I wrote but never shared this blog post months ago. I didn’t publish it because I didn’t want to be laughed at. I am publishing now because this is what it is really like for me and others with high functioning ASD. It is how I am feeling and seeing the world. I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me, far from it. I am simply reflecting on having tried and failed at being a social butterfly and I am actually o.k with the thought of retreating to the safety and comfort of my own little world. This is a mask off account.
Right now I am feeling so confused by social relationships I am seriously thinking of giving up trying!
Does anyone else find relationships with others totally confusing?
Half the time I feel I am speaking the same language as everyone else the other half I may as well be talking in some foreign language.
The picture in my mind is of me scratching my head and looking lost.
I am really confused, totally and utterly in particular about friendships.
Now I see me hugging someone I think might be a friend.
The thing is friends stopped trying to hug me many years ago, I am sure my startled rabbit in the headlights look is to blame, I would really like my friends to hug me, it is not the actual hug that startles, it is the unexpectedness of their actions that sparks fear inside me. I am too unsure to initiate a hug with anyone outside my family. It is the not knowing how they will react. I tried this a few times recently and it didn’t go well, I tried to hug thoes I thought were friends on saying goodbye after spending time together. One friend, I like to think didn’t understand my intentions, just walked away, the other has been weird with me ever since!
I really don’t get it! I watch others who are friends hug all the time!
Dictionary definition of friend: “a person who you know well and who you like a lot, but who is usually not a member of your family”
That definition doesn’t really help does it? I know lots of people well, who I really like and are not related to me but I know they don’t see me as a friend. Even the ones I think are friends leave me baffled by their behaviour.
Are the people I communicate with through social media friends?
I am seriously thinking of quitting social media, one day someone talks to me via messenger the next they don’t or as I am often finding some only talk to me when they want something. Once they get what they want they no longer want to talk to me.
In my head I am typing away on my iPad. Whilst looking bemused.
I like social media, well I thought I did, talking via text seems easier in many ways, plus you can talk to people anywhere in the world anytime of day or night. Share photos, stories, good times and bad. The thing is I don’t tell people how I really feel, not very often anyway, they really would run a mile if I did.
I am now not sure social media is easier it is just as confusing in some ways more so because it is there in black and white, like, share comment or don’t, what does it all mean though?
I try to leave good comments because I know how much a small simple gesture can lift someone that is feeling low is it not social media etiquette to do the same in return?
For example a friend posts a photo, memory, quote or a tale of their day of something meaningful to them you respond by liking and leave a positive comment, don’t you?
Why don’t they do the same in return ?
In the real world the having friends and socialising is just as confusing…
The people in the playground that I talk too twice a day Monday to Friday?
The people I meet for a coffee?
Go on a day out with?
If someone is kind to you?
Thoes I am kind to?
Thoes I let in to my world and life?
Does anyone think of me as their friend in return?
I decided post diagnosis to try and increase my social circle, but without being somebody I am not, mask off, just being me, I like the idea of friends, having someone to share something with, it is lonely only having immediate family to talk to, lets face it there are somethings you can’t discuss with your mum, gran, husband and children.
It is all so very confusing and frustrating, I have a few people, I think might be friends, but one day we are meeting for a coffee or going for a walk, the next my messages are being ignored?
I am in this situation right now and I don’t have a clue where I have gone wrong. Nor do I know how to improve the situation. I feel like retreating and putting the barriers back up. I am just as lonely as before only now I am totally confused, hurt and bemused too.
Did I scare them off?
Where did I go wrong this time?
Maybe I bore them or confuse them with my randomness…..
I actually wish they would just tell me. Maybe then I could learn.
I wish I had the courage to ask!
I never know what to say to someone which is funny because I am known for being very talkative. I live in a house with two other chatty people with ASD, they too seem to never know what to say. The thing is when I talk at a thousand miles an hour, it is because I am so anxious and nervous and scared all in one go and the words just race away from me, usually I am not making much sense in these moments either.
The picture in my mind is words lined up on a running field waiting for the next race to begin.
Maybe that is where I went wrong?
Maybe I tried too hard?
As I mentioned previously the things I desperately want to say don’t ever want to come out, or come out totally wrong, the words just gather in my head, getting bigger and bigger until I have to put on the really loud music or walk for miles to calm my busy brain. Or they all flow out completely wrong. Wrong order, sometimes the words are all jumbled up so don’t make sense even as words, just wrong.
I try so hard to ask reciprocal questions and to listen and follow other people’s answers, and I thought I was doing o.k but now not so, maybe they think I am not interested or not listening because I can’t sustain eye contact? Or because I did or didn’t probe further?
It is really useless suddenly thinking of a question you would like to ask about something you have been talking with someone about several hours later due to it taking my brain that long to process all the information. So I just don’t ask. Latterly I tried asking later when my head catches up, that didn’t help either.
You have no idea how hard this social stuff is!
I feel like I am living in a world where the majority of people know all the rules and I only know some of them! No matter how hard I observe others I still can’t learn the rules.
I always end up telling those I want to be friends with all my worst bits because I would rather they walk away now than build a relationship then have them realise they don’t like the real me, or they realise I am different.
The pictures in my mind show someone walking away and a building collapsing.
They never share things with me or come to me in times of need. I can be calm in a crisis. I would love to help someone else out. I frequently make gestures such as random acts of kindness but I fear they overwhelm the recipient, and that scares them away too!
In my mind I see a recipient of a box of chocolates looking bemused at the gesture.
I have come so close to accctualy saying to someone “are you my friend?” But oh how desperate would that look?
I actually wouldn’t mind if someone said no because then at least I would know where I stand!
Life would be so much simpler if I could just be happy being lonely……
I am starting to believe I was happier in my own small world.