Author Topic: Lonelyness  (Read 303 times)

SteveX

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Lonelyness
« on: April 29, 2018, 10:11:45 PM »
I'm going to have a ramble on, please forgive me for being selfish and depressing for a moment.

I'm old, I accept that, but I find myself thinking from time to time about what little the future holds for me and quite frankly it does scare me a bit ..well, a lot!  I have no real friends (apart from you guys) , all I have is my wonderful mother who is now 74 and has cared and loved me for every moment of my life.  Seriously, I could not have wished for a better mother ever, she's been amazing and even back in the day when I was a clueless, idiotic and very stupid teenager, she stood by me.

I fear the day I lose her (quite frankly and totally truthfully, I hope I pass on first.  Yes, that's how selfish I am!), hopefully it won't be for some time yet but I am very scared of it as I'm very selfish and as she's been there all my life, my world would pretty much be destroyed if she wasn't there.  I guess this is partly my own fault for not making friends through my life but I'm not the easiest person to get on with and I am very solitary and dislike groups of people, I cannot cope.

I'm just glad of you guys, it's nice to be able to yell out or have a good moan on here and people listen and care. 

I have no other family apart from one auntie who lives on the other side of the UK and I've not seen her for over 20 years.  So yes, I do fear for the future, also all my heroes and the legends I've looked up to all my life are passing on and that again makes me feel old and worry about the future.

Even when I listen to some of my favourite music, all my music legends have now passed.

To be honest I'm now not really sure why I made this thread, I guess just put it down to me wanting someone to talk to and have a good whinge. 

Life is so good at times, but so scary too huh?

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Sunny Clouds

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 11:22:09 PM »
I'm lonely and scared as well, although I do have some friends.  What I've found difficult is friend after friend either dying or getting dementia.

I don't know quite how one makes friends except that I've done it in the past.  Over the years I've done it when going to community activities, going to the same clinic as someone, belonging to the same support group as someone, bumping into someone in the same shop or at the same bus stop again and again, or even just walking past the same house each day.  But it does rather seem pot luck. 

I wish I had a partner but I think it unlikely I'll get one now and I'm not sure that at my time of life I could adapt to living with someone else because I'm a very territorial person.

I find that at least knowing that I'm not alone in feeling lonely helps, so maybe it'll help you to know you're not alone with it?

Maybe our summer project is to find another friend or two.  I wonder whether any other Ouchers are also in a similar position?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 08:18:26 AM »
I am intensely lonely every single day. I see my CPN EVERY 2 to 4 weeks depending on how well I am and usually she's the only human I ever see. My GP comes out if I'm very unwell as she can't make out what I'm saying on the phone if I'm crying, otherwise I speak to her on the phone weekly to discuss what medication I need for the coming week. So one variable but regular visit fro my CPN and one weekly phone call which occasionally becomes a visit from my GP and that's my entire social life in a nutshell. I can't get anywhere to make friends. I hate phones so that's an emergency thing only. My children struggle with my depression, which I understand, I struggle with it too, so my daughter chooses to stay with my brother or niece or a friend when she's back here in her home town and she never visits or speaks to me. When I see on Facebook that she's been close to me but not visited it hurts. I'm forbidden to either write on her Facebook wall or tag her in a comment I am putting on  my own time line. 

I don't know the way out of loneliness, harder because I'm housebound,  but it is a very hard situation to bear. And especially so when depression is bad. My parents died decades ago and I don't talk to either of my siblings, the result of being brought up in an emotional abusive childhood and raised in a dysfunctional family. We are very different people with completely different beliefs and lifestyles so we don't compute together at all.

I guess Steve what I am saying is that you are very much not alone in those feelings. You belong to a very large club with very many members.

Have a browse of the website meetup.com and see what there is in your local area hat might interest you. It's a good site, I've used it in the past but can't at present because I can't get anywhere.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 09:52:01 AM »
This subject seems all too relevant to living with disability, so have moved thread to Talk..

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 11:54:36 AM »
There's an article in the Guardian online today about loneliness.  It's got ideas for meeting people, although as one commenter said it does seem to confuse aloneness with loneliness, but then in this thread I think we're focussing (so far) on the aloneness part of loneliness.

I've been reading it and find the comments, only half of which I've read so far, more helpful than the article, but it's food for thought.

One comment set me thinking.  There were some comments about housing estates where people don't go and meet one another, and someone said they lived in a block where they thought it was all like that and then they found there was a facebook page for the block.

