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AspieSingleDad
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07 Sep 2017, 11:04 pm

Hi! As you can see by the my name, I'm a single aspie dad raising a 9 year old son on my own. My wife died almost 6 years ago now due to a morphine overdose (medication for her multiple sclerosis). I just wanted to become a part of this board since I see a lot of good in it. I've also seen some real horror stories concerning aspies raising kids, and that sorta scares me. I thought I'd briefly share a little of my story and fears.

When my son was born, I honestly didn't know I could love a person so much. It was weird because I didn't really have feelings for him before he was born. Because my wife had to have a c-section during birth, I was the first parent who got to see him when he was born. I was waiting in a room on my own and all of a sudden they wheeled this bed in front of me and I got to see my son for the first time. I remember thinking, "Who is this little guy. What's his life going to be like? What's he going to look like when he gets older?"

When my son was almost 4, I received a phone call at work that my wife died. This was completely unexpected. I wept and didn't care if the 100 or so people in the large room we worked out of saw it. During the funeral, I promised my wife I'd keep her memory alive for my son, and I'd do the very best I possibly could at raising our son. One of my traits as an Aspie is to keep my promises.

I had a hard childhood with significant abuse, and also witnessed my mom being severely beaten and injured by my father on several occasions (he was a Green Beret in Vietnam, so he learned violence well). I was also extremely unpopular in school, and have frequent memories of the horrors I experienced. While I wish I could redo my childhood and perhaps ACTUALLY HAVE ONE, I've at least been able to draw on my experiences to make good parenting decisions for my son.

I've never spanked my son. I tell him all of the time how much I love him and how proud I am of him. He has talent as a dancer and has worked with a couple who come to his school to each on occasion, but it would never occur to him to think he's "hot stuff", he's very humble. He's extremely bright, totally NT, and he's extremely social with other kids. He can make friends with other kids within minutes.

I do have my faults as a parent. I'm a big Apple fan and sometimes have a compulsive need to purchase a new Apple device. I can usually fight that impulse, as I recognize it as an addiction. I also allow my son to use his Xbox and iPad far too often. But, I'd say I at least balance that by spending a lot of time with him doing all sorts of activities and traveling to new places on weekends.

Right now I'm in the process of reinventing my profession. I used to be in management for Amazon, but when my wife got sick I couldn't spend 80 hours per week working. I took a job in customer service for AT&T (quite a step down) because I needed to be able to work a 9 to 5 job. When my wife died, I decided to live off of the social security benefits I was entitled to and focus on spending time on my son and going to school. That's where I'm at right now. I'm currently working on getting my degree as a physical therapist assistant, and my very well pursue a doctorate in physical therapy (we'll see).

While things are going well now, I'm also at that stage where I'm my son's hero. He's a hilarious and intelligent kid and makes me laugh all of the time. So needless to say he makes the, "Dad is my hero" stage hilarious too. Sometimes I'll go to visit my mom and town and my son will listen to our conversation with great interest. If I say something like I think Trump is a bad President and will eventually resign or be removed from office, about 10 minutes later my son will say something like, "You know what I think, daddy?", and then he'll proceed to regurgitate my opinion as his own. What makes it funny is that he repackages it so it totally sounds like his own thoughts, it's not like he uses the same language I did. I love to smile at him and say, "What a coincidence, I'm pretty sure I have the same thoughts on the subject."

I'm worried about when he becomes an adolescent. Am I going to be considered a freak by him? Am I going to be rejected by him? I have extremely poor social skills. We live in a small town (I felt that the best place to raise him so he'd have a closer relationship with a community to help compensate for the loss of his mom), and I get by well in terms of knowing people, but I don't have any true friends. I did at one point or the other, but I left them on the East Coast when I moved to Colorado to be near my wife's family so they could help care for her when she was sick. I've since stayed there so my son can have her family near him.

Well, that's my story in a nut shell. I can't say I've covered near everything, but I thought I'd put it out there. Even though I expressed fears in this post, I hope other aspie parents could realize it can be done. I guess if I were to have a philosophy in parenting it would be that I sorta follow the example of a hippy parent. I might be over permissive, but I express love on a daily basis, and I let my son follow his interests even if they turn out to be out of the norm (boys in the small town I live in don't usually enjoy dancing).

Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post!



DarthMetaKnight
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08 Sep 2017, 12:45 am

I almost started crying as I read your post. Well done. You sound like a hero.

I never had a very good relationship with my dad. Throughout most of my childhood, my dad tried to crush my love of science under the weight of his fundie conspiracy nonsense. He thinks that feminism was invented by Satan ... and a bunch of other random crap. I'm scared to become a parent. I'm afraid that I'll become like my father.

Quote:
I'm worried about when he becomes an adolescent. Am I going to be considered a freak by him? Am I going to be rejected by him?


