*§*AS-Parent Support Group*§*

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Would you like a separate forum for AS Parents?
Yes 75%  75%  [ 141 ]
No 9%  9%  [ 17 ]
Maybe 14%  14%  [ 26 ]
Other option, please expand in thread 2%  2%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 187

sinagua
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22 May 2008, 6:50 pm

aylissa wrote:
ouinon wrote:
Everyone else was happily sharing biscuits and chatting about nothing. And when I heard something interesting and plunged in I gradually realised that I was being way too serious and taking over but once I was onto something, like breastfeeding or something equally important only one woman one of the two "careworkers" would carry on talking to me. Everybody else would go silent and then start talking to each other in small groups.


:( I could have written that. The number of times that has happened to me is innumerable, and I've just come to the conclusion that I need to just keep my mouth shut when I'm around people I don't know well.


YES YES YES to all of this. :?

Seems like I'm always either talking too much, or not enough (and perceived as "aloof" or "stuck up"). :(



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22 May 2008, 6:59 pm

drybones wrote:
Do you attempt to hide your traits from your kids?

mine remark on my preference to solitude which leaves me feeling uncomfortable/bad about myself


I only have one child, and he has AS and seems largely oblivious to whatever I'm going through, so in some ways I guess that's a blessing for him. I try to shield him from the worst of my "meltdowns," and it seems like any time another adult sees me cry in front of my son (which is rare, I promise - I don't cry around him usually, this is just those rare stressful situations like bad doctor visits and dental work and dealing with school officials) they jump on me for "scaring" him (even though later, when asked, he says he didn't feel scared at all, and wtf was THEIR problem?). He seems to hardly notice if I'm upset, honestly. :?

I've had other family members remark that I spend too much time alone. But all three of us - myself, my husband, and our son - like our alone time, and are quite happy in our own company, and honestly don't LIKE to be very "social." My MIL has told me I should not be quite so "selfish" and "get out more" and find a group of women friends or join a weekly book club, or something. I see that she has a TINY point, but I'm really tired of feeling guilty about my need for solitude. I'm nearly 40, and it hasn't changed - I'm thinking this is an integral part of my personality, and it's just How I Am, and as long as it's not hurting my marriage or upsetting my son, then everyone else can just kindly mind their own business and use the time I'm away from them to gossip about how weird and selfish and aloof I am. Whatever.

Sorry to ramble. ;)



sinagua
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22 May 2008, 7:03 pm

aylissa wrote:
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It was awful to think that that was what I was supposed to have been doing with him all the hours in the first months when as far as I concerned there was nothing to do with him. I read Dickens and George Eliot, and he lay on his cushions near me. And never a word I spoke to him. (


Of course. Why should we speak to something that doesn't speak back? It makes no sense. I didn't talk to my kids for the most part either, but I did do one thing right: I read a children's book to them every night before bed starting from when they were old enough to sit up and look at the pictures. :cheers: Now they are both intelligent and excellent readers.


Excellent response! Instead of talking "babytalk" to my son, I sang to him and read him books - until he could read them to me, 18 months later. ;)



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23 May 2008, 4:09 am

I wish I'd thought to read out loud what I was reading to my son as a baby.

Oddly enough I was better at household chores in the beginning, samantca, than I am now. I don't think I cooked better or more but I used to tidy up and wash up more often/comprehensively. We had a better sink. Two deep sink bowls, and big drain space. Here the sink is old ceramic, jammed into a narrow angled/triangular corner with inadequate draining surface. The feng shui is all wrong. :wink:

The laundry got done more regularly too because we didn't have a machine and went every sunday, all three of us, with toys for son, and the sunday newspaper for the papa, to the nearest launderette which was peaceful and quiet then. I would sit outside and smoke a couple of rollies while the machines spun, and my son would race round the central table with cars or planes in hand, and the papa would sit with the paper. Now we have a machine it all piles up until I reach some critical state of requirement for clothes, or "efficiency" drive, or something.

I have always been bad at cleaning floors so they tend to get a bit disgusting. But then studies show that obsessive cleaning and antibacterial/antiseptic processes may be contributing significantly to the number of allergies/auto-immune diseases in society. I am not as scared of dirt as many seem to be. I think so long as eat reasonably healthily "dirt" is not the dangerous bogeyman it's painted as in ads and advice pages.

I think that the more people bring up children in isolation the more become dependent on the media for pictures of how others live. I think images in ads/TV series etc enter into our ideas of how things should be, and then frighten us into obeying them or leave us feeling inadequate. The pressure on AS parents is ironically likely to be greater than on NTs because we see fewer real examples of how people actually live. We have ideals in our head, produced by various influences, and they make /made me panic.

