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Trouble with parents, siblings, etc: Being around them and their opinions

AspiAngie

self-diagnosed Autistic
V.I.P Member
TL;DR (Too long; Didn't read) summary at the bottom in bold for those thinking "Get to the point already".

Backstory: All my life I had been "different" but the only thing I had been diagnosed with was dyslexia and kidney disease. For most of my life I thought it was due to being a sick kid that I was the way I was until a man I met through the Kidney Foundation who coincidently works with Autistic Adults said that I should be tested as I am showing a LOT of signs of an Autistic Adult Female. So lately I have been thinking about my life and for the first time realizing that other kids that grew up with kidney disease are "normal" so perhaps it was not CKD that caused me to be "different" but Autism.

But the point of my post is my family and a friend. All my life my family has been harsh with me and not understanding. Telling me I talk to much or have no tact and just say things and am rude and lack manners and am like a bull in a china shop. My mom would say that I am not lady like at all. I felt she was always disappointed in me as I am her only daughter and not graceful at all. She put me in Gymnastics and Ballet as a child which I hated but only did it because she put me in it and even the Gymnastics teacher said I moved like a scarecrow and had no grace. I preferred art but my mom refused to put me into art classes when a guest art teacher at the grade school noticed my talent and suggested it to my mom. She said she refused to reward my bad grades with drawing and colouring.

My family has never understood me. My brothers would constantly say they were not interested in my life story. My dad once told my middle brother that he was the oldest because I was not smart enough to act like the oldest of the siblings. It did not help that my parents would often call us stupid and say what is wrong with you and call me immature when I tried to fit in and be funny like my middle brother. I got along better with my youngest brother who was shy and an outcast like me and also dyslexic but other than that healthy. Even years later in our 40's my middle brother thinks he is successful and will put down my youngest brother for his lack of success and being homeless.

I finally had hope when I did a few online tests that said I had a high chance of being Autistic and should get an official evaluation. My family doctor said he would arrange a psychiatrist for this but I haven't heard anything yet for a couple months. This gave me hope because I fit in somewhere and am not stupid. But my friend said no way I can be because I am too "normal". He thinks he is normal too but he is a 2nd generation hoarder who doesn't seem to notice when others are ill unless told and if hyperfocused on his interest at the time which lasts for years. It is computers now for the last 2 decades where before that it was cars for the previous decades. He thinks he is always right even though he never researched Autism in Adult women so I know he is not one to go by and that I cannot convince him even if I get verified as on the Autistic Spectrum so I am not too worried about that. But the issue I have is my family.

My middle brother who thinks he knows everything tried to even tell me that there is no such thing as Dyslexia and it is just a label but the government or medical industry or something like that. I got mad at him saying "Your own wife is Dyslexic! How can you say that?" He seemed to be brought back to reality as he seemed to forget that she was as he never took that seriously. For him anything you are diagnosed with is a lie and hospitals are a sham. So for him I learned not to take what he says too seriously neither.

My issue comes more with my mom and my sister-in-law. I have never really got along with women and I do not know why. They just don't seem to get me and look down their nose at me. My sister-in-law is my middle brother's wife and because my brothers do not talk to each other anymore and argue she thinks that our family does not get together with them because we cannot get along in any family gathering. I told her how we get together (my mom, youngest brother and his son and I) just fine but not with their side because they are always busy. She, like me grew up with no sisters so perhaps she is like me in not getting along with women like she does with men. But I find I am left wondering if she doesn't like me because I never get to see their 4 kids to bring them birthday gifts or Christmas gifts as they always go to her mother's. She hardly returns any calls or texts yet my middle brother is too busy to know what is going on and tells me if I want to know any plans I must talk to her. I don't get how to communicate with her more effectively.

My mom is always telling me how I sound immature when I talk or when I email how I type. People often misunderstand me and I don't know why. My brothers and my dad say I over tell things. Very detailed to over compensate I realize to try to get people to understand what I am trying to tell them. I don't understand how to better communicate with everyone as they always have a problem with how I say things.

All my life there has always been tension with my family and how I communicate. Before I was put on Paxil I was literally so stressed I would get anxiety attacks just thinking of having to talk to family. It was very stressful for me. I would even go into the washroom at their homes and cry and try to compose myself without them knowing I was crying. They never understood me and I depend HIGHLY on masking just to get along with my family.