Maybe ... but he'll grow out of it later on. He'll become cynical. He'll lash out at you in order to look like a badass. Most teenagers think that brutal cynicism is the same as maturity. We all grow out of it.

Quote:
I guess if I were to have a philosophy in parenting it would be that I sorta follow the example of a hippy parent. I might be over permissive, but I express love on a daily basis, and I let my son follow his interests even if they turn out to be out of the norm (boys in the small town I live in don't usually enjoy dancing).


My uncle is like this. I wish my dad was more like him.

Quote:
Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post!


Image


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amykitten
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08 Sep 2017, 1:30 am

I honestly wouldn't worry about what your son thinks as he gets older. He knows that you love him unconditionally and despite your differences he then gets a great sense of equality when he grows up. Also looking back my dad was an aspie, undiagnosed so we didn't know the difference. It was just what it was and that was our family. My friends thought it was weird we all played board games, or go on raids in wow as a family unit (plus friends as there was only my parents and my sister) it was normal for us, so we didn't find it different.

My story is slightly different though as I'm an aspie raising a possible aspie girl but authorities dislike diagnosing people as it costs the government money, blah, blah, blah. But that's life. You get on with it. If you want to chat more feel free to pm me :)



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08 Sep 2017, 3:19 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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AspieSingleDad
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08 Sep 2017, 4:34 pm

Quote:
I almost started crying as I read your post. Well done. You sound like a hero.


Wasn't meaning to make anybody cry, LOL. I appreciate what you're saying, but I don't think of myself as a hero at all. I'm just grateful I have my son and that so far I've been able to raise him with all of my love and effort.

Quote:
I never had a very good relationship with my dad. Throughout most of my childhood, my dad tried to crush my love of science under the weight of his fundie conspiracy nonsense. He thinks that feminism was invented by Satan ... and a bunch of other random crap. I'm scared to become a parent. I'm afraid that I'll become like my father.


I'm sorry you had a bad relationship with your dad as well, but whether or not you can be a good parent depends on how much you learned from your own experience, in my opinion. Look at it this way, at least you wouldn't crush your kid's love of science and push religion on her/him. My mom is a right-wing Christian who doesn't understand that I'm not, and tries to push her views on me. With that said, she did her very best in raising me, and certain showed me love, so she's a good person who tried.

Going back to your fear of being a good parent, I can understand your concern. You have to look within yourself and assess your personality. What would happen if you have a kid and the kid doesn't like science, but has more religious views? Would you take on the role that your father took, or would you encourage your kid with her/his interests?

I'm a Nihilist so I don't believe in religion, but I take my kid to a church for the social opportunities and so he can make up his mind concerning religion on his own. He'll bring up his views about religion and I'm always interested to see what he has to say. I'll ask him critical questions, but they aren't designed to change his viewpoint, just get him to think critically.

I guess the point is, you can make a good father if you love and accept your kid the way she/he is. Don't view a child as something to be molded into what you want her/him to be. View your child as an autonomous person from yourself that may need guidance and advice throughout her/his life. Sorry, I'm not sure if you were asking for advice and I hope I'm not coming across as preachy. I just think you shouldn't sell yourself short, even if I understand your fears and share them.

Thanks for the brofist, if I knew how to push an image I'd post one, LOL, Right back at ya!

Quote:
I honestly wouldn't worry about what your son thinks as he gets older. He knows that you love him unconditionally and despite your differences he then gets a great sense of equality when he grows up. Also looking back my dad was an aspie, undiagnosed so we didn't know the difference. It was just what it was and that was our family. My friends thought it was weird we all played board games, or go on raids in wow as a family unit (plus friends as there was only my parents and my sister) it was normal for us, so we didn't find it different.


I play board games with my son on occasion (monopoly being our favorite) and sometimes my son watches me play World of Warcraft (he doesn't play himself), LOL

Are you also a single parent?



amykitten
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09 Sep 2017, 4:59 am

AspieSingleDad wrote:
Quote:
Are you also a single parent?


I am. Not by choice. Her dad decided to cheat on us then walked out the day after my birthday, then didn't see his daughter for ages. I currently trying him to get him actually see his daughter on a regular basis, but he seems to slip up. I'm not sure how its hard as I've always put my daughter first and anything I wanted to do secondary, but that's life. You try your best and that's all you can do :)



AspieSingleDad
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09 Sep 2017, 2:30 pm

Quote:
I am. Not by choice. Her dad decided to cheat on us then walked out the day after my birthday, then didn't see his daughter for ages. I currently trying him to get him actually see his daughter on a regular basis, but he seems to slip up. I'm not sure how its hard as I've always put my daughter first and anything I wanted to do secondary, but that's life. You try your best and that's all you can do :)

I'm sorry that happened to you. You know, being a single dad, I'll have the feeling that it's unfair that men aren't considered better caregivers; that men are getting an unfair reputation. But I hear so many stories like yours that if I'm honest, I can see where society gets that perception from.

