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39 next month: will I EVER be able to escape from my family? - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

39 next month: will I EVER be able to escape from my family?

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My sister went back to the North East Autism Society college today, and I dismayed to learn that not only had she been a real handful (mam said she'd been throwing furniture around), but that I was being blamed for this: apparently my sister had said she was distraught about how depressed I've been lately, and that "since I have a job and a car" (neither of which my sister will ever have) I had no reason to be depressed!

My grief was compounded even more last night when I looked up on LinkedIn two of the people who had run the National Autistic Society social group (which I'd attended until 2017, when it fell victim to funding cuts) and realized (from the dates in which they attended university) just how young they were – they're only in their mid-twenties now!

I feel like I've wasted the last 11 years of my life failing to progress in my career, most likely because not winning permission to move out has drained every last drop of confidence out of me! I even feel I was conned into doing a PhD: not only was there a degree of emotional blackmail involving my grandma, but also I believed that once I completed it then my mam would be willing to let me move out! (It seemed illogical that she wouldn't be given the dearth of physics jobs in my local area: perhaps she was driven by a delusion that I could carry on in employment at my local university?)

(I'm also wondering if I should be recounting my experiences on Wrong Planet or a similar forum for people on the autistic spectrum...)

Sorry...
Hi George,

3.59am is a horrible time to be chewing things over, when everything seems worst.

As an outsider (with two sons about the same age as you) it is clear that you are very unhappy, and the major cause is your home situation.
You talk about "not winning permission to move out. As a grown adult YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE'S PERMISSION to move out.
You say that "every last drop of confidence" has been drained out of you.
The reason is clear, mum wants to keep control of you.
That's not what a good mum would want for her child, especially one as academically able as you.

You have reached a crossroads in your life.
Either you
    accept this as a life sentence, or
    you plan your escape.


    Don't waste your life on a family that don't appreciate you as they should. Ignore your sister blaming you for her behaviour, as you have said she is epileptic and has severe learning difficulties, so doesn't understand things properly. My own son with SLD doesn't understand the real world either.

    You do, you deserve to have a good life where you are in control of your life, where you live, and where you work.
    We cannot give you practical help, but we can give you lots of moral support.
    George_1902 wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:59 am
    My sister went back to the North East Autism Society college today, and I dismayed to learn that not only had she been a real handful (mam said she'd been throwing furniture around), but that I was being blamed for this: apparently my sister had said she was distraught about how depressed I've been lately, and that "since I have a job and a car" (neither of which my sister will ever have) I had no reason to be depressed! . . .
    George - it's good that your sister has attended the Autism Society college, but a lot of what I read does not ring true. You say she has a mental age of six. I don't think a six-year-old would properly understand the concept of depression or even the desirability of having a job. (When I was six I saw a job as something you did not like to do so you were paid as "compensation" and you needed the money after all.) Regarding her behaviour there, well epilepsy can bring out problems but since this is your mum's report I can't help but think that there is some exaggeration or distortion of the truth here. The College probably knows how to handle your sister.

    In answer to your original post - yes you are a carer, not just for mum it seems but for everyone in that household. It sounds as your your mum was controlling of your dad, and when his health took a downturn and he could not deliver, she turned to you. She clearly wants you to be her carer 24-7 till she pops her clogs. She objected to your dancing classes because she realised where that could lead to next.

    So you need to take control yourself and put your relationship with your mum at a workable and respectable distance. As Bowlingbun suggested you need to plan a new life and make it happen.

    But don't try to plan too far ahead. It sounds as though at one time you were concerned about where to move to, to suit a possible future wife. Suit yourself first; the time to consider a partner's wishes is when you have a steady relationship.

    Don't dwell too much on younger people who have achieved more than you, or consider that you have "wasted" your life so far. You have shown compassion in caring for your family and can take some pride in having cared for them - but it is time to move on. It is not going to be easy, but neither is putting up with mum's current behaviour in your present living situation. I have known people to marry in their forties, leading to successful marriages; it is not too late. You have demonstrated that you are made of strong stuff in your academic achievements. Now is the time to apply your determination in sorting out your social life. As others have suggested, make good use of social services.

    Best wishes!
    bowlingbun wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:29 am
    You talk about "not winning permission to move out". As a grown adult YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE'S PERMISSION to move out.
    To me it seems like my mam is a person who has very little left to lose: her only concern seems to be ensuring that my sister has a carer (me) when she's gone, and if that last hope of hers was dashed there would be no reason for her not to avenge my betrayal by committing suicide.

    From the Sunday Times New Book of Body Maintenance I can quote a list of suicide danger signs: it advised that anyone showing two or more needs immediate professional help, but I can see that at least 5 and possibly 6 apply to my mam (I've marked the ones I feel apply in bold):