What I want to know is, is this type of social disorder and anxiety normal with Autism?? Or is this something more to do with my family dynamics? No matter how hard I try to fit in I have never been a real part of my family and only at the age of 49 is my dad finally starting to appreciate me as he noticed I can fix his computers and my mom is finally appreciating me as I am the one with the time to drive her around and help her on her computer. But my brothers will never appreciate me, even when I help my youngest brother with any forms he needs to fill out as his dyslexia is worse than mine. No one in my family has been diagnosed on the ASD but it is suspected that I am Autistic by my friend and myself.
 
I only skim read the main text. But I am certain the social difficulties and anxiety you experience are one of the most common experiences of people on the spectrum. There are exceptions, some on the spectrum are natural extroverts, but they seem to be fairly rare. Others, can get close to it but with a lot of concious masking. Anxiety, I often say is autisms middle name.

Rhino-With-Zebra-Stripes-Funny-Picture.jpg
 
TL;DR (Too long; Didn't read) summary at the bottom in bold for those thinking "Get to the point already".

Backstory: All my life I had been "different" but the only thing I had been diagnosed with was dyslexia and kidney disease. For most of my life I thought it was due to being a sick kid that I was the way I was until a man I met through the Kidney Foundation who coincidently works with Autistic Adults said that I should be tested as I am showing a LOT of signs of an Autistic Adult Female. So lately I have been thinking about my life and for the first time realizing that other kids that grew up with kidney disease are "normal" so perhaps it was not CKD that caused me to be "different" but Autism.

But the point of my post is my family and a friend. All my life my family has been harsh with me and not understanding. Telling me I talk to much or have no tact and just say things and am rude and lack manners and am like a bull in a china shop. My mom would say that I am not lady like at all. I felt she was always disappointed in me as I am her only daughter and not graceful at all. She put me in Gymnastics and Ballet as a child which I hated but only did it because she put me in it and even the Gymnastics teacher said I moved like a scarecrow and had no grace. I preferred art but my mom refused to put me into art classes when a guest art teacher at the grade school noticed my talent and suggested it to my mom. She said she refused to reward my bad grades with drawing and colouring.

My family has never understood me. My brothers would constantly say they were not interested in my life story. My dad once told my middle brother that he was the oldest because I was not smart enough to act like the oldest of the siblings. It did not help that my parents would often call us stupid and say what is wrong with you and call me immature when I tried to fit in and be funny like my middle brother. I got along better with my youngest brother who was shy and an outcast like me and also dyslexic but other than that healthy. Even years later in our 40's my middle brother thinks he is successful and will put down my youngest brother for his lack of success and being homeless.

I finally had hope when I did a few online tests that said I had a high chance of being Autistic and should get an official evaluation. My family doctor said he would arrange a psychiatrist for this but I haven't heard anything yet for a couple months. This gave me hope because I fit in somewhere and am not stupid. But my friend said no way I can be because I am too "normal". He thinks he is normal too but he is a 2nd generation hoarder who doesn't seem to notice when others are ill unless told and if hyperfocused on his interest at the time which lasts for years. It is computers now for the last 2 decades where before that it was cars for the previous decades. He thinks he is always right even though he never researched Autism in Adult women so I know he is not one to go by and that I cannot convince him even if I get verified as on the Autistic Spectrum so I am not too worried about that. But the issue I have is my family.

My middle brother who thinks he knows everything tried to even tell me that there is no such thing as Dyslexia and it is just a label but the government or medical industry or something like that. I got mad at him saying "Your own wife is Dyslexic! How can you say that?" He seemed to be brought back to reality as he seemed to forget that she was as he never took that seriously. For him anything you are diagnosed with is a lie and hospitals are a sham. So for him I learned not to take what he says too seriously neither.

My issue comes more with my mom and my sister-in-law. I have never really got along with women and I do not know why. They just don't seem to get me and look down their nose at me. My sister-in-law is my middle brother's wife and because my brothers do not talk to each other anymore and argue she thinks that our family does not get together with them because we cannot get along in any family gathering. I told her how we get together (my mom, youngest brother and his son and I) just fine but not with their side because they are always busy. She, like me grew up with no sisters so perhaps she is like me in not getting along with women like she does with men. But I find I am left wondering if she doesn't like me because I never get to see their 4 kids to bring them birthday gifts or Christmas gifts as they always go to her mother's. She hardly returns any calls or texts yet my middle brother is too busy to know what is going on and tells me if I want to know any plans I must talk to her. I don't get how to communicate with her more effectively.

