Newest Members
Mike Boyd, Serenity40, markm, hans32, SilentNoLonger
12133 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
bluestar7 (45), ferdie1949 (65), jonathan (57), LovingFriend (27), tjp42588 (26)
Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 49 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12133 Members
73 Forums
62567 Topics
438394 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#292388 - 06/20/09 09:11 AM isolation, what's your take on it?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
friends and family peeps, i posted this in male survivors form, but i am hoping to get some perspective from you as well. i think as partners, wives and friends you may be able to share some unique ideas based on the the experiences you have had with your significant others:


from the first day i ventured into the world of recovery, all i kept hearing was isolation this.....and isolation that..... is was thought to be the supreme evidence of dysfunctional behavior, and further the idea was, if you just didn't isolate, everything would be fine.

but stopping isolating by forcing yourself into social situations, is just treating the symptoms of dis-ease and anxiety based behavior. it does not address the causes.

what brings a person to a point where they begin to create/follow a course of avoiding others?

for me it is this: i don't bother to invest in relationships, because doing so has never proven effective as a remedy for 'curing' what causes me to isolate in the first place. yea, i tried to do all the stuff that people say to do to counteract isolating behaviors, join groups, talk on the phone, get involved, etc. but it still comes down to no matter where i am, i cannot feel a connection to people places and things, and the more i try to force myself out of isolation, the more raw my pain feels at failing to connect.

i stay away from people, and the loneliness hurts. i involve myself with people, places and situations, and i still feel the excruciating pain of aloneness. my 'favorite' quote is from marilyn monroe in the misfits: 'If I'm going to be alone, I'd rather be by myself', and so the cycle continues.

i am not looking for techniques to avoid the tendency to isolate, because i have tried many of them. what i am looking for is the solution to cure that which is missing in the first place; that which is leading me to avoid the pain of feeling alone in a crowd.

i realize these things are so individual, but maybe i can learn a little bit about the 'why' from hearing what others have to say about the subject of isolation.

thanks for sharing your thoughts,

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


Top
#292391 - 06/20/09 10:27 AM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: Sans Logos]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Ron:

I have a few thoughts on this. First, be gentle on yourself regarding the isolation. I believe that we often feel pressure to fit inside a box with the desire to be the same size, shape and type of box...not all of us are the extroverted sort, some of us are naturally introverted. It feels like being expected to wear shorts in the winter and a heavy coat in the summer...it just does not work.

I believe that as we work through a variety of issues we become more comfortable with ourselves and in that have more confidence to be in various social situations that we were unwilling to be in before. The thing is, interacting with people takes incredible energy and attention. Some come by this naturally and for others it is a great struggle.

I have recently come to realize after having my son diagnosed with adhd that I too suffer from add. I have often felt like a misfit when I must interact with a group of people. I have difficulty with social cues and the noise level leaves me wandering off within my mind. As you see, many struggle with this even when csa is not part of the equation.

For me I find that I do better when it is a social situation that I know I have something in common with the others in that group. When I was a teenager I accompanied my sister on a business trip where we had dined at a very prestigeous country club with the attorneys from her law firm and quite frankly, I felt out of my element. (I am an artist.)

One of my dear friends who had been struggling too with similar feelings finally realized that she is who she is and that what works for her is to take occasional breaks away from the noise and conversation to just recharge. She'll stroll out of the room for a brief walk and this is enough for her to regain her bearings.

I am beginning to suspect the more we all get to know ourselves and what we need to do for us, the easier this all becomes. No pressure or worries, just going with what we feel most comfortable with by allowing our instincts to lead the way.

S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

Top
#292397 - 06/20/09 12:13 PM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: sweet-n-sour]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1871
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Ron.

I'm sorry for replying here, but I seem to have missed your initial topic on this in the mail survivers section, and intravertion vs isolation is something I've always thought a lot about.

as Sns said, for me, I actually need time to myself to recharge. If I do not spend at least a few hours alone each day, I actually feel that something is wrong, sinse ----- dealing with people is work.

as someone with a visual imparement, I've developed an ability to put people at ease, and interact with most people in most circumstances, simply as a necessity.

My most recent counseler in fact said after I'd spent almost my entire first session with her in people handling mode that I was quite frighteningly good at it.

As sns said this is work.

Just to make things clear, I'm not talking about actually behaving falsely or pretending anything about myself which isn't genuinely me, it's more that I have learnt to present myself in such a fashion that people relax around me, and are inclined to talk to me.

The worse I feel however, the more energy this work takes, which is why I have gone into isolation mode.

About "belonging" that is something I feel very rarely, in literally no situation ever! in fact one of the purposes of my people handling skills is to get any new person I meet over the "whaaaa! he's blind" phase of interaction.

this doesn't particularly bother me, in fact I have an extreme aversion of being treated as a part of any sort of group. I've sometimes got into disagreements with my parents (particularly my mum), when she talks about being "part of the family" and I respond that there is no "the family" that though i love my parents, and my brother and sister, i am not "part" of anything, ----- they are simply individuals I happen to be able to share something with, ---- the same way I do with some of my incredibly close friends.

for me, there is no other way of interacting with people than on a purely individualistic level, 1 to 1, even if it's not a 1 to 1 situation.

