As a 24 year old whom wants to understand parents...

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Muzey
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16 Oct 2012, 6:23 pm

and people in general.

Hello there... I am 24 years old. I have Aspergers and have come up with some stressful times. I am a very confused person with more than just questions. As of just starting to type this my dad has decided to take my computer ... here is my recent face book post..

"So apparently, I am going to get my computer taken away because i need to focus on other things. I feel absolutely pathetic. I don't understand how this method works... I don't understand how this is supposed to teach me anything. All it teaches me is that if I don't do something... 'daddy' is going to take my computer away. How does that teach me the importance of the work I have to do. Sure it shows me that its there.. but .......

It still doesn't make much sense.. I am finally making a schedule and finally doing things that dad wants me to. Not at a very fast pace or anything but I have finally started doing some important things that dad wants me to do. I haven't got it all down. just some of it.....

DX "

I don't understand how this is a method of teaching an adult. I can understand children but really... adults?

First some backround...

I have been partially spoiled (I know that phrase just ruined all forms of my argument but hell I don't care anymore). I was never really forced to do work. Granted I picked up a bit after myself but thats about it. So here is where I start to get a bit confused. My dad wants to teawch me to do work. Teach me what is important in taking care of myself. He gave me a list of things to do. At first I didn't catch on but that was a few (months?) weeks ago. I have gotten a schedule down (to a degree) and miss some things here and there.. I get about half my list (estimated) down with out the use of a list. '

Over the course, of a few weeks dad and I have had some very stressful fights about Aspergers and what it is in my life. I can never come up with words to describe the process my mind goes through and how I think and learn. He tells me that learning is about broadening the mind and expanding it. I do feel greatly that I have expanded. I still don't like people a lot nor in general. But dad wishes to through me into society and try to force me into learning social skills. I never really went out into the world due to minor bullying etc. I attempted to tell him that I don't have those natural social skills in the first place and that part of my mind is not really there. (this can be debated as true but this is somewhat how I feel) Dad insists on telling me that I just need to watch people and pick up what they are doing. I have done this many times but I feel that people react to things differently. I don't truly think he gets that I can't pick up on variance.

My views on society is that it is forever broken and that people are the intelligent beings. Ironically, I had this mentality of People R Stupid. Though this isn't always true, no matter.What I saw I still found myself going back to this phrase. (Apparently society also thinks this makes me a bad person which in turn makes me think they are stupid sense this is not true.. One big freaking circle.) I don't find myself understanding jokes or anything of the sort. I understand many jokes in fact most people find me funny. (Which I believe so myself :)) I can't tell when people are laughing at or with me. Certain understandings of why certain methods (such as parenting, economics etc) are used. And much more that I can't think of off the top of my head.

How I learn is a bit complicated. I hate just words and punishment. If a person tells me something and it doesn't click they normally get very agitated and hurtful. I learn through visual cues. Ironic that I don't 'see' the work that needs done (thus the removal of my computer). I love watching videos, Power Point etc on the subject at hand. I usually have to go through a major outburst of emotion in order for my brain to reorganize itself. I speak my thoughts out loud as a way for my brain to organize thoughts (though this is part of where some of my bullying came from sense people thought I was hearing voices). I tend to search for details to understand why the method is being used. (Mind you these ways of learning are not guaranteed but is the trend).

Now back to the punishment,

I have greatly improved over the past with seeing what needs to be done and have a mental schedule in my head (as much as I don't understand that method either.. shouldn't I just know that it needs done and just do it?) I have gotten better and dad has noted it. But then in the same conversation, my dad throws out there that he is taking away my computer so that I can see what needs done...... ok?

This is where the parenting question comes in. I do not foresee me having kids of my own (due to the fear of Aspergers/Autism becoming a part of there life and due to me having scoliosis and not knowing what it can do to me and the baby). I am a virgin and am not in any relationship. I also fear that the only way I can get anything my dad is teaching me is through being on my own; something I dream of and dread at the same time (mostly dream). So my questions are:

1) Is what dad is doing fair? I have offered him rent money but he has now denied it and the computer is mine. I don't understand how something that I bought can be taken away from me even though I am above age legally.

*Note that my mother has little to do with this picture. She is a different ball game. My parents divorced when I was ten.

2) What would you do in your situation if this was happening?

3) Any suggestion to research why and how humans react? Either video or book etc?


I hope I didn't come off as a lil brat or spoiled. I always get that when I type this stuff. Please let me know all your thoughts and if I am in the wrong or not.


If I am wrong then I am wrong...... oh well.. Life sucks.



lotuspuppy
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16 Oct 2012, 7:05 pm

It sounds like things are at a standstill in your life generally. I can understand why this situation and your dad's actions are frustrating for you. Perhaps it may help to see things from your dad's perspective. Based solely on your description, it sounds like he loves you but is frustrated at the moment. He may not be able to understand Asperger's because he has some problem connecting with people. It's totally a guess based only on what you wrote, but it may be worth exploring.

