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Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
Hello

I find it very difficult to socialise because I can't make conversation. It's not lack of intelligence because I can understand what other people are saying to me, and I can think and argue logically in my own thoughts. It's not lack of knowledge because I am well informed about many different subjects. It's not lack of opinions because I hold sincere viewpoints about various aspects of life. It's not shyness because I feel secure in myself and I don't think I depend on other people's good opinion of me.

When I am with people in a social context it's as if my mind goes blank. Usually the most I can come out with is a bland question following on from what the last person said. When they have replied to my question I usually can't think of anything else to say so there is just an awkward silence. And I know the silence is caused by me and not the other person because I never see the other person have awkward silences with anyone else.

Sometimes I think of something to say but it only occurs to me half a minute later, by which time I've missed the opportunity. On the rare occasions I manage to say more than one short sentence at a time, it comes out stilted and usually takes the conversation into a cul-de-sac. Although I can think and write articulately, I struggle to compose my sentences when I am talking, so I often end up saying what I didn't mean and I don't say what I did mean.

I have no friends because I find socialising so difficult. Whenever I have started to get to know a potential friend, the relationship always fizzles out quite quickly due to the other person suddenly backing off and going cold on me. They don't tell me why but reading between the lines I get the impression they think I'm boring.

I am now in my 40's and I have been like this since I was a small child. I have OCD but thankfully I don't suffer depression very often. I have a good sense of humour and I enjoy various hobbies such as listening to music, reading, watching films, bird-spotting, etc. I have a huge number of acquaintances (colleagues and neighbours) and most of them give me the impression they think I'm a nice person. In the past I tried learning some conversational techniques that I found on the internet and I also tried learning a stock of jokes & anecdotes to add sparkle to my conversation but it did not help. I feel very lonely but after decades of being a social failure I feel discouraged and pessimistic about ever being able to change.

If you have read this to the end, thank you for listening. I feel it has helped just to be able to tell my story.

Luke
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
Sometimes I think of something to say but it only occurs to me half a minute later, by which time I've missed the opportunity. On the rare occasions I manage to say more than one short sentence at a time, it comes out stilted and usually takes the conversation into a cul-de-sac. Although I can think and write articulately, I struggle to compose my sentences when I am talking, so I often end up saying what I didn't mean and I don't say what I did mean.

I have no friends because I find socialising so difficult. Whenever I have started to get to know a potential friend, the relationship always fizzles out quite quickly due to the other person suddenly backing off and going cold on me. They don't tell me why but reading between the lines I get the impression they think I'm boring.
hey Luke, i read it all to the end and didnt find it at all boring, welcome to the forum (y)

have you ever had a friend who you could trust to tell them how you feel and how nervous you are with this.

learning social skills is hard going when it doesnt come easy, im fine in my circle and with people i trust, outside that i can be quiet, mainly from thinking i will say the wrong thing and people will laugh. though the flip side of me is i say to much and get into trouble for my runaway mouth :innocent:

its all about confidence, are there any groups to do with your hobbies as then that gives you a talking point as you are interested in the subject.
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
Hi unremarkable

Thank you very much for your warm welcome and your positive comments. It's nice to meet you!

You say it's all about confidence but I'm not so sure. In my teens and my 20's I was very anxious for people to like me and consequently I was shy in other people's company and nervous of making a fool of myself. But now that I'm in my 40's I have grown out of that. Because so many people have disengaged from me in the past and now keep away from me socially (presumably because I have little or no personality despite how I come across in writing), I have grown a thick skin and I'm indifferent to what people think of me. I do have plenty of confidence. For example, as part of my job I often have to phone up companies to complain about poor service or faulty goods, and I don't put up with any hogwash from them if they try to soft soap me or wheedle out of it!

Thank you for your idea for me to try socialising with people that share a common interest but it doesn't seem to work. For example, I have an amiable colleague at work who is a keen bird-spotter and I sometimes tell her if I see an unusual species of bird. She listens but then the rest of the conversation mostly consists of her chatting to me about her bird sightings and I can't think of what else to say.

Because I am so quiet, some people with a domineering and manipulative nature try to latch on to me as a 'friend' so that they can boss me about. I find this sort of relationship very unpleasant. I have never had a close friend whose company I really enjoyed and who I trusted. My short-lived friendships have either been awkwardly quiet or uncomfortably exploitative.

You sound very gregarious and chatty when you're with people you like. That's good. I wish I could have that sort of natural sparkle. But I feel as if I'm just an emotionless machine with little zest for anything. I think my staid, dry, subdued demeanour intensified when I started taking paroxetine for my OCD.

Anyway, thank you again for your reply. I hope you have a really good weekend.

