Am I alone?
Hi, I'm Cordelia.
I am 12 years old and my older brother Hugh, 14, has Autism. It is quite mild and most of the time he is fairly normal. You can tell he's disabled but...it's not so bad.
I am posting this question because sometimes he is so different and it just hurts me. I want to know if I am alone...
(Long story coming up, skip this paragraph if you want)
He gets into rages about the littlest of things. We made a snowman in the snow, and he kept constantly reminding us that he started it. It made me laugh. Our snowman was made by Hugh, Me, My younger brother and sister, Ludo and Patience and my mum. It was huge, taller than our dad. My brother was so proud of it. The next day, the head fell of. Our neighbor had accidently run into it and knocked it down. He'd said he was sorry. Hugh got so angry and upset. he stormed off up to his room and just cried. After a couple of days I though he'd gotten over it, but we (Me, Hugh and Ludo) went for a walk with our dog Mable. Hugh saw the remains of our snowman and got upset again. He started yelling at me and Ludo and swearing and crying and I just stood there, watching him and it broke my heart. he made me feel really upset because he, like always, insulted me and said I was nothing, and because he's my older brother, it hurt. Then, we got home and he said: "I'm sorry Cordelia, about getting angry. I just get so angry and I don't know why" It made me cry because he doesn't understand.
Everyday, I go out and face the world when I just want to stay at home and cry. My brothers disablity effects me so much and makes me feel so upset and angry and alone.
I just want to know if someone...anyone out there knows what I am going through...knows how hard it is. I just want to know if I'm alone.
Re: Am I alone?
Autism is a difficult think to understand, especially when you are young. You must try and not take his anger personally. I would see if you can research as much as you can about autism as it will empower you to learn and understand what your brother is going through. It may also help you, help him to understand himself. My daughter is autistic and I remember the first time we found out when she was 7 years old. I was scared, angry, upset, confused and was so filled with every emotion there was. I started to research everything I could and started to understand... there are many books out there that can also explain the mind of someone autistic. I do believe once you understand you will start to see the good things and look for things that makes you proud he is your brother. Our son son had a difficult time at first until we were able to teach him what she is like... then he excepted her for who she was. It sounds as if you are having so many different emotions and are also feeling bad for your brother. Maybe you can look at this from a different light and by learning more you can help him. He is just as confused about his anger and emotions. Telling him how it makes you feel and explaining to him that you understand things are more difficult for him.... tell him you are going to be more understanding and most importantly, when you see he doesn't get angry about something you thought he might... make sure you tell him how amazingly strong he was for not getting so mad. Overtime by recognizing he is strong gives him power to learn that he can try and control his angry emotions. It is more difficult for a autistic child. I'm sure he is just as confused, angry and upset as you are.... see if you can help each other.
I hope that helps. All the best...
Re: Am I alone?
I am so touched by your post. You sound so sweet and it makes me sad that you feel so alone and upset. I could only wish my own daughters to be as sensitive and caring for their older brother (now 9) who has autism as you are. (((hugs)))
I do agree that learning as much as possible about it can only help. As a parent of a child with autism, I have gone through the same feelings as you described. Feeling alone, hurt, confused, angry, sad and more. What I do is remind myself of how much I love about my son, and how those little quirks that he has and those funny things he does are things that give me absolute joy and I wonder if he would even have those things if he didn't have the autism?
It's such a hard thing to understand, and it's hard not to take it personally when they get angry with you when you're trying to help them or it's something out of your control. You're a compassionate sister and that is already amazing and helpful for your brother.
I also find it very sweet and encouraging that he was able to recognize after the fact that he was angry at you when it wasn't your fault, and that he apologized. Your brother is older than my son, but I still couldn't imagine my son having the insight (for lack of a better word) to recognize that and apologize on his own. I'm glad your brother did, and while it made you sad, it's a wonderful thing for him to be able to do.
Hang in there, try and find people - online or locally - who are siblings of people with autism to chat with and support you. You are definitely not alone.
Re: Am I alone?
As a mother of am 18yr old autistic child i can really feel for what you are going through. Please don't despair, it is because he loves you that he feels he can say those things honey. He knows he is not allowed to speak to someone else like that, and he probably see's you as his safety net, he knows you so well he is comfortable with you, he knows you love him and he loves you. You know what its like if an autistic person can not let out their anger, they build up and up and eventually explode, but he feels safe in the fact that he can let out his anger and stress towards you, i know thats not fair but he feels safe with you hun. you do need to speak to mum or dad about this though, you do need some 'you' time away from your brothers and sisters, just to relax and be free. Can mum or dad not take him out so you just have some peaceful time at home, or have your friends round. He is a lucky boy to have such a lovely sister like you, you are a lovely person xx
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