I can't understand with your ex wouldn't want to spend more time with his daughter, but I hope that changes. Thank God you're there for her, and you are putting her interests first (by trying to get the dad involved again). I'm sure you'd rather have nothing else to do with him if you had your choice.



amykitten
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11 Sep 2017, 3:16 pm

I think it goes both ways. I know some brilliant fathers, like yourself, who would do what it takes to raise a child. A friend of mine fought for his kids after he found out the children's mother moved in a child sex offender to her home. So I applaud you. Does you late wife's family help out at all?

I'd agree I'd never see my ex again. But, I believe my daughter needs a dad, not any dad, her dad. When she's older and decides she doesn't want to see him, then its her choice. But at 3 she doesn't have the understanding or judgement to make that decision. He's going to Disney World for his birthday and it didn't cross his mind to take her. I'll remain being honest with her of her dad actions and remain neutral as much as I can.



IstominFan
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11 Sep 2017, 5:44 pm

AspieSingleDad,

You are a great father! Keep up the good work!



AspieSingleDad
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12 Sep 2017, 10:05 pm

amykitten wrote:
I think it goes both ways. I know some brilliant fathers, like yourself, who would do what it takes to raise a child. A friend of mine fought for his kids after he found out the children's mother moved in a child sex offender to her home. So I applaud you. Does you late wife's family help out at all?

I'd agree I'd never see my ex again. But, I believe my daughter needs a dad, not any dad, her dad. When she's older and decides she doesn't want to see him, then its her choice. But at 3 she doesn't have the understanding or judgement to make that decision. He's going to Disney World for his birthday and it didn't cross his mind to take her. I'll remain being honest with her of her dad actions and remain neutral as much as I can.


Well thanks, I don't know about brilliant. Just doing my best. Besides, it sounds like you're an amazing single mother to your kid. You have the courage to try to get the father involved.

Does the dad respond when you tell him he needs to be involved in her life? Is he going to take her to Disney World, for goodness sakes? I want to take my son there so bad. I'm pretty sure that the first vacation time I get after I get my PTA job will by a trip to Disney or a Disney cruise.



AspieSingleDad
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12 Sep 2017, 10:06 pm

IstominFan wrote:
AspieSingleDad,

You are a great father! Keep up the good work!


Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement. :D



vickygleitz
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13 Sep 2017, 10:23 pm

I returned the message you sent me. Decided the best place for an Autistic community was in Beulah and that is where we are living right now! And yes, you sound like an outstanding dad!



amykitten
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14 Sep 2017, 8:38 am

[quote=]Does the dad respond when you tell him he needs to be involved in her life? Is he going to take her to Disney World, for goodness sakes? I want to take my son there so bad. I'm pretty sure that the first vacation time I get after I get my PTA job will by a trip to Disney or a Disney cruise.[/quote]

I went through his new girlfriend, after I told her he was two timing us, as I thought she had a right to know. I also inform her about all the inappropriate behaviour I have to put up with when he picks or drops her off. He basically still wants me but not deal with the responsibilities which comes with being a parent. So him taking her to Disney World was a big no. I'd love to do a Disney cruise one day. I was pretty annoyed, so as I'm pretty impulsive I booked a mini break in Disneyland Paris just before Christmas. So hopefully that will be nice. Then back to saving for boring things like a car to make my life a tad more easier :)



Voxish
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14 Sep 2017, 1:10 pm

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
I almost started crying as I read your post. Well done. You sound like a hero.

I never had a very good relationship with my dad. Throughout most of my childhood, my dad tried to crush my love of science under the weight of his fundie conspiracy nonsense. He thinks that feminism was invented by Satan ... and a bunch of other random crap. I'm scared to become a parent. I'm afraid that I'll become like my father.

Quote:
I'm worried about when he becomes an adolescent. Am I going to be considered a freak by him? Am I going to be rejected by him?


Maybe ... but he'll grow out of it later on. He'll become cynical. He'll lash out at you in order to look like a badass. Most teenagers think that brutal cynicism is the same as maturity. We all grow out of it.

Quote:
I guess if I were to have a philosophy in parenting it would be that I sorta follow the example of a hippy parent. I might be over permissive, but I express love on a daily basis, and I let my son follow his interests even if they turn out to be out of the norm (boys in the small town I live in don't usually enjoy dancing).


My uncle is like this. I wish my dad was more like him.

Quote:
Thanks for reading, sorry for the long post!


Image


You are a hero


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AspieSingleDad
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15 Sep 2017, 7:27 am

Thank you. :)