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I'm lonely and so what should I do next?

Peter SC

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I have a form of autism and if you know anything about autism, you'll know that for people who have the condition, it can be incredibly hard to interact with others. To say I don't have a life would be a bit extreme. Everyone has their own unique interests at least. I myself have some quality interests, such as being a fan of horror media. Music for example is probably my greatest passion. Well, not making music (yet) but hearing it is always a pleasure (unless the music is total pants). I've really enjoyed listening to a lot of retro music from America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia over the years, as well as stuff that is known in my native, Great Britain.


Anyway, I had one girlfriend who used me. There's really no point in mentioning what she done, from start to finish. Maybe you could look into my post history or just take my word for it. She's really just bad news. She's been my only notable girlfriend, ever. Maybe that explains why I feel so strongly about her, but it's kind of lame to have high regards for someone who pretty much screwed you over. Wouldn't you agree?


Well, because I have autism, there are a ton of support workers who help me to look after myself. I was crushing on women in the past and you should know that if that were to create any issues, the bosses could then just have you working with male carers. I'd already had a Joanna removed from my team for confessing that I liked her and I went on Facebook to write about it.


Well, I currently have a small team of helpers as everybody prior to this arranged set-up either left the job or they were put into other teams to work in, due to there being so many staff nowadays running around. I guess you can see why they'd have to do that.


Anyway, my key worker is this Spanish woman and she's very nice. Because of this, I have been affectionately making advantages towards her. She knows this, but that is crossing boundaries. She's warned me that if I express an interest in her again, she would be relieved of her duties as my carer. When I sent a text message to her calling her petal, she had to lay down the rules and she was actually very straight with me. Then that made me feel quite anxious again and so I told her about how I really feel about her, despite knowing it would only cause further stress.


I even tried putting my arm around her when she was washing my dishes, but she firmly stated that if I do it again, she would have to walk out of my flat. She accepted my apology later on when I sent another text message just this past evening and before she left today, she promised not to reveal what happened to the seniors, but I know she'll never get with me in my lifetime. She also said that even if she wasn't a support worker, she'd not want to date a former client such as myself anyway. That's brutal for me to have to accept knowing I have feelings for her and all, but I guess I should just respect her decision, or else I'd run the risk of messing things up between us, which would be an incredible shame as she was really supportive before. It's great that I now have such a lovely person to guide me in the right direction, but she said she may one day go abroad to America, which of course is upsetting for me to hear. Therefore, she's summed up my chances to be with her in no small terms.


My neighbor Scott from my accommodation has similar struggles when it comes to socializing with strangers. When we go to dating events such as those that are run by the Meetup website, they tend to be held in bars that play loud music and the people involved aren't really following a system. It's just that they also drink because they like to get hammered and the conversations they have don't seem to be very, whatever. To me, I don't know the words to describe what I mean here. However, these events clearly aren't suitable for us. We really should try to join general groups that focus on our mutual interests, because then you at least have something in common with other people, of both sexes. Fair enough, those sort of groups aren't necessarily aimed at singles, but it could be much more beneficial to mingle with others who actually respect the same things as yourself, because then you don't have to try as hard. When you go to those dating events, though, you will probably feel quite lost to start with. I'd also really like to get over my feelings for Sara, my current carer. But it's hard to distract myself from her because I feel lonely. That loneliness is becoming rather chronic at the moment and there are consequences to any action.


It's actually hard to get out and about because I get terrible anxiety feelings that make me have unpleasant adrenaline rushes. Being anxious is really uncomfortable and somewhat scary as well. When you feel that way, your mind is basically saying to you that this situation you're in is not nice, so you get your body gearing you up for a panic attack when that seems irrational. When I had a panic attack once before, I developed a fear of suffering similar attacks, so I guess from my own words, I know I have a panic disorder. Now that I've experienced one bad panic attack, I can flee the scene before the situation I'm in becomes too tense. Maybe I should try using beta blockers. What do you reckon is the best thing for me?


What do you think I should do to get over the incidents that occurred in the past? I've tried to tell my neighbor Scott that we need to do stuff together to take the burden off of trying things alone, but he just seems more content to continually join all these singles groups, when I now feel they'll probably not be as rewarding as we'd like them to be. Do I make sense here?


All the best. Peter.

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Dear Peter


I think it's a very good idea to join a group which is focussed on an area of your interest/your passion. I understand it might be difficult to go on your own but could your keyworker help out with this - maybe going with you to begin with to the location if not actually walking in. Or just walking to the location with you to begin with and then coming back and doing that a few times to begin with so that you might begin to feel comfortable with going there. If this is awkward with the current keyworker - might it be a good idea to change key workers? Depending on the group - maybe the keyworker could also go in with you?

Also, is there an ASD group in your area? That may help too.


Best, Poppies

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The trouble is that I don't believe I will be capable of interacting with so-called 'normal people' due to my anxiety issues and not knowing what to say due to my autism. Just smiling for a photo shot is a chore and I find it hard to think of things to say to new faces because usually, nobody likes nor knows the music or movies I'm into, so then there would be much confusion and boredom that would ensue. What will it be like sitting with strangers probably just repeating myself? It's too stress provoking. My life has revolved around fixed interests for so long and I've lived in the shadows for that long now, that I'm not interested in developing new skills and it seems nobody will take me seriously.


It's somewhat easier to be with those with autism like me, because people generally are the same as myself in a way. But it's not like there's a great deal of people with the same disability in my area that are single, physically attractive and in my age range. I'm 27 going on 28.


