Talk me out of moving to MA just to qualify for services

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rsspectrumalt
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28 Jul 2022, 8:59 pm

I've known about this site for almost a decade, but I finally signed up with an account that couldn't really tie me to other accounts, so that I can discuss these sensitive matters without friends/family seeing it.

I'm a 29 year old male, living by myself, and have more or less successfully done so without major issues for the past year. Career has finally been stable for the past 2 as well. The year before was close, but had to leave from not being able to get along with the roommate, due to what I want to discuss. The year before that wasn't even remotely close and I had to break my lease early because I was living with an ex and it was just a bad (codependent) situation all around, for both me and her.

The main point is, I'm incredibly frustrated at not being able to make progress on just about any other aspect of my life. Namely, my physical health, mental health, and social life. I have a great apartment, financial security, and a cute chonky cat, and that's pretty much it.

Problem is, I'm a weird mix of pathological demand avoidance from autism, and oppositional defiant from a lifetime of trauma externally brought on from said autism. I have ZERO discipline unless it's absolutely required for my survival. and even those are extremely difficult (completing college and learning to be professional, etc). I give up when things get too hard, very very easily, especially if i don't see the benefit. This includes maintaining relationships and friendships. My inherent demand to resist what society expects of me is so severe that even when I WANT to exercise, or cook, or clean the house, i simply can't because the idea of putting time and energy toward one more thing just because i'm supposed to disgusts me. It's almost like I've ironically stripped myself of free will in my quest for free will. I just... don't feel in control. At all. Just an animal jumping from impulse to impulse, with whatever bare minimum exceptions I need to survive.

So, the above being said, the only time I've ever truly learned to do something or make it a habit is nearly always the hard way. Either I get yelled at, or bullied, or punished/blackmailed, so on. Or I pay for the consequences indirectly, such as becoming financially responsible because I racked up way more college debt than I should have, or having my gallbladder taken out because my cholesterol and stress were simply way too high. It's the only way I know how to be accountable.

So I've realized that I've gone into a lot of relationships (friendships in a few cases if they're older) not just being codependent, but looking for a replacement parent. I'm almost looking for discipline, or someone to hold me accountable. But a very specific kind of discipline, because the kind I was raised with between my family, teachers, and peers obviously didn't work. The kind that only trained professionals can provide, and usually only provide to children.

I've gone to at least... 5 or 6 different therapists. I had one who was incredible, but she had to leave her internship and return home. The one that replaced her has been... ok. Like any other. Lots of sympathy and validation but no solutions.

Now, onto the post title. I've tried qualifying for Pennsylvania state services. Hoping I'd just get a support broker to come over and help me with independent living once a week, which I was regularly told was possible. However... I'm a web developer and they pretty much told me that I make too much money. You have to either be on medicare/medicaid or slightly above minimum wage to qualify.

I searched all around. Portland, England, Australia, all places known to have great treatment or simply be great places to live as an autistic adult. But one stuck out to me: Boston. Because google search results came up with a good number of state service and treatment center sites. I literally emailed one of them and asked them what it would take to qualify. She pointed me to the right resource, and just as she said, there's NO financial limit in Massachusetts. I was absolutely stunned.

In my frustration at my life of self inflicted physical pain because I don't exercise or cook, and isolation because I have an incredibly hard time trusting people + not being attractive enough for a significant other in most cases, I began to look at this option again.

However, one of my worries is that I'm not entirely sure what services said brokers provide. I'm pretty sure their main focus is just on housing and jobs. But i'm trying to:
* learn how to cook simple things that are actually worth the effort for one person, and do it well enough that I don't have to think about it and not resort to the microwave or premade meals.
* be held accountable for keeping my house clean, and help on how to do so efficiently (perfectionism woo, either do it right or don't do it at all mentality, etc)
* actually try to be connected to a community somehow, and restore my ability to trust people. I don't even really have an issue with social skills too much anymore, just the fact that I've lived so long without them that I keep everyone at an arms length because "if they actually like me they're probably a financial or emotional parasite at worst or I'm a last resort friend at best". I've talked about this stuff for the past 8 years, talk won't do it anymore.
* be connected to some yoga instructor, personal trainer, program, someone or SOMETHING that actually recognizes autism and doesn't just push me until I get adrenal burnout (which happened with 3 months of a personal trainer).

My therapist is actually trying to find resources for the latter 2, along with the students at her autism centric practice. Which is wonderful, but the fact that it's 2022 and one specific part of Pennsylvania is working on this now is absurd.

Other worry, I feel like this is just me being impulsive. Say they DO provide everything that I want. Is it an insane notion to just up and leave the few people and places left that I care about? Would I be making things worse by potentially throwing myself deeper into isolation? I have no idea.



timf
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29 Jul 2022, 6:05 am

It may be possible that you are looking to relocate to a state with good benefits as another way to find a replacement "parent".

The problem with that is that can institutionalize your dependence. You probably already know that you have to develop the skills yourself. You might prefer not to. You may even sabotage yourself when trying to. However, it is almost as if you are your own last hope. Before the military became so woke, it was a good place for those who did not learn self-discipline at home to do so. Today perhaps prison is that last institution where someone could learn self-discipline.

To practice discipline yourself, you can start with something so small that you could find no excuse not to do it. Consider holding something heavy out at arms length and counting. Each time you do it you can try to hold it longer. With each attempt you can begin to see yourself as taking control and making improvement. This mental pattern can become a template to apply in different situations and perhaps halp you tak control of your life.



Fnord
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29 Jul 2022, 8:29 am

I think Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) said it best.



Seriously, you gotta do what is best for you, so best of luck to ya!

