Mom of adult child needs support

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brokenheartedmom
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22 Aug 2014, 11:13 am

My son was not diagnosed as having Asperger's until he was an adult. There were signs in childhood but he never got in trouble in school and was a very sweet child with a short temper, very high intelligence and very poor reading skills that left him very frustrated.

In the past two years he has led himself to believe stories about his childhood which are not true and are so unbelievably hurtful that it robs my peace of mind, steals my sleep, wreaks havoc on my marriage (original marriage to his father) and leaves me doubting the very value of my existence,

He claims that I am a "monster" and that my parenting evils included locking in his room for days on end, starving him, trying to have him castrated, hitting his father in front of him, only loving his brother and hating him. On Mother's Day he sent me a text message saying (pardon the language) "Kill yourself c**t". I have since blocked him from my phone and have no contact but he does contact my husband.

We are supporting this 26 year old. I pay his medical insurance (how can I cut him off- he threatens suicide on a regular basis). We pay his rent. We keep him alive. How can I not?



HisMom
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22 Aug 2014, 11:31 am

"Led himself to believe stories" - stories by / from whom ? Do you think that someone else is putting false ideas in his head ? Or do you believe that he is hallucinating ? Is he in counseling ? Has he had a psychiatric assessment done on him yet ?

BTW, not sure where you live, but 26 is usually the upper age limit at which an adult child can be covered under the parents' employer sponsored group health plan. So, whether you want to or not, he may not be eligible for coverage under your work health plan once he turns 27, unless he would qualify under the category of "disabled adult child". You may want to act fast and get him into psychiatric counseling STAT.

Good luck !


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MacGyverAspie
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22 Aug 2014, 11:31 am

It sounds like he needs psychiatric help and should be in a psychiatric facility if he is having daily thoughts of suicide. He is being delusional and isn't thinking normally.

If he is on your health insurance, once he turns 27, he is automatically off your policy under Obamacare. As a parent, you need to be firm with him but at the same time get him the help that he needs. He needs to be evaluated ASAP otherwise he will commit suicide and no one wants that to happen.



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22 Aug 2014, 12:26 pm

THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

If you could build a time machine and go back to 1996 and get him diagnosed then, it might or might not help (though I'd be leaning toward "not"). Unless some of those horrible things actually did happen, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

If he's that angry about things that did not happen, I see a couple of possibilities:

1) There's more/other than Asperger's going on here. Asperger's is a pain in the ass, not a psychotic illness.

2) He has radically different interpretations of, basically, life (ie "getting sent to your room" turns into "getting locked in your room," "not being given a snack while supper is on the stove" turns into "being starved," "finding brother's company more pleasant at times, or enjoying brother's company for different reasons" turns into "only loving brother," and et cetera). I realize how ridiculous it sounds, but just hating yourself can do that.

3) Something hurts so damn much, and he has such a strong drive to avoid whatever the source of that pain is, that he's making up stories that are more acceptable to him (and owes you one hell of an apology, once it's sorted out and he's capable of dealing with remorse).

I'd be betting on one of the latter two. Psychosis is unlikely (unless, of course, he's using a lot of drugs, or is having a really bad reaction to medication-- stimulants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants can all cause psychosis), but it's the big scary monster in the shadows, and therefore the first thing I'd check out.

Aside from that-- I might be mean, but I'd stop supporting him. I might cover his health insurance, but other than that, if he won't get help, I'd quit paying the rent and keeping him fed. I'd confront him with it straight-out: "If I've been so horrible, it would probably be a relief to be shed of me. So either we're going to pull together and do whatever it takes to straighten this out, or you're on your own, kiddo."


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tarantella64
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22 Aug 2014, 12:56 pm

MacGyverAspie wrote:
It sounds like he needs psychiatric help and should be in a psychiatric facility if he is having daily thoughts of suicide. He is being delusional and isn't thinking normally.

If he is on your health insurance, once he turns 27, he is automatically off your policy under Obamacare. As a parent, you need to be firm with him but at the same time get him the help that he needs. He needs to be evaluated ASAP otherwise he will commit suicide and no one wants that to happen.


Stop being alarmist. Suicide threats are serious but few people who threaten people actually go through with it.



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22 Aug 2014, 1:20 pm

I can't speak to your situation.

