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How do you get someone you live with to stop treating you like a child?...
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How do you get someone you live with to stop treating you like a child?

I live with my 80 some year old grandma. I've tried and tried to ask my grandma nicely to stop calling me a child and that I am an adult. She seems to acknowlledge that she heard me, but next thing I know if I spill something, because of my clumsiness, or didn't put something away, then she's back to calling me a child. Sometimes she responds that I act like a child. She calls my hobbies childish such as growing african violets, writing, drawing, even my dreams she calls childish... She says it's natural for children to desire and want to have fun doing impractical things. My paraphrasing things I remember her saying...

She doesn't let me do my own laundry and if I try to help out with vaccuuming, etc, she will tell me off saying she rather do it. She claims that I'm too rough on her equipment, etc... I feel so sad. I don't know how I'm to gain skills for independance if people don't let me... Not to mention I have to do things her way even if it may not work out so well. I try to do things the way they work best with me.

Plus it makes me look bad for not helping her... People ask me if I'm helping her around the house. I don't know what to say about it...  I mow the lawn, but that's because the neighbor is lending us her lawn mower. Before that I was using grandma's electric lawn mower until the cord broke. After that she wouldn't let me mow for the rest of the season, claiming her lawn mower is too delicate and too old, brittle for me to use.  Now that the hose sprang a leak, I wonder if she will ban me from watering her garden?

I feel so frustrated and at a dead end. Sometimes I'd like to just leave and live on my own, but I don't know how to do that without money, feeling confused/clueless, and plus I'd have to give up my 100+ african violets, or at least all but maybe a handful.

Sometimes I feel things in my life are going way too fast for me to keep up with, or I'm playing at a game level set way too high...
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11 Comments Post a Comment
535822 tn?1443980380
You know some things never change ,sounds like one of the Posts on the Child behavior site. How about you ignore some of the Remarks she makes let it drift over you, if she doesnt get a response and you dont react she may stop it.Dont get into a confrontation situation, same as Moms with Angsy kids,How about you sit quietly down with her and say what you have said here, that you want to learn from her how to wash ,how to vacuum, she is so good at it you want to emulate her, and mean it, she will be flattered and show you, tell her you want to help keep her Home nice and how good she is at it.If you broke the cord you get it fixed for her and ask if you can Mow again.Good luck, she sounds worth it .
16321 tn?1213294807
I know you are 25 years old and have little independent living skills, But if your going to get some independance you have to earn it. With all the disabilities on your site maybe an independent living living skills treatment would help. It is usually around ninty days and the set you up in a group home till you get on your feet. Some folks depend on that their whole lives personally i worked real hard and got a room and a few months later an efficiency then eventually an apartment and supplied all the furnishings myself from thrift stores and garage sales.
Now I am looking for my first home to probably retire in. Better late than never.
You will always be your grand moms childs child take it with a grain of salt.
Good luck there was a big push for housing for low income a few years ago in our area, and allot of disadvantaged people got out on their own for the first time in their lives.
You can always go home again to water your flowers.
222135 tn?1236491821
I think your struggle to be recognized as an adult within your family is very common. Families want so badly to protect and shelter their loved ones and its hard to let go of that. I can vouch for it personally - my son turned 21 and I still want to "mother" him and protect him. He probably talks to somebody about me the same way you are discussing your grandmother. This becomes especially hard for families when their loved one has a special need. This is one reason why I do not like labels. It makes it easierto see the diagnosis than the emerging adult.

I agree with Freddy that you will have to earn your recognition as an adult. I think you have done much to show it. I have heard you mention a few events that would set you back some - got to be honest with you as a friend.

I feel horrible when I hear how your writing is not encouraged - I think it is a wonderful thing and that you truly have talent. As for the African violet collection being childish - rubbish! My grandmother grew a beautiful collection of African violets till the day she died. Not remotely childish!

Another thing to consider is that to your grandmother's generation, anyone your age will be a "child". You may need to bend your thinking some as well to understand hers -  just as she needs to bend her thinking to understand and respect yours. You may need to remind her that you may have autism, but it does not have you! Are you able at times to have a nice sit down with her? If so try to gently discuss it then. If you have not - try it. You may find that she does respect you as an adult but simply is afraid to let go and let you spread your wings. Maybe she needs help to see that you are a young woman with hopes and dreams just like every other young person your age - they are not silly. They are your own - they are what makes you you. Don't let go of that.