You may want to ask him one day how he feels about the current situation. He may or may not be ready to talk about his feelings, but I think it's important you do it. Just tell him that you have a hard time understanding his feelings because you can't understand feelings in general, and say that it will help you understand what he is doing. It may even help you with social skills practice. He may not be ready to discuss feelings, but I highly doubt he'll be angry.

Just my $0.02. Feel free to pm me with more suggestions.



Muzey
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16 Oct 2012, 7:12 pm

lotuspuppy wrote:
It sounds like things are at a standstill in your life generally. I can understand why this situation and your dad's actions are frustrating for you. Perhaps it may help to see things from your dad's perspective. Based solely on your description, it sounds like he loves you but is frustrated at the moment. He may not be able to understand Asperger's because he has some problem connecting with people. It's totally a guess based only on what you wrote, but it may be worth exploring.

You may want to ask him one day how he feels about the current situation. He may or may not be ready to talk about his feelings, but I think it's important you do it. Just tell him that you have a hard time understanding his feelings because you can't understand feelings in general, and say that it will help you understand what he is doing. It may even help you with social skills practice. He may not be ready to discuss feelings, but I highly doubt he'll be angry.

Just my $0.02. Feel free to pm me with more suggestions.


Thank you for the input. :) I will definitely put that thought in the back burner until the best times comes. Let things chill and all.



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16 Oct 2012, 7:31 pm

Is it possible that something has happened that has made your father face his own mortality? My kids are a lot younger than you and generally I probably do too much for them at their ages. But whenever something happens that makes me realize I will not be around forever, I always get an overwhelming urge to try to catch them up to their peers so that they will be able to take care of themselves. One of the greatest fears many parents of people on the spectrum have is what will happen to our kids when we are gone. I'm feeling anxious just typing this.

Did he warn you before he took the computer away? For me personally, I never enforce a consequence unless it has been laid out ahead of time and discussed. I find it a bit odd for a parent to take a computer from a grown person, but my kids are not grown people yet, so I am not sure what I will and will not do when they are your age.


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Muzey
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16 Oct 2012, 7:56 pm

InThisTogether wrote:
Is it possible that something has happened that has made your father face his own mortality? My kids are a lot younger than you and generally I probably do too much for them at their ages. But whenever something happens that makes me realize I will not be around forever, I always get an overwhelming urge to try to catch them up to their peers so that they will be able to take care of themselves. One of the greatest fears many parents of people on the spectrum have is what will happen to our kids when we are gone. I'm feeling anxious just typing this.

Did he warn you before he took the computer away? For me personally, I never enforce a consequence unless it has been laid out ahead of time and discussed. I find it a bit odd for a parent to take a computer from a grown person, but my kids are not grown people yet, so I am not sure what I will and will not do when they are your age.


He did warn me on the subject. I had started to slowly get the hang of it. But he took it away anyways. It came up in conversation and he let it go then came back and said once I was done using it for school (aka the most recent biology test coming up) then he would take it away. It's apparently a very controversial subject. Alot of people I have asked regarding the subject have simply laughed at me and have basically said to just get over it and life sucks (insert nasty language here). I have this over whelming feeling that I will be stuck feeling like a child because of these type of consequences. I don't think he knows how to teach an adult. He was not in my life when I was lil and he may be trying to make a come back. His methods makes no sense. I don't feel like I will learn from it. It just makes me think that I should do it because other wise I wont get my computer back; not that it is important to do and this is why. (Kind of the morale talk) He doesn't know how to teach outside the box.

For example, This morning there were two bags of trash and I walked past them cause my dads girlfriend was taking care of the trash. To be honest I didn't take much notice. More broad example is when I am not in the kitchen that often and I am supposed to see the trash is full. I am not there that often so it passes by me. Dad then tells me that If I see it then take care of it. But I tell him that I don't notice it cause some one else is taking care of it. But then he just simply says that He is trying to help me to sink it in so when I see it take care of it. ........ How?! I don't notice it!

It's agitating. He is trying but no one gets it. I feel like I might have to go to a therapist just to figure it out.

Then he said that I am doing extra work because I am not paying rent. (that's a tiny detail i forgot to mention... bet everyone's opinions have now changed) So i challenged myself to not spend about a hundred bucks to put aside for rent. (thinking he will lay off if I pay rent (Which may I mention that I did so successfully! ) ) Well today I offered it and he just pushed it aside like it meant nothing... first I get taught about Monetary value and now its not important? da fuq?

