I am autistic and so is my child. All my family know about my child's diagnosis and some know about mine. Despite this, I feel intense rejection or isolation from some members of my family. As though every time my child gets upset the other children are whisked away and told it's not their fault (not that it is is there fault but it's the whisk them off and turn their back on my child which hurts). If any other child in my family was upset I would try and comfort them and reassure them. This doesn't seem to happen for my child (by some).
I feel such intense loneliness sometimes and that is my worse fear for my child; that they will be lonely. It hurts so incredibly much that some members of my family seem to struggle to accept us. It could be my own misinterpretation but it causes such anxiety and nausea.
Has anyone else felt this kind of rejection and loneliness and it be unfounded? I want it to be unfounded.
You are not alone in your feelings.
Many of us are lonely and have experienced rejection.
I don't have ASD but my son has - ASD/ADHD. It pains me to see that he is alone and playing by himself because he doesn't "fit" in. I overhear some kids say - Let's not pick Michael. He doesn't understand the rules.
It hurts a lot. My son doesn't feel that way yet, he is still 7. I just hope that when he gets older, he will learn how to cope with it. He is undergoing OT.
Are you and your child in therapy?
"don't understand the rules" !!!!!
What rules !!!!!
The real problem with Autism is we are unaware that these rules even exist.
No... you're certainly not alone in feeling alone. I suppose I feel 'aloneness' rather than 'loneliness', though, because I've spent much of my life alone and engaged in solitary activities. I started to disengage from others at around the age of seven, when I'd been in school for a couple of years and found it to be an unfriendly place at best - and a hostile place at worst. By ten, I was spending a lot of time alone - reading, making up stories, playing games in which I took all the parts, etc. That's pretty much how it's been for the rest of my life, too, up to my current age of 58. Wherever I go, I tend to end up on the margins once I'm engaged with any kind of group - such as with colleagues in the workplace. It baffled me for years - what's wrong with me? - until I got my diagnosis almost 3 years ago now.
I say 'aloneness' because I don't feel the need to have others around me and am quite happy with my own company. After work and at weekends, I see no one at all apart from passing acquaintances in shops or on the street. I focus on those lifetime activities of reading, writing, artwork - and also looking after my cat! On the other hand, I understand the feeling of isolation very well, in the sense of being misunderstood or rejected by others. In April, I lost my mother after caring for her for the last six months of her life. She was the only person, throughout my life, who really understood me, and who I could go to for counsel and support. Without her around - though she is around in another sense, I feel - there isn't anyone else. I've not been very close to my brother for a number of years, even though he lives just a few minutes away. Since my diagnosis, the estrangement from him has become even more pronounced. I sent him my diagnostic report to read. But he never mentioned it afterwards, and whenever the subject of autism comes up, he shuts off. I think this is largely coming from his wife, though, who is one of those who regards anything smacking of 'mental health' as a no-no. It's not discussed. Almost as if it's an embarrassment. A blot on the escutcheon, as the old saying has it.
And maybe this is part of the problem for many people. It's very difficult to get non-autistic people to understand our particular neurological set-up and our take on the world. There are analogies that can be used. A cat in a world of dogs, for instance. An Apple OS in a world of Windows. A bike in a world of boats. That can be helpful. But, in my experience, even the most receptive and understanding of NTs can still not quite get it. The less receptive and understanding ones, then - well, they're a challenge. And people are often suspicious, or even fearful, of things they don't understand. This is why, unfortunately, we have racism, sexism and homophobia in society. Ignorance, in some ways for some people, is always the easier option. Autism has a much higher profile and is understood much better now than it was before, through things like films, TV programmes, documentaries, and high-profile cases. But still there's a long way to go.
How openly have you spoken to members of your family? Have you tried asking them to look at things, read things, etc - or are they simply not receptive to any of it? If the latter, then sadly that's the case for an awful lot of people. And like with my brother, you can try and try and try with it - but the more you try, the more isolated they become. Some people simply don't want to listen, and can't be made to.
At least you know that you will never be alone here, and will always be accepted here and listened to here. And understood, too. I hope that's some comfort, at least.
All the best,
Loneliness is part of autism. I mean, I managed to feel lonely at times during my own stag weekend, why? Because I find it so hard to relate to others and initiate or sustain conversations or end them correctly. Hence I can be with a bunch of people I know yet feel intensely alone.
Therefore the question is, what does one do about it? One can take socialising classes and learn how better to interact, whatever that looks like. Or one can avoid putting oneself in such situations, which is what I do. Or one can accept that sometimes one feels welcome and sometimes alone. Trying to come to terms with that and deal with the illogical side of it is the hardest thing for any aspie in my view
Yes to the rejection and loneliness. I'm sorry, but it isn't unfounded, even though you want that to be true, and probably quite badly, because logically all parents want the best for their children, and at a minimum want their children to be happy.
My adult son was apparently diagnosed with Aspergers many years ago (my ex-wife never bothered to tell me). He was socially isolated throughout his school years and was also bullied to some extent for being identifiably different to his peers.
He has ended up with a bunch of mental health challenges and after becoming suicidal because of the expectations and pressure (from the school he was in) has been seeing a psychologist and a therapist for his depression.
Despite suppressing my own feelings as a strategy to get me through life, I have my own "issues".
Such honest and heart felt replies.....I feel lonely most of the time and it can hurt a great deal.
i have times when I do connect.....and that hurts too, at times, just because it can make the loneliness even more stark.
i feel connected here...but then that puts even more sharply into frame my isolation offline x
I’m sorry to hear that your son has previously experienced suicidal feelings. If he is ever unable to cope with distress or despair in the future, it’s very important he tells someone about his feelings or thoughts of suicide. He should call his GP and make an urgent appointment. His GP would make sure he gets appropriate help and support.
If it’s outside GP hours he could call 111 to reach the NHS 111 service: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx
The Samaritans also provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day on 116 123, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIND have information pages on coping with self harm or suicidal feelings based on the experiences of people who’ve been through it that he may find helpful.
If he is ever very close to doing something to hurt himself he should call 999 or go to his nearest A&E department. There should be someone there to support him and make sure he gets ongoing support.
If you or your son need help with an autism related issue, our helpline can be emailed on email@example.com or they’re open Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm and Friday 9am-3pm on 0808 800 4104.
Thank you for your concern, but my adult son lives overseas with his mother, so the NHS is a bit irrelevant.
I did try calling the helpline myself to find out about what resources might be available to an adult with likely Aspergers (me), but after ten minutes on hold I was cut off by the automated systems.
I might try email in future. Thanks.
I have spent years living with a ten-year-old's solution to that: putting up walls to the extent that you aren't even aware of what you're feeling half the time. On the plus side, it allowed me to function out in the world, and I could surmount challenges that might have stymied me if I'd let those troublesome feelings get in the way.
Of course, with this sudden realisation of ASD, those walls are crumbling a bit, and it's not very pretty. At least it hasn't gotten bad enough to start carrying a Samaritans card around in my wallet again, just in case.