Jo, your story sounds all too familiar. My 47 year old son, bright, energetic, capable, and was a very difficult child to raise, can't hold a job and we have resorted to his living with me for the rest of his life. I don't know if he or I can handle that. I read a lot about Asperger over the years but I have a sense you might have some information I need, some practical suggestions.
In my workplace, my boss IS the bully. She very much tried to run me off and get me fired, but after I disclosed my A.S. and County HR got involved, she had to back down a little. I ended up having to accept a demotion (I was already under-employed as it was) but did manage to hang onto my county job at full-time status with benefits/pension. Local ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens, but recently they also advocate for high-functioning people with ASD's like me) helped mediate as well.
My boss and I have reached a kind of detente, and everything is basically tranquilo for now...I work as a full time Interlibrary Loan Clerk II. I report directly to a library paraprofessional, but my boss is in charge of us both and is a Librarian II. Luckily, the Para is friendly and her father is on the spectrum, so she is sympathetic.
I keep applying for positions in Adult Services (Reference); I have an ALA-accredited MLS, an MA in German Studies from Rice U. (aka "The Harvard of the Southwest") and actual (if spotty) experience as an academic librarian...but no matter if I apply for open Librarian I jobs or Paraprofessional, I keep getting passed up for promotion by younger NTs who are fresh out of library school but have longer time in-system as clerks or paras...they are better positioned to schmooze and glad-hand and that counts more than my superior levels of education and life experience.
Before I tried to break into Librarianship I had an excellent corporate job where I was actually highly praised for my customer service skills on the phone...I worked in travel insurance assistance services, mainly doing logistical arrangements for medical evacuation cases, working with doctors/nurses and medical service providers (escorts & air ambulance co's)...it was challenging, 24/7, international, my fluency with German was highly prized and utilized often...voice interpretation as well as document translation. My casework was solid, every "i" dotted, every "t" crossed. The only problem was the pay was crap. That and my mother constantly harped on me that the job didn't pay well enough for my level of education and intelligence and kept pushing me to do something else, like librarianship (she's a retired school librarian). But I loved the job, loved it so much, and looking back I deeply regret ever leaving and yes, dammit, feel a fair bit of resentment towards my mother....but in her defense, I was undiagnosed at the time and didn't understand that part of the secret to my success there was my A.S.
Looking back also, I can see the folly of trying to enter Librarianship....Hmm, Aspergian 40-something male entering a workforce consisting mainly of and managed by 30-50 something NT women....gee, possibility for miscommunication much???
I continue to grind away in an entry level Library staffer's job for which I am grossly overqualified for, but in this economy I'm just grateful to have a job at all. I did briefly hold 2 positions as Librarian I in other institutions...the first one for a mere 6 months, the 2nd one lasting 2 years, with a good annual review my 1st year, but that 2nd year it all went to hell, and hindsight shows my A.S. was the 800-LBS elephant in the room that got me booted from that job. Stupidly I resigned instead of fighting it out and forcing them to fire me. Word to the wise--make them fire you. Don't quit--not ever. You will nearly always LOSE your unemployment benefits case if you quit. If they fire you, you at least have a fighting chance of winning unemployment benefits. Wish someone had told ME that when it would've done me some good.
I hope maybe someday I can land a Librarian I gig in a university again but this time doing Interlibrary Loan stuff...but it's hard to stay optimistic about my future in Librarianship as someone with an ASD. It's already catty-backstabby enough for a lot of NT women...what chance does a male with A.S. have...
And before anyone suggests it, I can't go back to my old job....that company, you may have heard of them from the headlines...AIG, Inc? Got bailed out, etc? Also instituted a hiring freeze that continues to freeze me out (though you damn well can be sure the exec's still got all their bonuses, etc).
My goodness, your story is interesting on so many levels. First of all, working with a boss that you clearly did not respect, finding the handicap after having challenges without realizing the factors confounding them, your ability to work successfully in a corporate job, AIG, of all places, your conflict with your mother, and I assume her coming to terms with Asperger's syndrome. How is that working out? Your challenges seem overwhelming to me, but you certainly have clarity on what they are. I wish you the very best of luck.