Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Pervasive Developmental Disorder) characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Those with Asperger Syndrome, or AS, may exhibit a lack of empathy for their peers, clumsiness, and atypical use of language, though none of these symptoms are required for a diagnosis.1
The pain of coming to terms with having Asperger's is still very real for me right now. There is a tremendous sense of grief. Grief for all that I suffered through to try to be "normal" and grief for how short of "normal" I always have been. There is also great relief to know that I am not crazy and that not everything can be traced back to an abusive past in the sense that some of what I experience is not choice/emotional but neurons/physical. The greatest challenge I face right now is trying to figure out which is which. This is not easy.
One of the most common side effects of a number of antidepressant medications is loss of sex drive. I could forgive our friends at fine companies such as Eli Lilly, Bristol Meyers Squibb, and Pfizer if dry mouth, irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, loss of appetite, sloth, and social phobia were the sole issues related to the medications I take on a daily basis. However, it is the sex thing I find most challenging.
Anhedonia is the technical term for the inability to experience joy. When people are in the depths of depression, nothing touches them, not the most intensely pleasurable activities, not the most familiar comforts. They are emotionally frozen. In this state, people either have to get professional help or simply wait for weeks or months until the depression lifts by itself; nothing is going to make them feel better.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred.
Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or "brain chemistry" aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations. When this diagnosis is present, the individual will exhibit at least five of the following symptoms during the depressive periods:
"Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother."
But what if your father and mother didn't honor you? What if instead of loving and honoring you they physically, sexually and emotionally abused you? What if you were scared every day of your growing up years? And what if, when you finally grow up and start to face the fact that your family of origin abused you, and through some therapy finally gain the courage to confront them with the abuse, they completely deny it and tell you that you are crazy? Do you stay in that family system or leave it?
There is little cultural sympathy, support, information, or education for adult children who are starting to face the fact that their family of origin abused them, and often their abusive family is still trying to get them to stay in the family system and play their programmed role.
One of the members of our Inner Bonding website asked me to write an article about this topic. "I see so many adults suffering in family relationships they believe they're supposed to maintain, regardless of the cost to their integrity and health. More than anything, they’re lacking alternative role models and supportive information."
Most people can't even conceive of how or why exiting a family of origin might be a very loving action.
If you come from a highly abusive family who has done no healing and is in denial of the abuse, this is a deeply crazy-making situation. Staying in this situation only perpetuates the abuse that you are trying to heal. As a child, you didn't have a choice, but as an adult, you don't have to stay in an abusive and crazy-making situation, regardless of the pressure being put upon you.
Who Are You Responsible For?
What is most important here is to understand that you are not responsible for how your family feels about and reacts to your decision to disengage from them. While you might have been brought up to play the role of caretaker for your family, or you have played the role of the identified patient, you are not obligated to continue to play that role. In fact, healing involves letting go of responsibility for them and giving yourself the right and privilege of taking responsibility for yourself.
For example, Tara had been physically, sexually and emotionally brutalized by her father and not at all protected by her mother. Her parents continue to expect her to visit them, and she continues to tolerate her father's incredibly mean behavior.
"Why do you visit them?" I asked her in one of our phone sessions.
"Why are you obligated?"
"Because they say I am."
"Tara, please open to your inner Guidance and ask if it is loving to you - to your inner child - to continue to put yourself in the line of abuse."
"Are you willing to make taking loving care of yourself more important than obligation?"
"Yes! I didn't know that it was okay to do that!"
"How do you feel?"
Honoring Your Father and Your Mother - From a Distance!
"Tara, you can still pray for your parents' highest good without having to see them. You can still honor the deeply abandoned soul locked away within each of them, without dishonoring yourself by being around abusive behavior. Your responsibility is to take loving care of yourself and share your love with those who love you, rather than allowing yourself to continue to be abused."
You do not owe your parents for having you, or for feeding and clothing you. You are not obligated to see them. You might choose to take care of them out of your caring for them, or even because it feels right to you to do that, but when being around them is deeply harmful to you, please consider disengaging from them.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!
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