me and make me feel bad, calling me an "old, dirty man" (despite me doing multiple house chores for days).

Plus, she got furious when I didn't wash the dishes in the sink first thing in the morning because I had to work with my brother on his assignments for school. I told her I would do it afterwards, but she still forced me to wash the dishes. As I was washing the dishes, she still berated me, calling me "dirty", and assumed that I didn't wish my dad a happy birthday today (which I did).

When I told her multiple times that I did wish him that, she splashed some water from her bottle on the side of my face, and I irrationally pushed her hand away from me with the water bottle splashing all over the place.

I stormed upstairs, realizing what I had done. My dad called me downstairs, and I was trembling because I know what I did was wrong. :( He talked to me and my stepmom about it. My stepmom was obviously mad at me. So when I apologized to her, I told her that she could slap me. Because I thought I deserved physical violence. She didn't really slap me, but she just poked my neck in anger as I was going to clean up the water puddles in the kitchen.

I cleaned up the whole kitchen area: the floor and the counter, to be exact. I washed the dishes in the sink thoroughly, and as an added bonus, I even swept all of downstairs (I've always been doing it, but today was special for the wrong reasons).

This wasn't even the first time she got furious at me. She keeps getting that way whenever I do minor mistakes, like shoving the broom near my face when I didn't sweep the right way (apparently, I had to gather a trash pile, and then sweep it up) or temporarily putting down a relatively wet shirt on a pillow when I was washing clothes.

She doesn't even know that I have ASD. When I tried to tell her, my dad downplayed it by saying that if I call myself autistic, I'm essentially calling myself dumb, which is ridiculous.

As I was washing the dishes, I heard my stepmom say to my baby brother that he should not follow in my footsteps and not behave the way how I behave. I felt and still feel utterly worthless after what she said and what I did. And it's my dad's 49th birthday today, for God sakes.

I don't even want to celebrate my dad's birthday because I'm not sure how I'll get along with my stepmom after that happened.

It's times like this where I don't even know why I live in this setting in the first place. The Liberian tradition, the way how "we praise the Lord" (I'm an atheist), me being autistic, etc. It's like I was put into a random generator and out came me.


So, yeah, that's my story/rant. Make of it as you will.
 

Alexej

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hi @Stan Z.

Relationships with step parents can be tough at times. Try looking on google for some of the issues you are experiencing - and there might be some advice there.

Also there might be some info here, if not about step parents, then about telling people. However, if there is a Liberian webiste it might have more culturally appropriate info. (I dont know much about Liberian attitudes to ASD etc)
 

Stan Z.

Well-Known Member
Hi @Stan Z.

Relationships with step parents can be tough at times. Try looking on google for some of the issues you are experiencing - and there might be some advice there.

Also there might be some info here, if not about step parents, then about telling people. However, if there is a Liberian webiste it might have more culturally appropriate info. (I dont know much about Liberian attitudes to ASD etc)

Mental health isn't really talked about in the Liberian community, so most of them don't fully know how to deal with people with mental disorders like myself.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Sorry to hear what happened, it sounds like you felt misunderstood and your stepmother got cross. Sounds like it can be tough between the 2 of you. You are an adult, and it can be hard for parents to realise that they are dealing with another adult.

Will you be staying at home for the forseeable future? Or have you got college or university or work coming up? Things may change for the better when you can have more independence.
 

Mindf'Elle'ness

Peace and passion for ALL
I am going to be the first to say that I'm horrified that a human would talk to another human the way your step-mom talks to you. I'm sorry that your dad lets her get away with it. This has nothing to do with you being on the spectrum, this is an inability of her to treat another with basic human decency.
Never NEVER tell someone they can physically assault you. That horrifies me too. that you regard yourself so undeserving of dignity that you would invite someone to hurt you.
The one true person that you should be able to trust to speak up for your self worth is yourself.
There is probably no reasoning with your dad's wife.
You've said happy birthday to your dad, you've acknowledged him, he has let you down by not expecting better of his wife. I don't think you owe him anything else today.
You deserve to be safe.
 

