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this is a bit rubbish of me, but i cant help it.

(53 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:50:38

Ds isnt strictly speaking a child, he is 21, but due to his aspergers he acts about 15. He is in his 3rd year at uni, but this year he went to live in at uni....

End of last month was my birthday.
DH reminded him. i got no card. nothing. In the end DH bought me a card and made him sign it a week late.

yesterday was mothers day. Again DH and DD reminded him.
i got no card. i got a text at 9.30 last night saying happy mothers day.

i am resigned to this but it hurts. He has a girlfriend and when she was feeling "a bit down" he went on the train to see her with a bunch of flowers. He can clearly do it.

i am the first person he calls when he needs something.

he has tried to call me tonight, and i just cannot answer the phone to him. sad
i dont want to argue or have a go at him.
but i cant speak to him either. im hurt. he seems to think so very little of me and yet, im off work at min with depression for the first time in my life, and some of the reason for that was him and trying to juggle his needs and demands with a stressful and demanding full time full on job. i cracked. i couldnt do it.

he has text now asking why im ignoring him.
ive text back saying im not ignoring him but im not answering phone tonight.
which is true.
im not.

am i being silly about this? to feel hurt by this? if he was the same with everyone it wouldnt bother me, but its just his family, who are his biggest support and staunchest advocates, who he ignores.

he manages to consider everyone elses feeling except ours.
and its made me feel a bit sad.
and i just cant answer the phone.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 11-Mar-13 21:55:21

Aww you have been undertanding and a saint 99% of the time for 21 years I am sure and sometimes it will still get painful and get to you. You are just human.

I got upset the other day amd said to DD "We do everything to please you and you just moan all the time." Isnt true but it just gets to you sometimes that they don't give back the love you put in.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 11-Mar-13 21:58:09

Aww, Vicar. My Dbro still hasn't wished my Mother a Happy Mother's Day. (Also away at Uni).

I have now reminded him via fb. He still hasn't done it...

My 10yo DS1 only remembered about Mothers Day when he saw DD and DS2 give me their cards & presents.

It stings.

Yes, he can do it with his girlfriend - but she probably isn't 'part of the furniture' in quite the same way that you or I or my Mother are to our DC's!

Look at it this way - he has been 'taught' that when your girlfriend is feeling down, you buy her flowers and listen to her.

He doesn't have the fluidity of mind to transfer that 'learnt skill' from his girlfriend to you...

It's not personal. Even though it FEELS personal...

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:15:58

thank you, both of you

i know its not personal, but im feeling a bit irrational about it all. Dh is even going on about it and he is usually so so laid back and normally grounds me when i moan about things....

ive just ordered some perfume that was in the sale on the house of fraser website.
happy mothers day to me.

dd got me a box of chocs and a card. she wasnt reminded. she is a typcial moody cow of a teen but she does think of me and when im sad she says the wisest things....

im annoyed with myself really for feeling disappointed in him. and deep down i knew he wouldnt bother.
but it does hurt. i bought him a nexus 10 for xmas. im skint. im off work. and i dont think it means anything to him.

His relationship with his girlfriend is conditional on him not being an arse.

That isn't true of his relationship with you. It's not very nice for you but you're his constant unwavering rock!?

jellyrolly Mon 11-Mar-13 22:22:07

I think Mothers Day is really hard, of course you are 'allowed' to feel hurt and disappointed. I spent the whole evening sulking in my room.

I also think you have done a bloody great job raising a boy who treats his girlfriend well, lots of boys/men take their partners for granted thanks to their mums.

We don't always get the hugs and the thanks from our kids but we can get them from our friends, real and virtual thanks. I hope you feel better soon.

Handywoman Mon 11-Mar-13 22:26:40

Starlight speaks the truth. You are of course not irrational. You are vulnerable and human. And have been doing the Superhuman Act that so many mothers of SN kids do. For years.

i know we font 'do' it here but sending hugs.

DeafLeopard Mon 11-Mar-13 22:27:22

Vicar I would feel the same IIWY too.

Can you text him and tell him why you are upset (in an unemotional way) - he may not even understand why you would be feeling upset - I know my DS would need it explaining to him.

PolterGoose Mon 11-Mar-13 22:55:47

Oh Vic thanks

What everyone else said already.


ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:56:20

i should explain it to him but i really cant be bothered tonight.

he is a decent lad. he just never thinks about me. birthdays, mothers day, all pass him by. he got me an xmas present. all very last minute but hey ho!

im just a bit upset, i will get over it. i think he phoned DD earlier to ask why i wasnt answering his calls.
not sure what she told him. he tried my mobile twice and left a message on the answer phone.

i just dont trust myself to be nice if i speak to him so best i dont.

ive found a lovely gift set in house of frasier - a perfume i wanted with body wash and body lotion with about £20 off....ive bought it for me!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 11-Mar-13 23:41:39

<<Sneaky hugs>>

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:45:39

thank you.

im feeling a bit vulnerable i suppose - i just give such a lot of myself over to him and his needs and difficulties at my own expense a lot of the time.

i thought he would go to uni and i would start a life/career.
but i cant.
he still takes such a lot of me i dont have enough to give to anyone else. its driven me into the ground because i went for the most stressful job i could have thought of....i never make life easy.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 12-Mar-13 08:36:57

I can't help feeling that's my future. My 2 NT, slightly empathic boys will eventually leave me with DS2, who is completely egotistical and hasn't got a caring bone in his body. He makes up for it, currently, by being humorous and still fairly cute, but he's still a very young teen, 13 going on 9. What will he be like at 21? I doubt that he'll be independent or academic enough for university. Will he even have a job?

Sorry to add to the misery, Vic, I have no advice apart from hang on in there.

bigbluebus Tue 12-Mar-13 09:06:55

It's hard Vicar. My DS (16) did remember Mother's Day and bought a card and gift, but I feel sure it was only because DH reminded him. He would only buy a humorous card though - not a soppy 'Love you' type card. He has no empathy at all, so I think my future will be much the same as yours. DS is desperate to go to Uni, but I don't know how he will cope - and he won't have the option of living at home as we don't live near any Unis. But I think it will be a case of 'out of sight out of mind' (from him not us) as far as we are concerned once he leaves home - until he needs something.
I think the best plan is to buy yourself something - at least you get something you want!!! (although I'm understand that even something you didn't want from your DS would mean more than nothing).

ouryve Tue 12-Mar-13 09:55:33

DS1 is only 9, but often blanks other people's birthdays, refuses to choose and sign a card, etc. There's a large amount of control and anxiety issues in his behaviour. Last year, he refused to have anything to do with Mothers' day, then had a huge meltdown while we were out at the supermarket on the morning. He explained, finally, on the way home, that he wanted to choose me a present and didn't have time, which is why he was upset. He's been the same with birthdays etc, even as recently as mine, last Autumn. He actually made me a card, in advance, for mothers' day, this year and his 1:1 knew it was a big deal for him and excitedly told me all about it on the day he did it.

[hugs] anyhow. It hurts enough from an 8 year old and you would keep on hoping that by adulthood, our offspring would have rasped the idea of social obligations that we do to make people happy, wouldn't you.

My brother is an undiagnosed aspie and we came to a no card guaranteed agreement, a while back, because he wasn't comfortable with just going through the motions. We just sent each other ridiculous ecards, for a while.

Catsdontcare Tue 12-Mar-13 11:06:04

Starlight has it spot on my db as apergers and is in his 30's he can be a complete selfish, inconsiderate arse piece to my mum despite all she does for him. But with others he can be extremely considerate and thoughtful. The only difference is there is usually something in it for him.

Catsdontcare Tue 12-Mar-13 11:15:05

Just before I get pasted for calling my db names in my defence we are all expected to make a grand hoopla of his birthday or christmas he places lots of importance on receiving lots of cards and gifts so he does know that these things can be important to others.

He rang me up last month to ask what DS would like for his birthday I gave suggestions and as it was he sent nothing, not even a card.

I got a text two weeks after ds's birthday wishing him a happy birthday and that he will be buying a present and bringing it when he comes to stay this weekend (news to me he was coming to stay!) but that's the point he has decided he wants to come to stay so is now happy enough to partake in gift buying.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 16:50:43

i suppose im going to have to try to explain to him but he will get defensive and we will probably argue, and i dont want an argument. I just want him to remember me from time to time.

He txt DH last night asking what was up with me. DH is burying his head in the sand - it would help if he would talk to him, he will be impartial. but i doubt he will.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 12-Mar-13 16:57:45

Hi vicar I totally get why you are fed up.

I cant say too much atm but I am having similar issues with Dd1.

She did actually bring me something on mothers day(for the first time) but our relationship is really struggling sad

troutsprout Tue 12-Mar-13 17:05:10

I can sympathise too
It's so very thankless ... With so little coming back.
I wonder what prompted the late text ? Wonder if it was the girlfriend?

