I apologize in advanced for how lengthy this post is. I have been feeling pretty down lately, and I feel more comfortable with talking about how I feel right now on the internet to strangers. I don't want my parents to feel sad or worried. I also don't want to bottle my emotions. I was wondering if there is any other adult with Asperger's who goes through life with no friends and how they cope.
I have not really had anyone I can call a friend since I was in high school. I consider someone to be my friend if we hang out or talk to each other on a regular basis. I consider them to be someone I can trust, share happy moments with, ask for advice, or cry to. I had a group of three friends my senior year. However, I don't even know if I could technically call them "friends." They were only my friends because my teacher convinced them to talk to me and to spend time with me. High school was a point in my life when I was in a deep depression. I felt truly alone and like an outcast. I was in and out of suicide watch and I had no friends. I would cry to my teacher a lot and tell her my feelings, because I didn't know who else to confide in. So she helped me make those three friends, who eventually stopped including me because they said we didn't really "click".
I was bullied throughout most of my time in elementary school, starting my first year in kindergarten. The whole class bullied me in kindergarten. Whenever we would get a new student, I would approach them and try to be their friend. However, the bullies would always end up turning them against me. The whole school-bus of kids would bully me too. The kids would physically attack me, and the bus driver never did anything about it. As I progressed through elementary school, I was always the quiet kid. I didn't talk to anyone because I had became afraid of everyone. Whenever I made friends, they would eventually abandon me because I was too clingy. Or they were turned off by the fact that they were my only friend and they found it to be weird. I would also make friends who would abandon me without ever telling me why. They would just move on and make new friends. Normal friends.
I hated middle school. It was a completely new environment with new people. I didn't know anyone, and when I finally made a friend, she wasn't a genuine friend. She would poke fun of me. She would mock how I talked, or she would make fun of how I dressed. She ended up turning my other friend against me. That friend attacked me from behind and started choking me in front of a crowd of people. I eventually made another friend; however, she too turned against me at random. She would harass me with nasty voicemails every day and make fun of me in them. Everyday that she saw me in the school halls, she would punch me. From then on I had no friends in middle school. I had to change schools to get away from being bullied, only to get bullied even more at the new school. Kids would pretend to be nice to me and pretend to be my friend. I would trust them and tell them about my personal life and about how I struggled to make friends, only for them to spread it to everyone. Then everyone would make fun of me. My nephews went to my middle school and witnessed the bullying. However, they did not protect me from it and they stopped talking to me completely. My older sisters didn't like me because I was too quiet around them, so they stopped interacting with me all together, and so did their children.
Once again, high school was a new environment with new people. I was very quiet and I didn't talk to anyone. I was scared and I didn't fit in anywhere. My first friend was a guy who knew I had no friends and knew he could easily manipulate me. He would tell me different things I could do that would help me to not be shy anymore such as taking molly. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of doing drugs, so luckily I never tried any. However, he manipulated me into having sex with him. He told me that losing my virginity would instantly make me outgoing. When it turned out not to be true, I felt used and then I stopped talking to him. My next "friend" was another guy who saw me as an easy target. He pretended to be a caring friend. TRIGGER WARNING: He ended up sexually assaulting me, and he ended up being disappointed when he realized that I wasn't a virgin. I still to this day haven't found a way to cope with what happened to me. It was around this time when I was in and out of suicide watch. My teacher helped me to make the group of three friends I mentioned earlier, because she was so worried about me. I eventually made online friends. They helped with my loneliness, but eventually we fell out of touch too.
In college I was quiet, didn't participate in any school activities, and I didn't know how to make friends. I was so used to not having friends. I eventually made one friend, but we lost touch after I graduated before her. In the workforce, the same thing would happen. I might make a friend or two, and then when one of us changes jobs we would fall out of touch. I don't know what words to text them that would get them to continue to be my friend. So I end up not texting them at all, and they never end up texting me either.
Many of my past boyfriends were verbally abusive, controlling, and manipulative. All this did was add further trauma to my life. I am thankful for the boyfriend I have now. He is a truly compassionate person and has been nothing but kind and patient with me. He understands autism and he has a cousin with autism. However, I am just so insecure about the fact that my boyfriend and my parents are the only people that I regularly talk to. I guess this insecurity stems back from when people no longer wanted to be my friend if they found out they were my only friend.
I don't feel like I fit in with society. I still feel like the "quiet girl." Everywhere I go, people comment on how quiet I am. All my life people ask me why I'm so quiet. I never know how to answer. I don't want to say I'm shy. Then they'll just tell me I need to grow out of it. Or they'll say there is no need to be shy and that all I have to do is talk. That's it. The magic cure to shyness is to "just talk".
