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Sara

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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #128153

    Sara
    Participant

    Good for you! It is a process, to be sure. But I'm glad you're starting to see positive results for your efforts. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and enjoy watching your kids grow up. You can do it because you are doing it. Happiness happens.

    #126755

    Sara
    Participant

    If your children feel the loss of contact, that is very understandable. If you choose to require that your children have no contact with family, or only contact at the family's homes and not your own—it really is up to you and their father to make that important decision. I do know, however, it's really hard to stop seeing family without plans in place to see new friends or participate in new activities. In my experience, if I'd only cut off contact with my toxic mother but did not have something new planned to do, it would have been painful and alienating.

    Regardless of what you and your husband decide to do, your children are now at an age where some type of social club, sporting activiy, church group or service organization could be a wonderful way to fill the hours and their hearts. A thyroid condition makes it hard to stay positive–my friend said it took her YEARS to find balance. But she said watching her children spread their wings and reach out and grow in the community brought her joy. I hope you and yours find happiness.

    #126158

    Sara
    Participant

    I am sorry this whole thing is putting you through the emotional wringer. I am not a wise, practical, or sensible person in many ways, but when I feel like my personal experiences can perhaps offer insight…I try to share.

    I have a friend with thyroid issues, and she said for years it made it hard for her to find peace and happiness as a mother. She said so much of her battle was with herself that she wondered if she was present enough for her children. Her children are all adults now and they are fine. The thyroid issues just made it hard for her to enjoy motherhood.

    I think you really would be happier if you cut your mother and sisters out of your life. I think Anita's advice is worthy of following. YOU LOVE your children. YOU DON'T TERRORIZE people. Your children are old enough to understand why their TOXIC relatives are out of their life. If they really need to be around CRUEL, HATEFUL, MANIPULATIVE, MEAN family—they can do that when they turn 18. But for now, they are your children, and they will appreciate it's your duty to protect them. I believe they really are capable of understanding this.

    I cut my mean mother out of my life. It was not easy. I felt VERY guilty. But I did it. The amazing thing is… she still finds ways to terrorize me from afar. I'm telling you this so that you can understand that cutting your mean family off will not truly hurt your children. By cutting them off, they will probably still find ways to be nasty. But you will be in the power position of not seeking the abuse, doing your best to pursue only positive people, etc. Your children will see first hand that you are only trying to protect them from nastiness. You will be teaching them they don't have to be victimized. And watching grandma be mean and devious will be all the explanation and justification they need… and it won't even be your voice delivering the facts.

    Please do yourself and your family a favor… call it “quits” with your mean family. Seek a community of people you can be proud of your children befriending.

    #125609

    Sara
    Participant

    Thanks for the book recommendation! I hadn't heard of it before. I sure could have used something like that twenty years ago. But it's never too late for good information.

    #125367

    Sara
    Participant

    Hi! It's always fun to run across a fellow Asperger's person! Asperger's means I have a hard time trying to make what I see fit with what other's WANT me to see. I didn't always know how much autism can make it easy for con artists and abusers to manipulate me. I've had to learn some HARD lessons. I'd like to recommend to you the book “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone. This book is an amazing reference to consider any time you are autistic and questioning where to go next with your life. You have an exceptional gift that will attract people to you in time (Asperger people tend to bloom a little later than neurotypicals). Twenty-three is still a few years before your “prime”. But once you get a few years older, it will be surprising how quickly your world will change. Hold off on any permanent decisions about your fate. Asperger's means you get to take your time and step forth with a unique mind that people will find youthful and attractive for your entire life.

    #125334

    Sara
    Participant

    I have always struggled with interpersonal relationships and personal confidence. My mother has some pretty serious emotional issues that she took out on me as a little kid, so when I make friends I can always hear her voice in my head saying, “They're only being nice to you because they want to use your bike.” This nonsense makes it tough to be present and confident. I have no idea what you should do for this relationship. I think it's great that there's a lot of good voices seeing value in what you have to offer this relationship.

    What I do have is a piece of advice from my own personal experience on what to do for yourself so that you can be more confident in the future. I found a hobby that has been all-consuming and even led to a career. For me, horses provide an amazing outlet and source of positivity in my life. They require a lot of work… some days I shovel for hours mucking stalls. It helps to have something physical to do to burn off anxiety over people. Also, horses communicate differently than people. They really tune in to your emotional state and are very good at letting you know when you need to relax versus are very right to be upset. They also seem to feel inclined to help and protect me from my people mistakes. I have had a couple of horses point out people in my life that were “trouble”. And, WOW, they were right! I know that horses aren't the answer for everybody, but I encourage you to find a hobby that brings you joy, requires a lot of your physical and emotional energy, and surrounds you with people (or animals) who want to protect you. When you have a hobby like this and you find yourself in a relationship that has gone screwy, you can dive into the hobby, and then only the quality people will follow and try to win you back. And if the jerks don't follow, it's OK, your hobby is wonderful place to be.

    #125269

    Sara
    Participant

    I think Anita's advice is well-worth listening to. He's putting a lot of energy into what looks to be a huge smokescreen. You are describing your actions with great remorse. That's normal when you make an honest mistake and inadvertantly hurt somebody you love. Slamming somebody with platitudes about how they can no longer trust you… right or wrong… that's an odd way to treat a loved one.

    When I get emotionally overwhelmed and struggle to make sense of things, I like to re-imagine the event… only I switch roles. I would pretend you are him and he is you and run the scenario again. Do the events make sense in this version? Does something jump out like a red flag or a clear bell of truth?

    Not everybody values clarity and truth to the same degree. Do not destroy your heart by pairing yourself with somebody who does not share your same definition of the things that are important to you.

