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I am an NT child whose father was diagnosed with Aspergers many, many years ago, and who then kept it a secret from us all until his dementia meant that my stepmother had to manage his medical situation - and was given access to his medical files. For me it was a huge shock, and a huge relief, to hear the diagnosis (in my 50s). Suddenly I realised, and genuinely understood, that 'it' wasn't my fault. All the times I'd failed him, hadn't lived up to his expectations, hadn't lived my life according to his rules, had listened to music he disapproved of, had married a man he didn't approve of (twice), had got a degree in a subject he thought a waste of time, and many many more things, triggered reactions that were actually NOT ABOUT ME!

Suddenly I understood SO much about my childhood and interactions with him up to that point. He was a satisfactory parent insofar as he gave me boundaries, held down a job to pay for a roof over my head, food, clothes etc. He gave me the opportunity to get a good education. However, he never loved me (and he told me so), he never thought I was a worthwhile human being. He never hugged me, ortold me I'd done something well (he often told me I'd done something less than well). He hasn't spoken to me for many years now, and I live on the other side of the world. I support my long-suffering step-mother who has the unenviable task of looking after him, and one day I'll go home for his funeral - for her sake. Eventually, after much counselling, I found peace for myself and, with the knowledge of his diagnosis, I have understanding. However, I would never wish a man like my father on anyone. It has been a long and miserable journey.

December 11, 2017 - 5:39pm


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