I have Aspergers, and for the most part, living with it does not really bother me but recently I have found myself feeling a bit isolated, especially in work. Normally, I am quite happy to keep myself to myself and I actually prefer my own company or interaction with just a few select friends but recently I have been wanting to be part of the “crowd”.
With my Aspergers, I find it hard to have conversations and make friends, I never really know what to say or how to keep a conversation going, half the time my mind goes blank and there are awkward silences or I say things that are out of context, or I just feel really awkward and self-conscious. On top of that, too much interaction can leave me feeling a bit exhausted and overwhelmed and I need time to process my thoughts and feelings.
I have been having these internal conflicts in my head, I feel that I want to talk and add things to conversations but at the same time, I have no real idea of what to say or anything.
Because of this, I very rarely get involved in conversations, especially in work, and now I’m starting to feel a bit isolated. I don’t really sit near enough to anyone to just chit-chat over the computer monitors and would need to leave my desk to go and chat or have to raise my voice to be heard. I’m pretty conscious that I have work to do and don’t want to be seen walking around and chatting, nor do I want to disturb anyone by raising my voice, both are things that really irritate me about others.
I do listen when people are talking and do try to join in occasionally but sometimes I feel like I’m not being listened to which is something else that puts me off from joining in. I have been working in the same office for the past 4 years with some of my colleagues and I feel that sometimes I just don’t get included in things because I don’t get so involved and that can hurt sometimes.
A lot of my colleagues are friends outside of work and see each other regularly, go out for nights out and all sorts of other things which, for me, are too overwhelming. My anxiety, as well as my Aspergers, makes it hard for me to do these things as I am not keen on crowds or overly loud places. I struggle if I go out to hear what others are saying or concentrate on what is being said as everything seems as loud as the next noise and can all blur into one deafening roar. And I think that is partly why I don’t get asked to go places as I normally say I can’t go unless it is to somewhere that I know and that I can leave when I need to.
I know that I won’t always feel like this and that I’m really ok just going to work and doing my job and coming home again, that’s what I’m paid for, but sometimes I think it would be nice to be included in these chats that go on.
I am struggling a bit with this, and really wish I could explain to others how I feel.