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sunny

Help with adult aspie brother and difficult to deal with mother

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sunny

Hi,

My first time posting on a forum like this but thought I'd give it a shot :) bit of a long post..

  • My brother is in his early 30s and is an Aspie. He lives near a small country town with our mother, who has always created issues (for both of us). My brother has gone through a lot in his life, and especially when he was young my mother caused him a bit of trauma by her behaviour.
  • My mother is an extremely emotional person, irrational at times, narrow minded, and can be act quite selfishly. As you may guess, not characteristics that my brother could respond to well. She was at her worst when he was little, however still behaves like this on a lower intensity.

I'll be honest, it's difficult to deal with my brother at times, or even most the time, but tbh I find it harder to deal with our mother, especially when it comes to my brother. I know, complicated!

Anyway, my brother decided he wants to move out, after a bit of kerfuffle, him and my mother have organised a new place for him. It needs a bit of work before he can move in, I'm hoping to ensure this is communicated to him, but it doesn't sound like my mother has..... (something I'm also concerned about)

Now I live a few hours away and I really struggle with how to deal with it all. I want to help my brother have a positive transition to living independently, but I have my concerns too. I think these can be dealt with by discussion and planning, etc. But my mother isn't good at having just a discussion, she always brings her own agenda, it's difficult to get her to just be open to what everyone has to say :/ and to not drive the conversation somewhere illogical...

Going forward, I'm at the stage where I feel like the only way my mother has a chance at handling this in a way that will be good for my brother is if she will talk to a professional (eg. a counsellor or a psychologist). It would be great if all three of us could talk to someone together ... but it would be difficult to get my brother to do that (and difficult to have my mother help my brother be open to it...)

My mother and I need to work together, but even when she says she wants that, her actions say differently.

I'm really trying to be reasonable and respectful to the both of them, but it's hard when my mother won't communicate to either of us properly, and won't even entertain reasonable ideas. She likes to be in control...

 

For my brother, since he left high school he left behind any 'professional' support, and I really think this is what is missing from the equation at the moment. I feel like now is the best time to help bring this back in. At the moment, my brother really only interacts with my mother and one family friend. I think the lack of social interaction, and interaction from a reasonable person (as my mother is not that), has really held him back.

I've recently started seeing a counsellor to help myself deal with the situation, which has been helpful to me. The counsellor (and my partner too in fact) were surprised when they found out my brother doesn't have any kind of case worker. Everyone has sort of been pushed away from him so now he's just in this bubble, where he only has my mother as a 'resource' around him.

The biggest reason he wants to move out is to get away from my mother. So the whole situation really concerns me. I just think if he could have even one or two other people around him, that were more positive and open minded, and were prepared to understand my brother, and maybe eventually get him some help (he has a lot of issues [like childhood trauma, OCD tendencies, anxiety, depression, a past of an un-diagnosed eating disorder (idk if this is completely gone or not), possible grief from our father passing a few yrs ago, also tendacity to be into dark material (like horrors etc, I know my mother is concerned, I'm not sure if an issue or not)] that a therapist could help with, I know he needs to be ready for this, but otherwise he is just on his own, to try and sort out his issues and stew on them)

It's hard to communicate everything that's involved, but if anyone has any advice on bringing professional help into the situation, and/or dealing with my brother or mother in general, it would be greatly appreciated.

Seeing as my mother has a lot of issues herself (among them, she handles situations badly due to being stressed and takes it out on whoever is around), I think it would help everyone if at least she were to see a psychologist, on a regular basis, to give her support that I can't give her. I think this could help everyone as she'd have a place to vent, they could help guide her to more reasonable decisions, and to handling my brother in more appropriate ways. At the end of the day, she doesn't listen to me, no matter what I have to say.

I just want to make an effort to not just shut my brother out from the world. I know he doesn't need people around all the time, I get that completely (I'm an introvert too), but acting like it's a unique situation there's nothing we can do about - I just don't think this is the right approach - but it's how my mother would want to handle it.

Thanks everyone.

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Eliza

Getting your brother a case worker or professional advocate is a good place to start.

Also, you might google 'disability resources' for his city. Whether he needs free transport, help with learning skills to protect himself. or someone to check up on him occasionally, or any other need, there should be some sort of support available.

Are there any adult Asperger support groups in his area? You can also share this site with him. :)

Above all, talk with your brother. What kind of life does he want? How will this move improve his day to day struggles? Does he want to attend college? Does he have any goals? I imagine he may just want to take a deep breathe and enjoy his independence for a while.

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sunny

Thanks so much for the reply, it's really appreciated. I think we're getting somewhere with the situation but will see.

Sorry to do this, but I'm wondering if I could delete this post? After looking it up on the site, I can see it's not what people seem to do on this site? So I'll make sure not to do it again if I can get this removed?

Thanks again.

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Eli

What in your post do you feel is not acceptable? Has anyone told you to remove it? I wouldn't concern yourself too much, I think most of the people here are just happy to help or relate to each other when the opportunity is presented. So, is your brother resistant to professional help? Is he resistant to any help?

A few things, here: Concern for family members means you feel tethered to them, and that's not necessarily good or bad. It just depends...if your brother is accepting of help, then do what is reasonably within your power to steer him in the right direction. Beyond what is reasonably in your power where either your brother or mother is concerned, do not ever let anyone cause you to sink with them. Understand that this is not a criticism whatsoever on the people you love; it's simply a survival tip from someone who has nearly sunk with many sinking ships due to a sense of familial obligation. Just remember that at this point in time, you, your brother and your mother are adults and are responsible for your own lives and happiness. No one else is responsible. Reasonable assistance out of compassion is a beautiful thing, but don't you go losing sleep over anyone who waves a flag then gives you some kind of argument when you come to the rescue. Keep a watchful but compassionate eye on that sort of attention-seeking emotional manipulation. Focus on your life, and your happiness. Help others in your peripheral when it is not hurting you. The stronger and healthier you are, the better able you are to help others.

While I believe professional help would be good for your brother (and most of us, for that matter), now that he is on his own he will be met with a flurry of anxiety, clarity, awesomeness, dark melancholy and all the other insane cocktails of emotion that are experienced during this time of his life (and made all the more intense being an Aspie with a troubled past, which I relate to). There will be troublesome times, troublesome people, bad influences, and also good influences, good experiences and what will become cherished memories; whether he chooses to learn from the dark and think fondly of the light is up to him. Some people go through hell on Earth and make it through as warriors who will even go back into the fire for others. And then there are people who go through less, and choose to curl up into a ball or act like an asshole and look for pity and not serve a purpose in their whole life. So, believe in him, be there for him, love him, but don't be a crutch or an enabler. The wheels come off, and a body catches itself before it falls or it doesn't, it gets back up, or it wallows. Which ever it ends up being is not because of you, your mother or anyone else, not at the very heart of it.

Don't lose sleep. Be happy, always happy. It's your armor, your weapon and your war paint.

Good luck!

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sunny
On 11/28/2016 at 10:35 AM, Eli said:

 

I know this is from forever ago, but thank you Eli for your reply. I found it informed and very thoughtful, and totally agree with your message.

As you can imagine things have moved on from where they were at, although still working on many things. I just wanted to respond to you and let you know I appreciated your time and effort in replying. Thanks again.

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