I think Buyer Beware's description is a highly likely explanation: a frightened disabled young adult might defend himself by inflating the importance of things that happened to him in order to explain why he can't seem to make life work. We often talk about how having one of the "high functioning" types of autism is like having a child 1/3 younger than his biological age: does this feel to you like the behavior of an 17-year-old? (This is only one way to look at autism, but they do call it a developmental delay for a reason.)

Psychosis (as in schizophrenia) is a possible co-morbidity with autism, and it would have to be separately diagnosed; in googling the co-morbidity I found a study showing that schizophrenia is sometimes misdiagnosed as autism. Bipolar disorder sometimes results in psychosis, and it is a common co-morbidity with autism.

That said, I know I had a similar situation with my own parents, and as a rational adult I can say that things did happen, very bad things - but they weren't the things I accused my parents of. The reason I mention that is that it's possible something did happen to your son, and that he can't verbalize it or frame it correctly, so he's attaching his extreme feelings to anything he was angry about as a child. Many children are abused by family friends or relatives or caregivers without their parents knowing. Just something to consider.

I thought these resources might be helpful:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cra ... -want-help
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=First_Episode



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22 Aug 2014, 1:58 pm

Quote:
2) He has radically different interpretations of, basically, life (ie "getting sent to your room" turns into "getting locked in your room," "not being given a snack while supper is on the stove" turns into "being starved," "finding brother's company more pleasant at times, or enjoying brother's company for different reasons" turns into "only loving brother," and et cetera). I realize how ridiculous it sounds, but just hating yourself can do that.


This is how my son who is 9 sees the world, so this would be my best guess as to what's going on with your son.

I don't usually reference Rain Man, but remember his list of "serious injuries"? It's kind of like that.



btbnnyr
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22 Aug 2014, 2:35 pm

momsparky wrote:
I can't speak to your situation.

I think Buyer Beware's description is a highly likely explanation: a frightened disabled young adult might defend himself by inflating the importance of things that happened to him in order to explain why he can't seem to make life work. We often talk about how having one of the "high functioning" types of autism is like having a child 1/3 younger than his biological age: does this feel to you like the behavior of an 17-year-old? (This is only one way to look at autism, but they do call it a developmental delay for a reason.)

Psychosis (as in schizophrenia) is a possible co-morbidity with autism, and it would have to be separately diagnosed; in googling the co-morbidity I found a study showing that schizophrenia is sometimes misdiagnosed as autism. Bipolar disorder sometimes results in psychosis, and it is a common co-morbidity with autism.

That said, I know I had a similar situation with my own parents, and as a rational adult I can say that things did happen, very bad things - but they weren't the things I accused my parents of. The reason I mention that is that it's possible something did happen to your son, and that he can't verbalize it or frame it correctly, so he's attaching his extreme feelings to anything he was angry about as a child. Many children are abused by family friends or relatives or caregivers without their parents knowing. Just something to consider.

I thought these resources might be helpful:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cra ... -want-help
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=First_Episode


This 1/3 age thing is a bad way to look at autism.
It doesn't seem helpful to the autistic child or adult.


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makemom
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22 Aug 2014, 2:41 pm

My daughter also accuses me of "starving" her when she was young. I don't think it necessarily means there is a psychosis going on. I think it can be an Asperger's thing. I try to answer this accusation with facts, such as she was always a healthy weight, there was healthy food available, she was always welcomed to the family table for meals, etc... I think this "radically different interpretation of life" can be a feature of Asperger's, especially among young adults who are not being too successful at the moment.

I can only sympathize, and say that you are not alone. This hurts a lot, especially when you have been a loving parent and have done whatever you could to best meet the child's needs.

It is very difficult, but you might consider trying to use agencies/government help for him, for example, to pay his rent. If something like that is possible to work out, it would help the two of you separate more fully, and then (I hope) he will eventually come back to you in a more loving relationship after he has experienced the real world and might realize you were pretty good after all.

The issues you raise are very difficult, and I think many people are facing them with their young adult children.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a way we parents could mentor each other's young adults with AS, to help them take those positive steps forward into adult life. ?



brokenheartedmom
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22 Aug 2014, 4:21 pm

First of all, thank you to all of you for commenting. I have been searching for some way to find support. I wish I would have found this earlier.

