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Bolting from church


Well-Known Member
Today my mother wanted to go to church to pray for a specific intention, so I offered to go with her. We waited for several minutes before the Mass began, but the social stress was too much for me to handle, so I had to leave. I told her I would walk home, but she offered to leave with me, having already said the prayers for her intention.

I used to have a full-time job, but had to quit it at the beginning of this year after suffering my third nervous breakdown. I'm applying for disability, and currently spend most of my time at home. I've noticed my isolation seems to make it harder than formerly to do relatively "simple" things like going to church once a week.

What really bugs me is that there is very little recognition in the world today of how, for some people, things involving other people (however more or less "social" you want to call it) are just not desirable. Everything has to have a social component to it. I know that's just how the human species is normally wired, but of all the different circumstances that people take into account, they never consider that the social aspect may be unpleasant. I really hate this species.
Indeed. Generic fellowship itself can be toxic to Aspies. In a world that largely doesn't understand, and doesn't care.
Thank you! Yes! "Generic fellowship." That nails it down perfectly. Just the very fact of existing in a society with other people, and having to do things among them, is itself offensive. I don't wish these people ill or anything, but I can't stand their presence.

And they don't care at all. At least some of the problem is that autistic spectrum disorders seem to get a lot of attention when it's children that have them, but we adults get the shaft. A basic search on Google can prove my point. Tons of resources for parents with autistic children; all well and good. But hardly anything for adults.

Even if there's no answer, it does make me feel a little better than people know what I'm talking about.
Yeah, I used to be like that too. Little interest in talking to people but still a required thing in order to be healthy. The best thing you can do is find a social group based around something you're interested in or something you have, be it autism or something else, and attend regularly to ease yourself back into the social world.
I considered that, but it ultimately seems like a waste of time. All social things are painful for me. So while adding small amounts of pain would make the more severe pain to be less severe, I wouldn't necessarily have a net loss of pain. I'd just have more of the moderate pain instead of less of the severe pain. Plus, I have no desire to be around people in any capacity. I just wish that, when I do have to be around others, it wouldn't suck as badly as it does.
You do realize, of course, that your participation here in this forum (or any of us with our individual participations, each) is actually a social activity involving other people. Being social isn't the problem (you're here voluntarily), it's the amount of social, the venue, the context of the engagement, the audio volume, the visual illumination, the sensitivity to proximity, sensitivity to smell, the number of people physically present, etc.

We're mostly all wired for some amount of social activity, but the amount and the context, etc., that's what makes it tolerable or not.

And you're right: increasing your alone time (excepting social-situation-recovery time) will make social situations more and more difficult.

At my church I stay back, sharing the work of the audio board. It's my clever disguise that keeps the face-to-face socializing at a level comfortable to me; a lot of people just leave the sound guy alone! And, as a side benefit, I have a disproportionate influence on the audio level in the room!!! (one of my sensitivities)

There's a way, but sometimes it's difficult to find.
Any social situation is intolerable . I really hate things like hair cuts and doctor appointments. the thought of small talk is very stressful.
Any social situation is intolerable . I really hate things like hair cuts and doctor appointments. the thought of small talk is very stressful.
I, also, so hate haircuts! I quit one guy because he was all into small talk. We found a hairdresser that doesn't need to talk at a Supercuts, and she does a good job too.

NT barbers probably sense they're in others' personal spaces, and use small talk to lighten the situation, not realizing it just adds to the stress.

Have you ever heard of an Aspie hairdresser? It's hard to think of someone like me studying to get in other peoples' hair, but I bet they'd give a very good haircut!
Hey Matt, lol I'm going through the same thing! I go to church too and I have Asperger syndrome...if this helps my Pastor asked me (actually today) and a friend to do an on-the spot-testimony, In front of everyone. It took me some strength to go up there, but I did. Well I was blessed because I practiced for this testimony...the day before. So I've been there haha....it's not easy isn't it, right?? Having to deal with people. I don't know if people actually know you have Asperger Syndrome or not...but I haven't told anyone and I managed to not run away after a lot of prayer and exercises. Some people probably don't like me...even though they don't see that I do care and that I'm doing more than just trying. But who cares what they think...because hey they don't have Asperger Syndrome..and they have no idea what's it's like to have Aspergers. Hope this helps.
Consider yoga and/or exercise. This may ease your body to help prepare it for situations that feel stressful. Drinking lots of water can help too.

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