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Concerns about aspergers in adult sibling

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have an adult age sibling whom I am beginning to wonder if they may have aspbergers (sp?) I know very little about the challenge and have read a little bit of information online. I don't know of anyone who has it, so my experience is also very limited regarding aspbergers. 

 

My sibling has always seemed almost incapable of showing an authentic empathy over their own bad behavior. I can truly recall only two instances (and only in recent years) upon which my sibling apologized for being out of line about a hurtful or out of line behavior. I accepted the apology and moved on with deep gratitude and surprise by the apology. Within the past year or so we have learned my sibling has some hormonal issues and I began to attribute their strange behavior to the hormonal imbalance. Within the past couple of months, however, I've been really baffled by a really hurtful thing that was said to me by this sibling regarding my parenting. It was unfounded and not only mean but spoken to my toddler child in my presence. I was shocked about what my sibling said and that it was said to my child! Needless to say, we aren't speaking now. It's a different ball game when someone tries to involve my child in their meanness. 

 

Weeks have passed since the incident and my sibling won't even acknowledge having ever said what I am certain I heard. As a parent, I think we remember when people say mean things about our parenting, whether they're founded or unfounded. At least, I do. And my friends do too, so I assume it's pretty common. Bottom line: I know what I heard. It's still so hurtful that I don't even want to type it.

 

Anyway. 

 

My sibling has no recollection of what I heard. None. No apologies have been made for other things said in the same babbling off of insults and I have ignored the whole event because I've had enough. For years, our relationship has been rocky and sadly, I'm tired of the energy it takes and the negligence of other people this individual has. 


I say all of that to say, I am wondering if the not remembering mean behavior, inability to apologize and mean it, and lack of empathy might be aspbergers. I'd appreciate some weigh in from those who have adult family members with the disease.

Thanks!

post #2 of 9

That is just not enough information to say one way or the other. 

post #3 of 9
My husband is an Aspie. If he hurts my feelings or says something unintentionally rude I have to tell him that I feel that way--it is not obvious to him-- but once I do he apologizes. He wants to have a relationship with me. I am clear about needing apologies.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm not asking for a diagnosis. Maybe I was unclear about that. I'm just wondering if my tiny blurb sounds remotely similar to anyone's experiences with someone who has aspbergers...

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

My husband is an Aspie. If he hurts my feelings or says something unintentionally rude I have to tell him that I feel that way--it is not obvious to him-- but once I do he apologizes. He wants to have a relationship with me. I am clear about needing apologies.

My sibling doesn't say things without recognizing they're rude. Instead, the mean things spouted off to myself and other loved ones are deliberately mean and cut deep and leave verbally hurtful wounds. I am clear about needing apologies too, but my sibling could not care less. It's as though said sibling cannot see their wrong...at all. Everyone else is the reason for the mean words or disrespect. My sibling always plays the victim even though said sibling is actually victimizing others. 

 

Upon doing a little more research, I think my sibling may actually have borderline, it's a personality disorder that developed when a child (maybe even adult?) has been through something very traumatic, which my sibling was...all of my siblings and I were, actually. I still need to read more about it, but it's much more spot on than the aspbergers information I wondered about.

 

Until now, I hadn't even heard of borderline. I'm sad my sibling has it, but also somewhat relieved because I think when something (in some cases) has a distinction/category/diagnosis, it may mean help is available. So I'm hoping for good things.

post #6 of 9

Sounds like you are right about it probably being more likely personality disorder than Asperger's.  With AS you will see things more like language delays, lack of eye contact, social anxiety, OCD-type behaviors like tics, hand flapping, finger flicking, eye blinking.  Palalia- repeating what they just said under their breath.  They often act like you are not even there.  They won't talk to you.  If you say something to them, they just don't say anything back.  Or they say something completely unrelated.  They have a narrow focus of interest in one or a couple of topics, and generally can't maintain a conversation about anything else.  They often have a poor sense of fashion, not that that is important, but they often just look out of place.  You wonder, "Why are they dressed like that?"  They are generally not malicious, but may seem rude because of the lack of social skills.  They may blurt out whatever is on their mind, which may seem offensive.  But it is a failure to understand social mores, not usually an intent to hurt someone. 

