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To feel like I've wasted my life

(20 Posts)
justak Sat 22-Apr-17 10:09:09

I know that's a strong statement.

I'm not necessarily expecting advice here so don't be angry if I don't take it but if anyone does have useful thoughts I'd appreciate it.

I am of mixed Vietnamese and English heritage and unfortunately this did elicit some bullying at school. It also led to some well meaning but ultimately quite embarrassing encounters as many adults would draw attention to me in an attempt to be positive.

Anyway, my early years were defined by what might happen next. So in primary school I was urged to ignore the bullies as I'd make friends in secondary. Missed the boat a bit in secondary but never mind, maybe when you're at university.

The problem was I think I had got used to being alone, a problem that was compounded when my mother died during my early adolescence. It didn't seem strange to me. I read a lot and I had other solitary interests. I became very introspective and reserved.

As such I am now mid thirties. I have very few friends. I have no relationship and have never had one. I have not travelled, I have not experienced any weddings or other big social occasions and on the odd occasion I do I dread them as I arrive and leave alone. I long for physical closeness yet am unable to get it.

I don't know what to do.

TwitterQueen1 Sat 22-Apr-17 10:16:31

You haven't wasted your life. You are a product of your upbringing and your experience to date and now you want to change. So you're in ready and willing to move on.

Try not to dwell on the past. I was bullied and called names at primary school - move on.

It may be worth seeking counselling over the death of your mum, but my advice (FWIW) would be to join a social club of some kind, or volunteer with a project.

Do you work? Can you take advantage of any personal development courses available in your area?

You are still young enough to achieve the life you want.

justak Sat 22-Apr-17 10:17:52

Twitter I don't think you've understood me.

I have moved on from the bullying - that isn't the problem at all. What I'm trying to explain is that the early experiences of making friends, social mixing and first boyfriends and love interests - passed me by completely.

If I knew how to just move on from that and emerge tomorrow with a social circle and a partner I would.

bigchris Sat 22-Apr-17 10:20:22

I think know it is the perfect time to make friends

Join something like the WI which will have a wide range of people in it from young to old

By doing that you'll get out of the hosiery once a week, meet people, listen to talks, maybe do some crafty things, but sometimes you can get sit and listen and soon the small talk will come and you will make friends

Look at your local Facebook group for things like litter picking, or helping out at a food bank in a saturday morning, you'll meet people that way

By widening your social circle you'll meet someone possibly romantically

But you have to go out and do stuff, you can't sit at home and then complain about being lonely, sorry to sound harsh but it's your life you have to make it how you want it to be

bigchris Sat 22-Apr-17 10:21:05

House not hosiery lol !

justak Sat 22-Apr-17 10:24:35

I wouldn't say I do sit around the house being lonely, although sometimes you simply have to. There are plenty of things you can do but it's not activities I need, but people.

saoirse31 Sat 22-Apr-17 10:25:02

I think twitters suggestions - join soc club, volunteer- are good. Everyone has different life experiences, everyone. You know what u want to do, ie start developing friendships, relationships. But u can't do it, just instantly. You have to put yourself in situations, and its easier meet and talk when you're all doing something for a purpose.

justak Sat 22-Apr-17 10:26:53

Yes ... I do, thanks smile but I suppose as I've said I perhaps am just not very good at it, maybe because I missed out on it at an essential age.

Or perhaps I am fine at it and in fact it is just that others have more inbuilt company from people they have known for years and family. I don't know.

MrsMozart Sat 22-Apr-17 10:33:17

I'd echo the counselling.

You have a life that you've lived. It's not had this relationships but it's got you this far. If you want to experience friendships and relationships and weddings amd parties, etc., I would suggest that you get some help to deal with how you feel
now, then you can move forward. People make friends at all ages, you just need a bit of help in getting started.

pallasathena Sat 22-Apr-17 11:07:29

Join a walking group, there are ones in every town/city in the UK and you meet all sorts of lovely people with all sorts of fitness levels. They're a friendly bunch too.
Another thought would be to get involved at a community level with a hobby or interest. Amateur dramatics, attending church, signing up for an evening class or even just getting yourself a dog to look after would help. A daily dog walk brings you into contact with people and dogs are wonderful companions.
Check out the notice board in your local library. There's always something going on in mine. As someone said up thread, you have to get out there and make things happen because no-one is going to do it for you so be brave and find something that you know you will really enjoy and have fun doing.
Happiness is contagious OP.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 22-Apr-17 11:17:13

As you like reading why not look for a couple of book groups to join? They will probably be likeminded people who don't go in for the extroverted social whirlwind.