Stan Z.

Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear what happened, it sounds like you felt misunderstood and your stepmother got cross. Sounds like it can be tough between the 2 of you. You are an adult, and it can be hard for parents to realise that they are dealing with another adult.

Will you be staying at home for the forseeable future? Or have you got college or university or work coming up? Things may change for the better when you can have more independence.

I'm going to community college in the fall (whether through online learning or physical walk-ins). I also don't have a job now, but I'll probably get one that will work with my college schedule. I'm staying at home with my parents now after suffering financial problems with my previous college.

I'll probably leave if I have enough money to provide for myself.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I hope you enjoy college. What will you be studying? It sounds like you had to give up a course because of finances, but you've enrolled again? That's great, because you're further towards independence. Think about helping yourself towards independence, and hopefully that will get you through the difficult dynamics at home.

I left home at 18 for uni and only went back for some vacations but got work well away from my home area as soon as I graduated. The best way to deal with hard to handle home dynamics is make yourself independent, I think. Can you do preparation for your course, give yourself a headstart?
 

SDRSpark

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Basics: I'm 19, I have ASD, and I still live with my parents during this pandemic due to financial problems with my previous college, and now I'm going to community college.

I got into a fight with my Liberian stepmom again.

She was surprised and angry at me as I didn't wear gloves when I put back the trash can. I know what I did was wrong, but I told her that I washed my hands after I put the trash can back to the backyard. That still wasn't enough for her, so she decided to insult me and make me feel bad, calling me an "old, dirty man" (despite me doing multiple house chores for days).

Plus, she got furious when I didn't wash the dishes in the sink first thing in the morning because I had to work with my brother on his assignments for school. I told her I would do it afterwards, but she still forced me to wash the dishes. As I was washing the dishes, she still berated me, calling me "dirty", and assumed that I didn't wish my dad a happy birthday today (which I did).

When I told her multiple times that I did wish him that, she splashed some water from her bottle on the side of my face, and I irrationally pushed her hand away from me with the water bottle splashing all over the place.

I stormed upstairs, realizing what I had done. My dad called me downstairs, and I was trembling because I know what I did was wrong. :( He talked to me and my stepmom about it. My stepmom was obviously mad at me. So when I apologized to her, I told her that she could slap me. Because I thought I deserved physical violence. She didn't really slap me, but she just poked my neck in anger as I was going to clean up the water puddles in the kitchen.

I cleaned up the whole kitchen area: the floor and the counter, to be exact. I washed the dishes in the sink thoroughly, and as an added bonus, I even swept all of downstairs (I've always been doing it, but today was special for the wrong reasons).

This wasn't even the first time she got furious at me. She keeps getting that way whenever I do minor mistakes, like shoving the broom near my face when I didn't sweep the right way (apparently, I had to gather a trash pile, and then sweep it up) or temporarily putting down a relatively wet shirt on a pillow when I was washing clothes.

She doesn't even know that I have ASD. When I tried to tell her, my dad downplayed it by saying that if I call myself autistic, I'm essentially calling myself dumb, which is ridiculous.

As I was washing the dishes, I heard my stepmom say to my baby brother that he should not follow in my footsteps and not behave the way how I behave. I felt and still feel utterly worthless after what she said and what I did. And it's my dad's 49th birthday today, for God sakes.

I don't even want to celebrate my dad's birthday because I'm not sure how I'll get along with my stepmom after that happened.

It's times like this where I don't even know why I live in this setting in the first place. The Liberian tradition, the way how "we praise the Lord" (I'm an atheist), me being autistic, etc. It's like I was put into a random generator and out came me.


So, yeah, that's my story/rant. Make of it as you will.

WOW.

OK, first off, stop apologizing, and what you did was definitely NOT wrong. You didn't do ANYTHING wrong. She assaulted you (harmlessly, but still) and you instinctively defended yourself. You would have been within your rights to knock all her teeth out, but you didn't.

Your step mother, however, is an abusive wretch. Well and truly. I had a hard time even reading that, and a harder time seeing you blame yourself for it.

