This board exists primarily for the use of Neurodiverse Mumsnetters. Others are welcome to post but please be respectful.
Does anyone else isolate due to so many negative experiences?
workinprogressju · 02/06/2022 20:33
I can remember a time as a teenager and in my 20's when I was pretty extroverted and actually enjoyed being around people. I now realise that I was masking and due to so many bad and traumatic experiences both in friendship and relationships that I have really isolated myself and can't stand socialising now. I hate being like this but I realise it's some kind of burn out and I'm going to have to try to work through things. Has this happened to anyone else ?
Pruwni · 02/06/2022 23:43
Yes, me and dh (also autistic) moved away to a very remote area of the countrybyears ago and pretty much never see other people, apart from postie and tesco click and collect, I know everyone says people are social beasts etc but it's improved our mental health so much, we don't have to mask or deal witr the unpredictability of the NT world. Like barrow I doubt it will ever change.
rnsaslkih · 03/06/2022 00:16
I don’t think you need to work on things. You prefer your own company because people have been mean. There are a lot of people in a similar situation. Embrace your true feelings about this rather than trying to change yourself to what society thinks you should be.
Suddha · 03/06/2022 21:07
In my teens and 20s I was really sad that I had no friends and I used to cry. My Mum would let me tag along with her and I think she often went out even when she didn’t want to, just so I’d have someone to go with.
I don’t cry any more. I accept being excluded from normal life and I stay at home now. I just got sick of trying and failing, of being treated terribly by people, of being pushed out all the time. The last straw was six years ago when I thought I’d made some friends, but I was fooling myself and there was a nasty bullying incident and I never saw them again. After that I gave up trying. I would still love to have some friends but there’s no point wishing. Nobody has ever wanted to be my friend so they aren’t going to start now.
broccolibush · 04/06/2022 16:35
Yes me too. Almost every group of people I've been in friendships with has ended badly/with bullying and I've ended up running away. I now have a few solo friends, all are separate from each other and most are ND. I do get frustrated at my isolation at times but there is no way I'd put myself through the hell of a friendship group again. I have DH (suspected ND) and my five or six people I can relax with. That's more than many people have and I know those people accept me exactly as I am.
I quite like watching people though, if only to remind myself how peculiar the NT world seems. We live in a busy city location and I can get away with lots of observations of odd behaviours without having to be involved in it.
workinprogressju · 04/06/2022 23:12
It has been so helpful to read everyone's replies, thank you so much. It has made me feel somehow less alone
@Suddha you described things so well. Sometimes I feel bad for not wanting to be around people, but it's because I'm burnt out from being treated badly and I think I focus too much on what society dictates instead of actually living my own life and doing what makes me feel comfortable
TheRussianDoll · 06/06/2022 19:28
It gets harder and harder, the older I get. If it weren’t for my 21yr old asd son, I’d give up on the world altogether. It’s just too hard. I don’t fit. Never have. It breaks my heart to see my son now going through the same thing. He recently tried to end his life and it has knocked the stuffing out of our small family.
I used to think I was antisocial or just odd but, the older I got I realised there was something different about me. I had a professional career, did well, was a valued member of the team. However, I never did anything after work; never felt capable of “mixing”. My own late diagnosis was such a relief.
TheRussianDoll · 19/06/2022 08:56
@RaisingAgent Yes, it’s given me, all of us, a very different perspective. Had to tell someone I’ve known years that she’s very welcome to visit me but I cannot come to her anymore. Her adult kids fell into drugs/alcohol as teens and it wasn’t a phase. They’re still a mess in their 20’s/30’s. I try to support her/encourage. No more.
My last visit to her home, I got embroiled as a bystander in a family row. I left and have only spoken on the phone since. My life has no time for this; no inclination to help. Not anymore. I love her dearly but, I’m finished. Self preservation. I’m not even sure I’ll see her again. It’s like I’m going into some kind of “people free” shutdown mode.
TheVanguardSix · 19/06/2022 09:29
I think threads like this are so important because they remind us to really honour how we are and what we need in order to find peace in our day, without feeling guilty or 'odd' about how we tick and kick! I have spent a lifetime feeling bad for not being what people needed and wanted me to be. All that masking is exhausting and soul-destroying and I think I've just gotten to that stage in life where I am finally liberated by the 'can't give a shit' ethos that we tend to embrace in our 40s/50s.
I am not diagnosed but I am raising a diagnosed autistic child which - and I think so many will agree- shines a light on one's own neurodiverse traits. He's been a gift in so very many ways and one of the ways is that he has allowed me to accept my own traits and needs and live in ways that suit me.
I like people.
I just don't like socialising with people.
I can have a brilliant 10-minute chat with a stranger at a bus stop (which I'll spend the rest of the day recovering from!), but long-term friendships and spending time with friends and extended family is a huge challenge for me; more because of the stress and pressure I feel from others. I have to be what they want me to be (and my awareness that I can't be what they want is so pressurising).
I too have always ended up sort of fleeing from friendships and finding people's hostility and gossip impossible to manage. I think this stems from a traumatic period of my childhood, growing up with an addict (brother) with strong narcissistic traits. He was volatile and sucked the oxygen out of the room and it sort of destroyed my ability to cope with everyday life and more specifically, people.
I find people quite overwhelming and exhausting. I was saying to my daughter that I don't have one adult person in my life with whom I feel totally safe and 'me'. My (other) brother (not the addicted one) was my one safe person who knew and understood me inside and out. He passed away last year and in the wake of his death, I have come to learn how extraordinarily rare it is to have people in your life who ask nothing of you, are truly on your side, who are wholly accepting of you, and just love you so easily and unconditionally. They are rare and exceptional birds. I was so lucky to have one such amazing human being in my life. I miss him terribly.
Embrace who you are and what you need to have in place in order to secure peace in your day. And do so unapologetically. Russiandoll mentions self-preservation and that's vital.
TheRussianDoll · 19/06/2022 20:30
@TheVanguardSix I’m sorry to read that, about the loss of your brother. I’m very aware that I have so few people in my life who are really very close, in tune with me and I with them. It’s hard but I’d rather that, than many many “acquaintances” who I never get beyond a smile I don’t really feel and a ten minute conversation about the weather.
Ivyy · 20/06/2022 15:24
TheRussianDoll · 06/06/2022 19:31
I’ve only just discovered this forum on Mumsnet. It seems incredible to me that there are so, so many of us but… in real life, I don’t know anyone “like” me. Makes me feel very isolated and peculiar.
Thank you all, for coming on here! 😊
Yes I feel the same! Just discovered this part of MN and feeling so less alone having read everyone's responses, I never meet anyone else irl who is ND!
My dd has ASD too, her diagnosis was the light bulb that led to getting my diagnosis. Dh doesn't want to be assembled / diagnosed for his own reasons but we're pretty certain he also has ASD. We talk a lot about how we feel like odd balls and outsiders in the world. It does make me sad but I likewise friendships and people in general are so exhausting and confusing that I tend to isolate myself these days. I've always felt like I'm doing everything wrong with other women, so many nuances and subtleties beneath the surface. I'd love to meet other ND women and see how it goes compared to every other social meeting / attempt to sustain a friendship!
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