Support workers can encourage me and others like me to join social groups to make friends, but ultimately, it's us that has to try to be socially capable and they can just grade our efforts, pat us on the back when it goes fine and tag along for the ride. They think it's better that way. They don't realize that everything in itself is hard work and when I say it's too hard or I act like it's impossible, they perceive these type of responses as excuses. It's not fair.


And I don't think there's many young women who really are into gentle jaunts, walking groups and the like. I've been on link removed already and you can look at the pictures of the members in the groups, but there isn't any women that look like they'd be interested in me, nor are they up my street. The rest look too classy and to be honest, I'd stand out like a sore thumb around them. They are all mostly middle-aged (example: lonely dog walkers) and the like on the walking groups, whereas all the babes seem to be those with careers in the 20s - 40s singles groups, but trust me - I can assure you that you would get absolutely NOWHERE with these sort of events.


A girlfriend is what I need now to fill that painfully empty void, but getting one is hard and keeping one, harder. Nothing else is important to me anymore. I've played the lonely nerd, the used boyfriend and the punter (paying for sex) role once too many times. Now I want REAL love and if I cannot get it, then I reckon I'd be better off dead.


The hot ladies all usually hang out with friends and lovers in nightclubs, crowded bars and discos that are far from what an autistic man would feel comfortable being in. It's only the overly fat, oven chip thin, wheelchair bound, ugly and unattractive people who remain out of everyone else ordinary and they are the ONLY ones who are likely to be available to date, but sorry and no offense intended, but this category doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. But if there's nobody else, maybe I should sigh and seek out a dating site for fat and thin people (if such a site existed).


It's sad, isn't it? A Spanish lady who never knew English has only been here like 3 years or something and already she has friends, a job and seems to be happy, yet I've been in Edinburgh since the day I was born (26/01/1986) and yet I don't have many friends. I don't have a job and I'm certainly not happy nowadays.


My support worker is already trying to keep a safe distance from me and it clearly shows. When we were watching Home Alone the other night in the kitchen (in the staff flat which doubles as an office) and she was sitting away from me, I knew she did it because she did not feel totally comfortable being with me. Everybody else was elsewhere because it was Christmas Eve, so it was just the two of us watching that movie on YouTube. At which point, I assured her I wouldn't touch her again.


I asked her if she could still be friends with me if she eventually left and went to South America, and she said she didn't know. She also says that if she left, there would be 'other people' to support me, talk to, or whatever. Now, I think she's a nice person, but she already stated that we are NOT friends. This is her job. I'm just her client. Even after I opened my heart to her which was 100% tricky and I said I considered her my friend, an angel to me and my mentor, she spouts hurtful but truthful propaganda about how she's not actually my friend. Well, if she's not my friend and my value to her is nothing, why should I give a hoot about my life? But oh well. Peter Anderson doesn't need babysitters.


Why do I get the impression she would palm me onto someone else eventually? But until then, we can just have a nice working relationship that's at best merely an uncomfortable yet sort of lukewarm feeling. I do fancy her and all, but she already said we wouldn't be involved in a relationship regardless of if she was employed here or not.


Yes. And when she leaves, she will be added to the ever growing LONG list of support personnel who come and went. I remember how sad I felt when Ruth left. However, it had to happen one day. So, as painful as it might be, should I just be rid of her now since she'll leave one day anyway?


I mean, I actually REALLY don't want to lose her as my key worker, but I feel SO darn depressed knowing this union won't amount to a real friendship or relationship. I find it hard to concentrate on things now. This depression started on 19 December after she told me not to text her referring to her as a petal. Since then, I've felt very low.



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Well Peter you have said an awful lot there. As far as my opinion goes, I think there are several things you have to ask yourself. The first being why such an intense attraction to this woman? It seems fairly clear that she is going through the motions and aiding you more out of obligation than kindness. In essence this tenderness isn't real. Does this mean you aren't worthy of such affection? By all means no, just not delivered through her. Also be aware of the trap you set yourself up for - falling for anyone who is nice to you that you find attractive. This can occur on a subconscious emotional level, but you have to be aware of that tendency as getting hurt and used (again) is a likely outcome. Speaking of attraction, you had mentioned some traits of those you had the chance of encountering (overly fat, oven chip thin, wheelchair bound, ugly and unattractive people...) and those you felt you could never encounter (hot ladies.) Let's stop right there. The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. Love is only restricted by ourselves. I am not saying not to pursue whom you are attracted to, but in those women you may feel inclined to disregard can be someone whom you can gel with, bond with, and perhaps love.


Lastly, not interacting with "normal" people due to anxiety is something "normal" people also face. Have you considered joining and participating on online forums? You had mentioned your love for music. I myself love music and find this to be one thing I am passionate about (listening, not playing.) Finding forums concentrating on specific bands or genres gives you a common ground for interaction and will forge better (less anxiety) communication skills. Join several to reduce the amount of lull in conversation. You may find new music at the worst case, and in the best case some new friends and who knows where that will lead.


Good luck, chin up.

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The trouble is that nobody really knows the bands I like. I like a lot of 80's stuff from New Zealand, Canada and Australia, but most people apart from perhaps older people seem to just like modern music or metal bands, or other genres I'm not interested in and won't know the bands I speak of.


There's a site called Meetup that features loads of events in my area and other locations you search for, but just by browsing the members in each group, I don't see any young women on them and when I do, they probably aren't single / not in my league table / I'm not in their league table. Basically, I've no chance. It's hard to admit that, but it's too difficult. The only time you seem to know people your own age and not by choice is in high school. After that, it's too hard as it becomes a fray. I'd really love to know how others meet people.

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