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well, i am sure this is the wrong spot, but lord help me if i could find a better one. I just wanted a place to post some thoughts and stuf that i've been dealing with the past couple of days.

I'm incredibly lonely.

I don't know quite what does it, but for some reason i just have the hardest time "connecting" to my fellow human beings...the few friends i do have aren't what you'd call close friends, and i'm not especially close to my parents, really. I'm not too sure what i'm hoping to gain by telling you all about this, but i just want to reach out to someone, somehow, and try to find a kindred spirit or two. All my life, I've felt utterly alone, in every sense of the word. You know how you can feel totally alone in a crowd full of people? Maybe you don't. But that's how my life has felt...completely cut off from everyone else. I know I'm too guarded, that for some reason I have these fortress walls around me that don't let others in, but i feel so damaged and hurt and just LONELY, I don't think anyone would want to come in, even if they could. I thought i might find someone who has felt the same way around here, if anywhere. I sure can't find anyone to relate to around my town/life. I just don't know anymore. How am i supposed to connect to people when i don't even know how? I feel like my feelings are just constantly on display, and they'll all know how incredibly fucked-up I am. What is it about some people that makes them social butterflies? I don't necessarily want to be like that, but I just wish I had some of that charisma, something that would at least make me somewhat attractive to people. I just want someone to talk to. To listen to whatever I have to say, to tell me that i'll be okay, that they care about me, whatever i need. isn't that a friend? I wouldn't know.

i just seem to exude something that drives people away from me. this must be it - the pathetic, whiny, "why am i so messed up" attitude. i guess the same applies for internet posts as it does for real life. sorry to waste your time, guys.

- hannah

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Guest PinkToo2grrl

I DO know how this feels.  I spent pretty much my whole life feeling the way you described.  When I finally met my DW i said to her with tears in my eyes ... OMG you're from MY planet!  I was 39 years old.  It was the first time I had ever felt that way.

I've always had the walls built up around me.  keeps the bad out.  keeps the good out too.

i'm not feeling especially charismatic tonite myself.  but, you conenct with people by doing what you just did.  open up a little bit, offer something of yourself, and when people recognize themselves in you, then they are drawn in.

you made the first step tonite.  i'm glad you did. 

keep writing!

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i just seem to exude something that drives people away from me. this must be it - the pathetic, whiny, "why am i so messed up" attitude. i guess the same applies for internet posts as it does for real life. sorry to waste your time, guys.

hardly.  didn't i see you over on Zon's thread ladling out support?  and i know that's not the only place i've seen you.

see, you CAN connect.  i don't know what real life mannerisms/attitudes you have, but the ones you project online aren't deadly and off-putting. you're not the first or the only person to have problems relating or communicating. 

since i can't see you in rl, i can't make suggestions or give you feedback, but i can see that you're a viable human in internet form (whatever sense that makes).

but you're not wasting anyones time.

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Hi hannah,

I'd like to point out that when I clicked on this thread the site said it had been viewed 47 times!

On line may be an easier place to practice some of the attitudes that might help elsewhere. Much lower risk. I'll say things here that I'm not sure I'd say anywhere else.

I've spent large chunks of my life feeling as you describe. It doesn't have to be permanent. I remember those times as continual desparation.

One thing that can be appealing to other people, or at least to me, is enthusiasm. It doesn't have to be something that the other person actually shares to make you more appealing. If you pursue some activity you like, then you have something to talk about which makes you appear to have a life. Plus, you're likely to rub elbows with other people who like the same thing on a regular basis. A few months ago I was negotiating with a woman about possibly being housemates. She ended up not moving, but I used to like getting her to talk about ancient (or old, anyway) music, even though I'm not musical at all. Her face would light up and her gestures would become animated. My girlfriend says that my voice sounds completely different when I talk about hobby stuff, especially the time she saw me fly my model plane. I'm not sure if I've retained much of it, but I enjoyed listening to her explain some of the history of scales in western music. Of course, it's also possible to go off the deep end and become an obnoxious missionary about your interest. Certainly I've done this on occasion.