Demand time for yourself, samantca, time when your husband/the father of your child has to either look after her, or find someone else who can. It is crucial to AS mental health to have time alone to process/go offline/download etc. It wasn't easy to ask for, in fact even imagining that I could ask was very hard. I got monday afternoons ( when the papa was doing "office" work at home so he was able to babysit. I used to go to the cinema, and/or sit with a coffee at a cafe watching people pass. At other times, weekends, I would just go to bed for a few hours or a whole day, daydream, totally switch off.

Hang/hold on. :heart: It does gradually get easier, I think. :)

:study:



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23 May 2008, 4:20 am

Thanks ouinon.

I totally suck at doing housework. I was also better when my daughter was a couple of months old. But i never did much then either. But atleast i did some laundry every day and dishes etc.

Thing is, ive never really been able to demand anything for myself ever since i got this anxiety stuff. I feel like people wont understand, and people just frighten me. My NT bf as well. We are so different that its almost a nightmare. And right now im at my moms with my baby girl, cause we dont know if we will break up or not. And all because we argue over who does what at the house, and also cause i have a desperate need to sleep sleep sleep sleep these days. So my bf gets upset with that. He never understood me. All he could think about when i told him i thought i had AS was that he was scared he would have to do everything around the house :roll:

So now im completely confused, and im scared i wont see my daughter as much as i want. But i try to take the time she spends with her father as time outs, and just try to take care of myself. The thing is, ill never be good at housework, but its been easier when im alone because my NT bf constantly put me down with what i did/didnt do. Im still not effective, but atleast i get something done.

Im glad this thread is here, thanks everyone :)



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23 May 2008, 5:51 am

sinagua wrote:
aylissa wrote:
ouinon wrote:
Everyone else was happily sharing biscuits and chatting about nothing. And when I heard something interesting and plunged in I gradually realised that I was being way too serious and taking over but once I was onto something, like breastfeeding or something equally important only one woman one of the two "careworkers" would carry on talking to me. Everybody else would go silent and then start talking to each other in small groups.


:( I could have written that. The number of times that has happened to me is innumerable, and I've just come to the conclusion that I need to just keep my mouth shut when I'm around people I don't know well.


YES YES YES to all of this. :?

Seems like I'm always either talking too much, or not enough (and perceived as "aloof" or "stuck up"). :(


YES! I've been called both. :( My normal self is too quiet or stuck up, and when I try to be more "normal" I talk too much, take over conversations without realizing, and end up being "that radical one."



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23 May 2008, 11:10 am

A group effort topic

Where do I start? My two :( kids at home are so social, and they drive me bonkers. It was hard with my first one but these tow are even more so! Loud. This results in sensory overload. Jeepers. You would think I would be used to all this chit chat but even after 34 years, I wish I could go live in a cave! It was easier to eliminate this when they were younger. I have become more irritated by it. I realize it is normal for them but it is not normal for me! 8O :evil: :x :wall: :help: :thumbdown: :shrug: :hmph: :tired: :hic: :eew: :shaking: :bounce: :huh: :cry: :roll: :?


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23 May 2008, 11:53 am

sartresue wrote:
A group effort topic

Where do I start? My two :( kids at home are so social, and they drive me bonkers. It was hard with my first one but these tow are even more so! Loud. This results in sensory overload. Jeepers. You would think I would be used to all this chit chat but even after 34 years, I wish I could go live in a cave! It was easier to eliminate this when they were younger. I have become more irritated by it. I realize it is normal for them but it is not normal for me! 8O :evil: :x :wall: :help: :thumbdown: :shrug: :hmph: :tired: :hic: :eew: :shaking: :bounce: :huh: :cry: :roll: :?


Oh i feel so sorry for you :(

I really hope this gets better, maybe its possible to have someone else take care of them when you start to feel irritated etc? Im a pretty new mom myself and im sorry i dont have more advice to give.



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23 May 2008, 12:17 pm

Rant and Roll topic

Thanks for reading, Samantca. I just have to keep suing my romm for time outs. I do love my very social children, and if something horrible happened, jeepers, then I would probably miss the chitty chatty way. :o

Here is hoping you do not go into sensory overload. :D


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23 May 2008, 12:18 pm

So many wonderful posts, it's hard to respond to them all appropriately. Which is an argument for a separate forum - different threads could be posted. But at least we have this thread. I've been asking and advocating for a place like this on this forum, and all it took was Ouinon starting a thread! I feel kind of stupid for not just doing that all this time.

And so far the people who have responded are all really supportive. Even in some of the other "adult" threads, people can sometimes get judgmental and difficult, yet so far at least, there is none of that. Just the feeling of relief that we're not alone in finding parenting w/AS an almost insurmountable task.

