Well, coming to stay at my parents place for a couple of weeks to escape a demanding and demeaning housemate has been a relief, but it is not without its issues.
I have a housemate who claims to understand my autism, and takes it upon himself to be peacemaker (one of my other housemates is a short-tempered alcoholic with whom I had a major issue four months ago, the other enjoys having a chat, and despite some poor hygiene, largely keeps to himself) but in reality, has been trying to control me for a while. What started out as favours with giving him lifts to hospital for treatment has turned into demands for lifts here, there and everywhere and pressure for me to lend him money to buy computer games. Yes, he repays the money, but I say that if I have things I need, I lay-by them, but he wants instant gratification and he has been taking advantage of me.
Anyway, getting to the cause of today’s meltdown, I have tried to tell my mother that I am autistic and it explains why I am the way I am. I tend to have my own language for things (my car has her own name, for example) and she’s a Toyota, but my father has an old Ford. I have two Jewish friends, both of whom are accepting and understanding of my autism, one of whom is actually a psychologist, and this same friend’s parents were lucky to survive and escape the ashes of the Second World War in Europe and be accepted as refugees. Henry Ford was reported to have autistic traits but he was also anti-Semitic, so even though the Ford wasn’t brand new when my father got it, I wanted to ask my friends blessing (not in a kiss my feet capacity, but more of an I don’t want to associate too closely with products of companies that were, maybe not complicit but excusing of the actions of the Nazis) before driving it. This friend said not to worry about it and she knew I wasn’t racist in any way, shape or form, and she’s right. Nevertheless, today, my father asked me to move the Ford, and I said I would, and as a sort of aside to him, said that I had these friends blessings. My mother, who refuses to accept that she has an autistic adult-child with unusual empathy (not deficient, but empathetic with inanimate objects), told me that I was “talking crap”. This was to prove a red flag to a bull, and I lost it with her. I was furious, as it was fearful that she’d use the next term that would be another red flag to a bull, namely “normal people”. I usually reply that “normal people don’t exist, and she, refusing to see the hurt that the term causes me, said, I wish I knew who is filling your head with this garbage. Well, hello, acceptance of autism makes us aware that there are variations to neurology and psychology and helps our self-worth.
My father feels trapped by the whole thing and I feel bad for him, but at the same time, the abuse I cop from my mother infuriates me. Add to the mix, constant noise and I feel worse.
And people wonder why us autistic folks need more down time.