That then made me think also of other ways of contacting people.  There used to be Streetlife, and then that closed and people were referred to Next Door.  I'm a bit twitchy about the confidentiality there, but only because it's all google-linked and I'm verging on paranoid about Google, even though I use YouTube.  But whether you're relaxed about these things or not, it's a starting point.  The point is that if you can't go down the street, you can meet neighbours online.

But that then made me think of something else - Skype.  I message on Skype but rarely use the camera, and hearing notwithstanding, I generally prefer telephone to either.  I generally just message people who don't like phoning or who are overseas.  But maybe for those that don't like phones, Skype on camera as well as messaging is closer to meeting people in the flesh?

Today, I've an appointment at the health centre.  I shall walk there.  If I see someone I recognise, I shall make the effort to say hello.  I don't always manage that, and frankly for an appointment I'd often cop out and take a taxi, even though for the distance involved, walking is more reliable for me personally.

There, you folk are prompting me to have another bash at this.



(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 12:06:54 PM »
Incidentally, I felt quite knocked back not long ago when a neighbour suggested we go for coffee, so we did.  Then she told me about problems she'd got to do with benefits as a pensioner and something to do with family trying to help but its being to do with computers and she couldn't cope with that.  I downloaded an application form and then found a really good guide (Which?) and edited it down to reduce the reading age, remove a lot of repetition, and change the layout, e.g. bullet points, more paragraph breaks, clear sub-headings. 

I phoned her to arrange to pass it on and to offer to help with the form if she wanted.  She asked questions then interrupted, asked and interrupted.  She then started telling me I think too much.  I tried to get her back on track, saying I could just drop the info off for her to use herself or with someone else if she'd rather, or I could help her on a different day.  She just kept going on about my thinking too much.

I felt very upset and politely ended the call.  To me, there's a big difference between telling someone they think too much and saying something like "Hang on, I can't take all that in just now, could you just drop the paperwork off?" or "Whoa! That's too detailed, could you just give me the basics?" and saying "You think too much."

I thought about it.  I felt that if I simply left it at that, I'd be in some way running away or chickening out or behaving badly.  Then I reminded myself that just because I'm both mostly alone and lonely, doesn't mean I shouldn't set boundaries, shouldn't choose to be friends, close or not so close, with people I feel comfortable with and not those I don't.

I find that very difficult.  As a child, I was horribly bullied and also had rather conditional love from my father.  My mother's love also seemed rather unobtainable, but when I got older, I realised it was a problem on her part with expressing it and we  became very good friends.  I then worked for some years in an office where I was badly bullied.  I was set up as a scapegoat by management who then expressed shock and surprise when the service crumbled when I left.  They built it up again, but not until the management that had bullied me, together with some of the bullying staff had left.

I have been exploited again and again for my willingness to go beyond what's required of me, and when I have had difficult patches, I've seen how readily people have dumped me.  I have had no 'radar' for detecting bullies, cheats, manipulators etc.  But now in mid-life I'm learning.  I'm working very hard at it.  That then is making me feel a bit safer when it comes to making new friends.

So insofar as I may pass on tips for how to make friends, I do so in the full knowledge and experience that it's often not as easy as it looks.  But seeing that others here are also finding it difficult, I'm going to use that as a spur to keep trying to move forward.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

huhn

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 02:06:55 PM »
I am even with 5 children alone, the big ones work and  for the  small ones I am mother and care taker. Since I have my little girl and my ex was getting more and more  abusive I lost  nearly all my contacts. it is amazing how  sunnys  story  sounds like mine. people  are thinking they can use me for their benefit while I am  so alone. but I did make a  boundary now, and enough is enough. but now with the  fight for the custody of the children I miss a person   who listens and understands me and takes me serious.. but how it looks I have to do it on my own, but I am scared that the psychologist and the welfare do not support me.  always  I got treated like a  little child. maybe my little  handy cap makes them  think I am a weak person.  all my life I was fighting like a lion and that I do  again.
I do have  some contacts but they are all  very  shallow, I am  a little bit scared from my   experiences  that I get again  abused by people  who  get to  closed to me. it is not meant as a psychological problem, I am  just careful not to have again a negative experience, from this I have enough. no bulling with me more, even when the person is  from the welfare department.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 03:25:39 PM »
I have found the 'no more' thing difficult, but there's something that I've observed.  I watched what happened to someone I knew in the 'care' of the local psychiatric services where I am.  They labelled her as having borderline personality disorder, aka the dustbin diagnosis.  She'd been an abused wife, 'co-dependent' on an alcoholic.  I watched how she was treated over the years, then watched others and read what others write, and thought of something.  It relates particularly to people with BPD but most certainly not only to people with BPD.

