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Hello new here,

8 replies

PetalPots · 30/03/2023 12:59

I was wondering if people come on here to chat in general? Feeling very disconnected and a bit lonely and seem to have a string of failed social interactions running through my life that I cant always pin point why, and the older I get, the harder it feels to try engage with others. I do want to just spend too much time convincing myself it will most likely go wrong.

I do think I may now be over-tuned into what people think of me and so tend to keep myself to myself to avoid further rejection. Its silly. I really tend to love everyone I meet, but I really try control it so people dont think im strange (so probably comes out wrong, like I dont care) but I think I misjudge the other person and usually spend 5 days after a social event feeling exhausted and coming to terms with what an absoloute twat I just probably made of myself, or what parts i got right or wrong. I cant seem to find any balance anywhere, I try to control myself to please others but then am I controlling myself too much that I look unapproachable. I honestly dont know.

I try small talk, but i usually say something odd and I like to get to the point and talk about interesting things (not just my interests, I dont think). I physically clench my jaw so hard when other people are talking to remind myself its not my turn to talk or interrupt and then I end up having no idea of what they said because Im concentrating so hard on social ettiquette or making the right amount of eye contact or... not too much! In hindsight that probably looks a bit strange too.

Its like I have another element to my brain entirely that is continuosly analysing myself and environment whilst Im in motion and seperate from my feelings. I dont know, not very well explained, its so annoying and I wish it would stop.

I then prepare for the next social meeting, small talk, facial expressions, conversations, scenarios, so that hopefully it will go right next time but it never seems to. Or I replay what happened and how I could do it differently next time. I dont know anymore if its me being over-sensitive and hypervigilant around people or I genuinely appear odd. Anyone else feel / experience this?

I know I cant please everyone but I do it instinctively then realise afterwards, like many of the things I do. I spend time with my children and my sister and I do even analyse myself, to a lesser extent, with them.

Or if anyone has any helpful advice on how to stop this self torturing behaviour I would be very grateful. Be nice if my brain came with a switch so i could put it on standby once in a while. I know I have a good heart and some good qualities, I love to learn and create, I care alot about lots of things and people too.

OP posts:

Mabelface · 30/03/2023 13:20

You are enough. Who you are is enough. People who love you don't need you to pretend or mask.

I made my world smaller and stopped trying to fit in. Unmasking isn't easy and takes time, but it does show who your real friends are. They're enough for me.

Are you open about your nd? It took a bit, but I'm now unashamedly unapologetic about who I am and how my brain works.


PetalPots · 30/03/2023 14:30

No, Im not open about it and its hard to talk about to people, my family know as I was diagnosed late on in school and my children as they are ND too but I don't talk about it much. School was genuinely traumatic as Im sure it was for other NDs on here. Im such a hypocrite, need to hear my own words. I sit encouraging my kids to embrace their differences, focus on their strengths everyday and hide the fact that I can't seem to, they will notice though soon enough.

Some schools and kids there are so much better and more understanding than when I was there, and my children get supported really well and seem so much happier than I was and they even have friends.

My partners family are unbearable about people on the spectrum /ADHDers and have expressed their disdain in many forms. They are very narrowminded, cruel, ignorant and judgemental people.

My partner doesnt want to acknowledge how wrong this towards his own children.

He's pro unmasking when it suits him, but I don't think he wants to be in this situation anymore. Hes nice around my family, and helps sometimes but doesnt get it and im growing tired of fighting their corner all the time. I appreciate it must be difficult to not understand the people you live with.

I am myself when I am by myself and just me and the kids but it really does tire you out pretending to be something your not for so many years. I never made any friends in school but I have my sister. I am a friendly person, at least I think I am, but I am very weary of people and don't try much anymore.

OP posts:

Mabelface · 30/03/2023 14:43

Oh school was hideous! I'm glad your kids are being supported well.

I hate to say this, but I think you have a huge problem with your partner. He should be supporting you and your kids and pulling up his family every single time they comment. If he made you feel loved for who you are and supported you, you'd be much happier in yourself. Instead, it sounds like he's allowed his awful family to chip away at any confidence you had.

He should stick up for his partner and children as a given. I'm sorry that he's not.


PetalPots · 30/03/2023 16:07

Yes I think he should too. I have sent him so many things to help explain the boys over the years and he accepts it for a bit then seems to go back to thinking the same. Ive not been happy in our relationship for a long time on and off but always the same re-occuring problems. Weve been to parent therapy and things were great for a while but seem to have gone back to him being annoyed with me and them again. I wish he would just be honest with how he feels, instead he speaks in riddles and its become draining.

OP posts:

MumofOne1789 · 30/03/2023 20:28

Couldn’t just read and run.

Do you know of any ND social groups on your area? You might make friends there and feel like you fit in without all the over thinking?

If you can meet your social needs there, and turn down on things you know trigger these thoughts?

I think key is to understand yourself and your limits. Live a life which is for you and not what others expect of you.


Craftycorvid · 31/03/2023 08:43

Just saying hello, @PetalPots and that you are not alone. I’m waiting for my full assessment but the pre-screening was both affirming and exhausting when I sat down and fully evaluated just how much of a struggle some areas of my life have been. Like you, I found school traumatic, and even if I had escaped bullying (spoiler: I didn’t) I think I would have felt overloaded by the environment alone. I love that the internet (for all its downsides) give the chance to connect with people who get us.


Clarice99 · 02/04/2023 16:39


Sorry for being blunt/straight to the point, but I don't think you're the 'problem'. You have a partner problem. He sounds fucking awful and rather than wasting time on how you can change (why the hell should you, you sound lovely), focus on what you want from a relationship, because the one you're in right now sounds damaging.

Him speaking in 'riddles' sounds like a form of gaslighting which is abuse.

As for his family, it's not compulsory to have a relationship with your in-laws. The point of having other people in your life is to bring positive benefits, not to make you feel like shit.


TwoFluffyDogsOnMyBed · 15/04/2023 15:58

Hi there,
I'm new on here too…not new on Mumsnet but I frequently name change because I feel embarrassed about the things I’ve written!

I don’t really mask but I don’t work and I mainly only chat to people regularly on dog walks. That used to be awkward and still can be but dog walker conversations are usually quite predictable.

I’m 50 now and over the past ten or so years I have spent a lot of time researching people so I’ve learned Myers Briggs, neurodivergence, borderline personality disorder/emotional immaturity and narcissism/aspd and it has really helped me to understand people. It helps that I have been in relationships with people with these conditions so that I can link my knowledge and experience.

Anyway, I have gone from being absolutely terrible socially to being someone that people like discussing their problems with. I enjoy it because I like connecting with people properly and it brings me confidence because instead of focusing on my awkwardness I can ask questions and try to work the other person out. I’m still terrible in a group but I don’t mind that because I don’t enjoy that kind of conversation.

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