Call a spade a spade. And get out of there. Go to a shelter if you have to.
 

SDRSpark

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I know. Is it against community guidelines?

EDIT: Changed it anyways.

Pepe the Frog was a lovable children's character until members of an extreme right wing website got hold of him and made him into basically a symbol of white supremacy. Unfortunately, they prevailed (should have been roundly ignored, in my opinion) and now Pepe is seen as a white supremacist icon. That's my understanding anyway.
 

Taira

Cat Person
Your stepmother is probably just jealous. And it's pretty incredible what jealousy can make some people do. Her behaviour is abusive, whatever your reactions are, youvare not to blame (unless you get physically violent with her).

You could try to demand that your stepmother leave the room when you do housework, because she gets in your way. Doing housework is a good way to pay for staying with them when you can't afford a better solution. But you should never be forced to do anything, or abused in any way.

One of the better ways to deal with people who are too in your face is to leave the situation. And if you can't leave, avoid giving an emotional response. Also be adamant about later actually meaning later, to the point of giving an exact time. She is only able to force you because she knows how to make you feel guilty. If you make a solid plan for the housework you do, and stick with it, you will have no objective reason to feel guilty about anything. Try to use logic and reason to deal with your feelings of guilt. It's your stepmother who's wrong when she bullies you, even if you have a weird reaction to it. Making your stepmother splash water all ober the place is not wrong. She was responsible, and she should have to clean it all up.

Another way to disarm bullies is to thank them sincerely for every insult (just pretend being dirty is the best thing ever), and never explain yourself. I don't see anything wrong with touching dirty things as long as you wash your hands afterwards, so you never did anything wrong in the first place. Your parents saying you did something wrong doesn't make it true. You may feel that way, but logic and reason objectively win over emotion. Try to trust yourself a little more, people being angry with you doesn't make you guilty of anything. Only doing the wrong thing knowingly makes you guilty.

And I hope you'll stay safe. Take my advice with a large handful of salt. What I propose will require determination and detachment, and that may not really be your thing.

Still, do know that I truly think you did nothing wrong at all. You have no reason to feel guilty for what the people around you instigated.
 

Stan Z.

Well-Known Member
I hope you enjoy college. What will you be studying? It sounds like you had to give up a course because of finances, but you've enrolled again? That's great, because you're further towards independence. Think about helping yourself towards independence, and hopefully that will get you through the difficult dynamics at home.

I left home at 18 for uni and only went back for some vacations but got work well away from my home area as soon as I graduated. The best way to deal with hard to handle home dynamics is make yourself independent, I think. Can you do preparation for your course, give yourself a headstart?

I am going to community college for a graphic design degree. Hopefully, I'll be able to do my courses on campus if this pandemic subsides.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It's good to get out of home at your age, I hope that will be possible, not sure where you are, but I don't think we're through with Covid 19 yet unfortunately. A lot of uni courses have gone online here in the UK, and I think are planning to stay that way for the summer term. They say we could see a second wave of the virus in the autumn, and we're still in lockdown as yet. But either way you'll be able to keep to yourself and study, with a good excuse. It sounds like a great area of study, wow!
 

Stan Z.

Well-Known Member
It's good to get out of home at your age, I hope that will be possible, not sure where you are, but I don't think we're through with Covid 19 yet unfortunately. A lot of uni courses have gone online here in the UK, and I think are planning to stay that way for the summer term. They say we could see a second wave of the virus in the autumn, and we're still in lockdown as yet. But either way you'll be able to keep to yourself and study, with a good excuse. It sounds like a great area of study, wow!

Thanks! I appreciate your comment!

Edit: I still live in the house and just waiting to go to college in the fall, and I really can't travel anywhere since my stepmom's using her blue SUV until the other SUV for her in our driveway is registered. Then, I can use her blue SUV to travel wherever.

I can go outside my front yard to play basketball or walk/run around my neighborhood with my mask and gloves. Yep, this is unfortunately the new normal.
 
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