The bossy aspie vs the helpful aspie?
I'm taking over and that's that. I've waited and been patient and there is very little to show for it so, from now on, I'm the big bad boss of IT teen's job hunting.
I discussed it with RT teen and our aspie wisdom decreed that IT teen was unlikely to look for jobs by himself, let alone apply for them, so it was perfectly reasonable for me to do it and then present him with his interview shoes if necessary.
Yes, I can imagine the cringing going on at your end. For all sorts of reasons it's not really acceptable for a mother to do the job hunting for her son, is it? Reason 1, the lazy so-and-so should look for himself. Reason 2, job hunting is valuable life experience. Reason 3, it's not honest for the employers. And Reason 4, the big one, it's just too controlling, right?
Right on all counts, readers. And I'm sure there are many other reasons why IT teen should do the job hunting himself. But I've done it the right way since last summer. I've encouraged him, I've hidden his DS, I've threatened him with scenarios of what will happen if he's jobless and penniless when college finishes in July.
I've appealed to his better nature and used other people as examples of how it is possible for a teen to get a job and still be happy and fulfilled.
In short, I've done everything I can, bar kick him out onto the street until he comes back employed.
I did pause before taking over the job hunting, but then thought to myself, if I don't do it, he won't either. I comfort myself with the knowledge that once he has a job, he'll be able to do the rest by himself. He lacks confidence, you see, and is secretly petrified of going out into the world.
I understand this feeling, I really do, it's just that if he doesn't go out and work, then he won't have any money, I'll have even less money and he'll carry on being petrified because he won't have faced the fear and got to grips with it.
As for being dishonest to the employers, one thing I can reassure them and you about is that anything I say about IT teen will be true and I am only applying for jobs he can do. Anyway, he still has to do the interview himself.
I feel I should slip in a small note here: I am not usually this controlling, honest. I'm quite good at stepping back and letting the teens do their own thing. I am not a helicopter parent, I'm not a generally bossy person. Cough.
Well, okay, I have my moments. I'm not generally bossy, that's true, but if I'm on a mission to help someone, oh dear. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of my help, asked for or not, knows that it's the kind of help that makes you feel like a rhino decided to help you do your hair.
I instantly spring into action, a fully-fledged plan bursting from me as I take the reins and guide that whole shebang in the right direction. My plan will be solid and it will all be done with the best of intentions. The main problem is usually that it's done at my speed and not at yours.
To be fair, if we did it at the speed other people move, then we'd get nowhere and the shebang would still be parked up outside the saloon, with the horses dozing in the sunshine. The main reason I do barge in and 'help' is because other people complain about their situation, ask me for advice and/or help and then, for some reason, object when I actually give it.
It never ceases to surprise me that people do this. They make all the noises of wanting and needing help, but then don't want to do anything to help themselves. I've never been very good at inactive sympathy, I've always preferred fixing things. After all, what's the point of talking about something unless you want to fix it?
In the case of IT teen it would be dishonest of me to say he asked for my help. He's actively avoided my help and wriggled out of applying for jobs. He's very good at taking advantage of my poor memory and hazy grasp of time. So in deciding to help him, I was making a decision without him asking for anything.
For other people, I do now try to hold off a bit more. I see the fear in their eyes as they start to tell me something, then remember how much I might get involved. I don't want to frighten people more than necessary, so these days I try to exercise some judgement and leave the shebang standing, if that's what they want.
I say try. I know and you know and any aspie knows, trying is only one egg in the full cake and it isn't usually possible for me to hold off altogether. I must confess, if it becomes obvious someone just wants to talk and not to help themselves or change a bad situation in any way, I back off completely as I can't bear the stress of not doing anything and only talking about it.
I hope this all doesn't make me sound like a complete nightmare. In practice I am very good at problem-solving and I don't always make things worse instead of better. It just looks bad in black and white on the screen; in real-life, it's fine...
Although, if you ever see a shebang being driven hard and recklessly towards Dead Man's Pass, you'll know who's at the reins. You'll also notice how well it goes round corners and how expertly it deals with near misses. Don't take any notice of the passenger trying to get off and screaming for help. They already have help, they have ME.
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