If I am lucky, the energy and time I invest in applying my people skills will let me get on with that person, and in some rare cases, if I am very, very lucky, I'll find I have a connection to that person, ---- but it is only to the person alone.

One thing I've learnt, is that people are at their best when interacting with one other person, at their worst in crowds, groups, gangs etc and that if I try and interact with a group of people at the best I'll be excluded and isolated, ----- at the worst humiliated or even gang raped as happened when I was a teenager.

The one form of loneliness I do feel, is that I know there is a way of communicating and interacting with another person deeper even than friendship, ----- and it's extremely painful to me that I've not experienced that, ----- but again, that is a way of being with one other person, not belonging to anything greater than I am.

This is of course just my take on things, and I know other people feel differently.

sorry about the wrant, this is something I've been thinking about a lot recently and bears on something I was discussing with my T last week, ----- which is why I've been on such a ramble.

sorry about that, I'm stil working some of these things out myself.


Top
#292407 - 06/20/09 02:40 PM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: Sans Logos]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
friends, i am so grateful that you are sharing your perspective on this topic. it is really helping to see it from other angles, and to know that i am not alone. thank you so much.....

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


Top
#292422 - 06/20/09 06:58 PM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: Sans Logos]
myboyhoodfears Offline


Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
.



Edited by myboyhoodfears (08/31/09 12:08 PM)
_________________________
Post Nubilia Pheobus

Top
#292437 - 06/20/09 09:25 PM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: myboyhoodfears]
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hi,

Riz here. Alone on Saturday night. This post is way too long...turned into more of a personal exploration of this topic. I'm going to leave it, though....in case any part of it rings a bell for anyone else.

I have struggled with feeling alone my whole life. I have told myself and been told that preferring to be alone is fine. Everyone is different. It is just my personality. I should embrace it.

But then, yes, there is the problem of dyfunction being partially defined as the inability to have relationships...hmmm...

I don't dislike being alone. I mostly feel lonely when I see groups of people having fun together. I feel lonely when I compare myself to others...those others with 498 Facebook friends...those other people that everyone likes.

Who has 498 real friends? We sell ourselves short when we buy into the lie that everyone out there has to be a certain way...full of friends and fun and happy families.

Look around. Who is really that happy and friendly all the time. A friend of mine was always on the go...invited to dinners and parties and out for drinks after work. I used to compare myself to her. Where were my nightly invitations to fun? It turned out that really she had no boundaries. She couldn't say no. She almost drove herself crazy being that popular, fun one. But SHE wasn't enjoying all those people. She felt OBLIGATED to join them, that's all.

So that's one thing. The false impression that a lot of us have that everyone is better than we are. For me this has been a big one. Once I figured out that many people with a large social network are sort of lying...or happy with shallow interactions, I began to feel better.

But when you want friends and don't have them, that's another thing. I think the issue here is being selective. For example, I hate sports. I live in a city where sports are everything. Still, I don't go to ball games. I could go and pretend just to fit in. But I refuse. I like to talk about spirituality, ideas, cultures, travel...BORING. Well, boring to sports fans, that is. I could talk to everyone and his uncle about sports if I would just give in and make myself interested in sports. Instead, I talk to only the people who interest me...even if they are fewer and farther between. I'd rather have one person I connect with than to try to be "popular".

Sometimes I wish I could be interested in celebrity gossip and fabulous shoes. Am I too isolated from popular culture? I don't know. I am what I am and that's all I've got. I find that when I proudly say, "Man, I can not STAND major league sports...grown men freakin' painting themselves red and blue and taking up space on the subway to get to the game..." people actually respect me. They might even laugh. At least I'm being me. And that what makes you fit in. Even if you don't fit in anywhere.

So in the end I think self acceptance...or lack thereof...is really the issue. Can you accept yourself enough to stand alone? Once you do, you can go out in a crowd of people who annoy or bore you to death and still feel ok because you aren't comparing yourself to them. But then again...why would you want to do that when you can be happy with yourself or with your one good friend who "gets" you...or your online community if that's where you feel alive and connected.

The bit about not isolating yourself, I think, means that if you are ONLY alone, you never practice being social. Many of us have to learn the rules of "accepted" social behavior as adults, because we weren't taught as children and adolescents. But I think even a relationship with a therapist helps you to practice being in a relationship...then one friend...then a few more, etc. I don't think you have to throw yourself into groups of people that you don't care to be with. That won't do it. You have to want to relate to them, care about relating to them, care about them as people, their needs and feelings...in order to get better at it.

Good night.
Riz


Top
#292705 - 06/23/09 08:29 AM Re: isolation, what's your take on it? [Re: Sans Logos]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
thanks everyone! i made a post here in the other thread expressing my gratitude, and you can check it out here if you like.

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.