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
I hope I can fit in here, It'd be nice. If I can start moving forward soon, I guess that's a good start, I just hope I can be content in a few years, rather than this in the middle Bull, that seems to take up all my head space. Thanks Martian.
You fit in here already!
The Foyster Hello. Ditch the nightclubs ,they are soul destroying for any human being attending on a regular basis and not conducive to socialising as you can't even hear people talking ! Consider joining a 'group'or if there is a particular interest you have find a 'group' related to that topic. A walking group etc.. (I'm in one ..Lots of different age groups and interesting people ) , then there are Solo holidays. I have lots of friends who go on them and have a good time. I hope this helps a little.
Reading your post and agreeing with almost everything.
Nightclubs, you either understand and enjoy them. Or you don't and probably never will.
Look for different groups, and walking groups are a good start if one enjoys walking and you get to talk with like minded people.
Solo holidays, again you get a chance to meet people with similar interests. Providing you choose the holiday carefully.
The Foyster wrote:
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.
The chances are that you could be recognising the particularities of body-language, but people in order to maintain their Personae (i.e. their social masks as only exist in the plural sense) are pretending to be other than they are ~ so pointing out their actual behaviourisms can get particularly tricky, involving all manner of denials, and or accusations.
Another factor to consider is that most people are utterly oblivious to body-language, and are only in the functional sense as if dancing a dance with particular steps, gestures and postures that are automatically done. Addressing though any aspect of it can be particularly unsettling for some, in that becoming conscious of automatic behaviourisms can actually deregulate their natural (usual) behaviour.
Paying attention to your personal rate of blinking can be a good example of behavioural dysregulation, as visual processing normally filters out the momentary darknesses caused by the eyelids intermittently blinking shut, and consciously involving these temporary closures as additional inputs disturbs the natural flow or rhythm of the visual data stream. Being aware of this can be a bit discomforting for a while, so my particular apologies if you were not aware of this before, but it normally provides a sense of why people are not always so glad to have their body-language pointed out to them.
The basic gist of social pretence (as being just like theatrical performance involving dramatic spoken lines, behaviourisms, theatrical costumes, wigs and masks etc) is that it must be supported and invested in just as a game, or actually a system of games, with particular rules, regulations and rewards in each social scenario.
The vast majority of people take these social game pretences quite seriously, even though they very rarely have any real clue about what is actually going on at all.
Again, making people aware of this collective fantasy or delusion for the most part is often more trouble than it is worth, but as as being autistic, not pretending or being able to pretend in part or whole as others do ~ rather causes problems in the social mechanics when it comes to being group worthy, or socially in general accepted.
As a further insult to injury, when it comes to being "different", social mechanics very much requires unworthy groups or types of people also, i.e. the socially rejected and victimised. Without the "poorer" or most vulnerable members of society, the desperation to win or get by in the social game would not be supported by the evidence to succeed, no matter how dishonestly or honestly done it could, should and must be.
In terms then of supporting this, moral and ethical issues abound, but none the less the game of "Let's Pretend!" goes on, yet learning to recognise the patterns of the game and gamings rather than involving oneself in the hopes and fears of its losses and gains, is the healthier and more productive option.
The most obvious and most often missed observation about social mechanics is the role we ourselves play in it as a system of personal contracts, and social transactions, i.e. "If you are pleasant to me and/or do something pleasing for me; I will be pleasant to you and/or do something pleasing for you also." which almost invariably involves the contrary if 'otherwise' is the case. Failing to please others, and getting ripped off being examples of the 'otherwise'.
Of course learning to please others or not get sidelined or ripped off involves knowing how and why the social mechanics work as they do, and how we involve ourselves in them to lesser or greater proportions for healthier interactions, rather than transactions so much, and even when so, healthy ones.
For the social mechanics side of things, I found the books, 'GAMES PEOPLE PLAY - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN RELATIONS', by Eric Berne M.D., and for the personal and social mechanics side of things, T A Today - A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis - Second Edition', by Ian Stewart (PhD) and Vann Joines (PhD), particularly useful, in all the above mentioned respects.
The Foyster wrote:
The problems you describe are not trivial, but important, and rather than hoping not to drag us down, perhaps feel completely welcome here instead, and know for sure that most people on this forum will know in part or whole what you are going through.