Hello friends, to start off with I'd like to let you know I am disabled with severe autism. I seem highly intelligent intellectually, but at the same time I am unable to navigate social systems, make phone calls, or really deal with people very well.
I've been caring for a roommate who was healthy when she moved in with me, but within six months began a severe decline which led me to becoming her 24/7 unpaid caregiver, despite the fact we were not related at all and never knew each other before she moved in.
She was confused/delusional/semi-conscious often and unsafe to leave alone for any length of time. I spoon fed her, bathed her, dressed her, did her toiletries, drove her to all her medical appointments, and of course I became her permanent maid and cook as well. This went on for a few years, since I was never able to get any help whatsoever, no matter where I requested assistance or how unfair it was for me to be forced into this role.
After a few years she declined further, to the point where I was finding her face-down on the floor and NOT BREATHING nearly every morning when I woke up to check on her. The ambulance was called numerous times and she was constantly back and forth to the ER, where she was promptly sent home again after being stabilized. I couldn't convince anyone not to send her home, and because this was her residence, I had no legal means of stopping her from returning to her own home either.
Soon she told me the people at the hospital were saying they suspected the cause of her being unconscious on the floor and not breathing was my beating her up and, basically, I was somehow doing this to her. I could tell she was telling the truth because she'd always been very honest and likely to fabricate stories.
I felt panicked and imagined I would soon become a suspect in a MURDER investigation, plus of course I was terrified of finding her dead this way, and I really was just not coping at all by this point. I felt like I had no other option but to run away. I knew I could never navigate the criminal justice system any better than I'd failed to navigate social services.
I fled the country, leaving my own home and her in it, deeply scourged by guilt and the feeling of utter helplessness and impending doom. I believed the only way to not become a suspect in her death was having the iron-clad alibi of being thousands of miles away whenever she inevitably passed at home.
When I returned after three months, she was gone. Moved out. She'd packed up her own things plus some of my furniture. I don't know where she went, or how, and I never heard from her again.
Now that this terrifying nightmare situation is over, I am plagued with both internal guilt and blame from others. I'm told I am a horrible person to leave my sick patient at home alone and without any home care. And I am treated like a psychopath and a pariah by those who knew us.
I've been shunned and rarely leave the house anymore, locked inside like a hermit and ravaged by flashbacks and PTSD, like I've been through a war. No use reaching out to therapists; I tried, and they don't believe me either.
As an outsider that only has your story, I would say that this "friend" was abusing her pain meds and putting you in incredible danger by doing so.
If someone has the audacity to call you out, tell them that your presence stopped her from getting the appropriate care and your only choice was to walk away so she could get the care she desperately needed. That's what a loving friend does.
You have severe autism. I think that you could not manage very long without some supervision or help. I am guessing the roommate had a role in helping you in return. You may see it differently. It was unfortunate that you were hard-pressed into being her caregiver. But you did her a favor by leaving, so she could get the help she needed. It was in no way beneficial to either of you to continue to be mutually exploiting each other, imo. People with autism can be very cool, but also hard to live with because of their behaviors and concrete thinking. A competent caregiver would not go off to sleep knowing that the person to whom they are supposedly giving care will stop breathing. It is way too much a burden on the resources of someone with autism to be making those caregiving decisions.
If you have any doubts about her living or dead, and any accusations of murder coming up in the future, please contact the district attorney to confirm if she is alive or well. She left no note? Would you want someone like that to be exploiting the next vulnerable person? Perhaps she is a grifter?
Wouldn't you feel a bit better if you knew she was alive, but did not have any contact with her? Your motives for leaving are your own business. Truth is, adding the possibility of murder to your story just sounds a bit much. A bit paranoid, your thinking may be intelligent, but askew.
It sounds like you have been through a traumatic and difficult experience, and it's understandable that you are feeling guilty, blamed, and isolated. It's important to remember that you were in an impossible situation, and you did the best you could with the limited resources and support you had at the time.
It may be helpful to seek out a therapist or counselor who is experienced in working with individuals with autism and PTSD. It may also be helpful to find a support group for individuals with autism where you can connect with others who have had similar experiences and can offer support and understanding.
It's also important to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. This may include engaging in activities that you enjoy, spending time in nature, getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating a healthy diet. Even bringing in a new companion/aide for yourself that is credentialed and credible. Not a live-in if you are able to live alone with outside helps. Allow an assessment by a social worker, leaving out the murder. Do not rely on your own assessment of yourself at this time.
It's also important to remember that you are not alone and there are people who care about you and want to help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support, or consider calling a crisis hotline for immediate assistance.
I have answered you even though you have not reciprocated any good answers by returning to comment; even though you may have made the story up.
Just in case you are even real.....the isolation at home is not a good sign that you will be able to recover without an intervention.
There are some good people on here familiar with autism, you can talk to them maybe. Is there somethings you are not telling us?
I told her (or him) that really they should call the police and social services. If this story is actually true which I highly doubt it is, then both people should be in facility care as wards of the state.
Just the heading of this post. The mentally ill likely drug-addicted homeless woman the OP supposedly "took in" is not her "patient". So there's no abandoning the patient like the OP states.
Please don't give this kind of crazy any attention. That's like throwing gasoline on an already blazing dumpster fire.
Yes, I do very much agree that I'm lucky she's gone and that I'm not some sort of suspect in a murder investigation. I wouldn't have been able to manage within the legal system at all. She may have been overdosing on prescription pain meds at the same time as having multiple daily "grand mal" seizures. I hope she's receiving the professional nursing care she clearly requires.
I wish I'd been able to help her far more than I did. I'm struggling as it is to live alone and without any assistance from family or social services. My house is filthy and I haven't seen a human being face to face since August 2022. But I'm trying very hard, since there's no alternative but to struggle to live or to give up and die.
Those who replied without an ounce of compassion or decided to flat out not believe me... well I hope you receive back the same attitudes in life that you put unto others. That's the best I can say since I am not an angry or mean person. At the end of the day, we can all only do our very best and be kind to others.
Your home being filthy has nothing to do with agencies not helping you. Cleaners are cheap. Bleach, vinegar and bkg soda can be used to clean. Dollar stores have cheap cleaners. My nephew hoards the weirdest things. Plastic bags all over. Junk mail and circulars all over his dining room table. Trash in bags all over his kitchen and the dumpster is right outside his patio door.
Again, call your County Disabilities Dept. Ours is associated with Office of Aging.
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