Have you suffered from chronic loneliness/isolation?

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PheonixDove
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15 Jul 2022, 6:02 pm

For me, school in particular was a time of much loneliness and isolation. I never felt that I fitted in with any crowd. People felt like aliens to me. Why would they spend their day talking about these things that to me have no real interest or value? And why were people so mean to the people they called their friends? However, it also made me realise that I quite enjoyed my own company and I was quite happy to explore my own hobbies and interests rather than have to "compromise" in order to fit in with the crowd. So it was bittersweet.

However, as I've got older, loneliness has been an issue, as I've always struggled to make lasting and genuine connections with people. Meeting new people and trying to create some kind of friendship feels... awkward to me at the best of times. However, I am extremely close to one person and in some ways I could be more than happy enough with just that one connection.

But of course I do want to spread my social wings.

I do think one other issue is that since my time in school I have become so comfortable in my own little shell. While I'm not always happy in it, it can be a struggle to convince myself that is worthwile to socialise with people - of course, it is worthwhile as even a little social interaction is often enough to feed my social needs and stop the feelings of loneliness.

How is the spreading of the social wings going for you all?



Joe90
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15 Jul 2022, 6:29 pm

I suffered social isolation so bad when I was a teenager that I think it has scarred me for life.

In my early teens I went through a time where I literally had no friends and it was painful to have to turn up for school every day having nobody to chat to and feeling invisible. But I still went, for my mum really. I didn't want her to worry about me, as she had other problems at the time with money and her marriage and losing her sister, but she knew I was lonely and she hated seeing me miserable and sitting alone in my room every weekend but she didn't know what to do.

Friendships were easier when I was little, plus I had all my cousins too, so I was hardly ever lonely. But when I became a teenager girls became more shallow at school and my cousins were getting older and found friends of their own, so I was just left hanging. I secretly hated my cousins friends for taking my most trusted companions away from me or not including me in their social activities. My mum would tell me that I shouldn't rely on my cousins but I felt that my cousins were the only children that actually loved me for who I was and naturally accepted me, and I got resentful because they were all NTs and so found themselves their own friends and I longed for at least one of my cousins to be lonely like me so that we could stick together and be each other's best friend.

So you can understand why I'm so resentful of autism and the fact that I'm the only person out of my cousins to be on the spectrum. I felt it was unfair that they all got blessed with NT brains and I had to be the problem child nobody liked at school.
OK one of my cousins exhibited a lot of autism traits as a child but he still managed to find himself some friends and forced himself to go out to bars when he was 18. I had no friends to do that with so I just spent my young adult days (the years you're supposed to be out having fun) sitting alone in my room.

Fortunately I'm not as lonely now as I used to be, and I'm in a happy relationship with an NT man who loves me, so I must be doing something right there. But life for me isn't all as happy as that because I've recently lost my mum, who has always been a best friend to me as well as a loving mother. But regrettably I didn't appreciate my mum when I was a lonely teenager as much as I should have done, and I was just a big burden on her.


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AprilR
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16 Jul 2022, 1:28 pm

I suffered from it all my life, although i am not sure if it is loneliness since i had friends, but still felt depressed and like my life is meaningless.



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16 Jul 2022, 1:54 pm

It's weird because I have literally been on my own thoughout my life but I've only ever actually felt lonely once or twice and that's only been a temporary thing but I'm really quite self sufficient.

I think my solitariness is more of a problem for other people than it is for me.



Joe90
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16 Jul 2022, 3:21 pm

I was a sociable child and teen and I craved company. You'd think nature would be kinder and have all people with autism naturally not crave any social interaction, but just to be really, really cruel, some of us on the spectrum have normal social cravings like most NTs do. That's the unfairness of it.


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klanka
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16 Jul 2022, 4:01 pm

I used the church to find friends, it took almost two years though :lol:

In those two years I suffered painful loneliness that felt like stabbing pains,



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16 Jul 2022, 4:05 pm

I felt isolated as a teenager but looking back, I found a nice group of friends when I was 16+ and kept them for about 10 years. I had friends at university and afterwards but since being about 30, friends have tailed off and I only have 1 or 2 now.

I think it's because I've been a stay at home mum in a small cliquey village since 2005. A very bad idea for an autistic person because your world is very small and motherhood is ferociously competitive as to whose baby is cleverest, quickest to develop etc. Really cruel and spiteful behaviour like that. It doesn't matter what your baby is like, they are all different.

So I had to work really, really hard to make any friends and succeeded in making 2. One of those is drifting away now, she was born here, she is the type of person who knows everyone, says hello to everyone, is everyone's friend. I'm nothing special. The other one is quite loyal, but she was also born here and knows everyone. I'm 'the stranger in town' who doesn't know anyone and has never managed to integrate.

I've lived here over 20 years now though...


