Nearly every human thrives from having close relationships with other humans; though for some of us these interpersonal relationships are nothing more than elusive fantasies. Having a disorder that inhibits are restricts ones ability to make and keep friendships can leave an individual feeling alone and lost in life. I know this, because I am one of these individuals.
Until two years ago I thought that I was just crazy, I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder on the basis that I have mood swings on top of severe bouts of depression, and extreme social anxiety. Two years ago, the therapist that I was seeing declared that I wasnt bipolar, I just had gender dysphoria, and after I started hormone replacement therapy (HRT) the bipolar like symptoms should disappear.
I started HRT a little over two years ago and while many of the bipolar symptoms eased, they didnt stop altogether. My social anxiety was still so bad that it was debilitating. About a year ago my wife noticed a trend in what triggered my anxiety and suggested it might be something more than just social anxiety.
When I tried to go back to work, because of management refusing to adhere to agreements that we had made before I was hired I ended up in crisis mode and resigned from my job. It was at that point I started looking for another therapist.
The first therapist that I saw said I was extremely depressed and had PTSD and needed to see a doctor about medication, that was her answer to my issues with no regards to my social anxiety. She was always late seeing me and I didnt feel like she really cared so I stopped going. Shortly after that my wife found another therapist that had experience with the LGBT community and I started seeing him.
My wife and I discussed the issues I was having with him, and he screened me for autism. While he doesn’t deal specifically with autism he was able to give us a list of doctors and organizations to start with to find someone that does.
For thirty years I thought I was crazy or just defective when it came to making friendships and finally this year I had an answer. Basically, my mind doesn’t work like the vast majority of other people. What ‘normal’ people might not think much of bothers me intensely, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t simply ‘get over it’. In the past when I have made friendship, I have been loyal to my friends to a fault. No matter what, I’ve always done everything within my power to help them. (This was the reason I went to work for someone that I considered to be my best friend. Big mistake.) It seems though, regardless of how hard I work towards keeping these friendships, I’m always left behind and ultimately forgotten.
Having this happen over and over makes me feel like I’m a complete failure as a human being, no matter how hard I work I fail. I end up having no one (other than my wonderful wife) there for me when I need a friend. I have no community, neither religious/spiritual or otherwise. I do not have a place in the transgender community, or a place in any spiritual community. I feel alone, and it leaves , me with a hollow empty feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.