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Coping With Sibling on the Autism Spectrum

Hi everybody, I'm new here and I'd like some advice.

My older sister has Asperger's syndrome and is fairly high-functioning. She's incredibly intelligent and is a very nice person, but I resent her and wish I didn't have a sibling.

I know she can't help having Asperger's, and I feel like a terrible person for feeling this way, but I just can't help it.

She uses up all of my parents' time and energy. She'll have some huge meltdown pretty much every day. One or both of my parents (depending on who's in the house at the time) will have to go comfort her, leaving me to fend for myself. Some nights, they'll be up in her room trying to calm her down, and I'll left to manage everything for hours at a time. I'll cook dinner, eat by myself, do the dishes, tidy up around the house, scoop the cats' litter, then go to bed.

One notable example of this would have to be the night we found out my cat had cancer and would probably have to be put down the next day. We had been watching a movie, and it had just finished. It was roughly 11 p.m. My mom told us (my sister and me, my dad already knew) about the cat, and we both started crying (we had both been raised with this cat, and he was like my big brother, as weird as it sounds). My sister got up after a few minutes, went into the bathroom, and drank some bleach. My dad called an ambulance (it took 25 minutes for it to arrive), and when it arrived, both my parents went with my sister to the hospital. I was 12 years old, home alone. It was nearly midnight, I had just found out my favorite cat ever was going to die the next day, my older sister had just drunk a large amount of bleach, and I was having a panic attack. I had to cope with this all by myself for 2 hours.

(My sister was fine, by the way; the bleach had no long-term effects.)

Not only that, but she scares me. She self-harms (mostly cutting), and occasionally pulls a stunt like the one I mentioned above. Sometimes when she's angry, she'll attack me.

My sister is older, bigger, and stronger than I am. She could cause me a serious injury if she tried. When she gets upset, I'll go up to my room and lock myself in. I don't feel safe around her.

I also fear that she'll do something extreme and seriously harm herself or someone else. When I was 8, she tried to choke herself with a jump rope. When I was 11, she tried to stab herself. When I was 13, she tried to jump out of our car while it was on the highway.

Socially, she's also a burden. Because of her Asperger's, she has a hard time making friends and has very little social interaction with people outside of our family. As a result, my parents will sometimes have her tag along when I do something with my own friends.

I'm never quite sure what to do in a situation like this. She acts like she's about 7, having meltdowns over trivial things, not interacting with anybody, and just generally being irresponsible. It's embarrassing, and my friends always ask me what it's all about. I don't know how to explain it, since I feel like it's not my place to tell them about my sister (I figure that if she wanted people to know, she would tell them herself; I don't know if this is the right strategy or not, but it just feels wrong to give out information like that without my sister's permission).

In a lot of situations, it's like I'm the older one. She doesn't help out around the house, never does anything without being explicitly asked to, and has no social skills (which, again, I know isn't her fault, but it still drives me nuts). When it's just the two of us in the house, I'm the one who always takes the initiative and acts as the adult, because if I leave something up to her then it will never get done.

I can't connect with her emotionally, either. It's kind of like living with a walking, occasionally talking, math-genius potato.

Because of all the stress my sister causes my parents, I've had to mature much faster than many of my peers. I deal with my emotions and problems by myself, since I don't want to cause more work for my mom and dad. I learned at a fairly young age to manage myself, and discovered early on that keeping my head down and taking up my sister's slack helps the rest of my family a lot. I do her chores, and I ensure that I make the friends and earn the good grades that my sister doesn't/can't. I guess you could say I feel the need to overcompensate to make sure that I don't cause any problems.

I just wish that I didn't have to deal with any of this, you know? I wish (for her sake, my parent's sake, and my own) that my sister wasn't on the autism spectrum.

Am I a terrible person for feeling this way? I think I am. Does anyone have any advice on how to cope with this?
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replied January 17th, 2016
Active User, very eHealthy
That was quite long, and i didnt think you said your age either. Idk there are just some things we are 'stuck' in for a time, but there are also good things. For one, it is more blessed to give than receive, we know. I cannot explain or help much in specific details now, but here;s something i read about the kinds of love we have to deal with daily. Agape is the highest form and if God will lead you to that, then you are truly blessed. We hear it said we are told to love, not necessarily like people (as in love your enemies). Anyway, this from a Christian site with post entitled How to love correctly, but you can see better what agape is abt from 1 Corinthians 13.


Philos Love

This is a unique kind of love like the one you have for a companion or pal. It refers to loving one another just like your brother or sister. This love is for a pal who is really close and dear to us and it is characterized by various different shared experiences between two people. In fact this is the kind of love that many Christians tend to practice towards one another. And although philos love is really wonderful, it is not that much reliable, since it can end up souring at times as we have all experienced at some point in our lives.

Agape Love

This is a special term which represents the divine-love of the Lord towards his Son Jesus Christ, the human beings and all believers. This is the best of the three types of love in the bible, in fact Jesus himself showed this type of divine love to his Dad in heaven and humanity. Agape love is the love that God commanded all believers to have for everyone whether he/she is a believer or not. Agape love should never be determined by our feelings; it is more of a set of behaviors or actions. With agape, you do not have to actually feel it for you to give it, which means that you can be able to show love without feeling anything at all. At times feelings can follow after showing this kind of love.


Eros is a Greek term which actually means desire and longing. And according to the Greek methodology, Eros is the name of the Greek god of love. Also referred to as erotic love, this is a selfish kind of love as it associated with sexual love. Eros love is based on the strong feeling we have against one another and it usually develops during the 1st stage of a romantic relationship. This kind of love is based on the physical traits. And unless it is redeemed by the Lord’s presence; this type of love can end up being possessive, since it always seeks to 1st conquer and then control.
God created physical attraction between a man & a woman, but He never intended for it to be selfish. He created desire and longing which makes up sexual love which is crucial in any marriage. This love was meant to be preserved between a couple and it is essential for any health marriage. And since it is mostly based on self-benefit, many people tend to fall out of love if they are not happy with the marriage.
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