Giving up on other people
April 6, 2014 8:11 AM Subscribe
If you have failed at forming relationships (of any kind), is there a point where you should just accept you don't have the skills and are incapable of developing them?
posted by Aranquis to Human Relations (40 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
The only relationships I have are with my family (whom I live with - though not one sister and my dad). We get along. I enjoy their company. But we aren't friends. I get along with my workmates. I have no problems with them, and genuinely like most of them. But we aren't friends.
To backtrack a little, I have Asperger's. I had friends in high school (about 5), but then I went to college and everything in my life fell apart. I didn't have the independant living skills, or personal relationship skills, and it was a very terrible stage in my life. I moved home. I've worked on being more independant, and I feel a lot better about that now. But all my friends grew up to be more or less normal, with friendships (I'm nearly 26 now).
But I don't have any friends. I don't have anyone to talk to about my bad days or my good days. I don't have anyone to go see a movie with or have dinner with. No one texts me who isn't my parents or siblings. No one calls me. No one adds me to facebook.
I've tried to rekindle with my high school friends but after a few months of me initiating everything it seemed clear no one really cared and when I stopped no one contacted me, not once. I tried to be friendlier at work, to random strangers. I smiled! I asked them questions! I conversed! The only thing that got me was being ignored or rejected (subtley, but still). I got so desperate I crawled back to my only boyfriend (we broke up quite a while ago, no feelings there, and we met on a forum so it's not I did something there that I can use to help me solve this problem), who also rejected me. I tried just having online friends, but yeah that failed too.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I'm acting normal, but there's an invisible barrier between me and the world. I've seen therapists (pointless and no one on my insurance works with high-functioning autistics). I'm someone who is so desperate for human connection, who while introverted really enjoys having people to share myself with. The problem isn't that I don't know how to meet people, it's that something in me that I cannot see is so wrong that no matter how many people I meet, no one wants to know me.
I am desperate. But maybe I've been wasting all these years. Maybe I should just accept being lonely. Maybe I should just stop trying to reach out to others. I try to exercise, and make some better nutrition choices, I spend a lot of time cooking, and that chases away my desperation in the moment but I cannot escape the underlying truth of feeling like an island unto myself.
I don't know whether after years and years it's clear I will always be a failure at this or if there's some chance if I keep trying one day I will have a friend again. That is my question: when do you know whether to give up on something you've wanted for a long time, and actually done things to help improve the situation but it hasn't worked?