    1. Depression. The individual is withdrawn and cannot relate to others.
    2. A family history of suicide.
    3. An earlier suicide attempt.
    4. The person has a definite idea of how the suicide will be committed. He or she may be tidying up their affairs in readiness, and giving away treasure possessions.
    5. Anxiety, as well as depression, is present.
    6. The person suffers from a painful physical illness, chronic pain or severe disablement. (Not true of my mam, but she cares for two people with serious mental disabilities.)
    7. He or she is dependent on alcohol, illegal drugs or prescribed drugs.
    8. There is a feeling of uselessness. In the elderly, there may be a lack of acceptance of retirement.
    9. Social isolation, loneliness or uprooting. There is the possibility of having to live with few human contacts.
    10. Severe insomnia.
    11. Financial worries.
    12. No philosophy of life to help them cope, such as a comforting religion.
    13. Recovery from depression. When a person appears to be getting better, he or she may at last have enough energy to commit suicide.
    bowlingbun wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:29 am
    That's not what a good mum would want for her child, especially one as academically able as you.
    Desperation can drive people to do the cruellest of things: I'm reminded of a blog post I read on the issue of forced marriages of people with learning disabilities (and where I actually mentioned my own situation in the comments).
    Denis_1610 wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:41 am
    You say she has a mental age of six. I don't think a six-year-old would properly understand the concept of depression or even the desirability of having a job. (When I was six I saw a job as something you did not like to do so you were paid as "compensation" and you needed the money after all.)
    Ironic you say that when my sister never handles money herself. Incidentally, I e-mailed one of those who deal with her at the college just to verify my mam's account, and it did seem to be basically correct. One thing I forgot to mention in my last post (maybe because it was of course made at 03:59) was that my sister was also upset at me because she believed I now viewed her as a burden.
    Denis_1610 wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:41 am
    In answer to your original post - yes you are a carer, not just for mum it seems but for everyone in that household. It sounds as your your mum was controlling of your dad, and when his health took a downturn and he could not deliver, she turned to you. She clearly wants you to be her carer 24-7 till she pops her clogs. She objected to your dancing classes because she realised where that could lead to next.
    Maybe I am a carer for my sister to some extent as well (or at least was: I used to print off photos which she'd e-mailed me from the NE-AS college on Wednesday evenings, but now mam angrily told me that my sister would now be printing them off herself at college as she didn't want to burden me any more) but I can't see how I am in any way a carer for my dad.

    Mam also had a go at me by reminding me that my grandfather had warned my grandma not to put me on a pedestal, warning that I'd bleed my parents dry and then run away from them in their time of need. She also points out that she'd fallen out with her brother because he'd left the village in order to get out of caring for his parents, and that if I moved to be near a Metro station (which I'd mentioned to my dad this morning) "it might as well be a Tube station" as I'd demonstrated my perfidious intentions...
    George,

    For as long as I can remember, my mum made excuses and blamed others for all manner of things.
    I live my life differently.
    I've had some really awful experiences, nearly died twice, and have life long health problems, had 10 operations, some incredibly painful, but I do my very best to be happy and see the funny side of life as much as I can.
    I want to be remembered for all the mad crazy things I've done - and want "Make your own kind of music" played at my funeral.

    You only live once, you cannot control others, but you can control yourself.
    I refuse to let the rubbish things in my life get the better of me.
    George_1902 wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:55 pm
    bowlingbun wrote:
    Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:29 am
    You talk about "not winning permission to move out". As a grown adult YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE'S PERMISSION to move out.
    To me it seems like my mam is a person who has very little left to lose: her only concern seems to be ensuring that my sister has a carer (me) when she's gone, and if that last hope of hers was dashed there would be no reason for her not to avenge my betrayal by committing suicide.

    From the Sunday Times New Book of Body Maintenance I can quote a list of suicide danger signs: it advised that anyone showing two or more needs immediate professional help, but I can see that at least 5 and possibly 6 apply to my mam (I've marked the ones I feel apply in bold) . . .
    The idea of avenging your betrayal defies logic. If your mum were to top herself, who would look after your sister then? Maybe you should consider (and your mum too) what would happen if YOU were to suddenly die from whatever cause. Don't run scared of her suicide threats. As for books of maintenance, I see them as a guide to putting things right, not accepting the status quo. So how about organising that professional help? Mum's GP could be a good starting point. Put those points to him/her.

    You seem to be going at great lengths to find excuses for your mum's behaviour. Count your blessings and you will find you have a lot going for you which many would envy.

    You say you have 270k in the bank. That would buy quite a decent house outright in the north-east. (There's nothing wrong with mortgages which most of us need of course, but house purchase is simplified if one is not necessary.) This is partially the result of a good job and partially the result of living for "low rent" with your mum, albeit in not the most amenable of circumstances. And it seems you have a steady job on which to build a career. It's your choice whether to stay in the north-east but at a controlled distance from your family, or move south to climb the "fast career ladder".

    You mum is right when she says your sister should print her own photos. Don't wet-nurse her; let the college bring her on. They will introduce her to handling money when they feel she is ready. I have the impression she has more about her than you give her credit for.

    This is the time for your to turn your life round. You have plenty of options but the action is up to you.
    Denis_1610 wrote:
    Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:10 am
    Consider having groceries delivered, to ease the present strain and prepare for the time when you will be less on-hand. You are perfectly justified in wanting your own life and building your own family. Best wishes!
    If I didn't have to actually live with my mother, taking her once a week to pick up the groceries wouldn't feel like any burden at all!
    George, the only person who is making you stay there is YOU.
    The only power your family have over you is the power YOU let them have.

    Time for you to take control of your life and move out.
    George_1902 wrote:
    Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:04 pm
    Denis_1610 wrote:
    Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:10 am
    Consider having groceries delivered, to ease the present strain and prepare for the time when you will be less on-hand. You are perfectly justified in wanting your own life and building your own family. Best wishes!
    If I didn't have to actually live with my mother, taking her once a week to pick up the groceries wouldn't feel like any burden at all!
    So the key point of your problems is not your family's disabilities but where you live. And you have identified that by moving out you could maintain some contact and assistance but make life so much easier for yourself.

    That's fine!

    So go and buy that house.

    I am about to go on a holiday abroad so you won't hear from me again for a while. When I come back I'll see how you are getting on. Best wishes again!
    How would I go about finding a counsellor or therapist that would be willing to visit my mam at home?

    (Which I feel is important as she cannot drive, lives in a place with not-great bus service, and doesn't like to go out alone anyway because she doesn't like leaving my sister alone with my dad...)
    75 posts