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39 next month: will I EVER be able to escape from my family? - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

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

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75 posts
Greetings and Salutations
First thank you for writing such an in-depth account on your life thus far. From what you have shared you have been able to achieve so much despite having Aspergers as does the family member I look after.

With so much going on may I suggest a few things especially where your privacy is concerned.

At 39 I do believe that you have to tell your mother that she cannot simply go looking through your room. In fact I actually think you should install a lock on your door.

You maybe living with your parents but if your to move forward you have to start being a little more non compliant. Before you dismiss this suggestion I'll explain my reasoning.

Your mother relies on you as her link to the outside world and seems to restrict your attempts at pulling away. This is a more gentle way to introduce her into the fact that although you will always be her son you are your own person and need your own space without the fear of someone, even family simply looking through your things.

Then you need to find out if your sister has an Adult Social Worker and if so you need to find out what services are available for your sister not your mother. You know more than I do about your sisters condition but in order to move forward you also need to start thinking "What will happen in the future concerning support" If your sister has a Social Worker they should be able to assist you.
I'm in the process of trying to get one for my family member as the last one they had left to get married and was never replaced.
It's slow going but I'm a patient and very persistent person.

Don't try to deal with everything at once because you'll end up going no where.

Try making a plan to sort out a few things that will help ease some of the pressure including shopping.

I'm the only driver in my house but I have been teaching the family member I look after how to shop Online and have things delivered.

If you can get shopping delivered then instead of you taking your mum shopping try to find out if there is somewhere near that caters for mature people to just meet or just a cafe where she can go meet a friend for an hour or two.
It's something to consider.

In my household I have a noticeboard with a set menu for meals so no one has to ask me about breakfast, lunch or dinner. I update it every three months but since I've been doing this since becoming a Carer now I just have them on file and reprint when the time is right.

Good luck
Since I think that my lack of a sexual partner is the biggest single specific factor in my current unhappiness (the second is probably my lack of travel experience) I think some good preliminary measures (which I've already started with) are to lose my excess weight (I'm currently 13 stone but should only really be 12) and to do something about my persistent acne (discovering Dermatica last month will certainly help by giving me access to medications unavailable OTC, and without having to go through the NHS's Kafkaesque handling of dermatological issues). Perhaps once I've accomplished both those goals (and maybe got fitter as well – I'm not intrinsically interested in sport, but if it helps me find a woman...) I should set up profiles on some dating sites to see if I get any responses?

How should I deal with my obvious handicaps re dating – my advanced age, my Asperger's (whose most damaging consequence as I see it is my fussy eating: for example I can't stand the texture of tomatoes, meaning that Italian food is a no-go for me) and my lack of travel or other life experiences (due to my mam's overprotectiveness) that means most women would find me very boring?

And even if I'm not too old to marry, am I too old to have children (given female "body clocks" along with the obstacles to finding a younger wife, even if older than the minimum acceptable limit of "half my own age + 7")?
Just one step at a time. None of us know whether we will meet a life partner or be able to have children. That is gazing into the future and a pointless exercise. Whether you are well travelled or don't like Italian food is utterly irrelevant. Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies and if you meet the right person they won't care.

Making yourself happy is the top priority. EVERYTHING else just follows from that.

I think exercise and weight loss also an excellent starting point. Exercise is scientifically linked to improving mood. And if you are overweight it can only improve your health. I'm also not a fan of exercise as such either, but recognise that it is important! You just need to find something you enjoy. It doesn't have to be "sport" in the traditional sense, could be a martial art, or Nordic walking or the couch 2 5k programme at your local running club. Maybe look to do something in a group where you will meet people?

Also what about starting to fulfil your travel ambitions? I have travelled extensively on my own. Where would you like to go? But do this for yourself, because YOU want to. Not just to impress someone.

As for acne - push your GP for medication. You shouldn't have to live with it. I suffered in my 20s and medication cleared it up. Also do some research into diet and acne. I suspect by improving what you eat as part of a fitness plan could help.

Good luck. Make this the week that you take some positive action. You have nothing to loose. If you take up an activity and don't like it, you just try something else.
Hello again, George. I'd like to add something to the excellent advice you have had recently from Changlyn and Sally. This is regarding your desire to find a partner and perhaps ultimately become a family man.

You seem to think that your weight may make you less attractive. By all means try to slim, but mainly for your own health and well-being. Your domestic situation is the biggest factor that is likely to put off a prospective partner (apart from maybe someone that wants to strait-jacket you as your mother is currently doing). Hence you need to be working on moving out from there to a home of your own. This need not be far away; you could still visit and help. You do need to assert your independence; then I think other things will start to fall into place. You would have more time for social outlets.

