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Not good at friendship...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kbryson77, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. kbryson77

    kbryson77 Kristy

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    Hello,

    My name is Kristy. I'm 43 and received my official diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum at age 40, along with a new diagnosis of PTSD. My previous diagnoses of BiPolar II and severe anxiety were reconfirmed. I believe there are other issues, such as Attention-Deficit Disorder. I've been seeing the same therapist for the last 4 years and when I first met her, I simply said, "I just don't get people." It turns out she's on the spectrum and immediately raised an eyebrow and announced, "Aha!". Of course, that's not how I was diagnosed really, but it illustrates a point. I'd never before found the right words to quickly get across something so all-encompassing. I didn't act like my brother, already diagnosed ASD, and I'd never met another woman who was on the spectrum, so I didn't know anything more than that I was out-of-step. (I still don't get people.)

    I'm not good at making or maintaining friendships. In fact, I'm a monumental failure and grieve over memories of the mistakes I've made and potential great friendships lost. I'm now panicky about socializing at all. I joined these forums about a year ago and I'm just now introducing myself.

    My special interests are knitting and history. Once upon a time I was a writer and librarian. I'm currently beginning to dig into 18th century European history with several writing ideas knocking around in my brain.

    Thank you for providing this space.

    Kristy
     
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  2. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi, Kirsty

    What a fabulous introduction and how unique to have a therapist who is on the spectrum.

    I was diagnosied a few year's ago now and a female and like you, have a hard time getting people. In fact, I have to ask my husband to interpret what seems to me a very illogical sentance by a neurotypical ( highly shocked if I found it was someone on the spectrum, for it makes no sense).

    I have also spent years of regret over lost friendships. A classic for me is going to a holiday place with family and on the last day, finding a kindred spirit, but NEVER thinking that I should have taken the phone number and so, never went anywhere.

    If this site had been around when I was a youngester, I would never have joined, because I suffered chronically from feelings of inferior complex and would not have had the guts to come here.

    Ps. I have ptsd and social anxiety.
     
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  3. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi and welcome. Great introduction, and it's good to hear from you. Sounds like it's been a tough journey for you. I worked in a library for a while it was a job I enjoyed, the biggest hurdle being staff interaction but that's always the case in my experience. Though I did ok eventually and would happily do library work again, but I wasn't a librarian.

    I like to write too, enjoyable isn't it? Rather complex and puzzling to get a plot all worked out, it certainly challenges my executive functioning. But satisfying too. Hope to hear more from you. Sounds like your journey has in some ways been typical of what women with Autism experience. It's useful to understand there's autism in the mix, helps in finding strategies for how I am, I find.

    Oh, friendships a hard one isn't it? I can be good enough at it if I have plenty of time with the friend in a regular ongoing way, and we have stuff in common. A work colleague I work with closely, or someone I regularly meet at an interest group maybe. But I find it hard to keep in touch if that's not the case.

    :ocean::tropicalfish::ocean::whale::ocean::fish::ocean::dolphin::ocean::spoutingwhale::ocean:
     
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  4. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    hi kristy. I don’t really get people either. Every time I think I start to understand, they do weird things to confuse me even more. As I’ve recently lost my longest running friendship, I really relate to what you have said, especially t on the grieving for mistakes and missed opportunities. But you’re not a failure. I joined a few weeks ago, and I still haven’t done a formal introduction, and I probably won’t do it. One of my special interests is history too — more accurately since I am an archaeologist with an interest in ancient cultures but I do find medieval , regency, Victorian periods interesting too. I’m also prepping myself to try to do some creative writing on one of my favorite female figures (Hatshepsut).so I know what you mean with several ideas knocking around.
     
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  5. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Hi and welcome! You said a lot of things that resonate with a lot of us. I am glad you are here.

    Fellow historian here, too. Ancient history and Classical Literature and Languages. Erstwhile writer, too.
     
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  6. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Sup. Interesting time 18 century.
    Also official diagnosised with Asperger's, along with Schizotypal and Add.
     
