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chronic alienation much?

chronic alienation much?2012-03-09T00:27:52+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey I Don't Get People chronic alienation much?

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    I have such a hard time dealing with people, especially in groups, which makes it difficult to experience anything even remotely resembling community. I have my immediate family – my husband of 20 years, and our 2 children, and a few peripheral individuals such as those I work with, or acquaintances, but I don’t have any real “friends.” I tend to attract people who talk a lot, because I’m quiet, and they probably perceive me to be a good listener while I am in fact often bored out of mind and exercising the utmost patience to listen to their monologues. A lot of people just bloviate non-stop. I feel invisible, empty and stranded, lonely. I’m not hear because it takes time to know what I have to say. When I try to join groups I invariably feel overstimulated, exhausted, awkward, anxious, pushed to the back of the room – and then, if people don’t respond to me, I start to resent them, and then I go into a downward spiral of feeling bad about myself and hating everyone, until participating feels intolerable. I don’t know if that’s ADHD, or if I have some sort of deep emotional problem – probably some of both.

    I actually feel pretty good when I am solitary. I do creative things, think about things, lots of writing, sometimes art, some decorative stuff. I like being outdoors in natural settings. I can imagine enjoying a vacation in which I could stay alone in a cabin on the ocean somewhere, a mile outside the nearest town, and just relax and write.

    Our society is not very friendly toward introverts – it’s like we’re freakish and “anti-social” instead of just not that social. Being alone is not nearly the problem for me that being around people can be. And yet, I do like to have people around. Haven’t figured out how to balance my needs with those of others in a way that is sustainable and peaceful for me, and am always having boundary issues with regard to other people’s expectations and my need to have quiet time to unwind.

    Does anyone else feel flooded by the energy of others? It’s like their vibes get all over me the way smoke in a closed room saturates your clothes. There is too much information. It exhausts me. And then ON TOP of that, I feel stressed emotionally by never quite fitting in, or having unusual needs about pacing. I am out of synch. It is rare that I feel like who I am is OK when I am in a group. One-on-one is much better. I’m thankful, at least, that I have a husband who truly understands me.


    Post count: 845

    sdwa – I totally relate to what you describe. I don’t think it is directly related to ADHD, but is more indirectly related possibly. Just my guess. Like you, time alone is welcome and enjoyed. I doubt we are the only two who are like this. I think in my case, it may be a lack of a common interest with others. I have been like this back to my earliest memories.


    Post count: 430


    Dealing with crowds is so stressful and draining to me, I avoid them at all costs. I have no idea if that is part of ADD or a coping mechanism.

    I would like to have more contact with people, but that is pretty far down on my list of priorities right now.


    Post count: 14413

    I’m not an extreme introvert and I like people – I do best with my close friends of which I have very few. I find those social situations awkward and stressful. I can deal with the crowds when I must and breathe a huge sigh of relief when I come home to my cats and sweet silence. (DH works alone a great deal of the time, so he knows I MUST want to talk when he gets home!!) But I would never voluntarily go where there are huge crowds.

    Starting next Tuesday I’ll be in class all day 8:30 – 5:00 with the same people – only one day off for almost 3 weeks. When I’m there I find ways to cope – go potty far more than I have to so I can be in a little room all by myself, walk when I could grab a ride … We’ll see how that goes in Winnipeg in March. Brrrrr


    Post count: 445

    Introvert or extravert, ADD is—I think—alienating, sometimes in subtle ways. For example, when one’s ADD circuits are sparking, it’s difficult to listen attentively to what others have to say. It’s difficult to read books. It’s difficult even to pay attention to song lyrics. It’s as if our minds refuse to receive information the way others choose to present it to us. Instead, we grab snippets here and there and process them in ways that are most compelling to US.

    You could call it neurological narcissism: If our brains don’t find a conversation or text fairly interesting, they just tune out and move on to some other thought that is. Never mind what somebody else wants us to hear/read. The result is our facility for exchange is compromised.


    Post count: 363

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the comments. It’s reassuring.

    What Wgreen says – exchange is compromised – that makes sense.. So maybe there will always be some feelings of alienation and of being an outsider?

    If I knew that’s how it is, for sure, that it’s my brain wiring, and not that I’m inherently a freak or inadequate, it would be easier to cope with.

    How to compensate for it when I have to, I don’t know.

    Usually for an event I have to psych myself up well in advance, review things I might have to say or remember.. I am not good at thinking on my feet.

    I avoid crowds, but if I want to take a class or participate in a club, it gets very difficult.

    It would be nice to be able to just BE without feeling guilty.


    Post count: 1096

    sdwa – I can relate to your description exactly. I can’t tolerate crowds and I really hate dealing with more than two people at a time. One to one is preferable but if I am in a quiet mood having another present is good so if I don’t know what to talk about I can leave the talking to the other two. So I ask questions about their kids etc and then they think I listen. Actually I don’t care about their kids but I know jolly well they won’t ask about me! That’s people generally not the two who are my friends. I enjoy people’s company as long as we are doing something. I just have two good friends. One is extremely quiet but does active things with me. The other never shuts up and can be wearing but I have known her a long time and she’s the only person I have told about being ADHD and she wasn’t suprised. I do like my own company and would say I am an introvert.

    On saying that, other people don’t think I am an introvert because they see me bouncing around. When I am teaching I am quite bouncy so it’s all very odd. I like my own company, hate crowds and parties are just hell. I usually get on with people”s kids better than the parents – I think that’s because I’d rather be kicking a ball around the park with them than trying to have grown-up conversations with the parents. But if I find someone with a shared passion then I don’t stop talking.

    So it’s person dependent, situation dependent and mood dependent with me.

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