Selectively mute around family

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greenturtle74
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02 Apr 2011, 7:33 pm

I am quite ashamed of myself to admit this, but I'll go ahead and post because I really don't know what to do about it.

I have been selectively mute around my immediate family for several years. It just happened gradually, before I even knew I was an Aspie, and now I don't see any way out of it. I have so much built up resentment at them that I never express, about how they treated me when I was younger and how they treat me today. I mostly don't want them in my life. However, they are also my only emergency contact, so until I find someone else to fill that role, I feel I need to "suck up" to stay on their good side.

I live very close by, so I feel obligated to go whenever they invite me over. I have a standing commitment to see them once a week. I really don't enjoy their company. Sometimes they're just so clingy. The more they cling to me, the more I want to push them away. But I still feel like that makes me a complete jerk. Parents should have a right to see their children.

This weekend alone, I saw them for dinner on Friday. Then I saw them on Saturday to take my mom out to lunch for her birthday (they always insist on paying, and they only pick restaurants because they have a coupon). Then, my brother says, everyone come over Sunday to his place for brunch. I say no to that, because 3 times in one weekend is just too much, but I don't say that. It's always more, more, more time together, just the four of us. They do have their own social lives too, but family time never mixes with that.

They do know I'm an Aspie now, but I don't feel I have the right to tell them to butt out of my life, even though that's what I want right now. My whole life, I feel they have been trying to raise the son they wanted, rather than the one they have. I cannot simply start talking again. I feel like all I have to say to them is to be critical - to start a fight about how much I hate their ways and what they stand for, but I don't treat anyone that way, it's not the kind of person I am. Right now things are uncomfortable, but we are not fighting - if we started fighting, I would be truly alone in the world, and I can't have that.

So, I have backed myself into a corner here and don't see a way out. I don't really expect anyone to have a solution, but thank you for listening, at least.



evil_eyes
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02 Apr 2011, 8:15 pm

I feel like that with my family. I can't really help you there. I mean, the only thing I can think of is to make excuses to get out of meeting them, like prior obligations or something. But I guess that wouldn't be easy if you live close to them and lying about stuff like that is pretty hard. Haha, guess I'm not much help U^_^ Oh well. I hope you can get away from them some time.



kepheru
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02 Apr 2011, 8:20 pm

Well I can relate almost exactly to your situation, except I still live with my family. It can definitely be very strange, wanting to be away from them and feeling resentful towards them yet still wanting to be good to them to the extent you can genuinely be.

Family is family, regardless of how crappy it seems, right? I mean, like you said, it could worse than it is right now. I personally found that writing out all the problems I had with them, as if I was writing a letter to them, helped a lot.

I guess you could try to imagine if you really wanted something which wanted nothing to do with you. Maybe that perspective would lessen your resentment? Otherwise, the only thing I can suggest is to do what I plan: get away for a few months at least, perhaps get out into the thick of the world, and see if then your attitude has changed.



evil_eyes
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02 Apr 2011, 8:35 pm

kepheru wrote:
Well I can relate almost exactly to your situation, except I still live with my family. It can definitely be very strange, wanting to be away from them and feeling resentful towards them yet still wanting to be good to them to the extent you can genuinely be.


Wow. Took the words right out of my brain XD



SammichEater
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02 Apr 2011, 8:44 pm

My mom's solution: move to the other side of the country and only visit 2-3 times a year. I don't even think this is an aspie thing, most people hate visiting their parents from what I've noticed.


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zport
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06 Apr 2011, 2:52 pm

Thats exactly the situation i have with my parents, i dont know its my history of meltdowns that make them constantly call and invite me over, or the fact that if they dont initiate contact noone would. some years ago i always were there every friday evening and almost every saturday until i realised that this is not a normal behaviour and since then i have counsciously tried to get away from them, living my life as a adult, and so far it has just messed my life up even more.