    #125224

    Sara
    Participant

    I don't know if I have any wisdom or practical financial advice to give, but I very much understand feelings of frustration and disappointment over health issues. Dentistry is so expensive! It is really important, though!!! The bacteria that live in a sick mouth can make the rest of you quite ill. It can even do serious harm to your heart. I hope everybody else's financial advice works, because if you can get your teeth fixed, the rest of your health might also improve.

    I am not very big, but I can outlift people at work who are half my age and twice my size. My coworkers (I work on a ranch) tell me I amaze them with my strength. Those compliments leave me feeling pretty good about myself. But I have very serious health issues stemming from early stages of COPD (a lung disorder). I have to be super careful with my diet and keep up on my breathing therapies. Often, COPD is caused by smoking. I never smoked. My bad lungs are just a fluke. And if my medicines, diet, therapy, and cleaning regimens are on track, I look seriously robust and healthy. However, I can't control pollen in the air or missing a meal because my horse and I got stuck out on the trail during a surprise snow storm. When stuff like this happens, I go from vibrant to dangerously ill.

    As I lay in bed recuperating while everybody else gets on with work, I start to feel disappointed in myself. I feel useless and like I've failed. I get so mad and frustrated with myself for my health issues and it's really easy to let that negativity snowball into a hugely toxic mess. I have to force myself to take a breath, be grateful for that breath, and focus on all the good things I can do in my body despite the occasional meltdown.

    I hope you can get your teeth fixed. I think it is great that you want to take care of yourself and commit to your overall health. Try not to be too hard on yourself. It seems to me like you've got a good head on your shoulders. That's one positive to counteract the negativity. Focus on some more positives, and when discouragement starts to snowball, make yourself count off all the good things your body can do. Cherishing your assets puts your other problems in their place. You've got more good health than bad. Don't let the bad health get all of your focus. Your good health deserves your recognition and your joy. Good luck!

    #125035

    Sara
    Participant

    I'm sorry you are missing your friend and hurting by the way he is currently treating you. I'm a little embarrassed to say I once behaved the way your friend did. I was in a very high stress job that took ALL of my energy to perform. My mentor hit a point where she decided enough was enough. She left and I was given the “opportunity” to fill her void. I did not have the years of experience of wisdom to see that leaving the company was the SMART thing to do. I was so wrapped up in trying to do the job, be a team-player, and generate “success”. I didn't understand why my mentor left. The job was all consuming and I started to feel angry with my mentor for leaving me with so much work. It didn't occur to me that the reason I was sick and miserable all of the time was because it was a horrible job. I just thought this was my big opportunity and my chance to make it in the world. I was not friendly towards my mentor for quite some time. It wasn't until my health gave out and I was forced to quit that I started to see how foolish I had been.

    My mentor had been right. She did the sensible thing. I just lacked the wisdom and maturity at the time to understand her choice to leave. I wanted to prove I could succeed. I just didn't get that there are some jobs where “success” is a mirage. Once I had time away from that job and could see how my mentor had correctly read the situation, I saw I had some serious apologizing to do.

    I don't know what choices your friend will choose to make. But please know from somebody who's been on the wrong side of this that it's going to take some time before he can even see things from your perspective. And if he does, he's going to be pretty embarrassed. It might be hard to work up the nerve to reconnect with you. If he does, and you are in a place to wish him well, I'm guessing he will be thrilled to rebuild the friendship. I know my mentor's emotional generosity towards me meant a lot. I hope you and your friend get a chance to experience the same some day.

    #124909

    Sara
    Participant

    You are being a good sister and a good daughter. Continue letting your sister know that you are there for her. Showing her you care, and showing her that happiness can be found is a lot better than telling or lecturing. Parents make mistakes and those are things you can't fix for them. You can love them, you can do your best to thrive, and then the rest is up to them.

    Making a mess of college is not the end of the world. Letting life destroy your heart is a lot more damaging in the long run. Take care of your heart, help your sister see that her heart is valued by you, and the other stuff is just details. I did everything “right” in my early twenties: college, good grades, fancy job. But I let my heart take a pummeling and that is the part I now regret. The career I have now that makes me happy is one I don't even need a college education to do. Help your sister find her heart, and then college or something else good can follow. Happiness and success often take quirky paths. You and your sister might be surprised where you find happiness and joy. Anything is possible.

    #124742

    Sara
    Participant

    I'm so sorry you lost your dog. It is really normal to find a million ways to blame yourself. I really get it. My dog, my bunny, and two of my horses all suddenly passed away this past year from events described by friends, family, and veterinarians as “freak accidents”. I feel cursed. The thing is with your dog, in order to love your dog and support her in a way that honored the very special individual she was, you had to let her be HER. Not going to work, going on lockdown every time the door opened, not having guests over… all of that would have created an atmosphere of panic, control, and hostility. That is not how you show love. I'm sorry loving her with all of your heart couldn't go on forever. But hating yourself for not being her jail warden… it won't bring her back and it would have destroyed the joy you shared.

    I've had plenty of practice hating myself for not preventing the bizarre and tragic circumstances that led to my pets dying in four separate tragic incidents this year. Hours upon hours of “How did I not see this coming?” have delivered the same answer I will give you: The only way to have prevented these tragedies would have involved stifling their quality of life, never letting them be the beautiful animals they were created to be, and destroying their hearts.

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. You can give the best care in the world, build a custom barn with every detail carefully attended to, buy the very best food, love them with everything you have… and you still lose everything. Please hold on to the best memories of her and honor the joy she gave you by making the world know it's a better place because she was here.

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