Hi, I hope your all well. I was diagnosed with Asperger's and selective mutism when I was 21, I am now 31. I have struggled my whole life socially, everyone put my difficulties down to shyness, so it was a relief in a way when I was diagnosed as it was an answer. But deep down I have always felt like I have never been able to fit in society, i have never been able to work due to my anxiety, which has been a huge void in my life. In a lot of ways I am very capable, I am kind, caring, thoughtful, understanding and a good listener. I feel like I'm stuck in the middle, as if my difficulties are not severe but they have just simply stopped me living the life I hoped for. Can anyone relate to me? Thank you so much for listening. It honestly means a lot to me
Yes. I can relate to nearly all of that.
I can relate to you.
I don't just feeling isolated. I am isolated. I can go several days without speaking to a single person.
My mum is the only person i speak to in real life.
Yes, I relate to a lot of that. I’m also a 31 year old female on the spectrum, I was diagnosed about 5 years ago. On another thread in this forum, another user described their autism as ‘a wall’, small enough to peek over the top and see all the ‘normal people’ going about their ‘normal lives’ but too tall to climb over and participate. I can’t really put it any better than that myself, I describe it as being on the outside looking in, here to observe but never participate. You aren’t alone, even though I’m sure it feels that way. When I feel that way I come here, I don’t often say anything because even socialising online is hard for me, makes me feel very vulnerable and anxious, but reading others contributions has helped a lot with the feelings of isolation.
Hello Theresa77 I can definitely relate to what you are saying. I've always felt like an outsider really, and always thought that I was just shy until recently when I became aware that I'm probably at the mild end of the spectrum. I really sympathise re your anxiety stopping you from working. I left my job a couple of years back, and then realised after a while that it was actually the full extent of my social interaction, and even then I would very rarely go out to pubs etc with work colleagues - I used to dread things like that! Best wishes.
HI!! I really liked or posted. I totally agree with you. I wouldn't say a wall though. I wold say a window: i can see others, they can see me but we can't share sounds. It's exausting.
Try to get help in my opinion Theresa.
Ask your doctor if they can refer you to social services for a social care package. With a support worker.
Struggling to talk with people can be a major impairment.
I can relate, I feel as if Im an alien trapped in a human body, I can come across as a very quiet shy person yet at the same time if im comfortable with the people I know I can talk for ages and probably annoy people. I still have problems maintaining friends and being social, though I know the things that help which isn't technically legal or healthy long term.I know the science behind it all and im not sure therapy would be of any use, its weird I want to be social yet at the same time social situations can be unstimulating or I get anxiety for no reason at all. I know its all neurological in nature rather than some deep seated psychological problem. So Im trying to cut out sugars or anything that might induce anxiety. The weird thing is, I can communicate with people fine on forums or twitter, I just dont like chatting in real time as its anxious inducing.Its hard to make friends and form connections when you have specific interests, I love sci-fi, philosophy, science, technology and so on, I also get bored very easily and need some sort of stimulation, I think I must have ADHD too.
I've never felt myself to be as innately introverted as my behaviour makes me out to be. The assumption, even from professionals such as therapists, that it's all down to being innately asocial or socially phobic really frustrates me. I wish more people understood the significance of overwhelming sensory input, slow speech processing, difficulties with attention and executive functioning, and having to expend so much effort to consciously analyse things which others can intuit sub-consciously. For sure, I do have some psychological problems as a consequence of being told that my behaviour is inappropriate or unacceptable for so many years; but this is not the be all and end all of my problems with social interaction.
I find particularly annoying being constantly told that I just need to get out there more and practice my social skills. In my youth, I pushed myself extremely hard to do exactly that - too hard, in fact; as it resulted in many melt-downs, shut-downs, and periods of burn-out. Decades before even the suspicion that I might be autistic, I already knew that there was a "glass ceiling" to my social abilities due to my sensory perceptions and cognition leaving me completely bewildered by what's going on around me much of the time.
This is largely why I find communicating in writing so much easier. There's time to think and far fewer sensory stimuli competing for my attention. I can express the real me rather than feeling under pressure to blurt out the first thing that I can think of which I guess might be socially acceptable (many people in the past have spotted my parrotting of "catch-phrases").
Too often, support services only seem to consider basic "functioning" - can we hold down a job, feed ourselves, share a public space without offending people or embarrassing ourselves, etc. I want to feel that I'm "living" not just "functioning" - I'm a human being, not just an android with buggy software.
I find my situation weird, I can be confident and charming other times Im quiet and reserved, I think it comes down to brain chemistry or depending who im with. I do use certain substances such as beta blockers or a small amount of Valium if I have a job interview.I find it hard most of the time to talk in real time via chat but its super easy to communicate like this via forums.I guess it gives me time to think and collect my thoughts, though I sometimes go a bit weird if I have had too much sugar or caffeine. So those are things I try to avoid, certain mild stims help and I have a theory that they temporary fix my dopamine system, Though its something to use very sparingly. At times I feel like I come across as a very intelligent person and other times I feel like I acting stupid, even my mum said once how can someone be so smart and yet be so stupid.I see no point in practicing social skills as small talk is boring, my interests are so far apart from normal people.So yeah some folks I can click with others I relay have nothing to say especially if their into sports or drinking.Give me a mug of magic mushrooms and lets go for a walk into nature and talk about the universe,thats my thing.