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Featured How is your family strange?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by frink, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. frink

    frink Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    I am curious about the family dynamics of those with ASD.

    I was diagnosed as an adult, and I suspect there is some degree of ASD in everyone in my family. But I also grew up thinking my family was normal, but maybe things were pretty weird.

    For me: My parents were very anti-social. I only once remember one of their "friends" visiting our house. At family events with relatives, we'd almost always bunch up either with certain cousins or with just our immediate family, keeping interactions with "others" to a minimum. Communication with my brother was -- and still is to this day in our mid 30s -- normally absurd banter that is not grounded to reality. My parents never made me hug relatives during gatherings. If I didn't want to talk, my dad would quietly tell me not to worry about it and run off and play. During summer vacations I would do computer programming most days all day, and wake up at 4am to maximize how much time I had to finish whatever I was trying to do. My mom made me my own plain-food-with-nothing-touching-each-other dinner every day. There are quite a number of negative things from my childhood, too, but right now I am reminiscing about the positive.

    I have kids now, and with my older son, I have found I also have absurd banter with him. Our conversations go in ridiculous directions and quickly lose basis with reality. But somehow they are logically fascinating. He giggles and gets the biggest smiles on his face and takes things one logical step further and more into absurdum. He loves to put his clothes on backwards. He responds 10x quicker to requests to do things like brush teeth or when I enthusiastically insist "don't you dare brush your teeth!", "you won't get any cavities that way!". But if I want to find out more than a sentence or two about how his day at camp went, forget about it. Me and him make garlic bread for breakfast, every day. I don't mean to imply that we don't teach him appropriate ways to act in public, but at home those social norms go out the window.

    I'm pretty sure this is all abnormal, but it feels so natural and correct for us.

    What was your family's normal when you were growing up?
     
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  2. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't think there's anything abnormal about your internal family life, it sounds like great fun. And most definitely enjoyable:)

    My Husband's family were very social, with relatives and such and liked to talk all the time. He and his brothers invented things and built rockets in the basement and set them off in the woods behind the apartment building. They knew thousands of silly jokes, and told them to one another in a sort of rap of verbal skill.

    My family played board and card games, every day after dinner. My Dad taught us all to play poker and bridge and spades and hearts from the age of six or so. When friends played cards with us, they referred to us as a kind of family mafia.

    When I first met my husband's Grandfather he had a pack of cards in his hand, and challenged me to a game of poker, we played for toothpicks, after the game was over he shook my hand and said 'welcome to the family.'
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Family strange? Beats me. That's a very relative term.

    Pun intended. Sort of... :p
     
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  4. Monachopia

    Monachopia ...spiral out... keep going. V.I.P Member

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    I like your story of your family. While my own were a strange mix of normal and odd, there were still quirks that were adopted since my sister and I came into the picture. My family (grandparents and father) started to make animal noises at each other: a "meow" (cat noise) to signify a greeting, a "thank you" or a "goodbye". Like an acknowledgement without formal/'real' words. It seemed easier. My father is quite fond of these and would either quack at random usually to attract attention/call someone or would blare out a monkey-like call if he was in his office elsewhere in the house to seek a response that everyone's ok.

    Now that I've grown up, I realise that my immediate family were (and are) quite insular. My father is not the most social person and likes his own company. My sister and I are quite similar in that regard. My partners family really highlighted to me how ODD my family truly were - not just because of cultural differences, but generally. Partner's family are as normal as can be in terms of upbringing and social norms. But, I've brought into our relationship a little bit of the odd and my partner and I continue the tradition of animal noises for greetings and acknowledgements between ourselves. Our sense of humour is peculiar when compared to other couples we know, but I believe all these 'odd' things make our relationship stronger. I think it's a nice thing and it's good that you continue your favourite parts from your own childhood and bring those to your own children. It's cute!
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    We call one another 'familiarities'.

    image-w1280.jpg
     
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  6. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

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    The one in the right seems to be the woman. Very refined face expression indeed.
     
  7. John M

    John M Well-Known Member

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    My family growing up played this strange game were everyone competed to be the one that suffers the most. It was very bizarre. I assume this was an attempt to manipulate all the other immediate family members into feeling guilty which would give the individual family member that won this strange game an edge when they tried to manipulate others in the family. Since all my immediate family members did it though no one took anyone else's problems seriously. Everyone fought and claimed their problems were the more serious so absolutely no helped anyone else.