Either I haven't read enough of your posts or I've forgotten your dx. In my case, I'm sure that my ADD contributed greatly to my troubles getting along with people. It's amazing how much my meds help in dificult situations where I have to read people. I had laboriously, over many years, developed a sort of adequate ability to get along, but it was boosted by the meds.

I get a weekly morale boost from attending a support group. Those people have a much better understanding of my problems because they have similar ones. And there's no shame in admitting dumb things I've done or how I'm feeling.  Perhaps you can find one appropriate to your dx? No guarantee that all of the groups are this good, but maybe you can find one that is.

I think your post is exactly the sort of thing that belongs here. I also think that maybe half of us here have felt as you're feeling now at one time or another. Maybe more.

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I just can't help but liking Cerberus - he's always got such great things to say.  Sorry Hannah, but what you've said is almost like a carbon copy of a lot of us.  Walls, walls, walls, it's all I've got around me too.  The only way I've gotten the walls down is my kids.  With my husband I've lowered them and then put them straight back up.  So, thank God for my kids, at least I have some sort of life.  I've had to push myself and get "out there".  Now that they're older, I wonder what I'm gonna be like once they've moved out and gone to college.  Will I retreat back into my little world.  Again, you're very much not alone.  I wonder if any of us were face to face would we have as much courage to talk to each other as we do here? 

Take care of yourself and know were all here for you, walls or not.  We're all the misfits who actually would not mind living on an island together. 

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thanks guys...i know you're all out there, but sometimes i need a little reminder, a little cyber hug if you will. I am in therapy right now and I think its helping, however my trusty walls keep me from getting too far, you know? i guess i'll just keep plugging away. meanwhile, thanks for the thoughts...

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hi skatepunk,

i know what you mean about loneliness. you are getting some fabulous advice from some very knowledgable people here who really know what they're talking about.

i am far more inclined to simply associate with your feelings. because i share them. not all the time, as i'm sure don't either. but when they hit they are crippling. and it is depression pulling your strings, making these feelings well up out of nowhere. i can say that and know it to be true now, but when it gets dark again i'll still crumple and fold up like a broken lawnchair.

if i'm lucky a friend comes along and is able to pull me out of it. if i let on that i am feeling that way my friends DO come along and try to pull me out - sometimes they can sometimes they can't. but at least they try. and that's what this is all about it guess.

so, even in feeling utterly alone, you're not alone.

grouse.

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Let me add my echos in the 'lonliness well'...I call it this as I see myself in a well, sitting at the bottom  (it's dry...) because well, who else would be dumb enough to sit in a well?  (other than myself, of course.)  No one, other than the people here, have ever called down to me.  Not one other person has even tried.

You are in good company -

so you cannot be alone...

so there.

(echo....echo....echo...echo....echo.....)

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god, it's so hard to "take down the walls."

This might be TOTALLY elementary, but it's where a lot of my trouble stems from, so I might as well throw it out to you (take what you can and leave the rest, you know).

Just because you feel alone doesn't mean that you are alone.  I feel a lot of things a lot of the time that aren't true.  And I have a really really really really really (I could keep typing reallys for the next half hour and not cover it) hard time with this concept- if *I* feel something is true, it must be true. 

As much as the internet is a friend (and I am a firm believer in the power of the web- some of my closest, dearest, and longest-standing friends are completely virtual) we will be here to listen to what you have to say, remind you that it's going to be okay, and do whatever we can to help you.

I care about you.  I read a lot of your posts, even if I don't respond- often times I type out responses to things here and then decide at the last minute not to post them because I don't want to sound stupid. 

