Christmas was ruined

I’m new here. Don’t know where else to turn. I’m carer for my 23 year old son. He has schizo affective disorder and Aspergers. He came to stay for a couple of days over Christmas. He completely ruined with his selfish behaviour and attitude towards me. Things got so bad Xmas eve I had to ask him to leave and threatened to call the police as he was getting out of control.
I’ve tried setting boundaries ie. don’t come round before 9:30 in a morning or after 9pm in an evening. He completely ignores this.
I’m an emotional wreck, having panic attacks, not sleeping, weeping in and off all day. I’ve been like this for weeks. I’m making an appointment at the go tomorrow. He has a social worker but refuses to cooperate with her.
Everything is down to me to sort out. Finances, paying bills food shopping etc.
I’m a single mum and am really struggling atm moment

Thanks for reading

My caring situation was very different but I am one of the forum members still awake and I wanted to reply tonight; others will be along with useful words tomorrow.

Please do make your doctor’s appointment. Be pushy if you have to - you need one. If you think you will struggle to put everything across when you actually see the GP, start writing things down as you have told us - the panic attacks, tears, sleep problems and everything else.

People here understand. You can tell it how it is.

Sorry to hear about your Christmas.

“Everything is down to me…” No, it isn’t. If he can’t manage his money, there are others who can do it for him. If he won’t work with his social worker, then the SW should at very least sort out this money issue.

My own son was brain damaged at birth, now 39, he lives in his own flat. I’m in the process of signing him up for the Carer Card Scheme. They become appointee and handle all M’s finances. M has carers who are supposed to manage his money but are completely incapable of doing so.

Oh Jane. You sound exhausted… I’m sorry Christmas was so fraught for all.

MH and Aspergers is a tricky combination. If he won’t engage with his social worker, could she pass him to another colleague. I wonder if he’d do better with a male one? If he has less male role models in his life, he might listen and respond more to a man. ( No criticism, intended, I’m a single Mum/ carer too.) I just no there are somethings S prefers doing with the “men” ( staff and students,) at his college.

I think this is a case for tough love. Others on here have experience of your situation and will be better placed to advise. How old is your son and what are his living arrangements?

Off the top of my head, have a look on the MIND website for info and guidance, if you haven’t done so already. Since your son isn’t living with you, you could check he has enough money etc, leave him lists and take a few days away, staying with friends or B&B or whatever, to give yourself a break.

Does he take meds for his MH condition? If this is relatively controlled, then it’s most likely his Aspergers that needs addressing. He really needs support from professionals with experience in Aspergers. Unless those supporting him understand how his brain is wired differently and how he thinks differently, they are to going to have much luck supporting him. You could contact the National Autistic Society to find out what help is available in your area.


Can you plan some treats for yourself to compensate for having Christmas ruined? The awful thing about Christmas is that we set SUCH store by it, and so when it is ruined by circumstances we get, I think, more upset than we would about any other ‘feast’ day, such as birthdays or Easter etc etc.

It’s coming up quite fast, but I wonder if you could have a special ‘feast day’ this coming weekend? It is Twelfth Night on Sunday, and that was always a huge festival - and it is also, I think, Xmas Day itself for the Russians (Orthodox dating!)…

Don’t invite your son this time (don’t even tell him you’re doing it!) but take advantage of the bargains in the shops at the moment (I’ve just bought several boxes of chocs dirt cheap as they all said ‘Christmas’ on the covers!), and have a ‘postponed’ Christmas so to speak to cheer yourself up?

Hi Jane
I have a relative with Aspergers and some other unidentified MH problems who is now in their mid 30s .
Especially with Aspergers you are hitting your head against a brick wall attempting to get him to change, so STOP. At some point he might or might not change a behaviour or a belief but it will be nothing to do with anything you have done or said.
You cannot change him or his behaviours, all you can do is change yourself and your reactions and interactions
You need to put yourself and your physical and mental well being first. You need to find ways of destressing and calming yourself. I suggest exercise and mindfulness meditations and some form of counselling.
Then as time progresses and he sees you being calmer he too will be calmer (not all the time, but more).
It is easier to get someone to follow than to push them into something, so by practising and modelling good healthy behaviours yourself he may just follow, somewhat.
Meantime you have to be very clear what is acceptable in certain situations, for example in your own home. Don’t ask, tell. Don’t threaten unless you are prepared to go through with it. Set clear boundaries and stick to them. You need a strong backbone.

Why are you doing his finances and food shopping? What else do you do for him that he could be supported to do for himself? He needs to learn independence like any other young person. With his conditions he’s going to learn it later than most and will be resisting doing so, as so reluctant to change.

He is going to have these conditions for all his life, so you need to adapt yourself to be able to cope with a long long haul. That means stepping back, protecting yourself and letting go, in stages. It’s not going to happen overnight, will be a roller coaster at times, but do it you must