My mom is always telling me how I sound immature when I talk or when I email how I type. People often misunderstand me and I don't know why. My brothers and my dad say I over tell things. Very detailed to over compensate I realize to try to get people to understand what I am trying to tell them. I don't understand how to better communicate with everyone as they always have a problem with how I say things.

All my life there has always been tension with my family and how I communicate. Before I was put on Paxil I was literally so stressed I would get anxiety attacks just thinking of having to talk to family. It was very stressful for me. I would even go into the washroom at their homes and cry and try to compose myself without them knowing I was crying. They never understood me and I depend HIGHLY on masking just to get along with my family.

What I want to know is, is this type of social disorder and anxiety normal with Autism?? Or is this something more to do with my family dynamics? No matter how hard I try to fit in I have never been a real part of my family and only at the age of 49 is my dad finally starting to appreciate me as he noticed I can fix his computers and my mom is finally appreciating me as I am the one with the time to drive her around and help her on her computer. But my brothers will never appreciate me, even when I help my youngest brother with any forms he needs to fill out as his dyslexia is worse than mine. No one in my family has been diagnosed on the ASD but it is suspected that I am Autistic by my friend and myself.
Hello there! I'm very sorry that you have had to deal with a family like this. My situation has been somewhat similar to yours but I'll not hijack what you've written to blare on about my own woes.

I would hasten to say perhaps it is both? I know my autism makes communication in general difficult; my family has never understood me either, nor how I communicate now (in other words, I don't talk with my family at all). It absolutely hurts to read that they only seem to appreciate you for what you can do for them and not you for being you. I'm sorry no one in your family values the true you; I've been in your shoes before.
 
Hello there! I'm very sorry that you have had to deal with a family like this. My situation has been somewhat similar to yours but I'll not hijack what you've written to blare on about my own woes.

I would hasten to say perhaps it is both? I know my autism makes communication in general difficult; my family has never understood me either, nor how I communicate now (in other words, I don't talk with my family at all). It absolutely hurts to read that they only seem to appreciate you for what you can do for them and not you for being you. I'm sorry no one in your family values the true you; I've been in your shoes before.
I am one who does not mind hijacking as others do. It helps me understand more how others deal with the same things. But I appreciate your uh .. how do I word it .. respect for my post space. Thank you. That is nice of you.

Yes! THAT is EXACTLY it! You summarized it so much better than I could! You are right! They have never apprecaited me for being ME. In fact I have always felt like a failure as a family member for not meshing with them as well as my middle brother does. My youngest brother also gets treated badly seen as a failure by them but for other reasons besides learning disabilities but for life choices which my middle brother says is the reason for his failure in life and that he would have been successful if he had only done the same thing as him. For me, due to my health, that brother just says well my health held me back. That is good that he lets me off the hook for that but others with my kidney disease have been successful. But I won't correct him. But you are right! My family is all about action and not about our heart. My youngest brother has the biggest heart yet gets the least amount of recognition. That is why we understand each other better than I do with my parents or my middle brother. I never thought of it that way .. that they only appreciate action and normalcy. Thank you for helping me see that it is not necessarily all my fault.

That helps! Thank you!!
 
Sorry about your circumstances.

In life, there are some who are truly open to listening to others and trying to see things from different perspectives and building bridges. These gems are naturally rare.

Then there are a lot of people who see things from their view and have difficulty seeing other perspectives. Sometimes we can try to reason with them and get them to see other perspectives with encouragement and support over an extended period, other times we have to cut our losses. When it's someone close to us (whether blood/marriage relation or otherwise), it can be painful to break things up.

And then there are some who are in denial. In regards to your friend, at the time I was early in my journey, I had a friend who was into the whole "autism is a fad" and suggested it was ridiculous, though like your friend, they also checked off a lot of the hallmarks for being on the spectrum.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I think in short, there's all types everywhere. Try to find the gems and cut the lumps of coal out of your life where possible. There's a reason why in many marginalized communities that the concept of a found family is common - because they get and support us (and vice versa) more than our real families do.
 