(Sorry I am venting here)



ScottAllen
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16 Oct 2012, 8:32 pm

Your dad is trying to help you. He's making you do things, so you will be more productive and more able to live on your own. Some day he wont be around to help. I think the big thing is that you two make sure the goals are reasonable for you (perhaps a counsellor could help). He's taking away the computer because he sees that as something which is keeping you from doing other things (working on life skills) and being productive. His assumption is that if you weren't on the computer as much, you'd work on these other things.

But, he should be reasonable, so if you were starting to do the things he wanted, then taking the computer away completely seems pretty severe.

You mention having your own money. Are you working and taking in enough money to pay rent? My feeling is that if you are living under someone else's roof and they are paying the bulk of your bills, then they should be able to set some rules and have a say in some of the things you do. He isn't trying to steal it. He is taking it away because you are spending too much time on it. If you move out, yeah, you should be able to take your stuff with you and set your own rules, but until then, dad has some say in things.

Anyway, sit down with him and see if you can work together on goals and what you need to get done to get your computer back. Keep in mind that he's trying to help you. He'll still probably want to limit your computer time to something he feels is reasonable.

Answers....
1. Fair? If he is paying the bills, he sets the rules (within reason).
2. If I was in that situation, I'd try my best to work with him and achieve the goals. I'd also try to get outside help to work as a mediator.
3. A lot of social skills books and videos are being made these days. Social Skills Picture book comes to mind. Also look up social stories (there are many on youtube). Social Psychology college textbooks might give you some insight. Also, Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People might be a good read.



ScottAllen
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16 Oct 2012, 8:42 pm

Sorry I typed that before I saw your most recent comments. Try explaining that your brain doesn't function in the same way as his, and maybe if he wrote down chores that needed to get done, you'd be better at meeting his goals. He could give you more work, but just in a way that is better for you. Instead of a rule of taking out the trash when it is full, you might do better with an evening list of things that need to get done with one of them (say #7) to be "Throw out the trash."

PS Parents are a pain. My wife and I are around 40 with 2 kids and still have headaches communicating with ours.



Muzey
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16 Oct 2012, 8:57 pm

ScottAllen wrote:
Sorry I typed that before I saw your most recent comments. Try explaining that your brain doesn't function in the same way as his, and maybe if he wrote down chores that needed to get done, you'd be better at meeting his goals. He could give you more work, but just in a way that is better for you. Instead of a rule of taking out the trash when it is full, you might do better with an evening list of things that need to get done with one of them (say #7) to be "Throw out the trash."

PS Parents are a pain. My wife and I are around 40 with 2 kids and still have headaches communicating with ours.


It's understandable of what you are saying. The thing is he did. I don't like the idea of a list.. rather than I should know when it needs done and so do it; not when. I have explained to him full on twice regarding my aspergers. It doesn't feel like anything has changed. I went full on with tears. I want to help around the house I really do. I just keep feeling like a child. I am right now having a hard time with school. If I can't pass college and get a degree and a job.. then I feel worthless... because I know people have a hell of a job as it is with this economy and if I can't make the money then I will never leave the house permanently.. thus I feel trapped. I feel worthless.. and these consequences don't help. They do quite the opposite and make me feel like ....... I am never going to be able to grow up. I have to learn on my own and thats my fear but realization. That I have this independent drive that I must fulfill. I feel the only way I will learn is the one thing dad is trying to prevent... F up in real life and on my own. even if I crash a bit.



Muzey
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16 Oct 2012, 8:59 pm

granted dad wants me to be on my own.. its just his methods.. thought i would mention that....



thewhitrbbit
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16 Oct 2012, 11:11 pm

The greatest joy a parent can experience is seeing their child support themselves and knowing when they do die, their child will be ok.

The greatest fear a parent can experience (other than the loss of a child) is not knowing if their child will be able to survive when they pass on.



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17 Oct 2012, 7:16 am

Hi, I wonder if part of this is down to the fact that you are living under his roof so he will still see you as a child and therefore treat you as a child. This is very difficult, a few of my friends (Im in my 30s) still live with their parents due to circumstances beyond their control and its just a nightmare. I think teenagers are the way they are for a reason, to get them out of the house! Suddenrly at about 18 you begin to want your own space and the parents are ok with that. I found that whenI went off to uni at 18 I left as a child and came back an adult and since then I just visit my parents like any other family member. Their house is theirs, Im a guest when Im there as they are when they visit me. Our relationship changed to fit around that andI think its normal. So I would say that there in lies the problem. He will always see you as a child because it doesnt matter how old you are, you will always be his baby!

However I understand if you have problems getting things done and need his support moving out would be difficult. I dont know how I would have done it if it werent for uni forcing it to happen and breaking me into adult life gently. Maybe if you had a chat with your Dad and talk about your independance, it may be that he is trying to get you to be more independant but going about it in the wrong way. Perhaps you need your own space in the house that is yours and he needs to knock and be invited in. Then you can be responsible for cleaning your own space and show him that you can do things for yourself.

