I can only speak from my mind and heart. I know how frustrating this all is, trust me I do. If my son was “suffering” from his loneliness or his inability to maintain friendships, I would in fact move heaven and earth to make a change of some kind. He honestly appears oblivious to that component of the human experience. He gets so annoyed with me when I try to push him into a social situation or a situation where he might start a new hobby or something that provides a chance at self improvement. I am at a loss for how to inspire him to do anything beyond what he already does. He says he is “happy” he says he is “fine” he says life is “good”…he is 33, when do I take him seriously at his word? respect his wishes? When I compare our “today” with all of our own utterly horrific “yesterdays” I can believe 100% my son is absolutely fine. When I compare our “todays” with other people, other 33 year olds, other mothers of 33 year olds…etc etc…then I could fall into a very dark deep pit of despair and disappointment…so I just don’t go there.
Everyone’s reality is different as are their expectations. I do believe that I became much happier and more excepting of mine and my son’s reality when I suspended all preconceived expectations aka hopes for him and myself and tried to live in the moment, each and every moment day by day. I still strive to do my best and aim for goals day to day, but the focus (post constant emergency life) is more on improving me now…having my son live with me makes it much easier for me to do what I want and need for myself and yet always assure him I am there for him whenever he needs me and that although he claims to prefer to be alone, he has me there under the same roof with him to turn to if the time comes. I hug him every day so I hope that helps. I even started getting him massage appointments once a month, 1/ because his muscles usually feel like rocks and 2/ another means for human touch that is helpful and healing He loves those appointments so that makes me happy.
I try to think of my sz son similarly to my son that has high functioning asperger’s…their brains function differently, not run of the mill, not like average people…I think like an average person as do most of us so we have all of these preconceived notions how our lives should proceed and how different “milestones” should look in our lives…graduations, engagements, marriages, jobs and promotions, etc etc…I am just grateful my son is sane, can talk- laugh -function in basic daily ways, cares minimally about his health and hygiene, and can show affection at least to me and other family members when they are present. He collects coins and music and loves TV and movies,is conscientious about recycling even though his beliefs about it are a little skewed his heart is in the right place…he will do almost anything with me as in concerts, festivals, day trips, hockey games…in return I tolerate watching football season and reality TV for him…and I take him to the fair and the zoo when he wants to go even though I do not like either of those places…he does.
I don’t know if this is what our life will always be or if more changes are in the future, I try not to think that far ahead. I know in the past year my son has taken over dispensing his own medicine and making his own coffee, sounds small but it is not…it is big…he did not use to be able to do that…as the dosages would be all wrong and the coffee might be pure muddy sludge or look like beige water…now his dosages are perfect and his coffee is better than mine.
This week I have started having him talk to the pharmacy about refilling his meds. He was doing fine and then I noticed that the pharmacist must have misunderstood him or something and I immediately said “give me the phone” (force of habit) he said to me “mom I have it, please don’t interfere with my call” I think I was more proud of him in that moment than I would have been had he graduated high school. I think next month I am going to give him one bill to pay every month…I see a trend here. It’s never too late to learn for me or for him.
Perspective is everything. I know I have rambled a LOT, I do that sometimes. To more succinctly answer your question. Instead of ‘lowering your expectations’, suspend them. Don’t expect just experience what is now. Instead of saying good bye to hope, say hello to now, this moment, not every single moment of life is all bad. One might be bad but in the next there is a smile or a laugh or a hug or something else. And you should never stop moving on with your life although way easier said than done. Your life is as important as your loved ones and in someways even more so when they depend on you, if you are not okay they will not be okay. So it took me a long time to realize this so maybe I can help others by at least saying take care of yourself and live in the moment day by day. For every bad incident that happens try to think of one moment out of the day that was not completely awful. I am sorry you are feeling so low I would surely hug you if I could. Thanks for “listening”/reading my words. I appreciate everyone here very much.