Uncle acted inappropriately at our wedding and now this????

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
4147 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I totally understand how this man can be completely and udderly frustrating to you and some of your family.  I was a support worker for a teenager with Aspergers for 4 years and obviously by working with him, I have a soft spot for those who have disabilities.  Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do, other than control your own actions and thoughts.  If this person is going to be around for the long haul, it really isn’t fair that you have to miss out on family events just because he’ll be there.  Can you just shorten your time around him?  Maybe arrive a couple hours earlier than him, or stay later than he would?  What does the rest of your family think of having him around?

Post # 3
187 posts
Blushing bee

Derp:  I’m sorry you have to deal with this, but I don’t think there is much you can do. Aspbergers, like everything else on the autism spectrum can manifest itself in different ways, however the key thread is that peopl ewith aspbergers do not understand social or emotional cues. I believe that his Aspbergers explains everything you mentioned.

It is possible for people with Aspbergers, even severe cases to learn to live and interact in a completely normal manner, however it takes a lot of time and work, and they need to be taught different social norms, and how to read situations. Even then most people have to continue to work, and reinforce what they learned their entire lives. It does not sound like he has had the right people in his life to help him develop and socialize as normally as possible.

At this point I am not sure you can do anything but avoid him and put up with it when you have to interact. Understand that when he does something that seems rude, or strange it is not entirely his fault, it is a combination of his up brining and the Aspbergers. He likely has no concept of what is and is not appropriate to talk about at a funeral, or that it was rude to interrupt your groom at the wedding. The Camera is almost undoubtedly a coping mechanism. He has learned overtime that by carrying a camera and taking pictures he can interact with others in a manner he controls and believes he understands.

You can’t control your Aunt’s decision to love him. You do not need to invite him (or anyone else) to events that you believe his behavior would effect, just be sure you look at the big picture, including who else your decisions may effect before you make them.

Again I am sorry you have to deal with the situation, as it can be embarassing, and even infuriating.

Edited to Add:

I would strongly reccomend that you, and anyone else who interacts with someone on the autism spectrum reads a book like “The Reason I Jump” (written buy a boy with Autism, and his father) or “Finding Ben” (written by the mother of a boy with autism), while the subjects of both of these books have more sever Autism than your Uncle, these books will offer insight into what living with autism is like. They can be eye opening, it is near impossible for a person not on the spectrum to understand what it is like to be in the head of some one with autism without some first hand exposure.

You mentioned that “He is just an asshole”, while some of that is likely from his lack of understanding of social norms. It is not uncommon for autistic people who grow up without the necessary support to become bitter, angry and sometimes mean. Imagine the way you see him, behaving erratically, likely getting angry at times for no apparent reason, and having emotional responses that you cannot understand. There is a good chance that is exactly how he feels about his interactions with every one, they often don’t respond the way he expects, even getting angry or upset when he does not understand why. I know that If I spent my whole life living in a world I could not fully relate to I would probably be a bit of an asshole too.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  MakingHerWait.
Post # 6
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Derp:  I come from a really messed up family, so its easy for me to tell you to just cut ties with him. 

I wouldn’t be able to look at him again without wanting to put him in his place after what he pulled at your wedding and your uncle’s funeral. 

I am so sorry that happened to you 🙁

Post # 7
4147 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011


Derp:  No problem.  I’m just thinking of my buddy, and how hard it is for him.  He’s still in high school and has no friends and I can’t imagine the loneliness he has.  Luckily (as far as I know) people don’t make fun of him at least to his face.  I think because he’s grown up with all the same kids, they sort of understand and mostly just leave him alone. 

His mom hired me as his support worker/babysitter, but we just called each other friends and we definitely have had our moments.  Him screaming at me at the zoo because he wanted to go back to the gift shop that was on the other side of the zoo and me telling him no because the gift shop we’re standing in front of is exactly the same.  Him telling me he’s going to stab me in the heart because I wouldn’t take him to Dairy Queen.  Things like that (he was never actually violent towards myself or his parents so I was not worried at all.)

However, the moments that I felt like I had a hand in were amazing…He has been afraid of rollercoasters his entire life, but is so fascinated with them.  After lots of encouragement, he finally decided it was time to ride one with me.  His parents could not believe that we had actually gone on one together.  He also gathered enough courage to call a girl while I was with him.  Although it didn’t turn out how he hoped, he was still able to do it and I was so proud of him. 

