I have autism, sleep maintenance insomnia and mental health issues. I’m really struggling with life right now and I was wondering if I could please have some advice or someone to listen to me during this difficult time.
Everything has been so horrible this past year. I completed my degree almost a year ago and I haven’t been able to find a job. I’ve gained interviews and have been improving myself with the comments they say but its hard when I am constantly rejected. I have to live with my parents as I have no income (especially since I was transferred to PIP who took all of my benefits away because I was too able). My parents are really hard to be around. They don’t treat me with respect. They either ignore me or have a go at me for the smallest of things. I can’t even escape for a few hours for a walk as there is nothing where I live. There is nowhere to go to and the closest thing from me is by car (I can’t get a bus either because there aren’t any within walking distance).
I feel like I am doing everything that I can and its still not enough. I want to move out of my parents house for so long but I can’t without getting a job. Everyone else is moving on with their lives and I’m still stuck in same place, which is the same place I fought so hard (academically to get out of). I spent four years doing degrees, improving myself, growing as a person whilst putting myself under so much pressure and I felt like no one cared. Instead, I’m back where I started and I feel like I can’t move.
I really want to get out of my parents house. I feel like they don’t like me. They seem nice on the surface but they’re selfish and really rude. They pushed to be normal and I feel like they hate me/treat me like I’m an idiot because of my autism. They always made me feel bad every time I needed money from them (which wasn’t a lot) yet, even when I turned sixteen, they never let me have all of my money from my DLA. I tried to question them (which gave me an anxiety attack) but they would just yell at me (which made my anxiety worse). My parents always said that my DLA was for the bills but I never got a say in the matter and they would sometimes brag about getting expensive things whilst complaining about how they were struggling with the bills. They always take me for granted. I don’t get paid but I do my share around the house with chores but the moment I start earning money, they expect me to pay rent. I understand that some parents do this if their kids still live with them but after all the money they have taken away from me and after all the times they have treated me like rubbish, I just don’t think this is fair.
I know this may sound silly but I feel like I’m constantly being punished. Life has always felt extra hard for me and I feel like I’ve had to work extra hard for things and its still not enough. I know some people say that “life will get better” or “stop looking at the negatives and look at the positives” but with my life, it isn’t true. My life is a constant mess. Nothing is getting better, no matter which view point I’m looking from.
I’m sorry for the long rant but I just really need some help right now. If there is any advice you would recommend, I would be extremely grateful!
Hi Violinist191, from the situation you describe I would guess that you're about the same age as my youngest daughter and there are some similarities with how she feels, though probably for different reasons. As I find when I'm talking to her, it's not easy for me to think my way into her mind to try to help, but what I can do is offer some perspective from having been that age myself and then having 30 years to look back on it.
So, the first thing I would say is that a lot of what you're feeling is probably natural and part of the process of separating from parents and becoming your own person. This process doesn't have a clear start and end, nor does it go the same way for everyone, but it happens nonetheless in varying degrees. Common to most, I would say, is that feeling of mutual annoyance and longing to have your own space. This is a cruel part of life because the resources you need for that are hard to come by.
The second thing I would say is that, if you can find the right mindset (and this is far from easy and I've found it a lifelong struggle), life is a wonderful opportunity to be yourself; so try not to compare your situation with others. There will always be people around you doing life in a different order, different ways, with different levels of resources. What matters is that *you* enjoy simply being alive.
I remember the "academic fight to escape my childhood context" - a strong desire to be me and not a simple reflection of the culture of my parents' peer group, parts of which I still deride (& a therapist would seize on that!).
Finally the repeating patterns of life in a shared house, expectations about who should do what and how people should behave, can lead to a kind of trapped way of thinking that therapists (if I remember correctly) call over-generalisation and black and white thinking; so "It's *always me* that has to.....", "Nothing good *ever* happens to me" and the trick here is to challenge your own brain's "absolutitst" statements "What *Nothing*? *ever*?".
Hope that helps a bit. By the way I'm coming to the end of the NHS diagnosis process for ASD & I'm 95% certain I have it and 65% certain that I'll get a diagnosis :-).
I am no expert but I will say this. I think as per the previous reply, this is normal for all young people. However, it is probably a lot worse for you than others, especially if you cannot discuss your feelings with your parents or others. It took a long time for me to get the right job, get my independence, find the right partner, etc, and I think I also saw everything as a crisis when younger, but later in life when I met people I could talk to, it helped to get things into perspective, and work towards enjoying life.
Stick at it. Find that job, and when you don't enjoy that job, find another. Find a friend, and if they aren't good for you, find another. When finances allow, get your own place so that you can have your environment how you like it, and live in a way that suits you. Find things you enjoy, and if you don't enjoy them, try something else. It took me a long time and a lot of work, but I did get there and so can you.
I can only echo what's already been said. It's easy to get overwhelmed by your situation - I've been there myself. Only difference is I broke down and failed at the Uni thing. You completed a four year degree which is one hell of an achievement! Take on board the feedback you have received from 'failed' interviews but take it with a pinch of salt and always thank them for it - sometimes it's not what you know but who you know. They'll probably feel obliged to give you feedback so it may not always be accurate. These days employers want experience but will rarely say that. It's hard to have experience when you are young so what do they expect?! How else can you get experience! Or, in my experience, they may already have somebody in mind but have to go through the normal recruitment processes. The greatest lessons in life come from failing - it's hard when feeling rejected but take away what you can learn from these experiences.
Have you thought about getting a job outside of your area of expertise? Something that will allow you to have independence and space away from living with your parents? This is a smashing thing to have on your CV. Achievements aren't always academic or employment based. If you're good at life employers will want you. When you still live at home, fresh from Uni, whether you like it or not, whether it's right or wrong, they will judge you - they'll see you as a child. They won't tell you that because language and communication is misleading...
And I'm really sorry for saying this but life will actually get better. Life's hard getting started, throw on top the autism and the added effort just to fit it can throw you totally off balance. When it does, come here for a rant. Because your feelings are completely valid.