About my two daughters, the 18 year old is NT but has PTSD from being sexually molested twice when she was around 6 (and which she repressed until age 15 when she told me about it - and when I found out about it I felt like the worst parent in the world to not have been able to protect her from it AND because I didn't know about it when it happened). I don't know about you guys, but pervasive guilt is a huge problem for me and much of it has to do with feeling like a bad parent.

My 17 year old has AS traits along with severe anxiety. I have watched her with wonder as she negotiates relationships in her own special way that works.

I want to respond to Samantca's posts:
I think arguing over household chores is more common than we are led to believe. We do it too. Having a dishwasher and your own washer/dryer are huge helps. We don't have a dishwasher and after one bad fight last week I went and bought paper plates and plastic cups and utensils, and am making everybody eat off those since nobody wants to do dishes.

Anyway, your situation sucks. Is there any way that perhaps you could hire a cleaning person once a week?

Drybones - welcome. I hope you stick around and encourage other AS Dads to join our discussion. Regarding hiding AS from my kids - my whole life has been an attempt to try to be like "normal" people, and now at age 44 I pretty much "pass" for NT.



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23 May 2008, 12:57 pm

aylissa wrote:
So many wonderful posts, it's hard to respond to them all appropriately. Which is an argument for a separate forum - different threads could be posted. But at least we have this thread. I've been asking and advocating for a place like this on this forum, and all it took was Ouinon starting a thread! I feel kind of stupid for not just doing that all this time.

And so far the people who have responded are all really supportive. Even in some of the other "adult" threads, people can sometimes get judgmental and difficult, yet so far at least, there is none of that. Just the feeling of relief that we're not alone in finding parenting w/AS an almost insurmountable task.

About my two daughters, the 18 year old is NT but has PTSD from being sexually molested twice when she was around 6 (and which she repressed until age 15 when she told me about it - and when I found out about it I felt like the worst parent in the world to not have been able to protect her from it AND because I didn't know about it when it happened). I don't know about you guys, but pervasive guilt is a huge problem for me and much of it has to do with feeling like a bad parent.

My 17 year old has AS traits along with severe anxiety. I have watched her with wonder as she negotiates relationships in her own special way that works.

I want to respond to Samantca's posts:
I think arguing over household chores is more common than we are led to believe. We do it too. Having a dishwasher and your own washer/dryer are huge helps. We don't have a dishwasher and after one bad fight last week I went and bought paper plates and plastic cups and utensils, and am making everybody eat off those since nobody wants to do dishes.

Anyway, your situation sucks. Is there any way that perhaps you could hire a cleaning person once a week?

Drybones - welcome. I hope you stick around and encourage other AS Dads to join our discussion. Regarding hiding AS from my kids - my whole life has been an attempt to try to be like "normal" people, and now at age 44 I pretty much "pass" for NT.


I hope your oldest daughter is ok, im so sorry to hear about what happened to her. But i can assure you, who in their right mind would go around thinking that their kid would be molested? I mean... Things like these dont happen all the time, and when it does its really unexpected. No way should you think that this happened because you are a bad parent. I applaud you for supporting your daughter. Ive read stories about children who have been molested and their parents didnt believe them :( So give yourself a pat on the shoulder, im sure you do anything you can for her.

As for my own situation... I dont really know. I feel a lot of hate towards my bf right now and i just... Im not sure what i want to do. Continuing on like this is NOT an option atleast. Ive talked to him about hiring help before, but he just says crap like "normal people dont need help" Which makes me feel very nice as you might understand :(

He doesnt understand me and im afraid he never will. When i told him, to maybe remind me to do certain things now and then, he said he didnt want to be my father for 40 years.. Blah im so sick of these arguments and right now im just glad that i can have some time alone to think. But i did call a family counselor the other day, and she sounded positive to give us some therapy... Maybe that will help.

Thanks everyone for being so supportive, its really nice not to be met with judgement. And pretty unusual for me atleast. Thanks :)



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23 May 2008, 12:58 pm

I don't know how much help I can bee in this thread/forum, as I raised my four children and helped raise a couple of others before I knew there was such a thing as AS. My youngest was three when the kids and I found ourselves on our own, with me working on a farm farm from light to not.

That said, I will be interested in seeing where this goes and will try to add what I can, when I think I have something of interest or help. AS parents need all the help we can get. Getting that help from NT parents can show us the way it is "supposed" to be done. That doesn't always translate into actual help, however, as we sometimes just can't do things the way they are "supposed" to be done. AS supporting AS strikes me as a good thing.

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23 May 2008, 1:08 pm

sartresue wrote:
My two :( kids at home are so social, and they drive me bonkers. It was hard with my first one but these tow are even more so! Loud. This results in sensory overload. Jeepers. You would think I would be used to all this chit chat but even after 34 years, I wish I could go live in a cave! It was easier to eliminate this when they were younger. I have become more irritated by it. I realize it is normal for them but it is not normal for me! 8O :evil: :x :wall: :help: :thumbdown: :shrug: :hmph: :tired: :hic: :eew: :shaking: :bounce: :huh: :cry: :roll: :?