Good luck

365714 tn?1292202708
Yeah it's an ongoing struggle... Maturity wise, for me it seems to come and go, like my mood swings...  I am deciding to do some of the things I've been thinking about, such as vacuuming. I did the main level sans grandma's room and the plant room yesterday while she was at church. She turned out to be happy for that.  I'm glad I did it. I'll see if I can work up the courage to do the dishes at least a few nights per week, even if I normally detest the task.  With laundry, she did it today while I was off volunteering at our local conservatory, but I did hang up some of my jeans on the line to dry when I came back.

With the writing issue, right now the push is to get me focused more on things that will support me immediatly, like a day job.  I agree with that approach, but I'd like to see a way to make my writing into a day job. I guess that's everyone's dream...  But perhaps what I'm running into is the harsh reality that there are lots more people with talent and many that could go somewhere with that talent, but only a few people actually make it big, because they have the right connections and the social network to support them.

I lack the social network and the connections...  Also a problem I need to be ready to part with elements of my story.  I want to get it perfect to my standards. At some point I need to be satisfied and just let go.  Perhaps the remedy to this would be to break up my series. Rather than have a few thick books, have a series of several short stories. That way it'd be easier for me to polish off, throw in just a few illustrations and be done with a segment.  That I can do, I'm sure. But developing the social network to make the finding an agent, editor, and get to the publisher, is going to be the heel...

I guess that is what separates those with talent from those who actually become known...

I think that is what grandma and her friends are trying to make me realize.  A lot of it may be generational. Grandma is getting increasingly disgusted with how the internet is taking over things she used to do in writing. For instance, keeping tabs of her stocks and dividends...

On the upside, I do seem to have a talent with photography and I have a chance to get my foot in the door. The local conservatory I volunteer at uses pictures from volunteers. Someone last year recommended a person to contact. I did and they liked my pictures. Today I gave the person a bunch of photos from a butterfly exhibit they are holding this season. The person was impressed with my photos and blown away by the shots I took of the butterflies and Luna moths. Maybe with any luck I can hope that somehow I can find a way to get paid for my photos, even if it isn’t immediately.
Also it seems to depend on grandma's mood. She's a bit unpredictable.  Just today she mentioned she wants to go upstairs and get a picture of my African violets in bloom with her camera.

Perhaps my mom is right. She thinks it may have to do with pain. Perhaps when grandma is in pain, then everything becomes much worse than when she is in a better mood.

I guess I'll have to roll along with the punches on those occasions and realize she will cheer up and be more understanding later. It's just with my autism I can't tell when it is a good time to approach her and when it is better to back off and leave her alone.

It's just a painful emotional rollercoaster in the process... I agree there's things I need to do, but just how to control that emotionally...

With me there seems to be a huge chasim between my rational thinking maturity and my emotional maturity.

I can't seem to rationalize myself out of an emotion... I try and fail...
365714 tn?1292202708
I mean with emotional vs rational thinking:

I can realize my emotion is based on a flawed perspective... I can tell myself that grandma will feel better by the next day.  I can tell myself that this is only temperary, *BUT* I still can't get rid of the dang feeling!

For instance if I'm crying because I felt rejected by someone either in real life or the net, I can realize in my head that I'm just assuming the worst, that chances are the person is preoccupied with other things. But even if I realize that, I still can't stop the crying when it happens...
Moodwise right now I am okay. Kind of tired and stuffy from my allergies... while on the subject of emotions, I think I'll add the mood tracker to my profile...
Avatar f tn
I am new to this forumn, and i see this so often, and i see myself doing it also, My daughter has granchildren, and when my daughter comes over i find that i still treat her as a child issue orders trying to keep her from doing this or that, she was away from me far away due to circumstances that i can not talk about, so i sort of got left out on knowing the granchildren, As you have guessed by now i am an elderly woman the mind is strong and the body is weak, but i still do things that others cant do so i am thankful for that yes, sometimes just say granma, i need to do this show me the way you do it, and maybe it will work, remember the 3 things that mankind must have to live, and that is they need to be wanted, needed loved, or accepted, if one does not have these things in their  life what have they got (nothing to live for)   , and maybe she needs to do these things but gradually, she will let you do them, as i see some things i can not do, and i have my daughter do with great reluctance, as i have worked since i was 15 and quit at 72 because standing all day bothered me and my husband is unable to do anything, as he is om oxygen, also i admire your courage for wanting to do these things, and dont move out, i do beleive she may suffer some, as it sounds like she loves you dearly, so forgive us and remember no one wants to give up or show weakness that may be her problem    I do wish you lots of luck   does she have freinds, that will help a lot as i live in the country, and we do not get many visiters    hang in there  luck  jo    
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