Looks like great input here. My biggest issue is that we never can move forward with the emeshment patterns and uneasiness of family dynamics. It just seems an endless groundhog day of get-togethers that we never want to attend. Discussions we don't want to have. So where do we find peace? Maybe accept the fact that it will never feel okay unless some emergency happens where the pattern is forced to change.
 
Honestly your family sound like simpleminded immature people. There'd be no great joy in fitting in there. There's only the tragedy of forced cohabitation. I hope your potential ASD doesn't get in your way of indepedent living, you'll likely see that accomplishing living on your own would improve your social ability and mental wellness on the stress-front by a ton. Simply through being removed from unreasonable influence that distorts your actual capacity as a person.
 
I guess I am lucky I have lived on my own since I was 18 when my mom kicked me out of the house for hanging out with friends so much. I wasn't a bad kid but with my health issues (Kidney disease) I was always around home and when I had my transplant I think she just could not deal with the change in me. They thought I would never be independent. Which is ironic since when I started to make friends she kicked me out, and I had no choice.

She admits she made a lot of mistakes since she lost her mother when she was 17 and had no advice and my dad was useless (did not help at all around the house and ran around cheating while my mom was with us kids and the first one, me, being really sick) so she was all on her own with learning everything. So I can't blame her too much, but just like Aspychata said, how do we find peace when we do visit family. I do find it VERY stressful and don't want to completely cut them out of my life. I LOVE living on my own as I do get my free time away from them, but still, I realize they will never fully understand me. Especially one of my brothers.

My parents have always idolized my middle brother as he was the healthy smart sociable one that made lots of friends and was funny with jokes. The youngest brother and I were the misfits. Even 40+ years later, we STILL feel like the misfits.

But I have my own mind, my own thoughts, etc, and do get frustrated with my mom. Anything my middle brother says (and he is a conspiracy theorist follower) my mom 100% believes and with my uncle being in the hospital and then finding out on top of his issues he has a blood clot, my mom literally just told me now on the phone that it is because he had the shot and that is why. I told her how people with cancer have a much, MUCH higher chance of getting blood clots, but she would not hear it but instead told me that I am not listening to her. I don't understand. I am listening to her. I have heard her say the same thing many times before. I don't know if it is my limitations in understanding others (possible ASD) but I have had a few people tell me that I am not listening and getting upset at me (my middle brother as well when I was defending my youngest brother against his impression of what is wrong with his life). I think that is what causes a lot of the stress with family get-togethers, is not knowing exactly how to express ourselves or show that we DO understand THEM (the normal members of our family) as well.

If I didn't care about "respecting parents" and "being there" for them in "their old age" I would MUCH rather stay home. As it is, I am no longer buying my middle brother's kids any toys for birthdays or Christmas, as I am tired of never SEEING them to give them the gifts when I don't have the money to waste on them just sitting in my home. Out of frustration, I have started to pull back as I realize I give so much but am not appreciated for what I do. Sure, my parents now appreciate my help with computers, but I want them to really understand me and not just get mad at me when they feel they are not being understood. I am tired of bending over backwards for them and them saying I do no work and just focusing on themselves instead of appreciating my attempts to stay connected with them. I find with my family just to fit in I HAVE to MASK. In fact with my mom especially I have learned it is a necessity as for her appearances always mattered including how well your hair is done, your clothes having no wrinkles, not being too tight, how you sit, how you eat, elbows off tables, etc. I am tired of pretending and want to be accepted for being ME.

I guess at times I have felt so stressed I just feel like crying. They do not know what I am stressed about. I just escape to the bathroom, and they are never none the wiser.
 
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Also sorry for the double post but wanted to reply separately to what VictorR, said and add, how my friend "D" who said he doesn't think I am Autistic also thinks it is just a Fad. He doesn't understand that people who "appear to fit in to normal society" can actually be on the Autism Spectrum as well.

In fact I just found a Radio host I listen to Is Autistic!

That felt like confirmation to me and made me happy.

And then there are some who are in denial. In regards to your friend, at the time I was early in my journey, I had a friend who was into the whole "autism is a fad" and suggested it was ridiculous, though like your friend, they also checked off a lot of the hallmarks for being on the spectrum.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I think in short, there's all types everywhere. Try to find the gems and cut the lumps of coal out of your life where possible. There's a reason why in many marginalized communities that the concept of a found family is common - because they get and support us (and vice versa) more than our real families do.
 
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