Badvoc Tue 12-Mar-13 19:12:06

Your love for him is unconditional,
He knows that.
Ergo, you get treated like crap.
So sorry its upset you.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 12-Mar-13 19:52:22

I agree about the unconditional love thing badvoc but sometimes I wonder if we should allow ourselves to throw the towel in without judging ourselves or fearing being judged by others. It is really hard to continue to do this for years and years sad

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 20:10:36

he rang earlier - i answered - he said he had dialled by accident. he asked me what was wrong, so i told him.

he couldnt get off phone quick enough.

im wearily resigned to it but it doesnt mean i dont feel it every now and then, he hasnt tried to call back. i text him to say not to get anything now and that i had got myself something as a combined birthday and mothers day gift.

heard nothing back. no text. nothing.
he will avoid me now until he thinks ive forgotten about it.

Badvoc Tue 12-Mar-13 20:32:37

You have every right to be upset vicar.
He is being incredibly selfish.
You have had a very tough few months and this must really feel like a kick in the teeth when you are down.
My post was not meant to imply you shouldn't be upset or feel the way you do.
It's not the same thing, but I have very much thrown in the towel with my siblings since last year.
As ineed says, it is hard to continue for years and years.
Not easy to do, but I am more at peace since I did so.
I am very much of the opinion now (hey it's only taken me til I was 40!) that I will only let things affect me if I can change the outcome and therefore it not affect me anymore.
I no longer expect them to give a crap, so the pain isn't there. A lingering sadness perhaps, but tbh even that is fading.
Would be nice if your dh would take his head out of the sand, but mine is the same so no words of advice there!l

thriftychic Tue 12-Mar-13 22:51:40

i was in tears on mothers day , ds2 is 14 , dh had been out and about with him all day on saturday whilst ds2 spent his own money on things he wanted in the fishing shop etc . dh had tried really hard to get him to buy me a card and he refused , in the end he said he would just make me one . he didnt , he gave me nothing. made me a cup of tea though which is something but he is utterly selfish and also really dislikes me because i 'tell him what to do'
i felt really shit about it all on sunday , dh thought i was being a bit pathetic hmm
i did the same and bought myself something smile

PolterGoose Tue 12-Mar-13 23:01:38

I am very much of the opinion now (hey it's only taken me til I was 40!) that I will only let things affect me if I can change the outcome and therefore it not affect me anymore

Totally agree with you badvoc

VicarIna some people, NT, ASD or otherwise, just don't get and don't do celebrations. To force it makes it meaningless. See if you and DH can stop reminding ds of occasions, just leave it and see what happens. Ds may, in time, surprise you. He may not. But it may make it easier for you to manage your feelings.

If he doesn't, let us all know and we can give you thanks and wine

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 12-Mar-13 23:36:02

thanks - as predicted as soon as he realised i was cheesed off he has not tried to contact me again.

i just dont enter his head. unless he needs me for something. and sometimes, i feel resentful of that, its hard to just keep on giving to someone who doesnt appear to give a shit.

i know he does love me, he just has no need as far as he is concerned to show it.

im pretty much out of sight, out of mind, until he wants something or needs something. Then im the first person he calls - which is im sure how it is for most parents.

i didnt expect him to try and put this right on any level. he will ignore it now until it goes away....

i find him exasperating. on so many levels.

PolterGoose Tue 12-Mar-13 23:49:29

VicarIna of course he is exasperating. And he doesn't need to show his love, because it just is.

What you describe is what a lot of parents of NT older and adult children face too, the difference is theirs may have the social graces to make excuses and perform grand gestures.

But can you just remind yourself that he is in the third year of a degree, living away, at real university and he has a girlfriend. That is one helluva achievement and he would not have got there without you, it is what those of us a decade or so behind you hope for (I'm not bothered about girlfriends TBH!)

troutsprout Wed 13-Mar-13 08:08:10

Yes I'm seconding Polters post. I think you are farking amazing! Look what you did!!
He may not be thankful (and Lordy I get where you are coming from... I got a card that his dad made him write out under duress)... But bloody hell Vicar!, I am soo thankful for you. It makes me think .." Wow, it's really possible!... Ds could be living independently one day"
So thank you smile

merlincat Wed 13-Mar-13 09:32:12

My Mothers Day was a similar non-event. My three (Dd1 Asp Ds NT Dd2NT) responded in an entirely predictable way. Ds gave and said nothing. Dd1 also nothing. Dd2 had bought really lovely chocolates and gave hugs throughout the day. Actually Ds didn't say nothing, he reminded me- as he always does- that I am an idiot and that his friends and even his schoolwork are far more important to him than me. Dd1 - where do I start? I have given everything I have to give and much, much more besides to that girl. I am permanently zonked out on anti-depressants through worry about her, she is my first thought on waking and my last thought at night, every day for the last 17 years. Would just saying 'happy Mothers Day' be so fucking hard? Yes it was.

