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Not to want my brother round for meals

(138 Posts)
FrauMoose Tue 28-Jan-14 11:11:07

It's a tricky one. I've recently worked out that my late father had Aspergers and that my brother - in his late 40s - also is 'on the spectrum.'

He lives alone and has a habit of ringing up and suggesting visits that are around lunchtime or the time when we eat in the evening.

Because on Sunday, two relatives on my husband's side of the family were visiting - one of them elderly and senile. So I put my brother off when he suggested a Sunday visit. He said he would come after work on Monday, but ring first to confirm.

When he rang my husband invited him to eat with us. He duly arrived at exactly the time he knows we eat. He didn't have wine/fruit juice/chocolate/biscuits with him. He didn't say thanks for the invitation. He walked in as if he owned the place, sat down and ate his food - without complimenting us on the rather good meal. He didn't offer to clear or wash up. He didn't say thanks when he left.

It's just very frustrating and draining. But also hard to instruct adults in the social cues/norms. (He also drives my older brother mad, but I haven't discussed the Aspergers/autism thing with him yet. My older brother and mother are much more into wanting to pretend everything is normal. 'X is just X and that's the way he is.' That sort of thing.

NB He has not invited us to his house - twenty miles away - for food for ten years. Nor has he ever taken us out to eat. We have probably fed him once every month or two over that period.

Any ideas?

HaroldLloyd Wed 29-Jan-14 10:26:12

I would not expect contributions gifts and the like from a family member who only came once every month.

UniS Wed 29-Jan-14 08:29:11

db, yes you can come for dinner on Sunday you need to bring a xx for pudding.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 22:54:19

Ahh, always Bialy flowerscakewine

No need, I think we're all sensitive when it comes to our DC, especially when SN are involved!


SingingGerbil Tue 28-Jan-14 22:02:01

Read the post wrong, possibly 6-12 times a year, so even less!!

SingingGerbil Tue 28-Jan-14 22:01:04

Jeez, I thought you were going to say it was daily. So you feed him 12-24 times a year shock. Maybe he's a bit lonely and wants some company.

BratinghamPalace Tue 28-Jan-14 21:39:29

Sounds like you need to teach him like ATTA said. Coming for dinner? Great we need some wine. Would you prefer to wash or dry the dishes? Etc

bialystockandbloom Tue 28-Jan-14 21:31:43

That's fine specialagent I probably overreacted to that specific phrase, and it wasn't really fair of me to pick you out like that. I can see your situation being hard. Feeling a bit sensitive today (maybe cos I'm on a 5:2 fast day so reeeeally hungry!).

<handshake/group hug/ wine ?>

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 21:21:49


I'm sorry, I'm speaking emotively and hypocritically. I'd be heartbroken if any of my DC spoke about their DB this way, and you're right. My issue is with my parents. I use the term 'slapping a label on' bitterly, because that's exactly how my DPs view it. He's been labeled, good now he can be comfortably put in a box like a 'normal' person, let's never speak about it again.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive them for burying their head in the sand my whole life, and deep down I know my issue is with them. But 25 years of hurt from a sibling doesn't just go away, even if technically it wasn't his fault. It is complicated (obviously!)

I worded myself badly. I do a lot of lurking on the SN boards. I projected, I found it very difficult to read posts lecturing the OP and saying how their very young children already know they're expected to take care of their sibling. It got my hackles up. Again, hypocritical because I don't want any of my DC to resent their DB!!

I like to think at least I know what not to do with my DC from my own childhood...

lurkerspeaks Tue 28-Jan-14 21:12:41

Have you actually spoken to your brother?

I have a friend who behaves like this. Once we explained rounds to him the frustration of him never buying a drink went away.

Once I explained hospitality rules eg. help clear up and bring a gift that frustration has gone.

My friend genuinely doesn't get it without being told but he doesn't WANT to be different so when he is told he remembers faithfully. Almost to the point of being irritating. Sometimes I think I'm just never happy.

bialystockandbloom Tue 28-Jan-14 21:12:01

"a label slapped on"?? You mean a diagnosis of a disability, presumably?

Fair enough, you don't like your brother. No law against that. But it sounds like you have more of an issue with your parents. As a parent of a child with sn yourself, you must be able to imagine their position, especially as a diagnosis came so late in life for him.

It was the comment about parents of children with autism not "drilling social graces" into their children that has really upset me, tbh. Look at the SN board here, all it is is filled with parents spending every moment of every day of their lives doing nothing but trying to improve the life of their children for their own sake and that of those around them. I have spent tens of thousands of pounds (no exaggeration) over the last 3 years on therapy to do precisely that for my ds, who has high functioning autism. I spend every moment I am with him teaching him the rules of society, how to communicate, to interact to the best of his abilities. Do you really think parents of children with autism don't do this?

I also get where you're coming from about siblings - mixed in with the relentless teaching etc is the guilt and stress of how to ensure that my dd does not suffer because of her brother's autism, while trying to accommodate it at the same time.

