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bringram
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04 May 2009, 7:04 pm

I'm not sure if this post should be here or in the Haven but here goes.

I am currently living with my grandparents, although that will be changing very soon. One way or another I will be moving on at the end of the month. Ever since I was diagnosed my relationship with me family, especially my grandparents, has gotten worse. When I came up to live with them it was a complete culture shock. I lived in the city and they live in farm country. There are no educational or employment opportunities in fields that I'm interested in or have worked well in in the past. I have nothing in common with them. Most of my interests (like IT, communications with devices other than rotary phones) are well beyond their life experiences. Like nearly everyone, they don't even try to understand my interests. My grandfather is even condescending about some of them. I was depressed before, but it's gotten much worse. Most nights I have trouble getting to sleep. When morning comes I feel like I didn't get any sleep at all. I find myself wishing that I had just died during the night and don't even want to get out of bed.

I tried to find work but I haven't been able to. Part of it is that there aren't that many jobs around. I'm in a very rural part of the state. The nearest "city" is a town the size of a suburb- but without a real city attached to it. Part of it is because when ever I look at the short list of job openings available they are all shockingly meaningless. Nothing I have been, or would be, good at. There are a few "big box" stores around, but they all require internet applications. None of them will actually take an application in the store. There isn't a manager's hand to shake and hand him your resume. That idea completely baffles them.
They keep telling me that it isn't true- even though neither has held a job in at least 30 years. My grandfather has basically just decided that I'm just plain lazy and I don't want to work. My grandmother seems to think that I'm broken and worthless. They want me to apply for social security disability and get a place in public housing available for those with disabilities. One of their daughters is married to a guy whose sons and daughters are all on some form of disability or welfare. She keeps telling my grandmother how easy it all is to get. My grandmother is 84, so she gets these rosy ideas in her head, mixes up the details of it, and then beats me other the head with all this crap. If I try to correct her, or interject reality (for example it would take ~2 years to get disability which would only amount to <$900 a month) she gets pissed off and tells me I'm living in my own world and being judgemental and I don't realize how much help there is, if only I would quit trying to be dependent ("Because you can't anyway")
They seem to want to identify me with Asperger's and have decided that means I wont ever amount to anything. They all seem to have a very selective memory and forget about the times when I have lived by myself and have done well doing work I was good at. Granted, the last couple of years have all been in the toilet. None of them care about who I am, or ever wanted to be, they only care about how they want me to be. Since I'm not I'm just no-good lazy worthless. Oh but wait, I actually have a disease, so I'm not lazy I'm just retarded.

So the question is this- do I leave and not look back? Do I disown them all? My grandmother, grandfather, all their children- including my father, his children, all of the various cousins? I have seriously given thought to doing so and changing my name (I was thinking my mother's maiden name). Do I leave behind the family (including the name) that doesn't really want me and just strike out on my own?



iMark
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04 May 2009, 7:08 pm

bringram wrote:
So the question is this- do I leave and not look back? Do I disown them all? My grandmother, grandfather, all their children- including my father, his children, all of the various cousins? I have seriously given thought to doing so and changing my name (I was thinking my mother's maiden name). Do I leave behind the family (including the name) that doesn't really want me and just strike out on my own?

1. leave, but keep in touch. you never know when an inheritance might come your way.

2. do not disown them (see #1 above).

3. same as #2.

4. keep the name and strike out on your own. that way if you make good people will be bothering your relatives for ways to contact you. and if you fail then the shame will be spread around.



cyberscan
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04 May 2009, 7:45 pm

I think iMark gives good advice.


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pezar
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04 May 2009, 10:06 pm

Rural Kentucky is a bad place to live if you're trying to actually work for a living, because there aren't any jobs. Most people live off welfare. It's like that all through the Appalachias, except in WV where they mine coal. My cousin lives in Versailles, and her hubby runs a web site and lives off the ad revenues, so she can just sit home and take care of her kids. If you don't have something like that going, forget it. I suspect that if you lived in California that finding a computer job would be relatively easy. At the age of 84, people tend to have poor memories and get agitated easily. It's not surprising that your grandmother is operating on bits of memory and what she remembers of what she hears from other people. I wonder if they were the types of people who worked for a factory that has long since disappeared, and remember a long vanished world where the factories were always hiring. Such people can be a real PITA. The factories are always hiring to them, they're trapped in a vanished past, so logic is beyond them.



Postperson
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04 May 2009, 10:13 pm

yeah, it never changes, so stop hoping for that (but give them your contact details) and establish your own life elsewhere. my family allocated me a role in the story similar to yours, it doesn't matter what the reality is, they have a lot invested in believing that story, it suits their purposes.



Starr
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07 May 2009, 3:15 am

Yeah, time to move on I think. If you stay they'll crush your spirit. You have to be who you are, not what role has been assigned to you by your family. In some ways the family can be suffocating (mine was anyway)
You might want to keep in touch occassionally though, whilst keeping a good distance...when you've got away from them and gained the perspective that freedom will give you, maybe you'll find one or two family members that you'd like to keep a connection with.