NotMe2 Wed 13-Mar-13 09:49:17

Another pov here. My DH has AS and can act exactly like that. It has taken me a while but I have realised that that sort if behaviour has little to do with his love for me.
As a general rule, he hates emotionally charged situations as he can't read them well enough and he is scared to say the wrong thing. So he avoids them in the same way that your ds has decided to keep a low profile when he realised you are cheesed off.
But at the same time, my DH has told me before that he feels very bad to have hurt me, most of the time he doesn't even know why I felt hurt. Even when it just look blooming obvious to anyone else.

He is also finding looking for a present a nightmare as he finds it near impossible to get an idea of what I would enjoy. So would rather by pass everything, incl a card as he is so uncomfortable about it. Or willbiy something at the last minute, in desperation.

Maybe that's what is happening with your ds too?

Btw, don't look too much into your ds behaviour with his gf. DH was like this when we first met. But it didn't last that long and he quickly reverted to the sort of behaviour you are talking about. It's hard not to feel hurt. But remembering why he does.

troutsprout Wed 13-Mar-13 10:07:48

Lol... Can relate to the Dh present problem too!
God ..I've have some corkers from Dh. He bought me scented bin liners once. Honest to farking god! He wrapped them up too! Also ( amongst other gems) ... An ice cube tray that made ice cubes in the shape of the word " ice". ( wtf?)
God ...way WAY too many bad presents !
I try not to get insulted

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 13-Mar-13 10:28:28

thanks everyone. i was just having a moment. im fine now. ive text him today, just to see what he is doing.

no reply yet though.

i will try to talk to him tonight. i need to explain rationally and factually why i was cheesed off without being cheesed off anymore.

deep down, i know the fact that he is doing well, is ok, is managing and is doing well at uni is much much more important (thanks to a friend who pm'd me...sometimes i need reminding! (you know who you are - you lurker!)

and trout thank you - he has some support at uni though he has trouble realising when he needs to access it....but yes, they can go on to do anything. he is fearless. he gives me heart failure sometimes (anyone remember him sneaking off to Seattle (yep. Seattle. USA. on his own. to meet a girl he met online...!!!!!!!!) while he told me he was in Kent???)

NotMe2 Wed 13-Mar-13 10:49:14

Nice to see you feel better. It can be be so hard sometimes can't it?

Ineedmorepatience Wed 13-Mar-13 11:06:13

I have found the same as notme, Dd1 will avoid me if she knows I am pissed off with her because she doesnt comprehend why I am pissed off with her or what my reaction will be when she does come into contact with me.

I am trying really hard at the moment to remain very calm and to explain what it is that she is doing that is pissing me off but it isnt really having much effect.

Generally day to day it doesnt bother me as much as it used to because she doesnt live with us any more but there are times when things flare up and no matter how hard I try I cannot help her to understand that other people are effected by her behaviours.

Hey ho and so it goes onhmm

Glad you are feeling chirpier today vicar smile

merlincat Wed 13-Mar-13 11:17:15

I'm glad too. Wish I was feeling better.sad

Ineedmorepatience Wed 13-Mar-13 11:56:47

Sorry you are soo fed up merlin I know what you mean about giving all you have to give.

I have absolutely no advice for you but I do know what its like.

My Dd1 has no diagnosis but I am pretty sure she has AS alongside ADHD although she is not as hyper as she used to be. I have fought for her for years and years but know I have run out of steam and am not fighting any moresad

The only good thing to happen recently is that she has upset many other family members who have always looked down their noses at me in the past and suddenly they are saying what a nightmare she is!

Surprise surprisehmmsad

merlincat Wed 13-Mar-13 12:03:50

Thanks. I really don't know why I keep fighting, no one gives a damn.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 13-Mar-13 12:08:24

My middle one gives a dam about me not fighting anymore. She feels that I am being horrible to Dd1. The trouble is I have sheltered her from so much crap that she doesnt know half of it.

Oh well, life goes on.....and on......

