Posted by: notperfecteitherbutitry | 2019/03/19

Am I selfish, cruel and mean?

I am the youngest of 3 sisters & have a younger brother with Asperges. He has only recently been diagnosed (in his mid-30s) at my insistence as to better understand him & the whole situation. Right from the beginning, he never had to lift a finger, had zero responsibility. If he didn't want to do something he simply was allowed that choice. My parents are older now and of course, finding it difficult to cope. They bought him a flat but he lives at home because food, laundry, & entertainment are provided for. They refuse to get him 'help' e.g. OT or behavioral therapists etc firstly because it will label him & secondly largely because neither of my parents want to pay for it. This situation is getting worse and to me it seems they are 'putting up with it' "turning a blind eye' until they are no longer here. My sisters (unmarried, no children) do not live in the same city. I have my own family and battle financially as it is. Over the years I tried my best to 'help' arrange for jobs, roommate (to generate his own income) bought him computers etc etc But if he doesn't get his way I am just a piece of sh*t in his eyes. I go from hero to zero if it doesn't go his way. I mentioned that I need to focus on my young family and that if we decide to emigrate etc i can't be expected to look after him. I am told I am selfish, cruel and mean. I can't understand why they are not helping him now rather than giving him an inheritance he will squander (because they failed to teach him basic life skills) in a matter of months.Why not use it to help him be self-sufficient? One has children to look after one's self, right? To raise them the best way you can? Why is it someone else's responsibility? As a mother myself Id do anything for my children. Its hard to explain the whole story & our family issues in a few paragraphs. Basically, I feel that our parents had 4 children then went about their day for us to fend for ourselves, no encouragement, no life skills, only 1 of us was formally educated even though they had the means. My parents have never told me that they love me. I cry when I read this:There are two gifts we should give our children one is roots & the other is wings. They complain to me about the situation daily but aren't prepared to put the work in, they never have. I've come up with lots of solutions but unfortunately most require money & they are not prepared but will be a sports car instead. Please just tell me if its me..I cant take this guilt they put on me

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/03/20

Dear Perfect'causeyoutry,
The guilt they may lay on you is an invitation you are entirely free to refuse.  Don't agree to play that game.
One thing that strikes me from this tale you tell, and this is an often overlooked point,  Asperger's ( now considered part of the Autism Spectrum of disorders ) is a highly complex disorder, which includes inherited components, and so, although your brother may be the most obviously affected, it is possible that others in your family may also be more mildly affected.  You mention 2 sister, who were sensible enough to leave the home setting, as being single an with no children. They may be entirely well, or perhaps have some of the lack of social skills and desire to form close relationships. 
More relevant, your parents themselves may well be affected.  They may have failed all of their children, significantly, yet may have done the best they were able to do.  A typical feature of many people with Asperger's is a lack of empathy : not being able to really understand the needs and feelings of other people.  This may be part of the reason why your brother and parents fail to take your own feelings an need as seriously as they should.
Nonetheless, it sounds as if your parents, perhaps not understanding their own feelings of guilt or his true needs, have spoilt your brother, and failed to meet his needs, giving him what he doesn't need, and withholding what he does need.  Sometimes parents avoid therapy for fear that it might reveal more clearly their failings.
From your point of view, you do not owe it to your brother or parents to in any way compromise your own health and happiness, and especially not that of your family.  You can make it clear that you believe he needs no sports car, but expert help to promote his independence and ability to support himself, but that you personally will not be able to be available to care for or provide for him, as you have your on duties to yourself and your family, which they will not be helping you with.

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