This is what could happen to you in many places.  Reading online, I find it can be the same elsewhere...

Say you've had a bad childhood or were abused as an adult, and probably both.  Maybe bad physical abuse or maybe the sort of psychological abuse that often gets ignored.  You are then labelled with BPD and told you 'split', i.e. you see people as all good or all bad.  You gradually realise that actually a lot of the people looking after you don't actually understand the psychological concept of splitting, they think it means you split teams up by setting one against another.

Here what would then happen is that mostly you'd be told to deal with one specific team member but cutbacks would mean that a lot of the time they weren't available, so every time you deal with someone else, people would be angry.  Meanwhile, they promise the earth and deliver next to nothing, so you have high hopes because you believe them, then are let down and disappointed, but someone else is kind and you turn to them for hope.  The team then stereotypes you and sees what you've done as bad.  In addition to saying you split, they call you manipulative.

But if they were actually helping you, if they were actually teaching you how not to get hurt, they'd be teaching you that it's ok to set boundaries, that it's ok to work on the basis that if someone keeps promising to help and doesn't deliver, you say enough's enough and turn to someone else for help.  They criticise you for having no boundaries, then get angry when you seek to establish them.  They'd also be teaching you that if you want to be successful in life, you do actually have to learn to manipulate people and systems.  We just don't call it 'being  manipulative' if you do it subtly and effectively and you're not lower down the pecking order than the mental health professionals. 

And this isn't just done with people with BPD or a BPD label (different things that overlap) but with others.  It's just that it's rather circular, because if they think you engage in 'splitting' or similar, there's a risk of being labelled with BPD even if you haven't got it.

I went on a mental health forum and commented on a news story that student mental health nurses had protested against a new requirement to wear a uniform because they said it put a barrier between them and the patients.  I said that there should be a barrier, a professional barrier, and if what it took to get that message across, then they should wear uniforms to remind them.  I noticed that in general, the comments by other posters depended on how recent their diagnosis was.  Broadly, if they were new to the system, they didn't want barriers, if they'd been in it a long time, they did.

I quickly got sick of mental nurses, social workers and support workers who behaved as if we were friends but then 'dumped' me.  Well no, I didn't go to my GP to get a CPN to pretend to be my friend and dump me when she'd got another patient.  I'd rather she just behaved as a kind professional. 

I can remember being in crisis and a doctor calling the crisis team.  As promised, they turned up, and then they said they'd look after me for two weeks, i.e. that day plus the next 14, and that they'd come out as often as needed.  Well, their notion of as often as needed was once a day if they got round to it.

Out of those 14 days, on ten they explicitly said they'd turn up, but on the other four they didn't explictly say they wouldn't.  They actually turned up on four days.  But since their working day went into early evening and they expected me to wait in for them, that was ten days (14-4) when I couldn't go out to buy food, go to the chemist, get any social contact etc.   It was being put in isolation.

So I'm afraid I'm wary of mental health professionals, which includes social workers, and therefore overlaps with other sorts of social workers.  That's without prejudice to the fact that a good friend of mine is a retired psychiatric social worker.

If you have good professionals helping you, then great.  But beware the potential for damage in the form of broken promises and in terms of doing you down not building you up.

Huhn - it's amazing all you've done for your children.  I hope you can find new friends and support.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Dark_Divinity

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 03:58:19 PM »
Isn't it how they get to keep their jobs  and the mental health system going by solving the problem(s) they are presented with but then creating problem(s) to keep themselves and their fellow mental health workers in jobs that deal with subjects people things that interest them. Staying in a job which makes them feel powerful or better about themselves in comparision to the people they are "compassionate" enough to deal with?

That is probably a little bit cynical but hey ho.  >erm<

Perhaps one day I might have more trust, be of a less cynical nature and have more gratitude towards the people who are appearing to go out of their way to help me. I guess we will see if things improve.

I guess it stems from the ever changing faces of GPs that I have seen over the years and the negative attitudes that some of them seem to have due to various reasons. I go online now to book an appointment weeks in advance, just in case I might need it. Good job that remember to put it in my diary, so I can cancel it before booking the next appointment. >lol< >lol<

Either that or it is a delibrate attempt to use psychology in a negative way to try and discourage "time-wasters" from clogging up the local system by taking appointment slots and the time and energy of the GP. Who knows? Not I.   
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 04:07:33 PM by Dark_Divinity »
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Sunny Clouds

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 05:28:00 PM »
I have some very strong views on what has happened to  mental health teams in various parts of England and, I think, the rest of the UK (although I'm not genned up on that).

