Not making the connection

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blackaltis07

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Not making the connection
« on: November 11, 2017, 09:46:07 PM »
So I flew out to Toronto for my cousin's wedding and this particular symptom seems to be on display. Everyone keeps constantly asking me, "What's the matter?" or "Are you ok?" or "Is something wrong?" when in fact I'm just as withdrawn at these things, and during life in general, as I always am. I just can never seem to make enough of a connection to almost anyone enough to feel close to them, even close enough to carry on a meaningful conversation. It doesn't even matter that I'm still a student when the rest of my cousins and their friends have all since graduated and moved on. It's not that at all. I just somehow feel different from everyone else, like I don't belong, like I'll be asked to leave eventually, even though I know with my family that won't be the case. And this is not just restricted to my family. This feeling "cut off" has gone back as long as I can remember and has affected what few relationships I have had.

And this is different then my fear of trust and my ability to form a connection with someone that way, this comes from something deep within myself that says to me "You're different. That's just the way it is". And so during the rehearsal dinner last night and I'm sure during the reception dinner tonight, I'll find a quiet spot where I can watch the action from a safe vantage point. I'm thrilled for my cousin and his new wife, I just wish that I could feel the same connection to my family and friends that they all do with each other.

Has anyone else every felt like this?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 09:58:42 PM by blackaltis07 »

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Rainagain

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 10:13:09 AM »
Yes I feel this, very much.

Were you stressed by the idea of going to the wedding?

It sounds to me like numbing, I have more avoidance these days, which means I rarely get to social events at all.

With numbing you tend to feel detached, like an observer with possibly some sense of it all being slightly less than real. To me it felt like my emotions had been damped down so I didn't get highs and lows.

Actually, I still feel like that come to think of it.


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Three Roses

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 04:13:29 PM »
I'm not always conscious of the expression on my face. At times of great happiness and contentment, people have asked me what was wrong. You are def not alone!

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Kat

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 05:31:58 PM »
Hey there, Blackalt!  I know the feelings very well.  It's something I've talked to my T about quite a lot...this feeling of being different and not feeling like I can relate to most others.  One thing we've discussed that has helped me to put things in perspective is to view the situation as being similar to a soldier who's gone off to war and experienced horrors others can't even imagine.  That soldier then comes back home and can no longer relate to others because his/her perspective on life has been altered forever. 

I think that's why we come here, too.  Soldiers with PTSD do best when they're in group therapy with other soldiers who get it, the same way we come here to connect with others who get it. 

I hope this helps a bit. 

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sanmagic7

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 06:13:56 PM »
nice analogy, kat. 

i, too, have had similar feelings, including within a multitude of support groups i've attended in real life.  couldn't relate to them, even tho i was there for the same 'problem'.  it was always puzzling to me.  after coming here, tho, it made more sense.  that specific 'problem' i was seeking support for was not what i really needed to be dealing with.

this forum has finally been the place where i felt like i'd come 'home'. 

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blackaltis07

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 12:17:46 AM »
I'm getting that feeling too, that people that are not in this situation can't understand and will never understand. I'm just sad that I can't relate to my own family and often times even have a hard time feeling close to my own wife. Topics for therapy, I think.

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BlancaLap

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 09:52:57 PM »
Absolutely, I know what you mean...

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Piou

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 01:03:57 AM »
I relate too. I always feel that way, weird and different and like others are going to exclude/try to hurt me sooner or later, so I remove myself from situations/groups without even attempting to connect.

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Resca

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 02:34:24 AM »
Sounds like this is the general consensus but I'll throw in my hat anyway. I know exactly what you mean, blackaltis. The more I read about psychology and the human brain, the more I've come to understand that every single person is fundamentally unique and different, but it doesn't change the fact that my "different-ness" feels somehow toxic or out of proportion. Does that make any sense? I wonder sometimes if it's a defense mechanism. Like people with CPTSD-including experiences want to feel close to people, but we're also afraid of letting our guard down, so we just tell ourselves it doesn't matter because we're too different or maladaptive to make meaningful connections anyway. Or maybe not; maybe it's more like what Kat said (which, thanks for that Kat! That's actually a really helpful and normalizing way to think about it.) Maybe it's even a bit of both.

Either way, please know that you aren't alone. You may feel or even be different from your family and many other people, but your differences are understood here. I hope you're able to find worthwhile connections here :hug:

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Kat

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Re: Not making the connection
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 05:16:24 AM »
Resca, I think it probably is both.  I know when I talk to others I mostly listen because it feels easier and safer than putting myself out there, letting my guard down.  It makes sense that we'd want to protect ourselves and that we're leery of others while at the same time we're still very human and desire connection, mirroring, understanding, and being seen.