I'm feeling lonely and isolated, not suffering from depression - yet!

Posted , 2 users are following.

I am told loneliness can eventually lead to depression, which is why I'm posting this here. Since there isn't a 'Loneliness' forum, I can only assume that the concept of such a forum, so that people in this situation have somewhere to post, before they suffer from Depression, hasn't occurred to the organisers of these forums? 

For as far back as I can remember, I have always considered myself 'different' to other people, and with some justification as I was born with two disabilities, one I am pretty-well proud of, the other, I am ashamed of. Up until 15 years ago when my legs started giving me problems, with me eventually having to start using a wheelchair about 10 years ago. I was born in 1949, so I have seen how society and individuals perceive the disabled evolve over the decades, the first real changes occuring in 1981, as a result of the International Year of Disabled people.

Although I am visibly able-bodied, I attended schools for the disabled up until I was about 12, at which I pretty-well always felt the 'odd one out'; after that, up until I was 16, I went to a 'conventional' school, but there, I also felt the same, but with the added 'stress' of wondering if I should tell anyone I had a disability, mainly because at my other schools I had seen second-hand, how cruel some kids can be. Also once I started working, there was the issue of deciding which 'Label' I should apply to myself - However during all of this time, and even now, the disability I am ashamed of, I refuse to 'own up' to, unless I have to. You could say that this situation has really messed up my head and had a pretty big impact on any physical relationships I have had, or have. I have had a number of personally soul-destroying experiences due to people who either just walk away from me, without giving a reason or say it's 'ok' but then a few months down the line, abandon me. Sometimes the reason given was, "You decieved me".... Therefore pretty-well the the main thing I 'Learnt' from these events was that whichever way I tried using to resolve this issue, meant I was going to fail.

I've tried Counselling, but the kind of 'confidence building' that that delivers, only has a positive effect for about 3-6 months, and then you are back at square 1 again. Maybe that is partly because my socialising skills are rubbish, because for decades I have kept 'myself to myself'. I suppose I am pretty happy being on my own and fending for myself, but envy, from seeing how  easily other people manage to socialise, or get friends who invite them along to things, (or come to that, accept invitations from me) just leaves me from time to time, wondering, "What am I going wrong?" or "Where's that rule-book on socialising, everyone else was obviously given a copy of, but I've never seen?" I've often had people say to me, "We really must meet up again, I'll get back to you ... here's my number etc" but they don't call, and if I do go to the trouble of taking the initative, they kind of brush me off one way or another.

I am beginning to wonder, if I'm just destined to be one of societies social outcasts?! I have joined a number of clubs, (on things I have an interest in) but once the initial 'welcome' has evaporated (3-4 weeks at best) I soon see everyone is talking amongst themselves, and if I attempt to join in, (and not bull in a china-shop style!) I just find the group will just talk around me, almost as if I'm not there! They talk about the meet-ups they've had with each other, obviously arranged outside the 'club' enviroment, so I end up yet again, feeling monumentally marginalised and an outcast. I once attended a course on being assertive and socialising, but within 2 weeks, everyone else on the course had split up into little cliques, with me on the outside of all of them, and largely ignored. I decided enough was enough, I'm not going to put myself through this kind of misery for the rest of the course, so left. I didn't even get a follow-up call from the course organiser, to enquire why I wasn't still attending!

I'm just wondering if anyone has any constructive advice on how, or what I need to do, to move on from this situation.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Write to me privately so we can discuss this if you want. I don't want to say too much in public.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for pointing out what you did, it was much appreciated. I suppose for decades I've tried 'self-analysis', or just buried myself in things such as a charity for the disabled, in the hope that getting involved in something I feel strongly about (the social integration of people with and without disabilities) or am interested in, (photography) would help me overcome feeling isolated.

      With the 1st of these, I ended up being pretty good at helping others with challenges and issues which they faced, but I was probably unwilling to open up to the ones I faced, because that made me feel 'Weak', or thought others would think I was 'Weak'. In the end I got too old for the group I was involved with, and didn't feel i fitted in anymore.

      In the 2nd instance, I found I was just being kind of ignorred, or maybe the club I joined was too cliquey, or I felt very uncomfortable about having to be 'Pushy' to get noticed. Maybe I'm a bit of an introvert, but I do also feel most of the time that I'm inside some kind of container which people just see right through, as if I'm not there, or when I say anything, I don't reply in a way that invites people to ask me more about myself. In short, I have no idea how to 'sell' myself to other people, and everyone else expects people to talk about other individuals; talking about people behind their back, unless I have been told by that person it's ok to talk about to others, is something you quickly learn (if you or they have a disability) not to do. maybe that is totally ingrained in me? 

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  • Posted

    I have to say, that what I'm seeking, is some  kind of service which can tell me what I'm not doing right, and what I should be doing, not some kind of therapy, where the person treating me, is more interested in finding out why I feel the way I do, or/and worse (in my opinion) just dish out some drug so I 'forget/ignore' my fears. Someone 'digging around in my mind, is just going to make me think more about my 'limitations'.
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    • Posted

      Oh dear. You have got it all wrong. Firstly, a qualified therapist does not make you feel bad about your limitations. They did not study for yeras to end up being that incapable. Have you ever been to therapy? Even if you have they are all different and some are better than others.

      And therapists do not dish out drugs, that is what a psychiatrist does, he very often gives you the same drugs you can get from the doctor. You are sort of contradicting yourfself here Sam because on the one hand you talki as if you have great knowledge of this and whether or not it would help but on the other hand you say you need help. You cannot be the pupil and the teacher!

      Go to a private naturopath or herbalist if you want help that does not delve into your way ot thinking, but why be so protective of it when that way of thinking is doing you harm? I can see from this post your way of thinking needs to change!

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry, I've realised my comment about Therapists was grossly unfair, and unhelpful to others reading it. This was unfortunately a 'heat of the moment' reply. As you have rightly said, I need to think more carefully about what I say. I suppose my past experiences have 'moulded' me into an Introvert, which doesn't help matters much!
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  • Posted

    No need to be sorry. I knew you said that in the heat of the moment.
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  • Posted

    Maybe It's because I think I know what lies behind the situation I am in, and for some reason assume that how people interact, is governed by 'rules' which I've not seen and can just be told what they are, (A bit like the social rules which operated in Victorian times? - as seen in the Dr Dolittle film) and then I'll be ok. Maybe things really just aren't as simple as that? I kind of feel as if there is some kind of invisible 'barrier' between me and other people. Maybe this is something I've unconsiously placed around myself?
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