This whole thread has upset me more than any other in 6 years on MN actually. The OP said in her opening sentence that she believes her brother to have autism. Yet people are still piling in to say what a rude wanker he is.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 21:06:19

OP, my parents have a similar attitude as your older DB and DM. They're thrilled DB got a label in his mid twenties, as 'now we know, everyone is okay!'

Uhm. No. Still 25 years of memories for me, and I swear he's gotten worse as he now uses it as a justification to be rude. My parents get very antsy if I so much as sigh in his general direction.

However he is your brother and I'm sure you love him even if he isn't too likable. There's lots of good advice earlier in the thread, go with that and see if things get easier. Just ignore the lecturing posters.

Good luck.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 28-Jan-14 20:59:38

ok fair enough, I make dumb statements and know nowt.

I just think it such a shame that ops brother probably doesn't know he is doing anything wrong, No one has told him he is doing anything wrong and most of all I don't think he is doing anything wrong.

I feed anyone who walks through my door, invited/uninvited, Family or friend.

Thats just how I roll grin

I do not have any AS siblings (I am the eldest of 9) I have no AS offspring but I completely agree that if I did I would be making sure they would be looked after when I was gone.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 28-Jan-14 20:56:21

I hope I have raised my own children to be more tolerant of their autistic sibling.

Is that a little piece of smuggery meant to make her feel worse about herself, or an acknowledgement that the OP COULDN'T have been raised to be more tolerant of a brother who may (or may not) have autism?

That her brother, if he even has an autistic spectrum disorder, has never been treated, has never learnt how to manage his behaviour and that nobody, including the OP, has any idea how to deal with him in a productive way.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:54:26

That's what I want for my DC Gossamer
I don't want to repeat my parents mistakes, as I know deep down it's not actually my brother's fault. sad

GossamerHailfilter Tue 28-Jan-14 20:52:15

I hope I have raised my own children to be more tolerant of their autistic sibling.

brettgirl2 Tue 28-Jan-14 20:52:05

And people would be fine with ou not liking him if he didn't possibly have AS. If you had posted without mentioning that then people would have said shock yanbu.... Funny world isn't it?

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:48:04

Oh, and my Db does have lots of lovely qualities. He's a good person. I love him very much.

I just don't like him. And I'm human, and I can't force myself to like him.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:46:32

If you've grown up with an undiagnosed SN in a sibling, you can't just erase a lifetime's worth of shit memories because a label has been slapped on. That's exactly what my DPs want to happen. I think my DB shouldn't use it as a justification for his bad behaviour which he does and instead do something about it. He's high functioning, he can, he doesn't want too.

The lifetime of dealing with it no doubt contributes to how the OP now feels about these meals. If it were just the meals with zero backstory, I doubt there'd be the resentment.

brettgirl2 Tue 28-Jan-14 20:44:45

My uncle has some similar traits. He does bring stuff though (humungous quantities of wine even though he doesn't drink) and he waits to be invited. I'm not sure what I'd do if he invited us round as I dread to think what his cooking is like, I'd never hankered after return invite grin

OP your brother sounds rude and he needs telling. Who does he listen to?

He must have some redeeming features? Just because someone has aspergers (possibly) doesn't make them nice otherwise though I guess.... my uncle is lovely.

Mintyy Tue 28-Jan-14 20:44:09


SpecialAgentFreyPie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:43:09

Well obviously I'm being insensitive and offensive to my own DS1, I want him to have the best chance in life as I assume all parents do. I also don't want my other DC to resent me because their DB will need them when he'd older. It's a fine line.

I have a brother with ASD and a SN DC. I can see both sides of the coin here.

bialystockandbloom Tue 28-Jan-14 20:40:19

mintyy you would not be prepared to accommodate a sibling in what is, frankly, hardly a majorly inconvenient way, even if you believed them to have autism??

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 28-Jan-14 20:40:06

As far as I am aware Suggesting is not the same word as unannounced/uninvited.

It's weird that you think this is about the dictionary definition of a word.

Alongside my dictionary, I also have a book of etiquette. It is quite clear on the fact that an invitation can only be issued by the hosts and that a "suggestion" made by yourself to visit somebody else's house does not constitute an invitation.

So he is regularly coming over uninvited.

Any normal decent human being would not mind their sibling coming round once a month for something to eat

So, you are calling the OP, who came on here looking for help, not normal and not decent.

How very normal and decent of you.

GossamerHailfilter Tue 28-Jan-14 20:40:02

Your poor brother I think life is too precious and short to dwell over 'not bringing a desert or wine

^^ This.

OP. You have self diagnosed your brother as having AS (which is a title which no longer exists btw) yet you seem unwilling to accept the things in his behaviour he cant change.

Mintyy Tue 28-Jan-14 20:38:49

No, you are not reading op's posts properly.

Why should any normal decent human being welcome their sibling into their home and feed them if they never get any thanks, any contribution to the clearing up or a reciprocal invitation in ten years?

I am a normal decent human but I absolutely not would be happy to have this sort of relationship with any of my siblings!

As I said, a dumb statement.

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