Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A few final specifics

I should have mentioned in the beginning that my husband's sister is considered "high functioning Aspergers". She is highly intelligent and articulate, having a degree in library science and working in a library for most of her adult life until she was fired about six months ago (which is what started this recent downfall).

Even with her intelligence, the library would never let her work in a position dealing directly with patrons as she was emotionally unstable and prone to outbursts of anger. She has basically always worked shelving books. She would have been fired long ago but her other brother and a cousin (both social workers) worked with the library heads to overlook as much as possible.

She was fired after a "three strikes you are out" ruling when she blew up and yelled at a customer. Yes, she can be dangerous in many ways... she once slapped me and threw me into a wall (when Stephanie was a child). I had just walked into her parents house and for some reason (I never found out why) her anger toward me had been simmering and unfortunately she decided I needed to be dealt with.

Which is why I never allowed either of my children to be alone with her after that and I kept my distance at all family functions.

She was also the cause of my mother-in-law's death (and my mother-in-law's best friend). She was driving her mother and friend home from a birthday party when she became very angry at her mother (she told us what happened later and it was in the police report).

Because she doesn't think clearly during a meltdown, she turned their car to go into a vegetable stand (which had something to do with the argument) and caused a head on collision, killing family and causing serious injury to a woman in the oncoming car.

What my husband and brother-in-law are trying to do is get her in a position where she is willing to go to the hospital and get medical help. Technically she has been homeless now for months but she has been living with friends, none of whom want anything to do with her anymore after having to live with her. Both women have called here in tears and the one friend whom she had been living with for a couple of months said she was not to come back in the house. The police are driving by regularly to make sure she is not going near the house.

I hadn't planned on sharing so much (as there are parts of my life I do like to keep private) but comments made me realize people were not understanding as to why we were letting her "reach bottom". Her brother who is a social worker has been trying to get her in a home for years where she can be on her own but have someone looking after her at the same time. This is not going to happen until she comes face to face with the reality of her situation.

Yes it is true that "there for the grace of God go I" but when one is dealing with a person who has made a lifetime of bad decisions (there is so much more one could share but I choose not to) one must use good judgement. As my husband told a friend recently, she tries to bring people down into the "vortex" with her... where she is chaos follows.

As for me, I've decided not to share anything more about it. I'm rather sorry I did in the first place but it is such a huge part of our life right now.

Tomorrow I will write about zucchini.

18 comments:

Married life said...

I will pray that every thing will get better.

hmsclmom said...

(((((((HUGS)))))) Brenda

I really wish people would not judge others when they do not know the specifics of what is going on. I had a feeling that your SIL was mentally ill or something similar by your previous descriptions of events leading up to this. My heart goes out to you as our family also has to deal with family members who have certain issues that can make them hard to live with at times also. Praying for you and for your SIL to get the help she needs.

scrappy quilter said...

Brenda, others should never judge unless they've walked a mile in your shoes and even then they should not speak out. I only wish it was easier to get help for those who have disabilities. Oh how I wish that. Hugs!!

Packrat said...

Brenda, yes, prayers to you and yours.

Marianna said...

Brenda,

I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions in my previous post. I do hope that your SIL will realize the gravity of her situation and get the help she so desperately needs.

Marianna

Kimberly said...

Those that know you, know your heart. And they can probably trust that the choices and decisions regarding your SIL were made for a very good reason. You have a loving heart. I am sure that it aches to have to make such a decision and one not made lightly.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Ahhhh. I am sorry for all of this. I do understand your split feeling on whether to share or not to share. I have faced that with my blogging, as well, but I made a decision that I would, in fact, share things that could be understandably kept private because in my spirit I felt it best. It has turned out to be so--I have felt both release at the sharing and warmth from the reaction of my blogging friends. I pray that you do, too. Thank you for opening up to us. And we will look forward to the zuchhini, as well! C

Anonymous said...

I have been reading here for some time...hugs to you and your family in dealing with Aspergers...we have a lot of them in our family...both sides!!! ARGH!! Sometimes I feel very alone, like I am nearly the only normal one!! But most of ours are probably on a lesser scale...but anger simmers just below the surface and is behind many of the nasty things they do. What you are doing makes sense to me. I wish I had understood years ago what was going on...and could have not felt these attacks were so personal...funny thing they SURE DO FEEL personal!! But the truth is, if I am not the object, someone else is. BLessings and you are so right to find anyplace but your home for her to go to...even if would mean going to work to support her someplace else...it would be worth it!! Or at least that is how I feel.
Elizabeth

Debbie said...

After 25 years of trying to help I have had to cut off relations with my very own sister. It hurts terribly. The whole story is ugly and too personal to tell in a comment box.
I surely feel compassion for you and your husband. As harsh as it sounds, sometimes we just can't help and there is no reason to let others take us down with them.
Peace to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Hoping things work out for the best. Hang in there.

Donna in CO said...

Dear Brenda,

I understand somewhat, as I have a sister who has different, but just as frustrating emotional problems. I wish you the best. My heart goes out to you, for sure.

Donna in CO

Vee said...

"The System" in this country is deplorable when a family member is in crisis and needing help as there's very nearly nothing that can be done to help until that person wants help and that's ridiculous as THAT was the very problem all along. (I find it very telling that a family member is in the mental health establishment and still is having trouble getting her the help that she needs.) My heart goes out to you all and, please know, that there are no judgments from me as you must protect your home. Praying for the very best outcome in this...

Beth said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this and that you have had some negative response. I know your pain, honey, and it's not easy. After my hubby and I married, my teenage step son's behavior continued to deteriorate and got so bad that we had to find a place to have him stay. It has been terrible to do that...the last thing I wanted was to have something like that happen. I couldn't understand why God would bring us to this marriage and then have this young man behave so badly. He had been having problems prior to our marriage (kicked out of school, fights, violent outbursts,) but it finally wasn't safe to have us in the house with him. Even his own little brother was hurt by him. My youngest daughter was only 10 and the other girls were also terrified of him.
I became the "bad guy, evil stepmother, etc." to everyone who only heard his side of the story. I've been yelled at and misunderstood. It is getting better...he has joined the military and seems to be doing well there.
The hard thing is that this young man is such a charmer that no one that hasn't lived with him can possibly understand the truth.
Wow...I don't know what made me say all that...but I know that God will help you through this. He has helped me in so many ways. I love my husband with all my heart but I was ready to just get a safe apartment until this young man grew up. God...and our pastor and a counseller convinced me that would be the worst thing that I could do.
It is really hard to have to do something like you are faced with. I know!
You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Michelle said...

I completely understand your (and your family's) perspective. We have a family member who has some very self-destructive issues, as well. We were allowing her to drag us into the vortex with her until we realized how dramatically it affected our entire family. After that, we maintained a healthier distance for us. We still speak to her, see her, etc., but we will no longer "rescue" her because we just can't. Sending you good thoughts and prayers during this difficult time so you can all make your way through it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. My granddaughter suffers from the same condition. She just turned eighteen and we pray she will get the help she needs.
Please know you are not alone. I will be praying for your family as well.

Suze said...

What about Baker acting her - can that be done? She sounds like she could be considered a danger to herself or those around her. Just a thought - and probably one which you and your family have already considered...

Karen said...

even if you do not share any more, I will still be praying...

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Brenda. I think everyone else has said it all already. This is a really sad situation. Jody