Luke
 
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Ainsworth

Guest
Because I am so quiet, some people with a domineering and manipulative nature try to latch on to me as a 'friend' so that they can boss me about. I find this sort of relationship very unpleasant. I have never had a close friend whose company I really enjoyed and who I trusted. My short-lived friendships have either been awkwardly quiet or uncomfortably exploitative.
hey Luke,

just because i can socialize in my circle doesnt stop people from doing this to me, i had to weed out the ones who did do this. i have to trust someone to let them in, so when they do treat me in this way i dont always see it coming and its a huge hurt when it does. so understand.

Thank you for your idea for me to try socialising with people that share a common interest but it doesn't seem to work. For example, I have an amiable colleague at work who is a keen bird-spotter and I sometimes tell her if I see an unusual species of bird. She listens but then the rest of the conversation mostly consists of her chatting to me about her bird sightings and I can't think of what else to say.:oops:
erm ok, i'l try something else :clap:

what about planning ahead of time for the conversation, i have a friend who is autistic and he does this.
if you know her quite well you will know how she response to things and the details she talks about, just start slowly and maybe bring more questions in to the chat, doesnt have to be anything of interest just use it to extend the chat so you feel more included in it. little steps can change everything.

also is there anything else you can take for OCD?

you have a good weekend to, unless we chat again later, as on here you can sparkle and make friends who listen to you. (y)
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
what about planning ahead of time for the conversation
Thanks, I'll give that a go.


is there anything else you can take for OCD?
I've been taking paroxetine for about 15 years. It has turned my life round from feeling I wanted to be dead to not feeling much at all. I'm reluctant to change my medication now in case I revert to the way I used to be. And it's the sort of medication you need to increase/decrease very slowly over a period of a couple of months, so if I came off and got worse I couldn't necessarily pop a pill and feel immediately better.

I'm going to be out of reach of a computer now until Monday.

All the best to you, unremarkable.
Luke :)
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
I've been taking paroxetine for about 15 years. It has turned my life round from feeling I wanted to be dead to not feeling much at all. I'm reluctant to change my medication now in case I revert to the way I used to be. And it's the sort of medication you need to increase/decrease very slowly over a period of a couple of months, so if I came off and got worse I couldn't necessarily pop a pill and feel immediately better.
ah even if your away, im going to answer, in a very chatty mood LOL

i just read up about your drug as didnt know it. not a nice one and see how coming off would be a problem and could may well cause alot of anxiety to your wellbeing.

im assuming you have been closely monitored during this time? is this the only level of drug that takes the tendancies away? did you try others? what about CBT, i had a friend do this for her fear of germs and helped alot. im doing it atm but my brain is fighting against it (boo)
 
S

schizzzoid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
333
Location
Derbyshire
I know exactly how you feel! I'm 45, I've done a lot of therapy (6 years, maybe 7, and counting!), I found group therapy to be, by far, the most helpful, even though it was, at first, unbearable! I still find that I have nothing to say, even though I have many varied interests, but, I cope better and I do actually participate in conversations now.

In my opinion, there are no tricks that you can easily learn, and no magic pills*, only hard, and repetitive, work, that can only be done through therapy. Of the psychodynamic psycotherapy kind. It's also very good for getting to grips with OCD!

I have to say that I don't think CBT isn't really for you as it doesn't dig deeply into the why's and wherefore's of your 'behaviour', it's more for getting people to a level where they can function i.e. get out the house, look after themselves etc (I live in Derby and we have an excellent mental health service and CBT is often the first step into getting people into a deeper therapy. After all, it's not much use offering someone therapy if they can't actually get there!), and you don't seem to have those sorts of problems.

I have to say, that, going into any kind of therapy is a huge endevour, and a massive challenge. It can, if you do the work, change your life.

*I'm in no way suggesting that you should stop taking medication!
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
Hi unremarkable

Before I started paroxetine I tried 2 other drugs for OCD but neither was successful. Clomipramine made me feel worse and fluoxetine gave me a rash on my legs which apparently is a serious side-effect. I tried professional CBT in the past - it didn't help much at the time but I am now conducting my own CBT using self-help books etc. and it has helped a lot. But it isn't effective on its own without paroxetine because when I try to lower my dose I become drastically incapacitated.

Good luck with your CBT. (y) It is painful but seems to work for many people. I hope your therapist is very supportive and understanding.

______________________________________________

Hi schizzzoid

Thanks for your reply and your advice. Glad to hear you have experienced some improvement and feel able to cope better now. Has the group therapy helped you become more chatty generally or just when you're in your particular therapy group?