 



Last edited by Fnord on 29 Jul 2022, 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

KitLily
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29 Jul 2022, 8:31 am

Don't come to England, whatever you do! Disabled people have to metaphorically jump through many hoops to get any support, it is being made more and more difficult every year. The government is a mess and we're sliding into fascist dictatorship. For your own safety, find somewhere better, please!


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kraftiekortie
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29 Jul 2022, 8:38 am

It would be MUCH better for you if you would just make sure your house is basically clean (dishes done, floors vacuumed, laundry done) and to cook simple dishes (e.g., pasta or rice with chicken made in an air fryer)---than it is to uproot yourself, and probably face the same problems you had previously.

Do you work at home as a web developer?

Being on "services," with no other financial recourse, is not walk in the park. Especially when they discontinue "services" every few years while you get "re-evaluated." Moreover, most "social service agencies" are intrusive entities who get into your business pretty intensely. When you visit their headquarters, you tend to be treated like crap.

If I could keep some sort of easy job, I'd take that over being on "services" any day.



rsspectrumalt
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29 Jul 2022, 10:01 am

Thanks for all your replies. And lmao the gene wilder video.

But nah, the intention was never to quit my job and be on social security. There's apparently low level services that involve a broker that comes over and helps you with independent living, and achieving whatever goals you have for said independence. It's fully implied for support level 1s with their own place and job.

The issue is, my state absolutely refuses if you make over 60k-ish I believe.

And yeah, this is largely me complaining that I can't "be my own parent". It's just really hard to rustle up the willpower to do something unless there's an immediate cost benefit. If I do, it's when I'm completely calm and stress free and there's absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. But that's an unrealistic expectation, and right now the stressor is ironically the thing I want to work on, chronic pain and stomach issues that are frankly, easily preventable if I actually did what I was supposed to.

timf wrote:
It may be possible that you are looking to relocate to a state with good benefits as another way to find a replacement "parent".

The problem with that is that can institutionalize your dependence. You probably already know that you have to develop the skills yourself. You might prefer not to. You may even sabotage yourself when trying to. However, it is almost as if you are your own last hope. Before the military became so woke, it was a good place for those who did not learn self-discipline at home to do so. Today perhaps prison is that last institution where someone could learn self-discipline.

To practice discipline yourself, you can start with something so small that you could find no excuse not to do it. Consider holding something heavy out at arms length and counting. Each time you do it you can try to hold it longer. With each attempt you can begin to see yourself as taking control and making improvement. This mental pattern can become a template to apply in different situations and perhaps halp you tak control of your life.

Heh you said it best honestly. I may just have to accept this reality. Doesn't matter how close or far I move from home (i'm already an hour away, which helped in some aspects but in turn made me more isolated), this is still going to be an issue.



Last edited by rsspectrumalt on 29 Jul 2022, 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

KitLily
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29 Jul 2022, 10:02 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
If I could keep some sort of easy job, I'd take that over being on "services" any day.


Could you do website testing? I do that, the one I use is called UserCrowd. It pays a little, not much, but if you could get on a few testing sites, you could make a bit of money.


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Tawaki
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29 Jul 2022, 10:31 am

Two pennies into the hat.

Boston is OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive for someone from the outside moving in. You can make Boston work with 4 room mates and cheap eating. The rents are just mind boggling.

Average rent, in Boston proper, is a little under $4K for 800 Sq ft. Guess that isn't slumlord living, but to get cheaper digs you gotta network. Do you have the energy to cold call network?

While there is no income test, there will be a needs test. Services for adults on the spectrum is small. It gets smaller the more you can do for yourself.

You'll be compete for services with everyone who can't brush their teeth, can't count change etc. Level I vs everyone else.

What passes for adult autism services are life coaches, supportive living, and psychiatric services. All are intrusive. Do you need someone to crack a whip to for you to do your bills, shower, clean up, then report back what you did or didn't do? Supportive living can be anything from a group home with little choice to your own apartment with the life coach swooping in to see what's up.

You give up a huge chunk of privacy and self determination depending how the agency is runned. You may have very little say on how things are managed/done at the start.

I'm not saying don't go, really look at how much you'll be giving up for nebulous services.



kraftiekortie
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29 Jul 2022, 10:41 am

I believe you should probably stay where you are.



rsspectrumalt
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29 Jul 2022, 10:44 am

Good lord, I had no idea that area of MA was that expensive. Thanks, that's all I needed to know, i can only afford like less than half of that haha. He did it guys. He won the thread.

But more to the point, I almost AM seeking something intrusive. But you're making pretty clear that none of them will be as good as that student therapist I had. She was only as good as she was, frankly, because she was my own age and a millennial. She actually understood what I needed, including the steps I needed to take to be successful in my career and live on my own. In fact, I attribute that success largely to her.

I actually considered a life coach but not only are they expensive, I had no idea that they were so intrusive that they'd end up triggering my PDA and ODD as much as my mom and brother did. I just kinda thought they were unlicensed more annoying therapist haha. Maybe that's just how movies/media portray them.

Thinking this all out i might actually be better off finding another millennial therapist.



kraftiekortie
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29 Jul 2022, 12:04 pm

Yep....many parts of the Boston Metro Area are even more expensive than parts of the NYC Metro Area--even though the central part of NYC is more expensive than the central part of Boston.



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29 Jul 2022, 12:30 pm

rsspectrumalt wrote:
Good lord, I had no idea that area of MA was that expensive.
I have heard "Taxachusetts" as a label for Massachusetts from many sources.  I do not know this personally, but you may want to look into the tax rates for that state.



kraftiekortie
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29 Jul 2022, 2:08 pm

There’s high taxes in Massachusetts. And a very high cost of living.

But more people, percentage-wise, are eligible for government-sponsored healthcare than most states.