How old are your kids?
I too have the problem with going into sensory overload with them. When I had just the one daughter, that was one thing, but then seventeen months later my second was born and I had a VERY difficult time switching from one child to the other. I would be focused on one, and then the other would do something that required my attention, and I found it hard to be able to pay attention to both of them at the same time. So that was hard.

But the good part about two was they could play together and I could go in the other room, and then also I didn't have to play with them. Sounds horrid that there were times I didn't want to play with them. Play is just not something I've ever been able to do. Sorry to get off topic. I never played as a child, don't think I was ever a normal child in most ways, so when my kids were at the "play" stage, I didn't get it. I got bored with chutes and ladders after the first game. Anyway, I guess what I'm realizing now is that I felt at the time like I should be playing with them but didn't have a clue as to how to do it.

Back to sensory overload. When I'm around my two kids plus two of their teenage friends, I can only handle it for about five minutes before I have to leave the room or go have a drink. One drink seems to buffer my nervous system so I can handle all the sensory input.



sinagua
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23 May 2008, 1:08 pm

Quote:
he just says crap like "normal people dont need help" Which makes me feel very nice as you might understand :(

He doesnt understand me and im afraid he never will. When i told him, to maybe remind me to do certain things now and then, he said he didnt want to be my father for 40 years.. Blah im so sick of these arguments and right now im just glad that i can have some time alone to think. But i did call a family counselor the other day, and she sounded positive to give us some therapy... Maybe that will help.

Thanks everyone for being so supportive, its really nice not to be met with judgement. And pretty unusual for me atleast. Thanks :)


"Normal people don't need help" - that is the biggest load of BS. Seriously. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

He doesn't want to be "your father for 40 years"? BYE! If he already regards you as a "child," why would he want to be with you? Who wants that sort of dynamic in their relationship? You'd start embodying that role of a child, and you'd resent each other terribly.

I don't know you or your bf, but I know the TYPE you're describing with your bf, and it will not get better, not really. If he's already showing you a lack of understanding, empathy, compassion, etc - RUN. Buh-bye! Don't let the door hit you on the way out, etc.

I say keep the counselor and dump the boyfriend. You don't need this crap - you've got enough on your plate. Negative people just bring you down and suck you dry and leave you feeling weak and crazier than you did already. It's hard for me not to have a lot of close family, but it's the way it has to be, because most of them make me feel crazy and weak and stupid and bad and worthless. Thank god I still have enough backbone to say, "NO." (Well most of the time I do.) It's hard - I've been in and out of therapy for years, alone. No one else thinks they need therapy - after all, I'M the crazy one. ;) They assume no responsibility or ownership whatsoever for what all happened to me.

Oh - forgot to ask, sorry if I misunderstood - do you have a child with the bf, or is that from a previous relationship? And is your child on the spectrum, too?



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23 May 2008, 1:17 pm

samantca wrote:
As for my own situation... I dont really know. I feel a lot of hate towards my bf right now and i just... Im not sure what i want to do. Continuing on like this is NOT an option atleast. Ive talked to him about hiring help before, but he just says crap like "normal people dont need help" Which makes me feel very nice as you might understand :(

He doesnt understand me and im afraid he never will. When i told him, to maybe remind me to do certain things now and then, he said he didnt want to be my father for 40 years.. Blah im so sick of these arguments and right now im just glad that i can have some time alone to think. But i did call a family counselor the other day, and she sounded positive to give us some therapy... Maybe that will help.


I really hope you found a good therapist and that it helps with your relationship. I have experience with that but don't want to bias you about it so won't share about it yet.

There are books about Asperger's and marriage/relationships that are helpful. Bazza posted the name of one in some other thread - search for his name and you might be able to find the actual name of the book he suggested. Or do an Amazon search. If you get any books, at the very least it can help you, and you can ask BF to read them. My DP (at 40 he's too old to be my BF) read one of them and realized he has aspie traits and just reading the book has helped our relationship tremendously. But if your BF is stuck in a place of your being abnormal and he's normal and never the twain shall meet, that doesn't sound good.



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23 May 2008, 2:56 pm

Thanks both of you :)

Im still unsure of what to do, but if he makes me feel like crap ONE more time... Thats it for me. I cant handle all of this with him nagging as well. I appreciate all the good advice, but i feel like i atleast owe my daughter to try the therapy.

I dont really know if there is any chance that my daughter might be autistic. Shes a year old, and i dont really know what to look for. Is it possible to know so soon? Ive kept most of my research trying to figure out how adults with autism behave, so to be honest i dont know much about autism symptoms in younger children.