In answer, to some of your questions, I do think that someone is putting false ideas in his head and I think that is his counselor but since he is over 18 I have no access to his records. How I would love to talk to that person. My son talks about "regressing" memories and then he comes up with wilder and wilder stories about the alleged abuse.

He came off of my insurance on his last birthday and I am paying for private insurance for him. There is a big part of me that wanted to not do that since it might be the counselor he is seeing that is egging him on but, then again, that might be the person who is keeping him the most grounded. I do not know.

My son is a very intellingent person. He is a few hours away from completing his college degree (which I, the "bad" mother paid for by the way). He has never held down a steady job but in the last week he was hired by a very good company. We are hoping that having a good job will help ground him and right now we just don't want to rock the boat. If this job works out he will have his own medical insurance and he will be paying his own bills. Cross your fingers for me.

We have been concerned that his radical outbursts of behavior are because he is on the wrong medication or it is the wrong dosage. We have no proof of that and we can't talk to his counselor. There really isn't anything I can do. I cannot just "get" him help. We called the police once when he threatened suicide and they couldn't do a darned thing. My son will not talk to me.
We are in a powerless position.


My husband and I are both retired educators. We have both had numerous students with Asperger's as well as have taken classes on the subject. We are knowledgeable about Asperger's but neither of us are really sure that this is the correct diagnosis for our son. We have different approaches on how to deal with this. I am wanting to stop paying his bills and tell him that the next check will come when the three of us are sitting in a counselor's office. My husband just wants everything to blow over. It has nearly broken the two of usl

I thank you all for your comments. Today I do not feel so alone.



brokenheartedmom
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22 Aug 2014, 4:34 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Quote:
2) He has radically different interpretations of, basically, life (ie "getting sent to your room" turns into "getting locked in your room," "not being given a snack while supper is on the stove" turns into "being starved," "finding brother's company more pleasant at times, or enjoying brother's company for different reasons" turns into "only loving brother," and et cetera). I realize how ridiculous it sounds, but just hating yourself can do that.



Exactly. There are small truths to his stories. His bedroom door only locked from the inside. When he was a teenager and he wanted to keep playing video games instead of coming to dinner I would say, "We are eating dinner now. If you want to eat later then you can eat Cheerios." That isn't abuse.. it's parenting.

He acused me of trying to have him castrated. The truth is that he and his brother weren't circumcised because his brother had a minor birth defect and the pediatrician didn't want to do it at that time. The American Academy of Pediatrics was saying that less and less people are choosing to have their babies circumcised and they didn't recommend it so when baby #2 came along we didn't have him done either. What followed was a series of infections and so we made the decision to have him circumcised at 3 years old. We made the decision that we thought was right when he was born. We made the decision that we thought was right when he was 3. There is a huge difference between circumcision and castration.

His brother was easier to deal with and that may have made it look like we favored his brother because his brother didn't get in trouble as much. As God is my witness, I love both of my children. I love them differently but if I didn't love this child I would not stay up nights grieving over losing him.



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22 Aug 2014, 5:14 pm

Do you have any idea what kind of counselor it is? That memory regression stuff sounds a bit like a fringe thing/quackery. Besides, if you are trying to remember something you don't remember there is a risk of confabulation (the word experts use for "making s**t up without realizing it"). I suspect some of my own childhood memories are "reconstructed" from photographs or stories of others. Confabulation is also common in people with memory loss or dementia.
Does he get along well with his brother? How does he see this?



brokenheartedmom
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22 Aug 2014, 5:27 pm

The counselor is an employee of Kaiser Permanente. That's all I know.

His brother finds it stressful to be the go-between and deals with it by pulling away from us so we have little contact with him either. The two boys have been living together and son #2 has done everything in his power to convince son #1 that those abuses really did happen. Just last week we found out that they are moving to different residences. We are hoping that our oldest now has a clear picture of just how ill the youngest is and will decide to join us in trying to on help him

So, as if now, we have neither son and it is unbearably painful.



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22 Aug 2014, 5:53 pm

Regression therapy is infamous for producing false and incredibly disturbing memories. I'm surprised to hear that anyone still practices it. :?



brokenheartedmom
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22 Aug 2014, 6:28 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Regression therapy is infamous for producing false and incredibly disturbing memories. I'm surprised to hear that anyone still practices it. :?


If that is what is happenlng. I can only speculate.