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I'm having significant issues in communicating with people. I have Asperger's syndrome, and I've never really been a big fan of talking to people, but lately, I've been going out of my way to not talk to people. Sam will ask me if I can go downstairs and visit his mom and her SO (they live in the same apartment complex as we do), and, usually, I don't, or I'll be very reluctant to do so, and he thinks I don't like them. It's not that I don't like them. I think they're both very nice, intelligent people. I just feel uncomfortable talking to them because, first of all, I feel uncomfortable talking to anyone but Sam, and second of all, I barely know them and I don't know what to talk about. We just moved here in October. Usually, when I'm anywhere with Sam, he does all the talking, and I add input occasionally or answer a question if I'm asked, but that's it. If he needs to leave for some reason, and I'm left alone with that person, I think, "Please come back! I can't talk to this person!" and it's very awkward for me until he comes back. It's not just his family that I have problems talking to; it's my own family, as well. I haven't talked to anyone in my family on the phone in ages, and I hardly ever email them.<br><br>
I was bullied a lot as a child and emotionally abused by my parents, so I know this has a lot to do with it. In junior high and high school, every one of my friends was diagnosed with a mental disorder. It was hard because they would ask for advice a lot, and, because I wanted to be a good friend, I felt like I needed to shoulder their problems. It was also hard because I felt like I couldn't make friends with anyone but people with mental disorders. For these reasons, I drove a lot of them away. One of my friends had severe depression and was on Zoloft. She was my roommate on a band trip and she attempted suicide. Understandably, this was extremely traumatizing, and I decided that I was done with having friends from that point on. Dropping my friends out of my life was a gradual process. I still talked to people in class sometimes, but I didn't go over to anyone's house after that. After awhile, I stopped going on AIM to talk to friends from where I used to live. I stopped going to church to hang out with my friends there. After graduation, I ceased communication with everyone I had talked to before except for one person, and I only talked to her because she had become acquainted with Sam. Now, I'm not even talking to her. So I literally have no friends. I joined some parenting groups where I live, but I haven't been to any meetings yet and I haven't introduced myself on the board at all (my reluctance to do so isn't just because of this problem, it's also because I feel uncomfortable and judged as a 19 year old mom, even though we can financially support DS.) It honestly doesn't bother me that I don't have any friends, probably because I'm still affected by my last friend's incident, but I don't want Sam thinking that I hate his family because of this, because I really don't. Sam suggested that I should see a psychologist, but I haven't called them because of another problem of mine: a severe phobia of talking on the phone. I'm not on any medication. I convinced my doctor to give me Paxil, because I had a severe bout of anxiety and depression for two weeks, but didn't take it because I got pregnant, and I left it at the old house when we moved because I didn't think I'd need it (and I still don't think I do.) Does anyone else have the same problem? It seemed to me that there are some parents in this forum with AS, so I thought I'd post this here. I'm also going to post it in the Personal Growth forum because of the PTSD and abuse.
 

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I have many of the same problems you describe socially. I rely a lot on Sean, my DH, and I also always have a baby to coo at or talk about. I have a hard time reading cues as to whether I am boring people or talking too much, which is what I tend to do. Or I don't say anything.<br><br>
Basically I suck at social situations.<br><br>
I think I'm subclinical as far as an AS dx would go, but I have loads of shadow traits. Enough to make my life very difficult if I had to be social.<br><br>
ShaggyDaddy is AS (he's on this forum) and he says he uses scripts to talk to people, basic structures that he can hang specifics on when the conversation wanes. If I had more social interactions I'd develop some of those myself, but instead I've gone the other way and I only talk regularly to my mother and a few other family members, and about 3 or 4 other friends maybe 2 or 3 times a month.
 

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I am autistic and have similar problems as you. I also have GAD and dysthemia, as well as fibromyalgia, so I really don't go out much. Like you I rely heavily on my husband to do social things. Mostly I have simply structured my life as much as possible so that socializing is not required. I don't know how feasible that is in your situation...
 

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The only subject I talk about w/ most people is babies. I didn't really have friends in high school (or elementary school actually.) In college, I talked about my classes, and was a good listener, (plus it was my 2nd year in college, after I transferred to a different school, that I really really "got" the art of pretending to be normal) and I had my first baby while I was still in college. My dh is a grad student, so we will be moving when he graduates this summer. I was really worrying about how I was going to make friends if I didn't have a baby to take to LLL with or something, but now I'm pregnant again, so I don't have to worry about that.<br><br>
I also had a fairly abusive home life as a kid. I have spent years working through it an d while I still have issues, I'm not as hampered by bad self talk as I used to be. I think if I were in your shoes, I would seek therapy if possible (do you have insurance or is there free counseling of some sort available to you?) I saw a therapist at my dh's university twice last semester and it really did help to talk w/ her. I usually have a really hard time talking to people, and I have a very limited vocabulary for what I am/was feeling. But the therapist, like any good therapist, was very good at asking the right questions and supplying the emotional vocabulary I needed.<br><br>
We all need some sort of support network in our lives. I met most of my friends through LLL, but it turns out, 5 years later, that all of us have children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the last few year. Coincidence? I think not. I think all of the women in my circle of friends either actually have AS, or have enough traits to really "get" the rest of us. Most of these women are also members of the local autism support group, but none of us go anymore, b/c the NT parents who are SO upset w/ their children all the time are too depressing. If they had outdoor picnics or other things that would draw more people, it might be a good place to meet like-minded women as well. Moms need other moms for support and conversation. We're social animals, having a social disorder (or as I like to think of it, different social needs) doesn't change that, it just makes it harder to find the right people to hang out with.
 
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