Be kind to yourself merlin

merlincat Wed 13-Mar-13 12:15:25

Life certainly does go on doesn't it. I will always do anything for her but the occasional thank you, or even respite from the abuse and drudgery would be so nice.

ouryve Wed 13-Mar-13 12:24:11

Vicar, your DS hasn't just doen well by getting into uni and getting through uni, he's done some pretty fab things that prove he not only has a heart, but can have incredible presence of mind, while he's there.

shock about Seattle, mind!!!!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 13-Mar-13 22:46:58

well, he rang tonight and said sorry.

i told him that his ignoring my birthday and then mothers day had hurt my feelings. He did seem genuinely sorry. I asked him how he would feel if i didnt bother with a birthday card or gift for him....He said being at uni he forgets what day it is and the weeks just go....
i can relate to that so ill let him off. for now smile i suppose i feel it because my only family are my DH and kids. So a lack of card was missed. however daft that sounds.
ah well. i was hurt and cheesed off totally for a couple of days but im over it now.
i got myself a treat. (some armani perfume which was on offer in house of fraser) so i feel indulged! (even though i bought it)

ill see what happens next year. (probably exactly the same....)!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 14-Mar-13 09:42:45

Ooo, I do remember Seattle! Forgot it was your DS, Vic. Well, he's come on quite a bit since then, at least. smile

Badvoc Thu 14-Mar-13 09:50:58


ThatVikRinA22 Thu 14-Mar-13 11:09:26

luckily i didnt find out until 3 months after he came back. He told me a very plausible tale about going to stay with a friend from school who had gone to canterbury uni.
he even texted me daily. working out the time difference must have been a bit of a mare....
i kept wondering for months afterwards why he kept getting Virgin Atlantic flyers through the post with talk of air miles. blush it just never ever occurred to me that he hadnt gone to Kent like he said.
i found out 3 months later when i opened his bank statement by mistake and nearly died at the whopping overdraft. turned out he had missed his flight home and cocked up the hotel booking so ended up paying twice. So while he got there and back in one piece it wasnt exactly smooth going.....hmm

i never quite worked out whether to laugh, cry, wollop him, or congratulate him.

Badvoc Thu 14-Mar-13 11:30:37

You are a fucking legend smile
<faints again>

GLady Thu 14-Mar-13 11:45:43

Im glad you are feeling better

Can I just say the Seattle story is a LEGEND in my house

My Aspie DS thinks its amazing and if I tell him off he will say 'at least its not Seattle Mum' grin

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 14-Mar-13 12:00:38


thanks, you all. i feel a bit better now. At least i have something to contribute to the speeches if he ever gets married......i do still have to pinch myself at the incredulity of what he did. I think he learned his lesson as he is still paying that trip off now.
She dumped him shortly after he got back to blighty.

I think with regards my birthday and mothers day it was just out of sight out of mind, and he still is very much a little boy, our relationship hasnt yet reached the adult to adult stage so i guess he just expects me to be the same mum who has always looked after his needs without ever having to think about mine.

i do expect too much from him sometimes, but i also needed to have the conversation with him about how not bothering with those things had made me feel.

'i kept wondering for months afterwards why he kept getting Virgin Atlantic flyers through the post with talk of air miles. it just never ever occurred to me that he hadnt gone to Kent like he said.'


Just as well you didn't know eh?

PolterGoose Thu 14-Mar-13 13:35:40

Think of it less as expecting too much and more as having high expectations, because if we don't expect the best no other bugger will.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:54:45

i do have high expectations - just sometimes i forget his limitations.

he rang tonight. He was going to be home for a month over easter but has just said he needs to be at uni for one day a week even over the holidays - its a 2 1/2 hour round trip and if i do go back to work it means i wont be able to ferry him about.
he has said he will need to stay at uni.
ive got mixed feelings on that score - we get on way better when he isnt under my feet all day (and all night - he is totally nocturnal and does not know the meaning of the word "quiet" so i get quite stressed when he is home, and it would coincide with me going back to work so would add stress on top of stress....i cant get up at 5am when he is clattering around all night.
but i was looking forward to seeing him and i dont like the thought of him being alone in a studio flat for the whole holidays....

that said it does give me an opportunity to re do his bedroom. he has built in furniture that is way too large for the room so need to rip it all out, decorate and get him a new bed / desk. thats all he is getting in there - he just fills wardrobes with rubbish so i figure the less clutter the better....

PolterGoose Thu 14-Mar-13 22:07:01

Please, take the easy option, he will be fine in his flat, and could always come home for the gaps in between you working, he doesn't have to be home for the whole period.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:00:57

yes - i think thats what i figure. Or if he doesnt come home we can go there and take him out for a meal, do his shopping, spend some time with him there.

he is fine on his own really - he chose to live alone and not flat share.

when we are there his attention span is limited. He drifts off to computer land mid way through visits anyway....and at home i dont even see him (only hear him!)

he can come home for a few days at a time. probably better for us and him anyway.

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