I am the mum and primary carer for my oldest son. He is an adult and has Bipolar aswell as the newly diagnosed Aspergers. I have always known he was on the spectrum and fought since he was a child to get support and him tested but no one seemed to hear me. His school called him immature, his father (i am quoting) 'doesn't know how to handle him' so isn't any help really and I've found myself being his emotional and practical support despite me being very unwell myself.
I finally managed to get him a psychiatrist, the recently a cpn for the Bipolar but manage the rest myself. I would consider his needs quite high but he is an intelligent, loving young man who has always described himself as 'eccentric not weird'. He lives alone as he prefers and his bills etc are all debited from his bank account.
However, he has many physical illnesses on top of the other things and these mean many appointments which cause him to be overwhelmed. He lives in chaos and in what I'd describe as a squat like environment. He has a council flat and it could look nice but he doesn't seem to see why I am concerned. It is filthy and untidy yet he wants it left alone. If I try to tidy up he gets agitated so I do enough to clear a space to sit and wash his pots, disinfect his worktops to avoid food poisoning and do his washing.
I attend appointments with him, I write on his calendar his important stuff and remind him a few days before etc. I check in him every other day as he likes the conversation and I see him at least once a week, sometimes more if he has appointments or is lonely.
He rings me, often late into the night in a stare of anxiety about little things. He gets overwhelmed easily. I go over it with him and it calms him.
Here's where I need advice. Due to my own illnesses it is becoming harder to manage. I get tired very easily. Emotionally I find it very hard sometimes. I worry what would happen should I not be around and often force myself to be available even when I am putting my own health at risk. He is my son and I'd do anything for him but I often wish I had help.
He can be very negative sometimes, he struggles hugely with social skills and cannot cope with new situations or people.
It's coming up to Christmas and I'm dreading it. I love Christmas but it brings with it more stress. How will he cope, will he want to spend the day with us, will he complain about everything, will he be rude about the food, will he be agitated. His choices are that he comes to me or he stays alone. His dad rarely asks him to go and even then he will more often than not he will choose to come here. His inability to embrace change is expected and his lack of awareness is also expected but how do i best enjoy it whilst helping him. I find myself getting anxious, then trying not to snap as he complains about the sprouts being hard or the programme I'm watching.,especially when I've calmly told him several times that he can leave the sprouts and I like that programme but once it's finished we can do something else (or I just record it!!)
I'm sorry if this is rambly but I'm new to this and desperately trying to be the best support I can but sometimes I wish I had the luxury of saying I can't handle it and leaving it to his dad for a change. We are divorced I should say. I love my boy very much but I need help.
Any words of wisdom would be helpful. Please be gentle. If I'm doing it all wrong it's not by choice. I'm doing my best.
Carry on doing what you're doing. You come across like a caring individual who is trying their best in challenging situations. There are no right answers. And I think you are doing more than my family did to support me.
Thank you. Sending you hugs. Xx