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Old August 16th, 2013, 08:15 PM
Exasperated Exasperated is offline
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Can't figure relationships out

Hi all,

I spent my younger years pretending it didn't matter, but it did. I couldn't, and still can't, relate to other people very well. I grew up in a dysfunctional home, inherited depression and other goodies from the odd group that is my "family", and worked for years to sort through myself and the mess of my earlier life.

Now I'm in my mid-40s and after all the counseling, trying, talking, reasoning, studying, etc. I'm still struggling to understand why I have such trouble getting along with other people. Here's some things that are contributing to my problem:

  • I know I'm hypersensitive, becoming easily triggered to sadness and rage
  • I want to fit in but don't, I want to be "normal" but am not. I guess I'm what you'd call 'eccentric'. I can't pretend to be something I'm not.
  • I get so disappointed in other people, so disgusted with their hypocrisy, so let down when I give and don't receive
  • If I sound judgmental I am. I've been hurt and can't seem to trust. Affirmations and 'positive thinking' aren't my forte.

I just don't know what to do other than what I've done: become something of a recluse, working from home, attempting relationships and watching them fail one after the other, focusing more on animals than on people. For the most part I've come to accept that this is who I am. Every now and then though, I think maybe there are other answers.

Do you have the answer?
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Old August 16th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

Welcome, Exasperated. I'm sorry you've been handed this confusing life of yours.

You mentioned counselors - have they ever suggested that you be evaluated for anything? I don't mean to suggest that you have some sort of disorder, but sometimes having an answer to the "whys" helps. My son, for example, has Asperger's Syndrome. Now that we know that, we understand "why" he is the way he is.

At any rate, you are valuable and you sound like a strong person.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 06:12 AM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

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At any rate, you are valuable and you sound like a strong person.
Absolutely!

Rather than searching for a "relationship," how about you try a club around one of your interests. For example, you said you are focusing on animals. Maybe there is a rescue shelter near you. Start small with aquaintences and you might find someone that appreciates you just the way you are.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:28 PM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

I've been diagnosed with chronic depression but not Asperger's or a related disorder. I'm not insulted by your suggestion, in fact I'd LOVE to know what's wrong with me, it would be a huge relief to be able to call it something and know I fit in somewhere. I'll keep exploring the possibilities. My big fear is of turning into my grandmother, who was a recluse and a very bitter woman. And yet the older I get the more trouble I have dealing with people... yikes.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:29 PM
Exasperated Exasperated is offline
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Red face Re: Can't figure relationships out

I volunteer with several organizations that help animals, both domestic and wild. I thought I was nuts, have you ever met "animal people"?!?!
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Old August 17th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

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Originally Posted by Exasperated View Post
I volunteer with several organizations that help animals, both domestic and wild. I thought I was nuts, have you ever met "animal people"?!?!
I have. It's good to know where you fall on the continuum!

You have a good sense of humor.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

and sometimes - you need a little help - body/brain chemistry may be off - mood stableizers (not to be confused with anti-depressents) might help

(ok - in some cases anti-depressants can help too)


The important thing is to do what's best for you.

There are "animal" people - Temple Grandin understands some animals better than anyone else, there are pet psychologists, ____ whispers, etc... You might be another one.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

I agree, must do what's best for me, but that means blocking out a lot of situations and people who could hurt me, and then losing out on the potential "good stuff" that can come from these interactions. I've sort of painted myself into a corner by creating a quiet life fairly free from complications and the stickiness of friendships. It's lonely, but it's safe. I look at normal women, doing normal women things and hanging out with other normal women, and it's like a foreign language to me. I get a mixture of feeling superior and completely inferior at the same time.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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Re: Can't figure relationships out

Wait, did I type that?

Exasperated, no one is "normal." The important thing is to be happy in your own skin.
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