Like all good parents, I have done nothing but love my son. His grandparents, aunts, and uncles love him too and have gone above and beyond to always show him. First class tickets to Manchester, England to watch Manchester United play? No problem. Hours and hours on the phone listening to his frustrations, anger, and anxiety? Anytime. Buying the exact gift specified no matter how high its price tag? But of course. Money for therapists, special classes, psychiatrists? Where do I send the check?

Never once have any of us demonstrated anything but love for my son. Respect for him too. For all he has accomplished and continues to accomplish despite being dealt a shitty hand. Autism and mental health issues. All we have done is love and support him.

This despite his treating us, mostly me, like garbage.

I can take his abusive texts, profanity-laced voice mails, and vitriolic handwritten notes telling me what a terrible mother I am. How I love his brother more. How his life is miserable and it’s my fault. How I ignore him, ditch him, denied him college. I’m not going to defend myself on any of these fronts except to say bullshit.

I have grown used to being tormented and beat up verbally by my kid and sadly, I’ve even learned how to deal with it. But I have not, equally sadly, learned how to make him stop. And maybe it’s for this reason that his ceaseless, bottomless rage has begun overflowing onto the rest of our family.

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