I don't see the point in small talk. Talking about things like the weather is pointless, because it's just stating an obvious fact. I like to get to an actually engaging conversation. I don't relate that much to my coworkers. They talk about topics I don't relate to. They joke in ways that I don't understand or in ways that I don't find funny. When they use sarcasm I think they are being serious, then they laugh at me for not understanding. Whenever I try to engage in group conversations, people talk over me. Then whatever I said ends up getting unheard. Then I retreat to not saying anything at all to contribute to the conversation and once again end up being the "quiet one." Sometimes my coworkers are nice to me and talk to me, other times they stay away from me and say nothing more than a hello to me. The inconsistency confuses me and causes me to feel disliked. I get afraid of being manipulated into thinking that someone actually likes talking to me or likes my presence. It's difficult for me to tell if someone is genuine. So in order to put up a shield, I go around thinking everyone has a bad agenda. I try to avoid talking about my personal life so that no one knows that I have weaknesses and vulnerabilities. However, all this does is make people exclude me even more. People say I am emotionless and hardly ever smile. So I try give fake smiles and I try to laugh at things that end up not being jokes or not being funny. Then I notice eyes darting around at each other and facial expressions changing into what appears to be discomfort. So then I feel like I made the conversation awkward.
I feel that my Asperger's disorder, my past traumas growing up, and my fear of abandonment prevents me from making friends. In social situations, no matter how badly I want to talk and start a conversation, I simply just can't find the words to say. My attempts at being funny often times end up confusing the person and making the whole conversation awkward. I feel like I have to pretend to be normal, but since I don't know how to be normal I end up failing at it. I am simply at a loss on what to do. Like I said before, I feel uncomfortable with the only people I regularly talk to being my boyfriend and my parents. I know my parents won't be around forever. I strongly want long lasting friendships, I just don't know how to make or keep friends. Maybe its simply that I haven't met someone who relates enough to me to actually want to keep me as a friend. I don't know.
Any advice, or even simply just relating to me, will help me feel better. I greatly appreciate if you read everything I wrote.
Hi there. I've just read your post and my heart goes out to you. I just wanted to post something because I can a few people have already looked at your story but haven't posted anything in response. I'm actually at work so don't have much time to say anything - I work in a school and was looking for advice on diagnosing ASC when I came across your post. But just want you to know that I feel for you, it sounds very tough. I wish I had time to write more. Hopefully others will be along to talk to you soon.
Hello. Thank you, I really appreciate your response.
We are all different, but socialising is good for us. Any hobbies, clubs, church, volunteer groups. You should join in an try and be useful. You will benefit and si will they
Hello, I don't know what to advise, because I also have no friends. But I just wanted to say that you sound like a nice person.
I don't want to be offensive, but you sound pretty normal by the standards of this website. Of course, normal is a relative term.
My school life was also awful and full of changes. By the age of 13, I was in my 8th school. This is counting one school twice because I went to a different school in between and a Saturday morning school.
This is half as much as I have currently. I am currently reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936."
I also have found The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Dr Stephean covey also good to help maintain associations.
You might ask your doctor to refer you to programs in making friends.
But most find that you should simply join a club that has people interested in your hobby/interest.
Newly diagnosed at 42 and your feelings mirror mine. I have attended a group locally for those recently diagnosed with autism and I felt so comfortable with people who think the way I do that I feely strategy will be to seek out groups for those on the spectrum and socialise that way. I'll have to let you know if it helps!!
Wow that was a long post ! I sincerely hope you feel better for reaching out. I feel like an oldie on here and not being diagnosed, I hope I dont come across as a.fraud. Friends and the lack of has always been a strong traitfor me. Im 46 nearly and dont really have a bff. I have a couple of good friends that I can have a cuppa with but its a struggle to make it happen. Im not sure if I come across wierd or they dont get that uncomfortable humour thing but people tend to.disclude me. Even my wife doesnt like taking me places where I'll embarrass her and she'll end up apologising for something I said or did. People will of course take advantage of your weakness too. Being too trusting or wanting to be accepted and have a friend so bad that you'll do almost anything. I have a sixth sense just like you and I ignored it for years and man did it cost me ! So believe in your instinct, be you and try not to be desperate to find friends. Makings friends and keeping the relationship alive is up there on the things we struggle to do so like everything else, accept it and make peace with it. The right people will come along and stick around, you'll see.
Live and let live.
Hi there. I read you post and i would say you could benefit a lot from having a pet. They really are our best friends, If you really have ASD, you will always struggle to make and specially KEEP friends. Get yourself a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, a dove, you will be loved.
To me work mates are fickle & will totally rewrite history when it suits them.
Before my diagnosis I craved work parties, banter & the social life with them, all which led to stress & social mistakes & then more stress.
Now I have accepted work "friends" come & go. I try and keep things polite with them, and minimise my views & social interactions & never repeat anything they say about others.
Some ask if I'm lonely etc. I'm content, I do the things I love and avoid the artifical social constructs & obligations. I have stopped trying to chase a nirvana that doesnt exist for me. Sure my lifestyle/choices wont be for every aspie, and I should expect it to be.
Find what works for you and be content.