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Raised by someone with Aspergers? - Page 2

post #21 of 28
To try to keep this thread going: I think the hardest part of being parented by Aspies is their complete social and emotional absence. They were there physically, but that's about it. And I didn't have anyone else in my life to go to for 'mentoring' or surrogate 'parenting'. This is dark, but at least if you're a kid and your parents die or something, other people know that and someone will fill in a parenting role for you, an adoptive parent, and other relatives. But nobody knew that I was growing up with zero 'parenting' at home.
post #22 of 28
I don't know that all Aspies are completely absent emotionally. My father's weird, but I know he does love me; he just has different ways of showing it. I got along better with my family and myself when I stopped looking to society for those cues and started looking at them individually.
post #23 of 28
My father was a classic example of Asperger's. My oldest son has high-functioning autism - essentially Asperger's. My father wasn't emotionally absent, and neither is my son. My father didn't withhold affection, and neither does my son. My father wanted to hug and tickle. He wasn't aware of when he was being too rough. He couldn't read my cues to back off, or to stop. My son is the same way. He wants to hug and cuddle and jump on me, but isn't able to tell when I've had too much and need him to back off. I have to repeat myself several times, and sometimes yell, so that he will hear and understand me. My father loved me. So does my son.

My father wasn't able to understand when I needed supportive words or comfort. He was very logic-minded. That's how he made sense of the world. But the world was often overwhelming, and he would lose his temper or shut down. My son has the same difficulty.

While trying to understand my son and what he goes through every day, why he acts the ways that he does, I've been able to finally understand my father. My father has been dead since 1998, so that understanding doesn't do him any good. But it has helped me. I have to take my son to occupational therapy twice a week, and it's still not enough to meet his needs. He's in a social skills group. We're looking into regular therapy and speech therapy for him as well. He's on supplements and digestive enzymes. And I organize my days around what he can deal with. I can do all of this because I can understand what my son is experiencing, and I can learn from what various doctors have discovered. My grandmother didn't have the same knowledge to use with her oldest son, my father. My father didn't go to therapies. He didn't have extra help for the areas he struggled with. He became an alcoholic. He suffered from depression and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. He had OCD- hoarder's. He ended up in a group home as an adult.

Having a diagnosis for my son, and understanding the family history of mental illness, puts me in a good position to help my children in ways that my grandmother couldn't help hers. I was angry with my father for a very, very long time for behaviors that I thought he chose, or could have prevented. I now know that being angry with my father for his Asperger's and mental illnesses and how they affected his behavior would be like being angry with someone for having no legs and not being able to walk. I see my father in my son, and am able to forgive and understand. I just need to forgive myself now. And I need to do right by my son, and hope he is able to succeed.
post #24 of 28
I don't know that all Aspies are completely absent emotionally.
Nor autistics either. My sister with full-blown autism is very empathic and caring. She's always the first to say "We should pray for her!" when someone's sick, or to tear up when a sad story comes on the news.

But obviously some Aspie parents are, so I should quit nitpicking. I think in this area it might be easier for kids who are slightly Aspie too. People outside our family probably thought we were very cold to each other, never hugging etc; but within our family we knew our cues and were comfortable with our unspoken solidarity. I guess if I'd been more NT I might have missed that "vibe" and felt unloved? I'd be very surprised if the average Aspie parent didn't love his or her child. (Particularly if he/she was partnered, demonstrating a cability to love and form relationships of some sort!)
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
I let this thread go for a while, but I feel like I want to sort through this bit by bit....it's impossible to get a good post in now that my 9 month old is so incredibly active. I was thinking about being raised by my mom. Thinking that some things I could attribute to myself having aspergers, might actually just be the result of being raised by her, make sense? Like, she couldn't teach me certain social norms, because she didn't understand them herself. I'm almost 30, and I feel like there are some things that I just don't know or am just now learning, it's very frustrating. And she only just found out about aspergers about 7 years ago, so she went most of her life just thinking she was a weirdo and that's it....on that note, she has never been diagnosed, and it seems like in adults, at least to me, people aren't seeking a diagnosis, they are learning about it, and just figuring they have it. I don't know, it bothers me that she can't seek help, I know that there are people studying ways to use therapy to help....I don't know...so there are my discombobulated thoughts...
post #26 of 28

If anyone is still around, I started a new thread:




And could really use some help making sense of my life.

post #27 of 28

Did you find where is the right place to talk? 

post #28 of 28

It is so interesting reading all your comments.  I had such a hard childhood, longing to be held, loved and age 40 I am still finding hard to know what's appropriate and to have intimate relationships because I believe my mother was aspergic and my father narcissistic.


I was a baby that never cried and I assume it was because my mother never went to me so I stopped bothering.  When my sister was born she cried ALL the time and I used to go to her very anxiously because nobody else did.  I think my father resented my mother that she wasn't doing what was expected of her. 


Even though I was apparently a pretty  and bright child that was liked by others, my parents always told me I was needy, lazy, demanding, stupid.  I was told to 'f**k off' if I tried to hug my mother.  Once when my mother was crying about herself, my sister went to put her arm around our mother and she said 'don't, you'll make me feel sick'.  My father recently confided in me that he and my mother have never kissed - after 42 years of marriage.


She is a lawyer - very highly regarded as such and only talks about her work.  My father raised me and my sister with the help of nannies.  Since becoming a mother myself when I was 27, in tending to the needs of my daughter, I suddenly became aware of where my needs weren't met - it took that long to realise what was missing because I never had anything at all.  If my father had been loving rather than abusive (he was controlling and physically violent with me) then I might have had a chance of recognising that there was more to be had out there.  Instead I have had a series of less than or emotionally abusive relationships - sometimes with alcoholics as both my parents were alcoholics.  I have made sure I don't repeat that pattern since I became a mother and left her father for his alcoholism but when it comes to sober abusers, I find it really hard to tell...


It seems so many of us are out there who have struggled to make sense of this world after being raised by aspergic parents - and, I notice,  we all write very correctly!  My mother is so pedantic and was such a stickler for punctuation, grammar etc... If she weren't a lawyer I'm sure someone would have suggested she be tested before now but it seems the perfect profession for her. 


Over the last 10 years I have tried therapy, self-help books, co-dependency meetings, hypnotherapy, CBT, St.John's Wort, Seroxat and nothing really works.  I have felt an increasing understanding of the way I work  but I wonder if what's really missing is love and empathy.  All along I keep being told by my sister and mother etc... I have to get used to doing without relationships because I have had these dysfunctional ones but I think, finally, that all I need is someone who truly loves me and on a regular basis! That's how I think I'll get better.

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