Once upon a time, with the closure of the asylums, it made good sense if you'd got someone who was 'mad', say a manic depressive like me, to get all the people involved in their care in  one room together and co-ordinate the efforts.  But the teams were never funded properly to begin with, and now it's even worse.

So gradually the various professionals lost their specialisms.  Here's where I go up-front about something - I studed an academic postgraduate course in mental health, including CBT etc.  It was not a precursor to a career in mental health, my interest was more in terms of reforming mental health services.  I had a placement on a mental health team.  I was no more impressed by how they treated others than by how I'd been treated.

What I realised was that they were so overstretched that a lot of the time it was a question of divvying up the patients, not each doing their own sort of bit.  So instead of a patient having social work sort of help from a social worker and  nursing help from a nurse and therapy from a psychologist, mostly it was just a matter of one person doing everything.  All the psychiatrists had time to do was rapidly assess, stick labels on people, prescribe pills, section people etc. 

I read on a doctor's forum a while back a frustrated exchange as GPs expressed their frustration that in almost every other specialty they could refer direct to the consultant who'd have overall control of care, but that in psychiatry, often the initial assessment would be by nurses, social workers, OTs etc. who'd then decide whether the psychiatrist needed to see the patient.

These days that's the tip of the iceberg for referrals because GPs in England are finding that in lots of places they can't refer direct to consultants but have to refer via CCG panels that decide whether a referral is appropriate.   But even so, there's still a good chance that those making the decision as to whether to forward the referral or reject it will be doctors.

But imagine you're a mental health professional.  You trained hard and you work hard.  Psychiatry may or may not be the specialty you originally wanted to go into, but whether out of kindness or out of a desire to make a career, you want to do a good job.  Now you've been reduced to the 'profession' of Generic Mental Health Worker.  Here's the bit where I get seriously controversial (I've been attacked strongly elsewhere in the past for this view) - I think that a significant proportion of people in this situation, having lost the status and job satisfaction that goes with whatever their profession is, will seek to re-establish some sense of status by stomping on the patient. 

I have a bee in my bonnet about professionals and status.  I show respect to my GP by always addressing him as "Doctor" but if he collapsed in front of me, I'd probably address him by his first name, so I do appreciate that how you address someone depends on context.  Nevertheless, I utterly loathe it when I go to see a doctor and he introduces himself thus:  "Hello, I'm Doctor Surname.  You must be First-name."  How do you heal someone's distress if the first thing you do is to speak to them in a way that establishes "As an adult professional, I have a title, but now you're a psychiatric patient, you're no longer worthy of a social or professional title."  I caused havoc when taking a relative to a dementia clinic when checking to see whether their titles etc. were on the computer.  No one had thought to make sure they were correct.  My relative had been treated like dirt until I dropped in a title.  My relative had more than one.  I found the "Dr" particularly useful for getting doctors to treat them as a respected elder, not something the cat brought in.

Incidentally, random tip - if you're going to be engaging with a professional or, for that matter anyone else, and you don't want to be addressed by your first name, don't give it.  Put your initial on the form not the first name.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

huhn

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 05:31:03 PM »
yes sunny,  you  got my point. when I told the psychiatrist, that  I have an  abusive husband , she labeled me as having a personality disorder., but the welfare done nothing, only treating me  as a baby, with over 50 and as a mother I find this is not going.

Dark_Divinity

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 05:38:17 PM »
How did my post come across? Did it appear to be nasty, ignorant and truely ungrateful or frustrated at all the disconnections within the system that has made me feel like Iam going in circles?

I do understand to some extent what is happening to the NHS, it is slowly being overtaxed and run-down in order to crave it up for privatisation.

Not sure that talking about the negatives of my experience was a good idea.  >erm<
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huhn

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 05:54:14 PM »
yes, that's right,  I have only  body damage , that's  the best  thing to call it, my 2 small ones have mental disability, but clever once without  output,  so  there is no reason to think I have a problem to understand  normal adults, especially  welfare people.

huhn

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 05:55:50 PM »
No divinity, that is not only in Britain so, it looks like a more  European problem

Fiz

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Re: Lonelyness
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 06:09:16 PM »
How did my post come across? Did it appear to be nasty, ignorant and truely ungrateful or frustrated at all the disconnections within the system that has made me feel like Iam going in circles?

I do understand to some extent what is happening to the NHS, it is slowly being overtaxed and run-down in order to crave it up for privatisation.

Not sure that talking about the negatives of my experience was a good idea.  >erm<

It's always helpful. Not only to listen to other people's experiences and views which are valuable learning points but also they help us to get to know YOU a little better with your post. Background and experiences create the here and now  >hugs<