post #7 of 9

Trauma in childhood can lead to personality disorders, for certain. Usually the trauma is not a single, intense incident but a chronic pattern of abuse. Anyway, your brother sounds like my ex-DH, who has schizoid personality disorder. The cluster B personality disorders can look somewhat similar (borderline is cluster B).

 

People with personality disorders rarely seek treatment, because (as you have probably noticed) the problem is not them, it is everyone else. They are constant victims. There is no medication to treat personality disorders. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (which teaches mindfulness among other things - it is a "talk" therapy) is currently the treatment of choice, but the person has to recognize he needs help and commit to the therapy over a period of time, two things people with Cluster B personality disorders have extreme difficulty doing.

 

Any chance he is an alcoholic? His behavior could also be explained by alcohol use (especially the forgetting what he's said part).

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

Sounds like you are right about it probably being more likely personality disorder than Asperger's.  With AS you will see things more like language delays, lack of eye contact, social anxiety, OCD-type behaviors like tics, hand flapping, finger flicking, eye blinking.  Palalia- repeating what they just said under their breath.  They often act like you are not even there.  They won't talk to you.  If you say something to them, they just don't say anything back.  Or they say something completely unrelated.  They have a narrow focus of interest in one or a couple of topics, and generally can't maintain a conversation about anything else.  They often have a poor sense of fashion, not that that is important, but they often just look out of place.  You wonder, "Why are they dressed like that?"  They are generally not malicious, but may seem rude because of the lack of social skills.  They may blurt out whatever is on their mind, which may seem offensive.  But it is a failure to understand social mores, not usually an intent to hurt someone. 

Okay. That's really helpful information. My sibling most definitely does not have aspbergers of any kind, as none of those symptoms are present.

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

Trauma in childhood can lead to personality disorders, for certain. Usually the trauma is not a single, intense incident but a chronic pattern of abuse. Anyway, your brother sounds like my ex-DH, who has schizoid personality disorder. The cluster B personality disorders can look somewhat similar (borderline is cluster B).

 

People with personality disorders rarely seek treatment, because (as you have probably noticed) the problem is not them, it is everyone else. They are constant victims. There is no medication to treat personality disorders. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (which teaches mindfulness among other things - it is a "talk" therapy) is currently the treatment of choice, but the person has to recognize he needs help and commit to the therapy over a period of time, two things people with Cluster B personality disorders have extreme difficulty doing.

 

Any chance he is an alcoholic? His behavior could also be explained by alcohol use (especially the forgetting what he's said part).

Wow, this is the most insight I've read about Borderline. Thank you for sharing! I've only been able to find a small bit of info online and it's mostly people sharing their experiences with relatives who have the disorder, nothing that lays out treatment or recovery options, so to speak. 

 

No, my sibling is not an alcoholic. My father was. I used to think he was bipolar, but not I think he probably has borderline, which would partly explain why my sibling has it. My father's home was very abusive growing up and while my siblings and I were not as abused, we dealt with emotional abuse because of his lack of parenting and quick to anger moods, and over all unpredictable behavior. My sibling whom I suspect has borderline was also the recipient of most of his abusive behavior. My other sibling and I really only were witnesses to his anger, trying to stay on his good side and avoid conflicts. 

 

Constant victim describes my father and sibling perfectly; it is always everyone else, which like you said, is why they must not seek treatment. I was recently made aware that my sibling thinks something may be wrong, so hopefully treatment is something that can be encouraged. 

I'm planning to research the treatment you referenced, but do you know of any other helpful resources? I'd love to check them out. Thanks for sharing! :)

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