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Always feeling disconnected

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Baeraad, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I think that the main reason for my depressions and sundry dysfunctions is that I feel inherently cut off from the world.

    Which is because of my autism, I am fairly sure. My perception just isn't wide enough to see the sort of bigger context that I feel a need to be a part of. I can see one tree, and then another tree, and then another tree, but I can't see the forest - I have to kind of extrapolate intellectually that the forest is there. It's so easy for me to miss the point or lose the thread, to end up fiddling with some unimportant detail while life just passes me by.

    I can make some connections to people, and when I was younger I think I hoped that if I just made many enough, and strong enough, connections it would give me a feeling of belonging and having a place. Well, maybe it would have and maybe it wouldn't, but in the end that just bumped into my other limitations. For all sorts of reasons that would come as no surprise to anyone here, I just can't have the sort of intense social life that might possibly make up for my stunted perspective.

    I feel like I spent my 20s hoping that my real life would start soon. I feel like I've spent my 30s despairing from the realisation that it's never going to. I think for a long while I even gave up completely, embraced my sense of supreme irrelevance and got a sense of peace from that, but... giving up also made my life even poorer than it was when I was actively trying to be a part of the world, even though I largely failed at it. I don't think that's the answer either.

    It makes me worried about death, too. As far as I can tell, feeling like they're in some way just a small part of a larger whole is how people cope with their mortality. It means that when you die, much of what you based your identity on remains, and that makes it at least a tiny bit okay. But if I'm so cut off that I'm like a world unto myself, then me dying is, well, the end of the world. I know that it won't matter one way or the other after I'm dead, but when I start getting closer to it I want to have made some sort of peace with it.

    I don't know. Does anyone else feel this way? Have anyone come up with a useful way of thinking about it?
     
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  2. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    I feel exactly the same. My perspective is severely warped on an metaphysical level by my condition and I wish I could be neurotypical.
     
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  3. AmbitiousGirl

    AmbitiousGirl New Member

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    I'm currently in my 20s (22 soon). I lived my youth/puberty thinking "in the future" I will make friends and "adults will treat me better". At the time my friends, or classmates, would disappoint me very much. They were rude and disrespectful, and I thought this was due to their age. I always felt like the more mature person in the group, yet I really wasn't, I just had a different view on how friendships "should work", probably due to my autism. I didn't know I had autism at the time.

    I've come to the realization that "the future", which I've arrived at now, isn't much different, and in fact, I get the idea people are even more selfish now.

    That illusion I had in puberty did make my teen years somewhat bearable. Now I realize it won't be like I expected, I feel lost and confused at the moment.

    So yes, like you, I'm trying to find peace. For me it's finding peace with the fact that I'll always be different and most people will always treat you differently than a neurotypical. It will be hurtful. I hope to find a way to cope with that.

    I wish you the best with finding answers and finding peace. We all deserve to be happy and valued!
     
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  4. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3

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    The death bit, being an atheist I believe people made up all sorts of stories about what's after ever since they started evolving a death awareness.

    But let's discuss your point. You said others differences make their "souls" special. Hm yet you dont find your difference from the others as a valid difference because you differ much more, shouldn't this be even better according to your theory that difference makes your afterlife identity? You dont wanna just be a soul soup forever especially if it drains you.
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Do you feel any connection to the Autism community?

    Or any other community? Such as if you played an instrument?
     
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  6. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    You have written what I feel and have always felt. It makes me feel better to hear I it is not just me. you described so perfectly all that I am.

    I also feel lonely because I can't find other people who are as excited as I am about small things. The little things mean everything to me and I don't understand having an interest in fads or popular culture. I could write more to explain but it might be too many words.

    Thank you for your post.
     
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  7. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I am 51 now and I feel like I did when I was 12. Time hasn't changed things. I do accept myself more and how I love the things I love even if no one else find those things interesting.
     
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  8. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Do you feel connected in any way when you are on this site? Have you had the opportunity to spend time with people who perceive the world the way you do and have similar interests?
     
  9. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    Is this question to the OP or to me grommet?
     
  10. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow @Baeraad maybe you do have 'perception' limitations, but what a deep thinker you are. :) The things you said about death are really interesting. If I haven't misunderstood, I do think about that too, because my connections are so limited.

    I haven't got much advice but I hope that you get something useful here. I hope you find the peace you're looking for.

