11.21.2004

it's 7:39pm -- do you know where your serial killer is?

i decided on a glass of baileys before tonight's festivities. i always want to drink when my mom cries when i leave. and since i saw her, she cried when i left. i might feel bad, or honored, or something like that except that she's not crying about my leaving; she's crying because there's yet another thing wrong in her life and nobody will listen to her.
i feel bad; really, i do. but i've been taking care of her all my life. i lend her money; i give her a cell phone that i pay for (and i replace it every time she breaks it); i take the kids for weekends so that she has some time to herself. i'm half her age and i feel like her mother all the time. sometimes it breaks me. it broke me. i'm having another drink.
also breaking me is that i gave in and am closing saturday. i really don't want to, but i feel bad because jess worked for me today. so i'm closing saturday. drop in and say hi!
i hope that lady calls me about that other job.
so my mom's car is dead. it broke down a few weeks ago and she's been having trouble finding someone to fix it. newest diagnosis: she siezed the engine. goodbye shitty van. hello shitty car with which she has to replace shitty van.
everytime my brother seems normal to me, he goes and fucks it up and makes me realize he's never going to get better. his best friend gave him a piece of paper on which to write a recommendation for him for geography. my brother is 14. this other kid (also has asberger's) is 13 but two grades behind because of his illness. on said piece of paper, he wrote the following:
marky is good at losing to other people.
marky is good at being fat.
marky is good at making other people feel smart.
marky's mom pounded on the door at 10:30 at night waking my mom up about this, and they woke ian up to yell at him about this, and took him over to marky's to apologize. now this is the way ian has always been, but i never thought he'd hurt someone about it. i'm really just dumbfounded. and i know he's got a disorder and that he'll never be exactly normal. but he knows right from wrong. most of the time.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

You have so much to handle; I don't know how you do it. You are a very strong person.

Sometimes kids just do things to see what happens. my youngest son was diagnosed with autism (high-functioning). He is learning right from wrong but, just like his brothers, still tests boundaries from time to time just to see if I'll follow through...

I like your blog. This post is like deja vu for me. When I got married my mother cried profusely and told everyone I would never be her friend anymore because I was leaving her. Which is a thought that never entered my head. So as I read this, I could understand how you felt.

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the frog princess said...

asberger's syndrome is the highest functioning form of autism, from what i've been told. my brother and i have always been close so i have a harder time seeing what's wrong with him, but he's prone to panic attacks (like in 7th grade when they couldn't find his shot records) and crying for no reason and lashing out verbally and physically when he gets frustrated. in school he would do all the work required for his classes and not turn it in. but he also get perfect scores on all standardized tests and reads at a college level (i know of no other child who was reading john steinbeck and kurt vonnegut on their own time in middle school) and retains everything he's ever read about science and technology. he's a wonder.

Amber said...

Hey -
I work with children with Autism and Asperger's, and so I thought your story about your little brother was really interesting. It reminded me of a child that I used to work with.

See, the thing with this child was that, if he had written the recommendation, he would tell you that he was doing the right thing. He would say that he was supposed to tell the truth, and that's what he was doing...telling the truth.

I know that every child with Austism or Asperger's is different, but one thing that I learned from this particular child is that he fell into the "Rude Box" of Aspergers' - they don't understand what's rude and what's not. He'll tell an obese woman that she's fat because A. it's a truthful statement because she IS fat, and B. he feels that he's being helpful in case she hasn't noticed that she's fat yet. He thinks that not saying something like that because it's rude is a form of lying.

This was extremely frustrating to me, because my biggest pet peeve in the world is rudeness. It's also frustrating when that person not only doesn't understand why it's rude (the saying "The world revolves around me?" Yeah...could totally describe this kids' thought process - no concept of empathy at all), but they just keep on doing it because they think they're right and you're wrong. The one thing that helped me immensely in understanding this child was when Tony Atwood told me once that to truly understand him, I had to abandon all of my conceived notions of gray areas because he only thought in very stark black and white.

I just wanted to share this story with you because I understand why it's so frustrating when something like this happens. I've come to understand why these things happen sometimes, but it's still frustrating esp. when you want so badly for them to do well.

Your brother is very, very lucky to have a sister like you who loves him and who tries to understand his Aspergers, and not only that, but is proud of him and sings his praises - like being able to read at a college level (that's awesome!). Having a family member like that is probably going to help him more long-term-wise than any form of therapy or education, because you know and understand him better than anyone outside your family does. I think it's awesome that he has that asset - you - in his life.