How to cope with feeling of loss?

(7 Posts)
sniffle12 Sat 02-Apr-16 21:12:13

This relates to my brother than DC, but there is a large age gap between us (I am nearly 30 and he is in his late teens) so our relationship has always been closer to a parental one and I have always felt strongly maternal towards him. When we were younger he constantly wanted to play with me; I was his main object of affection and when my parents wanted time out I would babysit and we would constantly have 'sleepovers' and play silly games. I envisaged that when he grew up we would continue to have a close adult relationship and share each other's highs and lows and I was excited for it.

As he got older it became clear he was behind others of his age emotionally, leading eventually to a diagnosis of Asperger's. He found his teenage years tough and still struggles socially, yet enjoys having friends and wants desperately to maintain those friendships he has, so these are now his main focus and priority.

I try to initiate conversation with him but it's clear that a mixture of being a normal teenager (friends are greatest priority) and his condition (loses sight of anything else other than immediate priorities) mean that he has very little time for me and I am lucky to get an 'ok', 'yes' or 'no' out of him. If we do arrange a day out together we have a laugh over trivial matters but nothing deeper. I know that teenagers will be teenagers (asperger's or not) and I don't want to be overbearing, so I let him get on with things, but I can't help feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and disappointment that the relationship I envisaged us having as adults is so different to how I imagined it. I look at photos of him as a toddler and want to cry because I will never see or cuddle that little boy again.

I know that I can't reverse time or do anything but be patient with him and see if anything changes as he grows older - but how do you get through it, especially the feelings of sadness and loss?

Nashelle Sun 03-Apr-16 02:40:51

Aw, Sniffle12, I empathise. I'm feeling likewise with my 23 yo DS. I'm sorry I don't have any real advice but one consolation is these boys arent adults yet, not in any true sense, so there is still time for change. Cutting the cord is the hardest thing I'm finding and I too miss the toddler. I expect this is all. perfectly normal and we just have to be strong and keep moving forward.

Ticktacktock Sun 03-Apr-16 08:19:19

I can empathise too. My dd is disabled but wasn't diagnosed until she was 8. I have struggled greatly with the sense of loss you describe and was on medication for sometime.

I have mostly come to terms now but still worry for the future.

I remember someone describing the diagnosis of a disability as similar to a bereavement in some ways. I'm sorry if that offends anyone who has been affected by bereavement, but that did help me in my coming to terms with it. I needed to grieve for the loss of what I thought I had, and grieve I did for many years. You need to grieve too by the sounds of it.

You may get some great advice on the disability board.

Ticktacktock Sun 03-Apr-16 08:21:13

You might benefit from some counselling?

Hugs to you flowers

Emptynestermum Sun 03-Apr-16 20:23:26

I too can empathise as I feel the same about my 21 year old DS. But your brother is still a child really with still a lot of growing up and maturing yet to do. Teenagers, Aspergers or not, are all quite self-orientated. He will always be in your life though and you can still have a close adult relationship ...you will just need to be patient and stay in his life, even if in a smaller way for now. Loss of any kind is hard, and needs to be acknowledged. Keeping busy is the best thing. X

Lightbulbon Sun 03-Apr-16 20:27:33

I have a teen and think I know how you feel.

I missy he days when he was a toddler and we had fun.

Now spending time with me- he sees it as a punishment! :-(

Moetandchandon Tue 05-Apr-16 16:05:34

Sniffle I feel much the same. I am sad and disappointed that things with dd are nowhere near what I had hoped they would be or that she has turned into this person I hardly know any more. Two years ago if someone had told me that I'd be spending so much time stressing, obsessing and crying over her I wouldn't have believed it. Apparently the thing to do is detach. I'm trying but its hard.

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