    I have continued to do that with each passing decade...:tongueclosed: I'm now trying to retrain my brain to accept and know this is my real life and it's good, even if it's not what other people might have been able to achieve.
     
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  11. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I meant to respond to baeraad, but I'm interested in anyone's perspective.
     
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  12. Running Girl

    Running Girl Member

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    Something that drives me crazy is when someone says something along the lines of " The true measure of a person is how many people they have 'touched' " or "...how many people loved them", or "...how many people will remember them".
    For introverts, for people who are not naturally social, for us, there needs to be a different standard for what a meaningful life looks like.
    I think some things to measure a life by are:
    Did you overcome any of your challenges or weaknesses? Did you maximize your strengths? Did you make a difference anywhere? To even 1 person? Or to an animal/pet ? Did you create anything? Did you learn to accept yourself as you are? So i can say 'yes' to some of these. Not all, for sure.
    But connection to others is also a matter of quality not quantity (at least i hope so). I have a small group of people who i am connected to.
     
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  13. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I can relate to this. I find death very hard to accept and I don't know how I can find a way to find peace with it and accept it. Religions just don't work for me.

    I also don't really connect to people... I certainly don't connect to people through small talk or casual/superficial contact, which most people say they experience. I don't really connect through emotions, which is why ememes don't really work for me. I can connect through shared experiences, opinions or hobbies, perhaps we both like or disllike something, but I don't think that it's the same thing.
     
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  14. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    I... entirely agree?

    Where did I say that, exactly? I wonder if you might not have misunderstood me entirely...

    That's a good question, because I've tried to find connection in communities too. In some ways it's easier than to find connection by individual relationships. Relationships require constant fiddly work, but a community just requires you to show up regularly and embody its most basic tenets.

    The problem is, communities can turn toxic, and right now each and every one seems to be at their worst. There used to be several that I was active in and willing to fight to the death for, but for each one I eventually started to feel that it was composed out of 90% jerks who despised me. Since this forum has a sectioned-off area for politics, I'm not sure how much detail I'm allowed to go into there?

    As for the autism community in particular... short answer, no, not really. Long answer, see the next part.

    I will admit that this site has shifted my impression of the autism community a bit. There are more people here who are, for lack of a better term, nice than I had expected. And there are more people here who agree with me that, yes, autism really kind of sucks than I had expected - the absence of which was why I always felt alienated in other online autism communities I tried. Possibly that may grow to a feeling of belonging, in time.

    But, still being new here... no, I don't feel connected. For one thing, it's a little tricky to bond with people over how bad we all are at bonding with people. To bond with a NT, I have to reach across the void of my autistic detachment - to bond with another autist, I have to reach across two such voids. For another, autists are so inherently idiosyncratic, so wildly divergent in how they express and relate to their autism, that it's hard for me to even perceive them as a group. I am happy to find that, unlike what I had thought, I may actually have things in common with some individual autists, but there does not seem to be any common overriding theme that I can use to relate to autists universally.

    Heh, thanks. It's true, I can process the data I do manage to acquire really well. That's just of limited use when the data I have is usually woefully incomplete. I can prove conclusively that Factor X will inevitably and consistently lead to Outcome Y, and then people patiently tell me that while that's true in a vacuum, in the real world Factors A, B, C, D, E and F that I never noticed are going to have at least as much of an impact. :oops:

    I think that would do in a pinch for me too, at least if the connection to each was deep enough that I knew what was going on in their lives and how they felt about it, and they knew what was going on in my life and how I felt about it. I've had that, at times, and while it hasn't been the full immersion into the world I really want, it was close enough for me to be content. Part of the reason for my angst is that I feel that my friend group, never large, is shrinking away into nothing. But I've moaned about that elsewhere.
     
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  15. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3

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    That's neat you know this, I think my boyfriend is the same, he used to dislike ememes a lot, but need to have some connection and I didn't know what to do and we didn't have things or many opinions in common. I think he now connects through touch affection while for the first year together he would despise it. I was very confused when he would deny stuff but deep down he needed affection.
     
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  16. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3

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    Ok, I jumped the gun a bit as I was reading that 'after you die' it won't matter, but you mean what of you still lays in the world after you die.

    You feel as though you are not doing anything that will last, and that your disconnection is only adding to it. You want to have a strong popular purpose more than just having a life, doing good and being happy with it. Not everyone will be in the media or history and not everyone is useless either, ive met brilliant people who were unheard of. They need advertising to get popular and even that may not be well known to the masses. There are many people out there.

