So, I'm twenty two years old and I was recently diagnosed a few months ago but then I've never really felt like I belong,I've made friends in the past, but we all seem to grow apart.
I'm not sure how to go about making more, I've tried going out on night's out and stuff, as I'm "Supposed to do." at my age, like Nightclubs, and bars, pubs. I don't drink, nor am I allowed, so people slowly get more and more drunk, and their inhibitions go. I find myself just feeling uncomfortable.It's not that I DONT like talking to people, it's really that I don't know how to engage certain situations, since people aren't honest.
People can say "Oh, yeah I'm fine." and I'll think "Oh okay -carries on talking-" then they just like snap and get pissy, and im like "What?"
Nightclubs are not really that fun, if you're not drinking. (maybe its not even if you are.) but yeah, people shove past you, you get crowded in. People look at you strangely cs' you're just in the corner looking at the lights reflect on the smoke, and listening to the overwhelming loud music.
I feel like I'm losing everyone I know, that I care about. Because I don't know how to keep them in my life.
I can't find a partner, because I don't even know who i am, and the fake persona I've used for years is slowly fading, cs' I don't want to be that person anymore, I want to be myself. But the only people that accept me as that, are my immediate family (Which isn't a complaint) but it'd be nice to have some other people.
Does anyone else experience this sort of thing, or has in the past and found a solution, cs' I'm not sure how to deal with this, and a sure answer of what to do would be amazing.
Thanks, I'm new to this community by the way, I hope I havent dragged you all down with my trivial problems.
Not at all... and welcome!
That could quite easily have been a diary entry of mine at your age. Then, though, I didn't have a diagnosis to put it all into context and make sense of it. I only got my diagnosis just over 2 years ago, at age 56. Suddenly, my whole life - my issues, behaviours, foibles, perceived 'failings' - all made sense to me. There was nothing wrong with me after all (as I'd always assumed). I was simply different. And... there were lots of others just like me! That was the other big thing. Finding out that I wasn't alone after all.
Similar stuff with me. Never really being able to make friends, or keep them. In fact - never really wanting friends, if I'm honest. From my schooldays onwards, other people my age had either been contemptuous of me at best, or hostile towards me at worst. I felt safer not associating. I didn't have my first girlfriend until I was 23, and it didn't last long. Since then, the gaps between relationships have been quite long. 7 years, 4 years, 4 years again. I got married at 40 to a woman I loved and cared for deeply. But I couldn't make it work. I couldn't function in a cohabitation arrangement. So, I was divorced by 45. From that time, I've had about 4 more relationships - the longest, and last one, being 18 months. I now no longer either want one or seek one. But that's not to say that your experience will match mine. At your age, there's huge pressure to 'fit in' and 'conform' in so many ways. We're expected to have friends, have partners, go out socialising... then settle down by 30 and have children and mortgages, etc. None of that ever remotely appealed to me. I used to go to nightclubs more because I felt I was supposed to than because I actually wanted to. Most of the time, I used to just sit and listen to the music... then come home alone and slightly drunk, and mystified about why everyone else there seemed to be having such a great time and getting paired off. What was I missing in this mating display? I was nearly 50 before I found that one out, when a woman I was seeing pointed out to me that I hadn't picked up on her numerous signals. What signals? I then was given a lesson in body language and flirtation. None of these things had ever really occurred to me. And when you discover that less that 10% of communication is verbal... that's why I wasn't connecting with other people! Well, that's a big part of it, anyway.
Much more I could say, but I don't want to ramble on - as I often do. Just one thing I picked up on. You said you're not allowed to drink. Just wondered if that's because of a medical condition. You reserve the right, of course, not to answer. I was just curious.
All the best,
I'm on Anti-Psychotic Medication, for my Psychosis. If I drink, it makes me drowsey, and the meds can stop working. So basically just a REALLY bad idea.I've been told I miss body language, but then I looked it up, and whenever i point out said body language, they say its not the case, so maybe im not recognising it properly. I want these relationships, and friendships, the thing is, they're so much hardwork, ALL the time. I find I need to be someone im not just to sustain these relationships. Which isn't a great way of going into it.
The Foyster said:I find I need to be someone im not just to sustain these relationships. Which isn't a great way of going into it.
Yes. That's how it's always been for me. I used to feel tremendous pressure to try to make friends - because without them, I was worried that people would think there was something wrong with me. I've played lots of roles and worn lots of masks in my life. My main 'social' associations have been in the workplace, where you don't have a lot of choice about needing to get on with people. Again, though, I've generally found myself out on the margins before very long. And I always had - and still have - the sense that as soon as I walk away from any group, they're all gossiping about me. That's another thing that always gets me: gossip. I detest it. It does so much damage. And yet most of the places I've worked in thrive on it.
It's exhausting being ND in an NT world. But there are ways of navigating it. I can understand much of your anguish. I've generally found that although I've lost a lot of people along the way, the ones I've retained have been the only ones worth knowing. They're the ones I can trust. A fair few are ND, too. Others are people who are minorities in other ways, or who are otherwise vulnerable or misunderstood, or oppressed: people with mental health issues, for instance. People for whom the mask has slipped, perhaps. Either that or they've proudly ripped it off. Or never worn it in the first place.
I find i've half ripped the said 'mask' off, but keep trying to glue it on every now and then. Rather than just rip it the rest off. I'm scared of change and uncertainty. So it's a horrible middle ground im at. Gossip is terrible, people will say one thing and act the other, I'd always get into trouble "You said -insert generic insulting gossip- about this person, why are you being different in front of them", Thanks for messaging me by the way, It's nice to hear from someone like minded.
Being scared of change and uncertainty is all part of the package, it seems. I've always hated major change. And for me, major change can even be something like being told I'm on a different shift tomorrow! That's why I've generally stuck with 9 to 5 jobs (and I've had lots of those, with sometimes big gaps of unemployment in between).
I won't patronise you by saying it gets easier, and these things pass. I think you'll just - as I have - find your way forwards. Sometimes it feels a bit like fumbling in the dark. By the time I hit 30, I started to become more comfortable with myself and who I was. I think it was around that point that I actually found that I liked not being like the majority. I developed more of a social conscience and began to take an interest in 'marginal' things - usually centred on being with and helping the vulnerable. I was a hunt saboteur for a few years. I got heavily involved in the Green movement. I simplified my life as much as possible - though that wasn't difficult, as I'd always had the need to avoid complications. I've never felt happy about owning many things, or having complex social networks to keep up. I started writing much more seriously in my 30s (I'd done it since I started isolating at around 10). The mainstays of my life began to fall into place. And my 'identity' began to properly form and become fixed. I became my own person!
Now, I work in a day centre with autistic people. I don't have overtime. I don't have to work weekends. I don't earn much, but it's enough. When I tell people I can manage on under £12,000 a year, they look at me like I'm nuts! I come home in the evenings, shut my door, read my books, write... and switch on the computer to get access to my real friends on here! It doesn't suit everyone. But then, it doesn't have to