Good luck, hope you sort it out :)



Muzey
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18 Oct 2012, 6:23 pm

Thank you all for your replies. :) Things have calmed down but I do not wish to execute anything till much later.



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20 Oct 2012, 3:29 pm

Glad to hear things have calmed down. I'm late to the discussion but thought I'd share a few thoughts:

1) Is what dad is doing fair? I have offered him rent money but he has now denied it and the computer is mine. I don't understand how something that I bought can be taken away from me even though I am above age legally.

Parenting isn't really about "fair" so much as trying to do what is best. The problem parents of Aspies may face is in not realizing how important the concept of fairness is to Aspies, and how important it can be to break down their thought process so that the Aspie really understands the decision.

2) What would you do in your situation if this was happening?

That is hard to say because I'm not in it, but as a parent and also as someone pretty attached to my own computer, I can say that computers can really suck the life and energy out of someone. To an extent, they are wonderful, and provide relaxation and entertainment, as well as conversation and information. But a person can get sucked in, and hang on to the medium way beyond the natural end of the tasks, at which point its power becomes quite negative. A bit like eating so much ice cream that you get sick; you know you should stop, and you do it anyway. The trick is learning where that line is, and how to keep from going over it. If my children are showing an understanding of the line, I let them guide their own usage. But sometimes they forget, and I can see it just sucking them in, and drawing the energy out of them. That is when I start enforcing rules.

3) Any suggestion to research why and how humans react? Either video or book etc?


I suggest you find a class or speech therapist to work with. My son has received group social skills training through the speech teacher at school. Since it is very situational, you really need a "live" person to guide you.

I disagree with your father that you will learn through your own observation. In my experience with my son and real life Aspie adult friends, I'd say that Aspies have a strong likelihood of misunderstanding what they are seeing, and that those misinterpretations just make everything worse. NTs learn through observation, but that isn't sufficient for most Aspies. If you could have learned through observation, you would have: it isn't like you've been living down a rabbit hole, you've been around people your whole life. You need someone to break it down and teach it to you. To the extent I am able, I do that for our son, but I've found the speech therapists are able to take it further, and teach things I, myself, struggle with. Speech therapy or social skill groups are worth looking into. My son does really well after all these years of support. Pretty amazing, actually. Most Aspies just need a tangible rubric.


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22 Oct 2012, 4:46 am

I have a feeling the rent was not the actual point.

Sometimes NT people do not say precisely what they mean.

Sometimes when parents say "You do more housework because you do not pay rent," means "Even if you did pay me something, you are still dependent on me, and I need for you to learn household skills at the same time that you learn about financial management."

He is probably also addressing the fairness question, by saying what he said, but he also means that you have to learn adaptive skills, too. That is probably why he pushed the money away. In some households, the dad or mom might have taken your money, too. Given that he did not. I would guess, he does not need it, and he would rather you learn household skills, and not worry about rent, right now.



Muzey
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22 Oct 2012, 9:34 pm

Thank you all thus far yet again for the advice.. but dad has officially taken away the computer away from me as of tomorrow, for the day, due to me not getting the kitty litter or taking care of some flowers that have died. So yeah.. this makes no sense anymore.... I am seriously thinking of going to a therapist.. the point is I don't want dad involved in that goal.. (ironic really) I know he should go.. but I feel that it wouldn't make a difference... I am also fearing that if I go.. then I will be treated like... a retard? I have had two mental doctors lie in court regarding where I wanted to live during my parents divorce and it bugged me really bad.. It broke my trust for the people. So I still feel kind of lost.... Yeah me.



Muzey
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22 Oct 2012, 10:46 pm

Dad just had the longest chat with me in a while. I don't feel like anything changed...
1) dad wants me to make a list... If I don't...... some form of consequence may occur... I cant really remember what it is right now... I am to busy having my eyes burning from crying.. I don't want to have to make a list.. I want to be able to do it because it needs done. Not have some damn list tell when to do it. My life is not that busy that a list should be necessary. I hate the idea of a list when I could just do it.
2) he gave me a speel regarding if the day he dies he wants to make sure that I am able to take care of myself... and that I will have insurance money from him and I can get my own place and have kids... yada yada yada.. who knows where the f**k that will go.
3) "If you have questons dont be afraid to ask us" no dad i don't have questions.. I don't know what there is to ask.. I understand the task at hand.
4) He basically said I have to quit worrying about my Aspergers or something along this line and just keep going....................................................... This is where his true ignorance is.. You have got to be kidding me.
5) I am getting the computer taken away no matter how I look at this.. If I do better I have to have a list or it doesnt count.. at least thats how I saw it.
6) Did i mention the damn list?



7) *reenacts Stitches voice From Lilo and Stitch* Lost....