    I'm just wondering what a person wins when their life sucks the most. Is there something at the bottom of that cracker-jack box other than pain? I doubt it. My family wasn't the brightest. The funny thing is though that I sometimes see this in people outside my family. I make an effort not to play this game. I don't think the prize at the bottom of the box is worth it.
     
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  8. rubicks52

    rubicks52 New Member

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    If it isn't a family dinner, my sisters and I will always sit on the floor of the living room while eating. Sometimes I'll lie on my stomach if I'm eating something like soup that's at risk of spilling. I don't know why we do that since it's not like we have a shortage of chairs or couches, but I didn't realize it was weird until my roommate saw me lying on my stomach while eating at school and looked at me like I was crazy.
     
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  9. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    I have a weird family, but I think everyone's family is weird to some degree. My dad (although not officially diagnosed) definitely has ADD, which can make things... interesting. My mom has some autistic characteristics, although I'm guessing she's not autistic because she has great social skills and understands other people. She is often my social "translator".

    My youngest brother is a rock climbing natural, and can be super annoying. My little sister is pretty chill, so when she does get mad its really funny because she is normally so calm. And my other brother is super sarcastic (often to my detriment) and is a bit of a pyromaniac/pyrotechnic.

    I'm trying to think of something outrageously strange about my family, but all things considered, we're fairly normal. (with emphasis on fairly). We're Christians, which I guess might be weird to some people. Also, my mom home schooled me and still teaches my younger siblings.
     
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  10. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    A lot of yelling and arguing and insulting and hitting and throwing things and fun stuff like that. :cool:
     
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  11. tlc

    tlc The Mackinac Bridge and U.P. is my happy place.

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    It was fun when I was a young kid, even though I was sick a lot. We didn't have much, even so much as a color TV until 1985. We lived out in the sticks with no cable and people almost never visited us. But we used to go camping in a tent once a year. And maybe once every couple years went up to the Bridge <--. Drove to the city twice a year, once for school clothes, once to the Sears parts store. Went out to eat at McDonalds maybe once a month. My sister and I got to pick our own fabrics and my mom would make our clothes. I was in my mom's belly most of her senior year, dad had another year left, so they never went to college or anything. Just did what they could to get by. We had to fix everything poorly because my dad didn't really know how and would get mad and break things. I think 1989 was the last good summer, I was 13. After that it pretty much went downhill. Until my sister graduated in 1997 my parents lived a cold dead existence together, and would fight and push each other around and I got scared as I'd watch the thin walls in the house bulge out as they fought. I just kept to myself, spent most summer days out on my bike, spent nights playing music or working on my calculator or adding to my fort in the woods. And I was still sick a lot. I went off to college and did my own thing, then started working in engineering, rarely came home. By then my mom left but my dad was still a jerk so that was what drove me to buy my own house.
     
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  12. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    My parents didn't have friends that I can remember after I was born.
    We did everything together without other people's company.
    I think Mom was Asperger also, but, back then those things were not diagnosed or talked about.
    I didn't know until I was 58 about myself. So she certainly wouldn't have known about it.
    When Dad was not working, he was seldom home. He was obsessed with hunting and fishing.
    They never tried to instruct me on being social either or saying the right things at the right time
    such as thank you, when to say I'm sorry, or the typical greetings and exchanges of social interactions.

    I learned on my own how to walk and talk at a younger than normal age. Or so I was told.
    Discipline was hardly ever applied and if it was it was wasted as they found I didn't comply.
    Pretty much self taught as far as the school of life.
     
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  13. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I find the in laws curious.

    They might spend £150 on something that has an alternative; same function and purpose, very slight design difference and cost approximately £90 less,

    One of them will still pay £90 over the odds.

    Could understand it if product was one of a kind or essential specialist product.
    (They're not that 'well off' either)

    Find that sort of thing strange.
     
  14. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What may be eldest daughter's prospective mother in law organised a family wager over her own daughter's suitor and what his inferiority complex may guide him to buy next.
    (So he might keep up with standards)
    To them, this was amusing.

    Not only is this strange, it's despicable.
     
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  15. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    My grandfather would mix peanut butter, jelly, butter, and syrup together. The mixture was lumpy and imperfectly distributed - not like a puree. We would eat it on bread. He called it "Yum yum." We grew up loving it. I made it for my kids once - they thought it was weird.
     
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  16. Vindicator Phoenix

    Vindicator Phoenix Female or neutral pronouns V.I.P Member

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    Everyone's a giant.
     
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