It doesnt feels right to plan things to do with the intent to be able to say no if my parents call me over. i want to be able to say no because i have stuff planned because i have a life of my own. I say no now and then with some half lie excuse and thats just upsets me.

I have a tremendous resentment towards my parents for thier life and how they are living, and i cant hardly speak to my father without feeling this. And i can now see why my father lives the life he does is because he have the same problems as i do,

i am rambling, thoughts all over the place,

i guess this was my way of saying thank you to your post, it feels good that i am not alone having this kind of relationship with parents.

/zport



greenturtle74
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06 Apr 2011, 7:05 pm

Thank you, zport, I'm sorry you're experiencing this too, but it is comforting to know I'm not alone. It is such a gray area, like a minefield in thinking how I should react.

I am doing a charity autism walk this weekend. My family made donations, without my asking, which was very nice. But they can't just leave it at that. They say, you should have someone to walk with you - we'll do it. I say no thank you, I'd like to walk alone. This was weeks ago, and then they bring it up again! No, I don't want someone walking with me! It's not about that for me. And they keep checking to see if I made my fundraising goal - which again isn't something I worry about - I'm just grateful for all I did raise. They are making me feel inadequate about the whole thing, and I had been so looking forward to doing this walk. I will be glad when it's over.



PinkFeelingBlue
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06 Apr 2011, 8:55 pm

Oh thank whatever gods exist it's not just me. I totally understand where you are coming from.

I have become completely mute around my mother, sister, and mother in law. To the point it is physically painful to be in the room with them. So much pent up in my head and I hate confrontation, can't verbalize it at all.

I don't live near any of them, but don't talk by phone and rarely by email. Visits with any family can be averaged out to a few times a decade.

Then suckiest thing about the mutism is after you go months without talking to them it, it becomes a guilt thing. Ashamed at myself for not being able to speak to them.

The resentment thing, it builds, it grows. You try and let it go, forget it. But it all comes back when you hear their voice or see them in person. It's not even major things to be pissed about, just little things that add to all the other little stupid things. A giant pile of crud that weighs you down, and then you can't speak. All you can do is beat yourself up mentally, try and ignore it. Until it smacks you down again.

I wish I could tell you how to deal with it, as you can see, I haven't figured it out myself.



CockneyRebel
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07 Apr 2011, 10:05 am

I get that way to a certain extent, when I'm around my family. I make a little small talk at first, because NTs like to make small talk and than I say very little the rest of the time, at my parents home. My upbringing has a lot to do with it. I keep my special interests to myself when I'm with them.


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greenturtle74
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07 Apr 2011, 7:16 pm

PinkFeelingBlue wrote:
Then suckiest thing about the mutism is after you go months without talking to them it, it becomes a guilt thing. Ashamed at myself for not being able to speak to them.

The resentment thing, it builds, it grows. You try and let it go, forget it. But it all comes back when you hear their voice or see them in person. It's not even major things to be pissed about, just little things that add to all the other little stupid things. A giant pile of crud that weighs you down, and then you can't speak. All you can do is beat yourself up mentally, try and ignore it. Until it smacks you down again.

Yes, this is exactly what it feels like - I do feel guilty, and that it makes me a horrible person, and yet I must also be true to myself.



tomboywriter101
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07 Apr 2011, 7:31 pm

Hmmm, I haven't really had much experience with this (I'm only 14), but maybe at some point, organize your thoughts, write them down, ect, and have a long talk with your family. Try asking yourself this:

What part of how they treated me then and now do I find so intolerable?

When you figure this out, move on to the next thing:

How would I like them to treat me? How would I address this issue with my parents? How would they react? Would I feel better after expressing how I feel?

Or even this:

Will I still feel comfortable around them if they make an attempt to change? If the change is a negative one, how will I cope? If they don't change at all, what have I learned so far that I can apply to future situations?

See how it goes. I hope things work out for you, greenturtle74!


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