It’s just heartbreaking that sometimes people can’t look past the disability…even though he may be an “asshole” always try to remember that he has no idea he’s being one.

Post # 8
187 posts
Blushing bee

Derp:  http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2009/10/antisocial-behavior-in-aspergers-teens.html<br /><br />

That article is specifically about teens, but it still applies, if you google Aspergers and Lying, or Pathological lying and aspergers you will find thousands of forum posts by family and friends of those with aspergers asking about the connection between the two.

Asking for money in itself is not a symptom, but manipulation can be. Since people with aspergers may not realize it is in appropriate to ask for money they may do it, especially if they have had sucess with it before. It isn’t that uncommon at all.

Is is also common for other disorders to coexist with aspergers, which could even better explain the manipulation (asking for money), the lying, and other offensive behaviors.

Post # 10
1244 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Derp:  I agree with you that your anger is in some way preventing you from seeing that the way he behaves overall is very characteristic of the disorder. Rather than picking apart each specific action like him asking for money or lying, it helps to look at the root causes of the behaviors. People with Asperger’s are often overly demanding when they want something (like money) and they can also lack the ability to apply lessons learned in one instance to different situations (which explains why he has figured out how to act around your Aunt but that goes out the window when she is not there).

Despite all of this, I can understand why his behavior makes you angry. I dated a guy with Asperger’s for a couple of years and I can sympathize with how stressful it can be to be around someone who is more or less a loose cannon. I don’t think he gets a free pass to act out but understanding the root of his behaviors can help you come to terms with it.

Post # 11
187 posts
Blushing bee

Derp:  Sorry, I wanted to reply last night, but was caught up in other things.

I definitely would not say that nothing is his fault because of the disease, and I am certainly not trying to tell you that you have to put up with it. You have every right to be angry. I am just trying to offer some insight into why he does what he does. It certainly does not change the effects of what he does, but it may help you understand why he is the way he is. I certainly would not give him a free pass, he is still responsible for his actions.

I agree with what you said, lying is not that common, infact, the stereotype is that people with aspys are instead brutally honest. However growing up in the wrong environment they can learn that lying is a better method to get what they want, or need. When they are taught rules like not to lie, they follow them, however if they develop them on their own, without guidance of a good family environment, they can become very manipulative, they learn what to do to get what they want. Once these behaviors are learned they are tough to get rid of. It may be an assumption on my part, but based on what you said about his criminal history, I am guessing he did not have the structured upbringing aspys need.

He behaves around your aunt because he knows he has to, different rules apply with her than when she isn’t around. This is positive because she has some influence, however it is understandably frustrating to others. There is a good chance that your aunt knows how he will behave in certain situations, and that is why he seems to be better behaved with her around, she can cut off the behavior before it happens.

It would be a shame for you to have to miss out on family events because of him. You mentioned how your aunt is hot and cold, as far as whether she would be fine with you sitting down with him and trying to set him straight. This is 100% expected, she probably gets as frustrated as anyone does with him, however she still loves him, and she doesn’t want to see him hurt.

If you want to work on getting to a place where you can coexist at family functions, I would strongly reccomend you talk to your aunt, in as non confrontational of a setting as possible. Tell her that you (and others) were very upset and uncomfortable with his behavior and these events, and tell her that you noticed that he is much better behaved with her, and ask what the family can do to keep him in check. As juvenile as it sounds it may be a matter of pulling him aside when he is misbehaving and telling him that he needs to stop or you will tell your aunt. She will know what works and waht doesn’t, and talking to her about it will keep the situation fresh in her mind, so at the next event if he gets out of hand, then she knows it is time to call it a night. I would just be careful not to come off as attacking him, she will be defensive of him, I guarantee she notices his behavior as much as anyone else does, but she is still his wife, and will still want to protect him.

As I said before, I can’t blame you for being angry, and I wouldn’t blame you if you just try to cut ties with him. But if you do decide to try to work through it, and coexist you just have to remember that what would work with an average person wont necessarilly work with him. Unfortunately it is not as simple as sitting him down and telling him to cut the crap.




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