    If you don't do anything special/unique though, then its even harder to be remembered or useful for the future. But there is nothing wrong with desiring to matter, in fact it made up much of my thoughts and feelings of worthlessness in the past because I put too much weight on them. I wanted to know why I am here. And I thought i was worthless without a life that would matter to humanity on a larger scale. I don't need that to be happy and humanity doesn't need me to be big to be happy. I felt the pressure but I took the way out of it as I realized that doesn't really matter and that I can just be an ant in the colony.

    But if you truly desire this from the bottom of your heart, and it's not just a worthlessness issue, make it happen. Break it down in small steps and build it. Just make sure its something you can take to its end and keep fighting for even if finding something more interesting down the way. Because people change.

    I have doubts that being popular fixes loneliness and this is an issue of now, not after-death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  17. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    That's closer, but still not quite right. It's not a personal legacy I want. It's something outside of myself that I can care about as much or more than I care about myself, so that as I grow closer to death I can take solace in the fact that while I will soon be gone, and that is sad because I care about myself, this other thing that I also care about will at least remain.

    I'd be fine with being an ant in the colony if I could bring myself to care about the colony. The problem is, I can barely conceptualise a colony in the first place, it just looks like a whole lot of individual ants to me, so how then can I care about it? And most things in our modern society are structured in such a way as to discourage experiencing them like colonies. There are situations with a strong enough "colony" feel to them that it helps my imagination, but... well, see my complain about causes and communities, above.
     
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  18. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I believe we're all of equal relevance. I think it's easy to be convinced otherwise. But it's easier for me to look at it this way because I believe in God and THIS world is not my home, but a temporary setting so my death will not be the end, but the beginning.

    If you believe and waiting to become part of this world to feel like you're living, you're going to miss out on life. However you see the world, death, life - is what it will be. So see it as yours because it is. It's your life and you matter as much as any and all other persons, even more so when it comes to your life. We're all just struggling to get through it - but stop long enough to breathe and smile once in a while and make it worth the effort. You know what makes you smile - go there. And remember that people might try to take the things away that make you happy, but don't let them. It's worth hanging onto those things and fighting for them because that's what makes life worth living.

    You know, working at the hospital we always had an occasional VIP - we were supposed to give more attention to. Nope, my VIP's were those that were otherwise neglected. I had an AIDS patient tell me that I was the only nurse there that would actually touch him. How sad it is when others decide to choose the importance of one person. That's not the way it's supposed to be.
     
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  19. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3

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    Hm, this is tough. From my read auties might not be able to naturally process certain social data, facial emotions/expressions, ememes[words with emotional meaning], and that makes a connection with others not really happen, it goes on unfelt and not understood/processed, thus a real connection is failed to be made. That's sad and must be tough, lonely and frustrating if it has a higher level on an individual.

    You might need to be more creative, explore areas that you haven't with your relationships just to see if something might work for you. Its a brain process so you have to find a way around it. Faking/fulfilling the processes yourself that automatically happen for NTs step-by-step might not work out to help your processing or synthetize a processing, I doubt it's as simple/functional as Theory of Mind synthetizing to understand what is otherwise missed. It involves emotions towards others based on things and especially emotions of belonging which are different.

    My ex used to become attached to certain female characters in Japanese cartoons, feel a connection to her. I connect to animals I can interact with easier if they are friendly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
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  20. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    As a great egalitarian, I certainly agree. I just don't feel that it's relevant to the discussion. You can matter in a strict ethical sense without mattering to anyone in particular.

    That sounds comforting. I wish I could believe that.

    The problem is, as near as I can tell, being connected is what I want. I can't think of a single thing I want to do that is not in some way about sharing some emotion with other people.

    I can connect pretty intensely to some people, actually. But it's true that this might be the reason why I don't see the point of more casual relationships. I can understand a declaration of eternal devotion, but more subtle and restrained forms of approval and solidarity may be invisible to me. I never quite thought of it that way, but it may be true.

    Wink, wink, nudge, nudge? ;)

    Seriously, fiction is kind of possible to connect to. The characters are simulated people, and therefore possible to care for... and of course, a fictional story is a direct message from its author to you. I've tried to sustain myself on fiction from time to time. But it's really a starvation diet.

    I am quite fond of my pet rats, but I don't think I'm connected to them. I'm not even sure they know that I'm alive - they might assume that I'm some sort of mountaineous food delivery system... :p
     
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