I’m writing from the airport. I feel bad, partly because the holiday is ending and I’m back to job hunting, but mostly because I feel useless.

Last night Mum reminded me to thank Dad for the holiday. I don’t know if I would have remembered otherwise. I forgot to buy him a souvenir to say thanks because usually my sister would remind me. Similarly, today I finished packing and waited for my parents. It didn’t occur to me that Mum and Dad might need help.

I know that inability to “mind-read” is a classic high functioning autism symptom. Likewise for trouble acting on initiative. But somehow I feel I should be “better.” And I worry that I’m not on the spectrum, I’m just selfish and useless.

At the start of the holiday, when things were going well, I was more optimistic about my life and especially about me and E.  but now things seem hopeless again. A real downer to end on.

10 thoughts on “Homeward Thoughts from Abroad

  1. If I went on a holiday with my parents (which I wouldn’t, because they would drive me bonkers and vice versa), it wouldn’t even cross my mind to thank my Dad at the end of the holiday or to offer help my parents with packing. Their stuff, their problem – or perhaps I’m just selfish. I’m okay with that, though.

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  2. My kids never offer to help with my packing. It’s not at all necessary, so stop feeling bad !
    Your mood has dropped because your holiday was a success, and you’re coming home to reality. Everyone feels that way at the end of a trip. You will feel good again , in time.
    You’re not at all selfish – just looking after yourself.
    Hope you have some holiday photos to look back on once you’re home.
    Safe journey!

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  3. Agree with the above two comments. My adult children seem to take me for granted and need to be asked to help. The only difference between them and you is they don’t seem to feel guilty about it when it’s pointed out to them ! (And only one of them has ASD.) You are too hard on yourself! Maybe you can help your parents understand you better by reminding them that you cannot easily intuit their needs and they need to ask you directly to do things.

    It’s normal to feel down after a good holiday — just remember how much you were dreading it to begin with. It turned out better than you feared. Maybe the same will happen with your return. Hope you have a safe journey home.

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  4. Ohhh, groan. “Remember to thank your dad for the holiday,”? Really? No. That sounds like manipulative guilt-tripping. Maybe I’m biased because my own mother is shameless in that regard. Besides which, your parents dragged you along on this journey that probably was a huge hassle and headache for you from the get-go. They put so much pressure on you that you felt you couldn’t stay home and just kick back. Pressure plus guilt? Give it a rest, Mom!

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    1. They didn’t put pressure on me to come. Part of me (at least) wanted to, even though I knew it would be very hard. Beyond that, as I noted to the other commenters, I think in my family there is emphasis on showing affection by doing things for others without being asked. This is hard with high functioning autism.

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      1. I agree. I wish your parents could ask for what they want, but ask WITHOUT the implicit, “You should’ve done that for us without our having to ask.” It just doesn’t seem as if they’re taking your personality and mentality into account.

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