For the majority of my life I was know as the “Spoiled Little Brat” when I don’t get my way or I don’t like the way things are done. Sometimes we don’t realize that while we don’t like the way things happen or the way others do things for us, especially when they are extending a branch of themselves to give you a helping hand when you are in need. Sometimes autistics have a hard time understanding this and are not always appreciative of the help that is offered, sometimes by their own family, which can result in a skewed relationship.
I will give some background into this. This past week was a day for the local food box pickup, I hadn’t gone in a few months because I wasn’t living independently and since I just moved in last week, realized that the last two days for pickup were that week. The only problem was that I didn’t have a way there, and other errands needed to be completed like picking up my glasses from the supercenter. So, my mother out of the kindness of her heart offered to use some personal time at work to help me. I accepted.
Fast forward to the morning of. We head out and she stated that the distribution lines were long and that we should go to the supercenter first and get the food box on the return trip. Already, at that moment, I was set for an eruption because that wasn’t my plan and that I needed to be home for a telehealth session in a little over two hours. The anxiety kicked in! Will I be there in time? Do I need to text the therapist? I don’t want to reschedule; I REALLY need this session.
To add to this, I had a sudden serious change in the day prior as my regular van driver was sent to the hospital and I would have a different driver. It wasn’t like I wouldn’t know the person, but we have a history of not getting along, but she was reaching out to me to see if I needed help with talking my feelings, she also offered to stop if I needed breakfast, but I declined. Yet, I was blind sighted by all the bad things that I have heard and that of what happened between us to not see that she was reaching out and being supportive and lending a supports that I may need, however I did not see it that way.
Retracting back to the help my mother was giving, as we are going to the supercenter, I start ranting about that and other things like a point we are nearing mania to the point that my mother thinks I was not medicating. Not True. As we enter the supercenter and I approach the vision center barricade to see the lights dimmed and associates not present, I look at my Fitbit and see that it is 9:09, nine minutes after opening time for the center. I am furious saying that nothing is going right! My mother suggests we go get the handful of things that she needs and if I need anything, I don’t like this because it is impeding my plan, yet I oblige! ‘
As we are in the aisles in the supercenter, I express my frustration for all the changes that were not in my favor that week and said some derogatory words that caused me to raise my voice. My mom had to calm me down, which I mellowed at once. We go back to the checkouts and the vision center is open and now there is one associate working and a customer picking out frames. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but because of COVID, the associate has to retrieve them and they have to pick out many, all while I am standing at the podium and the centers phone is ringing nonstop. Within a few minutes, the associate comes to my aid, and I get my glasses, they fit and I exit the supercenter.
Only one thing. I return to the car, and my mother isn’t there! Now I am mad, doesn’t she know we are on a tight schedule and I don’t have time for any of her foolishness. In what seems like a century of me thinking of the absurd possibilities, she arrives and I help her load the vehicle and we retreat to the car where I tell her all about the vision experience. She says that I have to accept that everything doesn’t always happen to the way we want and that while many autistics thrive off of a routine, sometimes it just isn’t possible. She further extends her frustrations that she took personal time off of work to not show appreciation for her doing all these things I need done and all I have done is gripe about how things don’t go my way and how everyone should “follow my way” just because I think they should. Things also happen for them that are also out of their control that isn’t their fault either and they don’t need someone like me pointing that out, thus making their day more horrific.
Sometimes, when children with autism tendencies are growing up, we see this a lot more. I still see this in adults on the spectrum regularly. As autistics it just throws a huge wrench in our already rigid lives and then many obsess and make judgements of all the what ifs that can happen, sometimes the unthinkable and those that have odds of hitting the lottery at. And while everyone is free to think whatever may, when you think in a grandiose way, this complicates the way for those that supports us and do things to help us, that we want to forget what good things that family and supports do for us that it gets to the point they oftentimes become to a point of being unappreciated and used like a doormat or resulting in the person helping no longer reaching out to help/
As family members, such as my mother, this is a something have felt guilty this year, especially with my last housing situation and the COVID pandemic, when I have only thought of ME and what I NEED, being attentive to her needs and thus when all I do is express my displeasure, she reacts with her true feelings, which I can now understand. 2020 has been hell. I want to do better the remainder of 2020 and hope for a much better 2021.
Today, she took me grocery shopping, some we did together and some I did on my own. She helped me to my apartment but didn’t stay, and I respect that, she needs a break and I must give us our space. As she headed out, I said thank you for all you do and I would see her soon. This is what I feel is improvement