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View Diary: My 5th Annual World Autism Awareness Day Diary - Social Isolation and Making the Best of Things (77 comments)

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  •  My dear coquiero, This diary brings up some things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, FloridaSNMOM

    I'm dealing with.

    I'm a newlywed,
    (I think you remember the death of my first wife, Pam,
    from The Grieving Room,
    which you co-founded.)

    And my new bride, Tonia,
    is an unusual woman,
    and I'm an unusual man.

    I think this has resulted in social isolation for us,
    and I think my first wife, Pam, and I
    were also socially isolated.

    I say "I think,"
    because I've lived my whole life this way,
    and I'm truly not certain what it's like
    to be not socially isolated.

    I'm actually not joking;
    I wonder if someone could show me his or her appointment calendar,
    with social events on it,
    even if those events include lunch with co-workers
    who make it a lively, social lunch.

    Myself, and my first wife, and my second wife,
    none of us fit in well,
    none of us have ever made it a habit to socialize.

    If I understand what that even means.

    We have always kept our social interactions to just family,
    and maybe a rare close friend.

    No bars, clubs, very few parties,
    only parties involving close family,
    on special occasions,
    such as after a wedding.

    Our odd behavior,
    that makes it hard to get out and mingle:

    I ramble on in an inappropriate way,
    as explained in another comment upthread.

    And my new bride, Tonia, explodes with anger
    at the oddest times,
    such as if I fail to understand something she said.

    Tonia is a genius,
    and she catches on very quickly to things;
    I have OCD,
    so I want to explain things to others,
    and have things explained to me,
    in such a way that a slow learning child would understand.

    This is not a good combination.

    So,
    any time Tonia and I simply spend a solid hour or two
    together,
    we have troubles;
    she wants me to stay quiet if I'm driving,
    no chit chat.

    It's as if both of us are special needs children.

    Outings are not practical for us.

    We love to eat out,
    but that's minimal talking,
    minimal interaction with others.

    She gets along great with others,
    so do I;
    but she sometimes doesn't like what I say in public,
    and she's right,
    I've put my foot in my mouth once or twice.

    So,
    socially isolated?

    What's that?

    Rather,
    what's life like for those who aren't?

    I wouldn't know,
    I've never had a social life.

    I'm not even sure what it is,
    or if I'd even like it.

    Probably not.

    Friends who aren't family or very close friends
    are shallow friends,
    and why do I need shallow friends?

    Thanks for the dairy.

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:43:08 PM PDT

    •  Hello bj3 (4+ / 0-)

      Of course I remember you from the Grieving Room, good to see you again.

      It's a funny point about not knowing what we're missing sometimes, but I look around me at other families who all seem to do the same things and be in the same places and yes, sometimes have parties that we're not invited to.

      But as you wisely point out, part of that is my choice.  I can't blame it all on Ellie.  

      Many parents of children on the spectrum have their own issues, which can increase social isolation all on its own.  I don't think I'm on the spectrum, but looking back I've always been a little different, a little socially awkward.  And I describe my husband as a grumpy bear.  He's a wonderful, kind man but a total grump, all bark and no bite.

      They're the kind of personalities that lend themselves well to a few close friends rather than part of a big crowd of friends.

      Your comments remind me of the husband of a friend of mine, who is French.  Even though I consider us good friends, and we've spent time together over the years, shared meals, even stayed at each other's homes, he said at dinner one time that he didn't consider us friends, but acquaintances.  I was a little shocked, but I think it's just how the French see things.

      Like you said, if you're not family or very close friends, then you're not very close so why bother?  

      I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

      by coquiero on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 04:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much for your reply. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero

        The friendships we have here at Daily Kos
        are another example that sometimes makes me wonder,
        who do I count as good friends,
        close friends?

        I suppose I truly cannot answer that.

        Rather,
        I will give and take whatever emotional comfort
        we can exchange here,
        and set aside any question
        of how truly close we are.

        We are as close as we feel in our best moments,
        interacting here.

        Do you agree?

        Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

        by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:28:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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