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Double posting a comment here probably, but can I just say that the theme of Aspie parent's having isolated friends and family over the years and still feeling they are social and engaged is very sad. My parents have no one, my sister will have to retire early to care for them (I live in Australia they are in the UK) and it is as though they systematically engineered their lives to reach this blissful point of isolation.

That is probably one of the reasons I don't feel sorry for them, and that in itself has had me in the therapist's chair plenty of times - what is wrong with me?

I am not sure how this forum comments system works so I will post my original comment below for context, not to make it all about me.

As my mother slips in to vascular dementia and Alzheimers she has become a sweet little old lady. Her self-centred-to-the-point-of-being-greedy trait is now acceptable and she forgets to keep what was the life force of her relationship with my father going - the constant bickering.

Now that her personality is occluded by her conditions, I am reflecting on that personality - I suppose people with NT parents would call it being sad that the parent they knew is receding. I am wondering how my mother's life would have been improved if she had had a dx, if she had known that she had Aspergers ( I am adopting the immensely arrogant position of the diagnoser here, I know). Probably not, although she would have found it a relief not to have put so much energy in to pretending she understood people's emotions. She taught English as a job and used fiction as a guide. She collected books, all kinds, and accessioned them (recorded their Dewey numbers, time and place of purchase) in log books. She has over 25,000 books. I never heard her talk about enjoying or being moved by any of them.

However, and this is why I 'm offloading here, a dx would have been useful for me as a child. I could never understand why every single interaction, was very likely to end with her ( and by learned behaviour me) getting anxious, upset or angry, with a row or a hurt feeling or a sense of guilt, then fifteen minutes later everything was perfectly all right and would we like a nice cup of tea? (we are English).

I thought I was a difficult teenager, a volatile person, a difficult person, an angry person, maybe I was? Maybe I was awful? I always upset my dear sweet mother, didn't I?

I could not understand why the same patterns happened, even during my visits as a young adult and a mother with my own children - the same pattern, and the constant background bickering over minute details and perceived slights and unfairness between my parents.

My mother did love me, and she did show affection, however, she wasn't really interested in the details of quality of my life, just a long as she could summarise by saying "Oh that's marvellous, Darling". She used to say very hurtful things and would never stop talking, and would poke at the embers of a row or an upset without having learned that it was time to stop sharing the contents of her head. Only one thing made her more pleased than having the last word and was demonstrating how clever she was, she would spare no expense, miss no opportunity and spare no one's feelings to this end.

I suspected she may have Aspergers when I told her about my miscarriage in a phone call. She told me that she knew about my miscarriage because she had dreamed that she was visiting a museum and she noticed a baby hanging on a fascia board ( you know what a fascia board is, don't you, Darling?) and as she had walked past it had let go its grip and slid to the floor. "So you see, I knew about the miscarriage".

At that point I figured that either my mother was a monster or that she had no idea what she was doing and how she made people fee. That was 17 years ago. I emigrated to Australia with my husband and kids and never looked back.

My sister copes much better with her because she has been a psychiatric nurse for 35 years.

Anyway, thank you for the links, and the therapy session. It is so useful to know we are not the reason we feel these varying levels of neglect from our Asperger parents.

March 17, 2018 - 8:01pm


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