I don't think you have wasted your life at all. You are just looking for meaning and have realised you need more human connections to find it.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 22-Apr-17 11:18:15

I agree with PP that a pet might help if it's a possibility for you.

corythatwas Sat 22-Apr-17 11:36:41

I think a major problem here is that you are hung up on the idea that there is an essential age and that if you haven't done x, y and z by that age it's all over. This almost certainly makes you less willing to try new things and it may also may you come across as a bit distant to other people.

It doesn't have to be like that! Everybody's life follows its own course: it's a myth that it has to follow some kind of specified timeline. I know people who have lost what you term "the essential age" through chronic illness,, or abusive relationships, or the need to care for family members, and who have gone on to have very exciting and rewarding lives- just doing things in a different order.

My own dd was basically confined to her bed during secondary school and then missed out going to HE, so obviously missed out on much social interaction. She is working very hard on allowing herself to accept that she can still do those things, just a little bit later.

I was bullied at school and made no friends there, had no social skills to speak of, did make friends at uni, but then moved abroad in my late 20s to a country where I basically knew no one (and had no job). I'm in my 50s now, and life is more exciting than it has ever been: I am building my career and making new friends.

Don't give up on yourself. Skills you don't have can be acquired. And if the people you have been around are not really "kindred souls" you may overestimate the skills you would need to get on with the kind of people who are. It may just be a case of finding them.

CorporeSarnie Sat 22-Apr-17 11:43:21

What stands out to me from your posts op is that you want this solved in a flash. In the gentlest possible manner, this is very unlikely. As PP have suggested, joining some clubs etc where you're interested in the activity, and then turning up regularly and being consistent, talking to other new people and so on, is a good way to broaden your circle. Most people she'll different friends at different time ok their lives, few have never felt left out or lonely. I have a decent number of friends but still feel left out sometimes, I think that is part of my emotional make up. But I doubt anyone realises that I feel like that, especially when I force myself to join in (as much as I feel comfortable with, I'm never going to be e.g. dancing whilst sober in a brightly lit room grin).

CorporeSarnie Sat 22-Apr-17 11:44:46

Good grief, sorry for the typos, having a few auto correct issues!

justak Sat 22-Apr-17 11:47:10

That's true cory thank you. I suppose my main worry is focused around the fact I may never have children.

I think I've given the wrong impression. I'm not a complete social recluse and I do actually do a number of things but I lack a range of friends to do things with - I don't have anyone I could have a night out with for instance.

I like animals but my lifestyle isn't conducive to a dog and I don't have any real interest in walking, sorry blush - memories of family holidays!

Capricorn76 Sat 22-Apr-17 11:59:43

Do you live in a small town? If so why not move to a big city where you can reinvent yourself. For example I have known of people who've moved to London where there are lots of single people and pretty much started afresh building new social circles. It's easier here because everyone's from everywhere and it's not unusual to move here with no network and start again. It's hard to start again in your home town where everyone knows your past.

justak Sat 22-Apr-17 12:04:09

I live in a city. I try to avoid my hometown, which still has a number of people who look curiously at me and say 'but where are you from?' smile

Perhaps the answer is to accept this is who I am. A scattering of friends who are understandably mostly concerned with their own families and not much else!

TwitterQueen1 Sun 23-Apr-17 09:20:11

OP, as Corpore says, you seem to want sociability in a flash - but it doesn't happen like that.

You're also putting up blockers and reasons why suggestions here won't work / can't work.

A family life and children is not just going to drop into your lap. You have to work at building relationships. It takes a lot of time and effort - and especially when you're not sure whether it's worth it or feelings aren't being reciprocated.

Put yourself out there - and see what happens. The only person who can change your life is you. It's not going to happen by magic.

Meekonsandwich Mon 24-Apr-17 16:13:34

You dont know what would have happened if you DID make friends in these places of had partners it still might have worked out the same way!
I have very few family and my only friend moved across country. It sucked but I tried to meet people through work and made an effort to get social hobbies. Slowly slowly.

You have to make the most of life NOW, you've identified what you want, now come up with a plan to make it happen.
You need to go and speak to people. Which means joining groups and going places.
I also second counselling to stop you from dwelling on your past. You're stuck in your ways and need to get used to everything changing. You might find like I did I wanted friends more than anything, but when ever someone new suggested meeting up or going out I'd get upset that id made plabs with my pj s and a bath! even thought it's what I wanted!!!

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