I am a 55 year old mother of three. I always knew I was different for as long as I can remember. My boys are grown up now and all I hear is: you misunderstood what I was saying, you don't care, I didn't mean how you would feel.
They tell me that I am annoying and stay away from me at home. I am so lonely. They don't believe I have ASD.
I am sensitive to light, sound, taste and touch. My optition has said I need to wear my sunglasses.
Thank you for reading this
Welcome to the forum.
Sorry to hear that you're in this sad predicament. I have no children myself, so I can't begin to imagine how you must feel. We hear so often about parents desperate for help with their autistic children that it's easy to forget that it can be the other way around too.
There's a really friendly, supportive bunch of people here, including many like us, who discovered our autism late in life, and some who are parents, so I hope someone will pop along shortly with better advice for you than I could give. Like so many autistic people, I do understand loneliness, though; so I just wanted to make a quick post to let you know that you are being heard.
hello and welcome! lots of us on here are aged in 40s or 50s. I'm F, late 40s.
I have lots of sensory issues - hearing, smell and light are worst for me. I also have allergies eg to perfume and the last few days have been really bad for me - I'm sat here with my left ear burning bright red and itching all over! It was actually exploring all these sensory issues 2 years ago that led me down the ASC pathway to diagnosis about 18 months ago.
Hi. I'm 25 and I'm awaiting diagnosis.
I'm really sorry to hear you're feeling lonely. How recently were you diagnosed? I'm wondering whether it's new information for your sons and they don't really understand what it means yet. They shouldn't be calling you annoying or avoiding you though - that's very unfair.
I have a lot of sensory issues too - I don't think people understand how tiring they can be.
I hope you find the forum helpful; I've found it really useful to talk to people with similar experiences to my own.
Sorry this is a longer reply than I thought it would be, but your post caused me to think through my own experience so that I could show you that you're not alone, and I can't make this story shorter!
Also sorry if this comes across as about me (I'm aware that I can come across that way). I wanted to share this story to see if you find anything that resonates with your experience but will admit that I felt sorry for myself as I was writing!
Being a parent when you have autism yourself can bring lots of challenges and differences to family dynamics, and I think it's something that hasn't been studied much (I haven't looked specifically, but I certainly haven't stumbled across anything). The focus of research, and discussion forums to an extent, seems to be "how to parent an autistic child" rather than "how to be an autistic parent".
In my own case, I'm a parent of 2 children and 2 stepchildren, all over 20 now. I didn't realise that I'm autistic (I'm now diagnosed as such) and that my dad is undiagnosed autistic, until I had "finished" the parenting job of getting the kids safely to 18 (I know the job is never "finished"!).
One of my own children doesn't talk to me and hasn't since about 7 years ago. My dad lives in his own world and we have barely a relationship apart from a natural fondness. My relationship with my mother has been difficult, and it's taken me decades to admit to myself that I'd be happier and in particular less anxious if I had almost nothing to do with her.
When my children tried to explain how they experienced me as a parent when they were growing up, I found that very little of what they were saying sunk in. Like you say, I got "You said hurtful things", "You didn't seem to care" etc. On the other hand, your last one "I didn't mean how *you* would feel" if I'm understanding what you mean correctly, is a criticism that *I* level towards *my* mother who, when I told her I felt suicidal, never once asked about my feelings but went into full-on drama queen mode about *her* emotions.
Looking back, there were of course some happy times bringing up my children and I do love them, but I don't get any warm & fuzzy feeling when I think of them; the main emotion that I get when I think of family, apart maybe for my dad and obviously my wife, is anxiety - mainly over what they might want from me.
I do "feel" loved by my stepchildren, but to be honest the only place I "feel" love from is my step children and my wife. I *know* that one of my daughters loves me, but I don't feel it.
Hope that tells you that you aren't alone, and maybe provides ideas to explore things a bit further if you want to.