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  7. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kristy,...welcome. With regards to the friendship/interpersonal bonding issue,...this is common with folks on the autistic spectrum,...but not all. There are a few things that contribute to this phenomenon, it may be one or a combination of these things. (1) There are genes that regulate the secretion of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin,...the "love hormones" that are responsible for pair bonding between individuals (friends and family members) as well as initiating social interaction (social motivation). Some folks do not have the correct genes for this hormone secretion,...and tend not to bond and tend to be introverts. You do not have to be autistic to have issues with this problem. (2) The neuronal changes that occur in autism start sometime around 20 weeks gestation as the individual neurons are forming, then migrating away from the thalamus towards the cortex, cerebellum, and eventually forming individual functional areas. Some neurons have altered migrational patterns, and some neurons have too many or too little synaptic connections and dendrites. In the case of hormonal alterations in autism,...there can be many, in particular, from the hypothalamus, posterior, and anterior pituitary. It can, for some, throw off the entire endocrine system (thyroid, testes, ovaries, adrenals, etc.),...leaving many physicians confused,...as many are completely unaware of the downstream affects of autism. Oxytocin and vasopressin are secreted by the posterior pituitary after some signaling from the hypothalamus.

    Once you go down this research "rabbit hole", you will find a significant amount of information on this topic. Here are just a few to get you started and give you further understanding: These oxytocin genes may influence number of friends - Futurity.
    Research Review: Social motivation and oxytocin in autism – implications for joint attention development and intervention. Effect of age and autism spectrum disorder on oxytocin receptor density in the human basal forebrain and midbrain | Translational Psychiatry.
     
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  8. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome! That's really neat that your therapist can relate :)
     
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  9. kbryson77

    kbryson77 Kristy

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    I am so excited and emotional!! I was actually scared to post. Thank you all for your responses! When I stop crying, I'm going to reply to you all.
     
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  10. KnotSoWild

    KnotSoWild New Member

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    Hi Kirsty,

    I don't really get people either hence why I've never really been able to maintain any longterm friendships. I pretty much spent my teenage years in my room listening to music and miming into the mirror pretending I was a world renowned superstar.

    I love knitting too. Also crochet and macrame. And history, although the period that fascinates me the most is the Soviet era, possibly because I was born in the Soviet Estonia and have seen the remnants it left firsthand.

    Nice to meet you!
     
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  11. Dadamen

    Dadamen Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome!
    I'm also bad at friednships. In fact, if I was good at friendships I would talk on instagram and discord with friends and not on this forum.
     
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  12. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome, it seems as if your in the right place. :)
     
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  13. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Hmm... made me think of the seemingly perennial conversation I have with mom where she tries to get me involved in some group of random people who share a common NT interest, that I may or may not have any interest in, and I respond with "Nope. Not interested." I really don't understand this concept of socializing for the sake of it, or joining some random group of people for the sake of socializing!

    Relatedly, mom is exceedingly happy that I've found this site, so I have people to interact with. It's pretty funny, actually. :rolleyes:. I just don't understand the whole NT need to socialize thing! It's taken me a year and a half of idly thinking "it might be nice to have contact with other autistics again" for me to have found the motivation to actually act on the thought!

    I guess I should add that I can be quite interested in interacting with specific people, given the right circumstances, but my threshold for "worth the effort" is pretty high. Although, prior to COVID I was starting to comprehend the concept of people in general as something that might be worth my attention, thanks to a couple staff members at one of my local bookstores who made the effort to initiate conversations, and then expand them beyond books.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  14. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    In case anyone hasn't noticed yet, I like writing too. :D:cool:. I've recently gotten convinced enough that I might have something important enough to say that I've started writing a couple of (nonfiction) books, with ideas for another. Two about autism, and things I've learned over the years, (one a kid's book), and the other on what I've learned about dealing with depression and trauma (A few decades worth of pretty continual effort). Now that I've miraculously found myself on the other side. (Only to suddenly find myself reprocessing some stuff the last year and a half or so, and just since joining here, realizing there might be other things I never allowed myself to recognize as such because it paled in comparison to the rest of it, and/or because nobody ever let me recognize it as such. ) but I digress...

    I have some interest in history, here and there, also in anthropology and archeology. Along with many other things. I have a lot of interests. None of which were employable. Did lead to a couple B.A.s though.
     
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  15. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit "..experience moments of happiness."

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    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing about your views. I have trouble with maintaining friendships as well.plz forgive my lack of capitalization and sloppy syntax, i am on a phone. Its a fun place to write and share.there is a blog space too and games im trying to revitalize "answer a question with a question" now, its been idle for a while
     
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  16. Progster

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

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    I'm not good at friendships either, and have been ghosted or rejected by people that I thought were friends many times. I don't have much motivation or energy to try to make new friends, don't really feel that I need them these days.
     
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