According to statistics as many as 1 in 59 children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 2018. Autism is characterized as a disorder which challenges the social skills of an individual, causes issues with repetitive behavior, and also speech and nonverbal communication. While the disorder ranges in severity, it’s clear that parents who are raising children with this disorder go through a lot of difficulties. However, they often overlook the difficulties siblings of children with ASD goes through.
More info: reddit.com
Recently one Reddit user asked if he’s an asshole for not wanting to care of his autistic sister
Image credits: Tom Reedy (not the actual photo)
“The title makes me sound horrible but hear me out.
My sister is severely autistic. She requires attention almost 24/7 and cannot be left alone. She is non-verbal and cannot take care of herself at all. Despite the fact that she is only 12 she is extremely destructive and violent and destroys anything she gets her hands on.
I hate her. That should be wrong to say but it doesn’t feel like it.
I was only 6 years old when she was born and since then i’ve never solely had my parents attention. Even since I can remember the world has revolved around her. I was moved out of my room into the basement at 7 because she needed to be in the room next to my parents. All of my toys as a child were destroyed by her and my parents simply ignored me when I complained. Even when I was 14 and she destroyed a mac my school gave me I was in the wrong.
Along with this I am expected to take care of her and drop everything I do for her. I can never make plans with friend because my parents “expect” me to be there if they need me to take care of her. Even when I do somehow get time to myself I am required to leave if they need me. If i do not then I am punished. The recent example of this is when I went to see the new spider man movie, and was “grounded” because i turned my phone off in the theater.
It seems as if I am nothing more than a slave to them and anything involving her simply overshadows me. This last week I was chosen to give a speech at a school event. I was so exited and my parents promised to be there, but they never showed and claimed it was because of my sister. Anytime anything like this happens for me they are to busy with her.
I’ve held this in for so long and it finally spilled out today. While talking about colleges with my father, he joked that I should get a degree that pays well so when their gone I can take care of my sister. I don’t know why but this caused me to break down. I cried and screamed about how it always about her. I’m nothing more than a caretaker to them, that they always make it about her and that I’m expected to be her “slave” for the rest of my life.
I’ve locked myself in my room since then and my parents have not come to check on me. Am i the asshole here?
Wow, thank you for all the support and love that you guys have given me. I never expected this post to reach the popularity it did. Thank you all. After thinking about it for these past hours, you are right that I don’t despise my sister. It’s not her fault that she was born the way she is. My parents came to talk to me a while after my break down but I was unable to bring myself to talk to them and only cried and asked them to leave. They have made arrangements with my grandfather for me to stay with him for the time being and am getting ready to go to his house. My parents want to talk to me but we have decided it’s best I leave for now to have some space and time to collect myself. we will be sitting down and talking later this week about this issue. Thank you all again for the love and support through this <3
I’ll send an update your guy’s way later this week if people are interested.”
His story gained a lot of interest in Reddit’s community, so the OP made an update of how the situation continued
“I’m back like I said I would be,. My original post got a lot of attention and seeing as you guys seem interested, here’s my update.
Well, since that day I made the post i’ve been staying with my grandfather. The week’s been honestly a huge change for me for better and for worse but i’ll try to run it down.
I started by telling my grandpa the story of why I broke down the way I did and to be honest, he seemed horrified. No one in my family knew my parents were using me as essentially a free care service for my sister. My grandpa told me some things that I don’t feel comfortable repeating here but in essence my sister is “supposed” to be getting care from a professional and that my parents were ignoring that, along with this I was not supposed to be caring for her at all with her mental state as apparently she is a danger to herself and others. With everything else I told him, along with stuff like the movie indecent he was really mad and told me to not contact my parents without him there. He pretty much told me that he would be meeting with my parents beforehand and that he was going to be there when I sat down with them. It didn’t end here either, the rest of the week consisted of other family checking in on me and telling me things my parents hid from me. This included the fact that my parents have been taking money from family to fund a “caretaker” that doesn’t exist.
Suffice to say, this week has been rough. But, the upside is that even through all this, my extended family has been giving me more love than i’ve felt in a while. My grandfather spent this last week “making up for the time i’ve lost.” Encouraging me to spend time with friends and do things I want to do. My aunts and uncles have also been helping me through the week.
Well, Saturday night I sat down with parents to talk. It went badly to say the least. They came clean to me about everything. They told me things I will not repeat here. But they did not apologize. My parents still claim that I some how owed my sister my time. My father even saying “You were put here to be her caretaker”. I won’t lie and say I was composed. After everything i learned I confronted them. On the fact that my sister needed a caretaker. The money my dad was taking from his sister, and a few other things. They denied it or made excuses. And in the end, we ended off in a worse place than before.
Today will be my last time talking to them for a while. After talking with my grandfather and uncle last night, I’m not going back. Later today i’m going there and picking up my stuff and moving in with my grandfather. When I graduate high school i’m planning on leaving the state to go to school. My aunt has told me that the money she was sending my dad will be instead be coming to me from now on. My parents have called me twice since Saturday, neither of them were to apologize and only ask when I was coming home.
I won’t be going back to them. Right now I still feel pretty uneasy about everything but I feel like that will pass. The rest of my family is showing their support to me and honestly, it feel great. But in the end I lost my parents. Over all of this, i’ve learned something that I wished I saw earlier. I don’t hat my sister. In fact I love her with all my heart. I should never have never projected my hate onto her. That was wrong, and someday I hope to make up for it. But for now I need to leave.
So, there’s my update. Thanks again for the support my original post got. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to comment or show me support. Thanks you.
Edit: Thank you all so much! I wish I could respond to every single one of you but my lunch only lasts so long. I’ll update tonight how the move out went but until then, thank you all. I want to say that your support has been amazing and your kindness means more to me than anyone could ever imagine.
Late edit: Wow, I never imagined my story would reach the popularity it did. I know it’s kinda cliche and i’ve said it a thousand times but thank you all.
We just got back from moving my things out of my parents house. Every thing I wanted to take my grandpa and uncle helped move and it’s at my grandpa’s house now. I have my birth certificate, social security card, and every other document and record I could think of. My parents were quiet the whole time I was there. Shorty after I arrived my dad left with my sister and my mom only hovered over us silently as me moved. It took a while but as we left she broke down and told me she loved me and would miss me. I hugged her and said goodbye, and that was it. Even now I sit here and think if she really meant it. After this whole week of her not saying anything she waited till the end. I hope she meant it. Right now though, I think I just need to look ahead. Maybe one day me and my parents can reconnect. I hope so.
Thank you all for the advice and love. It’s been amazing and i’m glad that through this experience I at least got some positive out of this mess. Will I come back? I don’t know. If something happens and you guys still want an update i’ll maybe come around again. But for now I’m going to move on. For all those out there who shared their stories with me, thank you, and I hope to see you on the other side. See you space cowboy’s :)”