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  • Robin Kastengren

06/29/23: I finally finished rereading all the texts to my mom.

I finally finished rereading all the texts between me and my mom. It's more like 75 pages of me sobbing to her about how fucked up my life has been and how much I'm struggling to make sense of everything that happened to me with this new context of autism to consider, and her being either really defensive or completely uninterested in anything I'm saying.

Who needs to read the rantings of a lunatic, my mother said to herself. She initially tries to talk me down from autism, then when she's had enough of me, she switches to platitudes.

I would text her 2500 words of terrorizing memories and how it feels like it's twisting my actual brain cells in knots to reimagine these things from the perspective that I'm NOT a piece of shit who deserves this. She would reply with "love you sweetie" or "have you seen this documentary?" Or, “that was your father, what does that have to do with ME,” and leave it at that.

After Robbie's birthday, after she came to see me in person and wouldn't make eye contact, wouldn't sit with me, wouldn't see a mother in crisis with three freaking-out kids and a decimated husband and insisted on seeing someone who is hurting HER, someone whose life she needs to take over and "fix," the tone of my messages takes a sharp turn.

After they refuse to give me addresses and phone numbers, the descent into the real blackness begins for me because I finally had clarity. Just like I had to relive my childhood memories thru the lens of autism, I had to relive the same period of time with this new lens of a mother and sisters who will NOT help me no matter how bad it is for me unless they get a starring role as the hero, and as long as they don't have to actually DO anything for me. Nobody came to help me. No-bo-dy. And I didn't tell them to stay away from me until after Robbie's birthday.

I've gotten enough random texts from family members I have not talked to in years to know that my story continues to be told without me present. I begged for help and got nothing but empty platitudes, CPS poking around the schools, and the cops at my door. When I started talking, when I got my voice back, I'm sure my mom went back to the old standby of me being crazy and deranged and her being the victim. Just like she tried to make Teenage Me, a CHILD, the aggressor in her victimhood all those years ago when I came crying to my aunts for help and they told me what a good mom she is and to behave for her.

Based on the random feedback I'm getting, some of you guys feel real sorry for her. Welp, you fought this long for her, now you can have her. I'm sure my sisters are real bummed that they can't pawn her off on me when she can no longer live alone like they've been planning, saying I'll be just like [my deranged, unstable aunt] with no real value in life other than to care for the aging parents that nobody wants to deal with now that they have nothing to give. That'll give you all something to bond over ❤️

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