Low self-esteem and loneliness

Hi everyone, 

I am really struggling with low self-esteem and loneliness. I'm 32, I was diagnosed when I was 30.

I have always known that there was something 'wrong' with me, and have been trying to get a diagnosis since I was 18, but have been fobbed off by doctors and just given antidepressants (they work for a while but then stop working and I have to go up a dose, and when I reach the highest dose, it starts affecting my IBS). I have always struggled with holding down jobs; when I was younger, I was able to hold down a job for 6 months to a year, but as I got older, the time got less and less. I am now on benefits, I haven't worked for 2 years now and I'm studying at college online.

I also have a lot of social difficulties. I've moved around a fair bit, and have a long history of being ostracised by groups of people, to the point where they warn others to stay away from me because I am a "psychopath". I do have good friends somehow, but they are very few in number. I am scared of meeting new people in case they also ostracise me or reject me. I've also had pretty rotten luck with relationships and I've given up hope that I'll ever be in a serious relationship.

I don't have particularly good social skills - I have been criticised for "oversharing", my meltdowns don't go down so well and people generally find me weird and odd. I also have a pretty childish sense of humour, which people find annoying.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong and how to combat this... at this point of my life, I think it's safest if I just keep to myself (which is kinda boring and depressing). Years of failure and social rejection have chipped away quite a lot at my self-esteem.

  • Sorry you're not in a good place. I've also been called weird and childlike. ASD was only mentioned to me in November, I'm trying to get a diagnosis now. I've always told myself that if people don't like me, then I wouldn't like them anyway. I have 1 friend and 1 work colleague who like me, and my husband. Nobody else can seem to put up with me, and that's when I'm being really careful not to show my real self. Perhaps they can see I'm being dishonest in a way. There is nothing wrong with you, you're an amazing individual with unique experiences and outlook on the world. I'm here if you ever want to chat, or vent.

  • You sound perfectly interesting.       You're relatively newly diagnosed and it takes a long time to figure out who you really are - your strengths - and understanding your weaknesses.

    I created a very large personality because I noticed quiet + odd = bully target but extrovert + odd seems to be an enigmatic magnet for people - and I was open about my hobbies so I attract other closet/undiagnosed aspies - we became a functioning group.    My big personality means that things like 'oversharing' are just seen as open and honest.   I don't do secrets.    I haven't really grown up - I'm 14 inside still.

    I didn't get diagnosed until 42 - up until then, I was fobbed off as depressed - and given all sorts of pills over the years.

    I'm finding a huge number of undiagnosed aspies in distress because they didn't understand that they simply can't play the NT life - it's too much stress!     They started job that they can't possibly survive in rather than finding their niche.

    What do you like to do?   

  • Thank you for your kind words x

    Yeah I think that's it, I have to hide from most people. I am not good at being inauthentic though so I find the easiest thing for me is just to stick to my few good friends. I have one friend who is also a female with ASD, and she pretty much keeps to herself, she has like 4 friends and her partner and that's it. 

  • Yeah I've read some books and articles but I still seem to make mistakes and haven't fully figured out my strengths and weaknesses yet. I definitely know that I am not suited to public-facing jobs or fast-paced office jobs lol.

    I used to have a big personality (I used to drink a lot and take drugs) but people found me annoying and weird anyway. 

    I like art, I am studying art at college at the moment. I've no idea what I want to do with it yet though.

  • I prefer less people, I've always been a loner, entertaining myself with my own thoughts. People always thought I was weird, I always did too. What hobbies or interests do you like?

  • I do that as well, entertaining myself with my own thoughts. My humour is pretty weird and nobody else gets it. 

    My main hobbies are art and reading. I'm studying art at college at the moment (from home).

    What about you?

  • We are really not suited to dealing with NTs all day, every day.    I was lucky, I was into nerdy things so became an engineer so I've been able to work on my own or with other aspies.

    Drinking as drugs make you lose control - not a good combination.

    What sort of art - where do you see an application?     Would you sell original art or do you make things?

  • Art as well! Must be amazing studying it. I'm self taught, love drawing and painting. Would love to see some of your work. Slight smile

  • Aw thanks :) and likewise! I'll send you a PM Slight smile

  • Yeah that's true. I stopped because I stopped being able to handle drugs and alcohol, it makes me go a bit nuts and full on and basically have meltdowns, which annoy people and make people think that I'm a nutter. I can't handle them, and seem to get drunk a lot faster than NTs do. But it's a bit of a catch-22, because I have such severe social anxiety that I can't cope being around 95% of people sober. I have a handful of close friends around whom I feel comfortable sober; everyone else just makes me clam up. I've no idea how to talk to people and seem to have nothing in common with most of them. When NTs start talking about their office jobs, mortgages or cars, I find it boring and it makes me feel like a 7 year old.

    A lot of NTs in my life haven't been very understanding, and just told me to "try harder" and that I'm using my autism as an excuse. 

    I draw and paint. I am not sure yet. After 2 years of college I get to apply to uni; I'm thinking of studying illustration and becoming a freelance illustrator.