I don't have any experience of Autism so I can only talk from the perspective of being isolated, having a low opinion of ourselves and being afraid of others.
The spectrum is quite wide, I didnt know I had it till recently into my 40s, so my experience of it was without any attention to a label be that good or bad. For me everything in the world seems far to scary and complicated, from large halls, to too many people. Im on alert of my surroundings which can become a overload, like if you had the ability to hear everyone in the room at once, only Im taking in information that is not of use to me. The feeling is uncomfortable, yet looking from a distance wish I could interact like others. I spent my life avoiding interactions, and confrontations. A small problem can feel gigantic, and many bigger problems can make me feel suicidal.
That achievement sounds like a good goal to have. It is also important that we accept ourselves and don't beat ourselves up if we are not quite up to progressing at any given time. We are who we are in the moment.
Hitting the 40s there does seem a urgency to look back and wonder what on earth has happen. Form me its not about what I didnt do out of choice, its what my condition has limited me to do, and not knowing where I was making excuses, and where it was not my fault.
It is horrible being isolated. I changed that relatively recently, starting with support groups, etc.
I had went on a one support group, that sent me into a very deep depression. In my current group its better as its more positive focused, the lady taking the course seems real, enthusiastic, and easy to get on with.
Why do you think you only felt like a connection was possible with the facilitators?
During therapy I had one on one, that took me down a dark path. In first group, I didnt feel any connection with them as I didnt get that one to one, plus they didnt have that vibe what ever that is. The current group, well the group is so small, iv had more time with the one taking the group, thats where I see a person that reflects who id like to be around, positive uplifting, confident, and someone that nurturing which may reflect back to underling childhood issues and why I had some a dramatic transference which as I said, was so deep cutting hurtful. I have no connection with others whom either keep me on the same level, or bring me down. I can be uplifting to others in distress, but can only sustain that for a short while when Im at my best. I dont do well to dwell in my own misery, thinking of all my issues, but prosper when Im focusing things outside myself. Unfortunately my depression anxiety hits me bad, that takes me out of the frame.
I may be totally off target with this but I'm wondering if that was because they were the safest option. That it was too scary to try to get to know others. I'm also wondering if you put too much stress on each interaction and focus too many hopes on each person you think you might develop a connection with. I have found I get on better with individuals when I think of them as one among many rather than someone special. I am less concerned about their every reaction and less demanding that way.
Yes your right, they are safe, but in control, and when Im loosing it I need someone to take me back to the right direction. Knowing others for me would mean to be on or above my level of thinking, and outlook when Im at my best. My problem is I dont have a natural ability to connect to people, or interact, this is partly because Im so isolated, but that isolation feels safer than being uncomfortable around people. Im very much aware that if Im not comfortable then my body language will send signals, Im very self aware.
You describe only being 'tolerated' by someone paid to care. Sounds like you may be being a bit harsh on yourself. So long as you have or can develop basic social skills based on respecting both yourself and others, I am sure you will click with someone sooner or later.
Basic social skills that where developed as a un diagnosed autistic person meant I had to act how others excepted me, but because it was not real I would break down revealing a person with lack of confidence, and social skills. I could only hold this persona a short period then Id feel like the walls are closing in on me, face getting hot like I got the spot light on me. I could see my therapist trying to block me out with her body language, covering her ears, facial expression, at times speaking with a angry undertone, and finally holding the door open on last session silent, emotionless.
A friend of mine has made friends through an Autism / Aspergers support group. Do you think you might want to try again one day?
Maybe yes if im still alive by then. Thanks for your replies, and support.