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PandaPrincess

Family Not Being Supportive Because of Issues Related to ASD

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PandaPrincess

My sister recently brought it up to me that she suspects that I have ASD, which I have suspected for a few years now but never told anybody, but the problem is that instead of being supportive of me and accepting me for who I am, it feels like she is attacking me because I don't appear NT. 

When she first brought it up, she kept saying that I needed to get help, but she kept talking about it in a way that obviously means that she thinks that I need to get my ASD "fixed" so that I could appear NT.  I would like to get help so that I can learn how to deal with certain things better, such as change, executive function, meltdowns, depression, anxiety, etc. while still retaining my identity, part of which includes stimming,  and talking about and indulging in my special interests.  My sister has been acting like a bitch lately because it seems like every time I want to talk about something, even if it isn't related to my special interests at all, she says "I don't care," and she puts her fingers in her ears so that she can't hear what I'm saying.  Even when I'm talking about something important, such as a kid who brought a gun to school, which was a school in the same neighborhood as the school that she teaches at.  I really don't understand why she's being such a bitch.  And then, when I was trying to look for some forms online, I asked for her help because I didn't know what I was looking for, and then, she was like "Sorry, can't help you" in a nasty tone, and my parents were like, what'd you do that for, and my sister told them "She needs to learn life skills.  You won't be around forever to take care of her.  Blah, blah blah." 

First of all, I think that her behavior is completely unacceptable.  I never told her or anyone else to do anything for me.  I just asked for help, which is completely different.  I mean, everybody, NT or not, needs help doing something at some point.  We're not completely independent.  If we were, there would be no need for jobs because we could get food for ourselves, take care of our health by ourselves, make our own clothes, etc.  I have trouble doing things that NTs may find easy-peasy, but that doesn't mean that I'm being lazy and don't want to do it, or I could do it just fine if "only I tried harder."  It just takes me longer to learn certain skills than NTs, and sometimes I just need someone to show me what the first step is in order to figure the rest out on my own.  I'm also just so overwhelmed in my day to day life at work, that I just don't have the energy to do anything else, so that's another reason why it takes me a long time to get important stuff done.  I just don't think it's right to bash someone for things they can't help when they are trying the best that they can. 

I really don't know what to do to fix this situation because I have to be careful what I say when my little niece is around because I don't want to yell at her mom in front of her, even though her mom deserves it.  I also have trouble finding the right words and putting them into sentences to convey a clear picture of what I mean when I am speaking to someone verbally.  I've always struggled with verbal communication significantly, which my enemies always use to their advantage because they can talk me down when I'm trying to stand up for myself.  So trying to advocate for myself verbally probably won't work.  This is something that has been affecting my mental health though because every time I start to feel a little bit better about myself, it always seems like that is always the time when she picks on me again.  Honestly, I would cut her out of my life right now if I could, but my little niece always comes here after school until my sister can come pick her up, so I have to see her every day.  I avoid her whenever I can though.  My mom and dad haven't really been supportive of my issues either, but I think it's because they don't really understand my issues, and I haven't discussed it with them because I don't trust them to react in a supportive way.  My sister though knows better because she works with autistic children, many of which have co-morbid conditions.  It feels like she probably got a lot of her information about ASD from sources like Autism Speaks though, just judging from her attitude about autistic people and their abilities to do things.  

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Heather

That sounds tough.  I hope you and your sister can work things out to get to a better place because I think sisters are great.  Sisters can also be the ones that most aggravate us since they know how to push our buttons.  It is sad that she works so closely with autistic kids yet has this attitude towards autism.  I agree you should try to keep her in your life for your niece and also it is a lot easier to forgive than to hold grudges.  Although maybe it is worse than I think but i think it does not hurt to put some positive optimistic energy into the situation and hope for the best. It might be best to limit the time you spend with her especially on your own so you can keep your energy up more.

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PandaPrincess

@Heather Yes, I've been limiting the time that I spend with her because she's just become so negative lately, and I do not need that in my life, especially right now when things are bad.  She hasn't been spending any time with me at all really because she's too busy taking care of somebody else's kids.  It's very ironic that she's helping this other woman out who she's known for maybe a year, and she's keeping two of the woman's kids at her house a lot because they have no electricity and stuff, but she doesn't even take time to help a family member out with little things :angry:.  

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Eliza

I'm sorry you're going through this. Hope it makes you feel better knowing I've had plenty of people who treat me like this. Most NTs are probably not mean people, just completely clueless what it's like for us.

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Nesf

Yes, it sounds like she's not being fair to you. You could send what you wrote in your post to her via email (or an edited version of it) to tell her how you feel.

Is she older than you? Older siblings often assume a dominant role over younger siblings, and then try to maintain it in adulthood when it isn't appropiate. My older sister was a bit like this, she was very bossy and trying to control/dominate me, and it frequently lead to conflict and resentment. I rarely talk to her now.

When I was diagnosed with Asperger's, my younger sister was supportive and helped me with filling in forms, etc, but my older sister was completely indifferent.

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PandaPrincess

@Nesf Yes, she is much, much older than me, 15 1/2 years, to be exact, so that does make since why she's acting bossy.  I might do what you said and message her about it, if it happens again, that is.  The funny part about it is that while she's constantly pointing out all of the things that I have trouble doing, I had to teach her how to use a tampon one time, and she's 40 years old :lol:.  

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