I often find it difficult to deal with other people, even tho I do like to be around them, I suppose this makes me often lonely.
meeting new people
I have always found it very difficult to make that first connection, I never quite figured out how to do that and the uncertainty makes it quite scary as well.
If someone greets me I will respond but unless I really know the person I won’t be the one that says hello first. I have learned that because I am frightened at those first meetings that my body-language and behavior doesn’t invite people to try to connect with me. So I could go to a bar or something to meet people but I would be at the end of the evening probably still alone because I can’t do the meeting thing. When I have to meet someone new (for work or something else) its very frighting because I am never sure what to expect and what will be expected of me. I am very aware of the fact that I am not very good at it and that some people won’t respond well to my social clumsiness what makes it terrifying.
there are too many social rules and they are in a state of constant flux, every time I think I figured it out they change. I don’t see the point of many things and just do it because I have to. Giving of hands, shallow conversations, I do them because you are suppose to but I don’t really see the point. Its not only playing the game without knowing the rules but also without really knowing why you are playing in the first place.
I don’t look at people when I speak to them, there is something about another persons stare that feels threatening. Most people see my avoidance of eye contact as disinterest or even as being rude, I have had even health care professionals who knew about my autism ask if I could please look at them when they where talking, I can’t.
When it comes to socializing I like to stick with the people I know because I can mostly predict how they react and they know my difficulties.
I have a few friends, never had many because its hard to make friends and maintain them.
Finding the right balance of contact is a challenge, because I don’t have many friends I tend to too much and that can be annoying for the other person but contacting another after a longer while can feel like a first contact and is difficult.
Especially in the past I had the other setting all the rules of friendship because I had no idea what they would be and if I could ask for anything without upsetting the other. Now I am learning to let others know what I need and experiencing that its okay to do that.
The fiends I do have are very important to me and I care very much about them, theres not much I wouldn’t do to help a friend out.
I fell in love once, or better said I allowed myself to fall in love that one time. I have liked others but always was too frightened of making myself vulnerable that I would deny myself the chance. I just virtually ran the other way when anyone came too close.
The one romantic relationship I had was lovely but also difficult, its hard to know if what I did was right and I had a strong fear of messing up. I also found the emotional side of such a relationship hard to deal with, its illogical and overwhelming, for me it was surprising that I could feel such a way for someone especially someone that I knew relatively for a short time. I couldn’t say if I would try it again tho as the ending of it shattered my heart.
Coworkers and bosses
I have worked for about 4 years at one company and it had its ups and downs.
I have good days and bad days, on the good days I can be chatty and quite pleasant to be with, on the bad days my social skills go south and I isolate myself.
The production manager wasn’t a fan of me and I didn’t like him either, we where two people from a different world who couldn’t understand one other no matter how much we tried. That I think in a different way caused conflict every now and then, I am not good in conflict situations it makes me rather nervous and upset, I usually walk away or try to smooth it over as soon as I can. With my coworkers I had another problem and that was surprisingly enough my good behavior, I always was first to offer to work longer or in weekends, I really tried to do the best I could at everything, I did it so well that often I was made an example to follow for the rest, they did not like that I made them look bad.
We started as a group with mainly man but in the years the number of women overtook the man and that was noticeable for me. Its not that I have anything against women its just that a group of women interact in a different way, they often don’t say what they mean and you have to hear from someone else if they don’t like something you did. I have a problem with that kind of interaction as I never know where I stand and it makes me highly insecure also I am incapable of playing those games.
I no longer work, I just couldn’t work there anymore as a lot has happened there when I became ill, I hope I can get another job but my difficulties make this hard too.
Health care professionals
as a child I use to have a near pathological fear of doctors, dentist and others alike. Its not that something horrible has happened to me, with doctors and alike the fear was mainly that I was expected to speak, to explain what I felt and my incapability to do so. Dentist are a different kind of fear, that is the possibility of pain that terrified me. Now I am older its better but still I am not quite comfortable around these people.
This made that I was rarely to be found at the doctors office and only when I really had to, I was until a few years ago always accompanied by a parent, I just couldn’t go alone and didn’t want to try either. Then a mental health crisis left me little choice other then to seek help. You can probably understand that seeking help for a mental health problem was very difficult as it involves talking about emotional feelings, it made me feel vulnerable and insecure as I never know if I’m making any sense.
I still see a therapist every week but after more then a year I still can’t quite define our relationship, I would have said friendship if it didn’t lack a certain balance. Its all about me in those hours and even tho I do care for her it doesn’t seem right to ask her how she is doing for instance. I really need her to set the rules and boundaries and even to let me know if I threaten to cross them because I just don’t know otherwise.
I also see the psychiatrist but just once every few months and that makes that I am far less comfortable to talk with him, he knows and accepts that. I do like the matter of fact way we can talk about serious topics, its easier when the other doesn’t make a big fuss over it.