I just want you to know that you're not alone.  Your "room" may not be full of people, but you are not alone

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*cyberhug* you are not alone, even though your brain is telling you that you are. never listen to it. Brains are notorious liars  ;)

We are all here in the big ol' creaky cyber house on the net listening to every word. Don't feel lonely.

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Hannah,

I second what they said and am intimately familiar with those walls.

Social ability can be learned. Cerberus is absolutely correct about mimicing socially successful people. It works. It feels awkward and unnatural at first, but becomes more and more natural when you see how people will open up and share themselves with you if you give them the opportunity.

And I think Nars' comment is apropos here too, "You don't have to believe everything you think." You may think your walls and isolation cannot be broken, but they can.

Greeny

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Hi Hannah,

I am one of those who have learned some of the skills it takes to be with people.  I've learned to smile and talk and socialize. It can be done.  I have a public job where I sometimes deal with groups of people several times a day.  I've become quite good at it. 

But I have to say that even though I've learned the motions, I still feel the walls.  I still have to talk to myself into going out of the house in the mornings.  There's a deep sadness within me because I know I will never really enjoy what most people experience with others.

I think that much of this is just our brains.  Our particular brains are somehow geared to erect walls.  It's a natural protection that has gotten out of whack with us.

Sometimes, though, this can give us a deep understanding of those who are suffering.  I find that I'm extra sensitive, and can pick up on tiny little clues of distress coming from others.  I sometimes know when other people are coming down with a cold before they know it.  I am especially sensitive to animals.  Like Cerberus said, I can tell if a wink and a smile coming from someone is sincere and genuine, or just a jerk trying to get his way.

I think that those of us with these particular brains probably have talents that many people don't have, but how to shape them into something that works, and is valuable here on this earth is something I haven't quite figured out yet.  Part of the problem is that we're a minority, and most people don't really understand.  It's nice to have a place like this to come to and realize that we're not alone.

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damn, you guys are so right.

i know i just overthink everything, and i'm worried everyone is going to judge me negatively. i need to stop listening to my brain so much. i just have to relax and talk to people, i guess. just now, everyone said something i can relate to, and that makes me feel a whole lot better. i don't really know what else to say, but thanks...

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i read about something called the "18/40/60 Rule" in a book.

the book is 'change your mind, change your life' by daniel amen. it states:

When you're eighteen, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you;

When you're forty you don't give a damn about what anybody thinks of you;

When you're sixty you realise that nobody's been thinking about you at all.

That probably won't help so much for the loneliness problem, but it is something to think about for social anxiety.

grouse.

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Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm in the same boat.  My new therapist probably hates me too...I've only been seeing him a few weeks and already I've called him for an "emergency" and he hasn't called back.  Yes, I'm such a loser...my therapist doesn't even return my calls. It's almost funny, actually  ;)

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well devon, i have to disagree. i'm quite sure that its HIS problem thats causing him to not call you back. call him again, and again if you have to. if it really is an emergency, he shouldn't keep you waiting. maybe the guy is just a tool, who knows? you ARENT a loser, though. your doc is.

feelin pretty lonely again tonight. is there anybody out there? right now it doesn't feel like there is.

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hi hannah,

yeah i'm here, but i'm not exactly whoopee either. got down into a slippery slope depression where i've just been getting worse for the last few hours. and whenever i stop to think i just go pow and go down further. (i'm a laugh a minute here eh?) ah, if there's anything that'll convinces you that you just might want to be alone after all, it's me waxing lyrical about how shitty i feel. dammit! doesn't this board have 'wry, but sad with  sense of world weariness smile' smilies? gah.

plus i've been reading edgar allan poe a bit so i'm really a smile a minute. you aren't alone in this great big empty cosmos kiddo. it just feels like it.

hmm, that probably didn't help much afterall. sorry.

grouse.

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I understand just how you feel. Human beings themselves can seem tedious and stressful. I'm in a new city and feel alone a lot but I do the best I can with online support groups. Take everything in baby steps. You'll chance upon someone like you eventually.

Lilie

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