Dating agencies may work for some, but most relationships start in clubs, societies, even workplaces, where people congregate in a friendly manner. Does your workplace have a social club or similar function?

You suggest you are not really interested in sport. Then avoid a sports club; you would be joining for the wrong reason and just add to your negative feelings. In any case, most sporting activities are male-dominated (an exception is swimming).

I really think that your "escape" from that household would be your key move, whereupon you could start to build a decent life for yourself.
I'm not sure how much my mam actually wants to "strait-jacket me" as you put it. To me it seems like her extreme reaction to reading that summary of my life history (vomiting followed by 2 hours of crying!) was the result of seeing in print what she'd done to me and thinking "OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE?!" One factor that may be driving me to do more about my flab and/or acne is that I believe it would send a signal to my mam about my determination to improve my life.

I think what I need from her more than anything is for her to start showing a bit of courage so that my life isn't constrained so much -- I suspect that her constraints on my life are probably driven 10-% by her needs and 90+% by her fears. I'm also unsure that getting a place of my own would free up much time for me (unless of course I substantially shortened my commute at the same time), as I would of course have to do my own washing and ironing as well as making my own meals.

While my employer does hold a social group that meets once a month on Friday evenings, I strongly doubt that I can meet a partner via work, as (IIRC) it has more than 50 men and only about eight women, and almost all the women are already married or at least in a relationship. In some ways I suspect the fact that one particular female co-worker (who was thankfully not in my immediate circle. she's a web/UX designer while I'm a tools programmer), will spend the rest of 2019 on maternity leave will be something of a relief to me, as I found her super-sexy manner of dressing so intimidating!
Agreed - I don't think your mam actually intends to strait-jacket you, but that is the situation perceived by outsiders and what seems to be happening. You say yourself your life is constrained.

Probably her behaviour arises from fear of a new situation. You could address this, if you were to get a place of your own, by means of a gradual move away. You could still stay with your family on occasions.

You say that if you had your own place you would need to do your own domestic duties, e.g. cooking and laundering. Plenty of people do live alone and do their own domestic duties as well as go to work, and still have time for social activities. Ask yourself - if that family can look after your domestic requirements as well as their own, are they not so dependent on you after all? You repay them by caring in other ways, e.g. playing games, shopping (though in the longer term they should arrange home delivery of groceries). If commuting takes up too much time then move to near your workplace. You would be further from your family but you would not want to visit them five times a week.

You did well to consider your employer's social group, even though you found it to be unsuitable for your needs. We need to try many things because not all will work.

Most people, when they reach their twenties, want to fly the nest and set up their own family and life. I did not manage to make a complete break till I was 30, due to career and study considerations (I did my degree in my late twenties). Yes, I had my meals and laundering provided and the money I paid for my "keep" was far less than the expenses I would face on my own. Living with parents brought many constraints; I could not have the visitors I wanted or have furnishings arranged as I wanted for instance. (I once had a row with my mum because she objected to my paying boy scouts to do jobs for me. The reasons for her objection I have never understood.)

Some people have the choice to stay with parents or leave. Others, in broken families, have no choice but to set up on their own. Still others may be constrained to stay with parents because of financial or other considerations. It seems that you do have a choice. Financially you have a very sound footing.

The message I perceive from all your posts is that you would ultimately like to be a family man in your own right. I can't envisage this happening as long as you remain living with your parents.
Give up any idea of needing "permission" you don't need it!
First, you need a home of your own.
Then you need to discover the "real" you. I'd recommend a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff, aimed primarily at divorcees but I found it really helpful when I was widowed.
Your comments about getting a woman dismay me. Do you really understand the concept of love? It's about mutual attraction, not just liking someone but liking someone so much you don't want to try to live without them. My husband and I had a great marriage, although we were different as chalk and cheese.
As if things weren't bad enough, I took my dad to hospital on Monday and it looks like he has liver cancer. :cry:

I have been trying to improve myself in the meantime though: I've been going for long walks at weekends (which my mam knows about) as well as doing Couch to 5K (which my mam doesn't know about – I'm currently on week 6)...
Oh George - I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. Is it treatable? Sometimes it doesn't rain but it pours - hey?

I am so please that you are doing the Couch to 5K. Getting to week 6 is a massive achievement! Don't let Dad's illness knock you off track. Physical exercise as a way of coping with the stress of the situation will be even more important. Have you registered for a Park Run at the end? I am NOT a runner, but have found them really friendly.
George, sorry to hear about dad's diagnosis, but remember, dad should get all the help he needs from Social Services and/or the hospice.
75 posts