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Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 329
Experience:  Owner and Psychotherapist at Self-Employed, Private Practice
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OKMH1126211POSTANSWER I'm home alone now waiting for my PA

Customer Question

OKMH1126211POSTANSWER I'm home alone now waiting for my PA (Personal Assistant) to arrive. It's myself and my dog on many occasions between shifts of PAs and occasional family visits.
Till the season to be grateful for what we have and for those we share our lives with. I'm grateful to have a supportive family. Grateful to live in a home and not institutional or a long-term care facility/nursing home. Grateful to have my health, as precarious as it sometimes can be. Grateful that my PAS seem slightly interested in me beyond their paychecks-indifference is rampant in this field of work as you may know. Grateful that most days I want to get out of bed and have a positive attitude.
But, I will say I'm not grateful that have no one to call. No one to call over and share a drink, meal or evening. It's been like this for almost 30 years. So long, I've almost become habituated to the feeling of being alone and not expecting and wanting more intimate human contact.
I do have longings for friendships beyond acquaintances, who happened to be my PAS. Maybe the relationship I have with my PAs and family stops short a more severe and painful feeling of loss and loneliness.
I suppose my writing you is my realization thaat I want more human contact. Thing is, each time I get like this, I tried, but all my attempts fail.
Forgot to mention I do have a physical handicap and is why need PAs.
I do have acquaintances and chat with them briefly on emails,, Facebook, etc. These conversations are quite brief and superficial. Online discussions also help fill the void.
So, can one get used to being alone and possibly be happy with it? I do want more social contract. But, like I said, it has not happened.
I would appreciate any input, thoughts and suggestions. Thank you
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 7 months ago.

Good evening, Dillon, and thank you so much for your message. I realize it's difficult to reach out. Please know I honor your courage.

My name is ***** ***** I am a psychotherapist in the Metro Boston area.

I know we have spoken a bit in the past and I am pleased to hear you are reaching out to others online through various online communities and truly do understand how this doesn't seem fulfilling enough. Do any of the friends you mention in your message live locally? If so, can you request they come by for a face-to-face visit? Also, do you belong to any local veteran's organizations or religious organizations by chance? If so, can you reach out to the local chapter, informing them of your situation and seeing if perhaps they would be willing to send someone by to chat with you? I know these feel like artificial relationships but my hope is that, in time, a genuine connection can be made.

I'm so pleased you understand the importance of gratitude and find the blessings in the day to day. You truly are a social creature, we all are, and I sense you enjoy the company of others' tremendously. Yes, you could live this way but I know, without doubt, you will be much happier with more social interaction.

Have I answered your question? Is there anything else I can do to assist you further? I want to ensure you are pleased with my service. I also gently request you provide a star rating for me. Of course, we can continue to talk after the rating is provided.

Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Warm regards,

Therapist Leslie

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No, none of the people I am "friends with" online live locally. Thing is, I don't think they would care to meet up somewhere with me. I could be wrong though.I try to make connections with people of like mind and interests when I participate in various social websites but I failed with one possible exception. One person I may meet up with in a few weeks to attend an art show. It's promising, But, I'm all-too-familiar with last-minute cancellations-we will see.Right or wrong, I feel and beginning to believe that I'm not all that interesting to other people. My wheelchair and disability may not be the main reasons people. If this is the case, it would be easy to accept not having a larger social group.
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for your message. Every time we "speak," Dillon, I am reminded of how bright you truly are. I know you have diverse interests and are no doubt, an interesting person as well as good friend. We are, by nature, social creatures and I can see how having a friend in your life--rather than many virtual ones--is critical. Do you, by chance, let those in your world know you are more than willing to go out and love to have visitors? Do you think individuals back away from social events with you as they fear how much so involved on your end to go out? I think you mentioned in the past you need a nurse to travel with this correct? Could this be a possibility?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can only guess it people are put off in regards ***** ***** physical handicap. Not only the physical handicap, but what responsibility they would assume being with me. Yes, I usually travel with a personal attendant, but not a medical nurse. My helpers have no or little medical training/degrees. I did not need constant medical attention. Rather assistance, opening doors, traveling, helping me to drink/eat, put on a jacket, etc.I don't really know anyone well enough to invite them over. Although, I would if the opportunity arose.My issues now are two. Physical face-to-face contact. And virtual online contact. The first, we discussed. It has been difficult to even develop online relationships via Facebook, etc. I haven't pressed, insisted or pushed too hard people I meet online or in person to meet/talk or be friends. It is just that I reach out, but no one reaches back. Well, with few rare exceptions.I'm just at a loss to know what to do and what not to do to even learn from my mistakes. People have said in passing that it's not me. It's their ignorance about my condition. Fine, but that does not explain what people online not knowing of my handicap remain aloof.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I thought about giving up trying to make friends. The emotional energy consumed in the hope and want of a more fulfilling social life is exhausting. Rather, that I learn to be comfortable and happy with myself the more practical goal.Now, my life is consumed with maintaining my current state of health and keeping the proper personal attendant support. Less time and money is available for me to waste chasing my hopes.I may be in a rough state right now.. But, the tension between given up and pushing forward is constant. But, I feel the time for pushing forward may be on the horizon, unfortunately.Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts.
Expert:  Therapist Leslie replied 7 months ago.

Ahhhhh Dillon, your response made me teary. I know you have desperately tried to connect with others and can absolutely understand why you feel you are exhausted and drained by your attempts. I imagine it feels like being repeatedly kicked in the stomach again and again--each time hurting slightly more than the last.

Please be gentle with yourself. Perhaps put making connections on the back burner for the time being--not completely abandoning it but simply letting it sit. It sadly does sound like you are in a rough state.

I remember you have mentioned the word gratitude in the past and believe this may be helpful in taking the edge off a bit. Perhaps doing some writing or reading positive materials may help a bit.

I realize this doesn't truly solve anything in the long run and wish I had a magical response that could neatly tie things up for you. For better or for worse, life is significantly more complicated.

Please do not abandon your dream of deep connection as I know this is what you desire....simply put it aside and not make it your top priority at the moment. I am so sorry, Dillon.