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16 Jul 2022, 4:09 pm

I was a very lonely teenager. I grew up in a cult filled with judgmental people I couldn’t relate to, and I homeschooled myself while both of my parents worked full-time. I spent most of my time in the woods or submerged in a book. This was my entire adolescence. I had a couple of friends, but their families eventually moved far away and we gradually lost touch.

As an adult, I like being alone and don’t really get lonely. Maybe I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve also had some bad relationships which probably played a role here. There are worse things than being alone IMO.


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16 Jul 2022, 4:12 pm

I've never had any trouble with making friends.

I've just found that I don't get attached to people and I don't like it when they get attached to me either.

I'm just self reliant. I'm a mover onner.



kraftiekortie
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16 Jul 2022, 4:20 pm

I had few or no friends as a teenager. I lost myself in the encyclopedia. I also shoplifted books that I wanted to read. I was pretty lonely.



Dear_one
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16 Jul 2022, 9:07 pm

I have sometimes had groups of friends, or at least friendly acquaintances. Those I found through work, volunteers' meetings, and roommates. I found that vegetarian roommates tended to be more thoughtful and considerate with people too. Sometimes, I've had one main friend. Sometimes, I have had none at all, and that felt quite desolate and insecure. I have generally overestimated how much I "belong" with any person or group.



shortfatbalduglyman
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16 Jul 2022, 10:37 pm

my tale similar to yours.

cost benefit analysis

not worth it

junior high school bullying

"thin line between love and hate". so i try to minimize all strong emotions.

("with 'friends' like that, who needs enemies?".)

in 2006, two separate (they did not interact with eachother) electrical engineer and civil engineer had the nerve to tell me that "it is 'lying' for you to ask me to call you 'he' instead of 'she' !".

there were a lot of them. (outnumbered, outsmarted, overpowered). they were so confident, about something so basic. they were so successful, socially adept, emotionally resilient, normal personalities. and i was (am) not.

ends up, they were wrong. equal employment opportunity commission 2012. but they did not "discriminate" against me, because it is not "discrimination" if they were "friends" (or frenemies or enemies). if it were after 2012 and they were my bosses, it would have been discrimination.

thus it makes me wonder, what do precious lil "people" reject about me today, that there will be laws about 10 years later, mandating the passive aggressive tolerance of?

i do not know because i am not precognitive. i do not know what is going to happen before it happens.

i do not control the laws because i am not a politician.

besides, even if i knew, nobody in power would believe me or care anyways.

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although i would add, coronavirus made me look at chronic loneliness/isolation as not such a bad thing.



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16 Jul 2022, 11:21 pm

Most of the time, but that's how it goes. I feel it around almost everyone all the same. Don't really have the time to socialize anyway, even if I really can't, so I guess it works out.

My mother doesn't really count. The same with all my peers that weren't friends.



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16 Jul 2022, 11:44 pm

Yes. I've been an outcast all my life. I'm so used to it that I don't even feel lonely. I don't "suffer from" loneliness/isolation. I enjoy isolation. I only feel safe being alone. I'm convinced all people are evil.



ToughDiamond
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17 Jul 2022, 12:02 pm

Certainly I'm alone much more than I'd like to be, and it gives me unpleasant feelings of loneliness and vulnerability. But it's not an easy thing to fix. It doesn't ease my sorrow to mix with any but a select few with certain characteristics, in fact with the wrong people (i.e. the majority), I feel even worse. Ever since my adolescence I've felt that most people just won't give me a chance, I can't even get their attention. I'm able to get on with most people but only at the expense of honesty and any kind of control over what the encounter will be like. I'm fine with the right people, but I'm not good at proactively working to maintain bonds, so I very rarely even ask to meet them, I wait till they ask me. And people often move to faraway places which makes meeting them a lot more difficult. So the numbers decay and they don't get replaced fast enough because I don't make friends easily at the best of times and during normal times there just isn't anybody around who has the required characteristics.

It doesn't seem to me that the required characteristics should be particularly unusual - friendly, kind, soft-spoken, inclusive, reasonably deep, non-judgemental, a few interests in common with mine, fairly honest, somewhat left-wing. But I see a lot of off-putting traits in many people who cross my path - bigotry, loud aggressive manners, invasiveness, unreliability, selfishness, ableism. And some of the values they have make me want to reach for the sick bucket - running each other down behind their backs, judging each other by their material wealth, arguing in order to score points rather than to get to the truth, trying to enforce conformity to standards that don't matter. If I tolerated all that then I might have more acquaintances, but that's all I'd have, and it's not how I measure my social success.



KitLily
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17 Jul 2022, 1:52 pm

I do think humans are getting nastier. More greedy, competitive, big headed show offs. They find it hard to hold conversations now taking turns to speak.

They weren't like this when I was young, in the 80s and 90s. People were interested in each other instead of their phone notifications.


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