Luke :)
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
Hi again

Just wanted to add that on reflection I don't think my medication is wholly or chiefly to blame for my social frigidity. Instead I think it may be due to my way of coping with negative experiences. In the past I used to push my hurts & anxieties down into my subconscious so that I didn't feel them any more. In my mind I had a hermetically sealed compartment into which I shoved my unpleasant thoughts & feelings, and then I tried to pretend they weren't there. In effect I was trying to turn off my bad emotions like turning off a tap or pulling out the plug on a TV set. I wonder whether this has resulted in me dampening down all my emotions, both pleasant & painful, and withdrawing into a thick shell where I don't feel anything.

Do you think this sounds plausible?

Thanks,
Luke
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
erm maybe but i do that and get triggered by stuff all the time. quite horrible really :scared: as my subconscious kicks it out quite often.

the question for you is, if you really think you have suppressed your emotions because of the bad things, so in turn has played a part in you damping your emotions do you really want to unlock those memories?, should they be unlocked?, are you strong enough?

and you would need alot of support for that.

and talking of the shell, they usually crack every so often.

Luke, why do you dampen down pleasant memories? i dont dampen them down my brain just doesnt hold on to them, just the bad stuff for me! damn

do you expect bad things to happened to you, so accept it and then bury it?
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
These days I don't bury my sadness and hurts. I do try to face up to them and work through them. But it wasn't so in the past. Both my parents cover things over and act as if everything is OK when they are feeling sad. As I was growing up I suppose I just naturally imitated them.

In the past I didn't try to dampen down my pleasant emotions specifically. But my way of coping with being hurt was to make myself emotionally numb. I didn't aim to numb my positive emotions too but maybe it just happened as a side-effect because the human mind is either emotional about everything or emotional about nothing.

I have many pleasant memories and I never try to chase them away from my thoughts. I think my problem is more to do with the intensity of my feelings rather than the thoughts that preoccupy my mind.

Digging up my buried hurts does seem a scary prospect. In answer to your question, I'm not sure I want to .... unless it will reap great benefits in the future.

Thanks ..... Luke
 
S

schizzzoid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
333
Location
Derbyshire
I'm a lot better at talking to people I know well, and have learned to communicate with official types - from doctors to shop assistants, with those I've just met and people I know slightly, things aren't that much different, although I do have moments of 'brilliance' ;). I still, and most likely always will, have to challenge myself, which is very tiring / tedious / frustrating at times.

All communication is difficult though, even typing this is an undertaking, but, I understand the need to challenge myself, and using forums like this is good practise, as long as I maintain it! I have a 'habit' of engaging and then disengaging, which is also a vast improvement, as I never engaged at all!

As someone with a schizoid PD, I'm an absolute expert at bottling everything up, good, bad or mediochre, the thing is it will come out, one way or another, either mentally/behavoiurally or physically. About 8 years ago I had a huge breakdown, and had to visit the Big House for a couple of weeks, most of this was down to memories resurfacing, and me realising some of what they meant - I hadn't forgotten these memories, or hidden them away, or really denied them, they were there, I just didn't understand what they meant to me.

And with that I'll shut up for a while...
Until later! :)
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
Digging up my buried hurts does seem a scary prospect. In answer to your question, I'm not sure I want to .... unless it will reap great benefits in the future.
then dont rush into anything as doing that can take you to places that you may never want to re-visit but once your there it cant be shut off

take care Luke
 
Banjo Luke

Banjo Luke

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15
Hi schizzzoid
I really appreciate your input to this thread. Thanks for sharing some of your experiences with me. I'm glad to hear life is getting better for you. Many years ago my OCD got so bad that I became almost completely dysfunctional - I struggled to do simple tasks such as open a door or put an object on a shelf - so I can sort of empathise with you having a breakdown. I hope your future gets increasingly brighter! (y)

Hi unremarkable
Hmmmm .... thanks for that advice. I think I will leave the past alone for the time being and just concentrate on not bottling things up in the present. It has crossed my mind that my OCD may be the outworking of my buried painful emotions. Like schizzzoid said, buried emotions work their way out one way or another, sooner or later. I notice you wrote your last post of this thread in the small hours of the morning - I hope you don't have to contend with insomnia on top of your other battles! At that time this morning I was :sleep:
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
I think I will leave the past alone for the time being and just concentrate on not bottling things up in the present.
good plan (y)


I notice you wrote your last post of this thread in the small hours of the morning
yeah my sleep pattern changed so probably heading into hypo mode which is better then the depressive side of it, im existing on a few hours sleep. its quite nice being sat in the garden all by yourself at silly a clock in the morning.

but its all good, lots of energy and that! and dont feel tired :p
 
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