Hi all. I've not been on here in years and forgot I was a member. So, once again I've just finished a riveting book, which is my way of escaping the problems of life, so today I've been bordering on a panic attack. When my situation hits me, my stomach churns and I have this awful empty disconnected feeling which makes me wonder why I should continue living. I don't know ANYONE that lives their life alone. No workmates, no friends, no family. Even worse, I don't know anyone who's like me and doesn't get anything out of general chit chat. I find socializing petrifying and no way can I let anyone get to know me.
In a nutshell, is there anyone else here who is anything like me?
Hi there, hope you are feeling better today.
I feel for you and can identify with much of what you say. Let me introduce myself and explain. I am a 64 year old woman. I have no work mates because I work from my own office alone. The people I speak to at work are clients, they come to me for professional help and that is it. It would be a huge mistake to make friends with them. Anyway they live all over the world. To me friends are people you get on well with, have things in common with and meet up with - at least sometimes - regularly, maybe go for a drink or meal or whatever, not just speak when one needs the other. Like you I have no family whatsoever. I have no friends because I moved to this area many years ago as a single woman and tried to make friends - unlike you am not shy - but could not find anyone I had enough in common with.
Many of the people were far too old for me or their idea of friendship was expecting to have my address and just turn up when bored or lonely or all their friends are busy. Or old ladies who expected me to go and clean their fridge and hoover their carpet etc like some sort of unpaid carer / cleaner. There are people out there who try to take advantage if they think you have a lot of spare time or are desperate.
I also share this feeling you have about general chit chat. Fine if it's with people you know well but when it is a stranger and they want to go on for ages about something I cannot see the point, I call that chat elevator chat, when it's about the weather, when they went to the shop, their car not starting and all other silly little bits and pieces. In our town there are lots of little clusters of people who meet up in groups. Where they all sit together for an hour or two talking about nothing. I cannot see the point.
The thing is that if you have no friends you do have to make an effort or it cannot change. It is impossible for it to change through luck. On the other hand what a lot of people don't understand is you can still have standards and should not have to be a convenience or available or interested in just anyone. I used to get people always wanting to come to me for free advice or to borrow money or pop in when they have a few hours to get rid of - boring me to tears and draining me of my spare time etc - no thanks. That is not friendship. It has to be mutually beneficial and rewarding and fun, not just for one. I've also met people who would love to go on and on about how depressed they are, no thanks to that too. I do not want to be their therapist.
Women often see friendship differently. I find that a lot of women get all busy with their family and put all of their emotions, effort and time into that, and are too busy for female friends, even if the female friend is very ill and needing help. Yet as soon as their family are all off on holiday or at work they expect their female friend to jump to it and be available to them and put them first. They want to use them as a stop gap or when they have had a big argument with the husband and want to vent for hours - not be a friend.
And beware of advice. I often had people give me advice which was all to suit them. One person at the local church "advised me" to spend all of my time working in their office unpaid! I would have had t o give up my own business and have no income. Ending up with debts. I would not give up my business and work for someone else if they paid me. There was a deeply mentally disturbed woman at the church who had a history of cutting, violence, being disruptive, breaking up her bed, furniture, room, deliberately soiling her bed and carpets so that they were needing to be replaced, not paying the rent at her various rooms, getting into a lot of debt, being verbally abusive, lying, unreliable etc.. and I was "advised" I should let her move into my house and live with me - because I had a spare bedroom! None of the people wanted to speak to her or deal with her, but according to them I should let her come and live with me and pay for her to be there. They all had spare bedrooms too but did not want to let her move in with them. I had already turned down tenants who would have been quite, normal and paid.
If you are an anxious person then you are a deep feeler and a worrier, so many won';t understand you.
But that does not mean that when they meet you they want t o hear about your worries or feelings, they will not want to, they are there for fun, to laugh, to smile, to brighten their own day. That would only work if both of you were amateur therapists and you both listened equally to each other.
Like you I read a lot, love it, I keep myself busy, but it would be great if sometimes when the phone rang it was a friend instead of work. It would be great if I could see in my diary I was due to meet up with a nice person soon. In the meantime I make the most of how things are.