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A story to share

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I wrote the original text on wednesday, 15th of november 2006. I made some changes to adress an audience that does not only consist of christians.

Dear fellow humans,

I am currently on a mission to visit numerous discussion sites and share my story with as many people as possible. I have been suicidal since my childhood (nearly 20 years now), and today instead of finding a high place to jump off of, I experienced a revelation about what God wants of me.

I suffer from social learning disorder: http://wholechild.net/SocialCognitiveDisorders.htm
Social disability is hardly researched or acknowledged, but should be ranked on the same level as mental or physical disability. I doubt many people even know it exists. When I was a child and teenager, my inability to interact with peers in any normal way was blamed onto myself, and the problem worsened with every new school or residence, as the nearly paralyzing fear of repeated rejection increased. I was bullied, segregated, and ridiculed over the course of 15 years. I have never had a proper romantic relationship (dating is out of question) and am not capable of making friends unless they treat me with a lot of patience and support.

My life has been marked by loneliness and constant fear of rejection. I practically live on the internet, only here (and with long time friends) I can let my personality shine and truly be myself. When meeting strangers, I generally stutter, don't know what to talk about, speak quietly, experience blackouts concerning simple things I am asked about, and tend to give out of place comments that don't come off the way I had planned. One example is that for quite a long time, I did not even realize that it can be considered rude to never avert my gaze for a lengthy period of time. As a teenager at a specific school I was called 'stalk eye'.

Normally (at my age) ingrained aspects of everyday social interaction are a true challenge to me. For me, writing has always been a lot easier than speaking.

I only ever had the support of a true family for 3 years before it broke apart and left me and my mother isolated.

I'm one of those 'I don't want to die, but I just don't know how to live' suicide candidates. I don't care about money, sex, career, sports, or power. I could hardly ever manage the motivation to get anything at all done, such as education or any job - there was nothing in my life I felt was worth striving for, except for temporary bursts of happiness and motivation when I picked up a super awesome relationship on the internet - I feel an almost painfully overwhelming desire to start my own family with the right guy.

The most recent of my internet pickups seemed perfect. A one in a million case, with everything a woman could possibly want, except for a more than average appearance and money. The first in my life to take a lot of time and effort to show me he cared about me, for more than half a year. When someone closer to his location ended up grabbing him and left me without as much as a chance to seriously develop things in real life, I could not think of anything other than jumping off a bridge.

I had previously tried to make a deal with god... I said, 'God, if I can have this man, I'll have the energy and plenty of my overwhelming love and happiness to share with others. I'll write a book to help others in similar situations. I'll manage any challenge in my life and will do so to do good.' But god, like other times before when I really cared for something, had different plans.

At times I wonder if my life was planned to be over 20 years of emptiness and loneliness mingled with desperation for some reason only He knows.

Now I'm getting somewhat religious... some of you will find this odd, and possibly think I am mad. If so, I encourage you to read the novel 'Run Baby Run' by Nicky Cruz, the true story of one of the most brutal gang leaders of New York during his time, and the way his life was changed.

A few days ago, when I was unable to eat or sleep because of the loss of what felt like the greatest romantic love a human could possibly be capable of, and when I planned on what day I was going to jump, I suddenly woke up at night, and there was this fuzzy warm feeling of being loved, once more. I did not appreciate it, as I stubbornly insisted on wanting to end the pain of my life, and tried to focus my thoughts onto jumping again... and when I did, the desire to was gone, and I felt sad over just having thought of it. Afterwards, I finally got some deep and undisturbed sleep without unpleasant dreams.

Today, when I looked at maps of my area for possible lookouts or buildings with a falling distance of at least 30 meters, I suddenly decided to have a look at bible discussions involving suicide on the internet. I had already made up my mind about it, but when I read that 'god has a plan for everyone' it struck me that I had no idea what He could possibly want of me. Then it suddenly dawned me that I might be expected to share.

Now, if you have followed my story for so long, I have a few requests.

Help me spread awareness about social learning disorder. People like me are often labelled mentally diseased or blamed of not trying hard enough. We are not ill. We have trouble learning the rules of social interaction and interpreting cognitive feedback related to it. I doubt many psychotherapists even recognize social disability. If left untreated and if there is no or hadly any positive and continuous social interaction from peers, a child could turn into a very isolated adult.

Recognize and support those suffering from social learning disorder. Is the quiet new guy at work who never spends coffee break with others really an antisocial chosing to be alone, or does he need help? Does your child have trouble being accepted? You could make a big difference by just approaching and asking the right questions.

Share my story. If you are a teacher, please tell your class about me, and spread awareness about children like me who turn out to be messed up adults after years of alienation. If you are a preacher, maybe the story could fit into a sermon about charity. If you are a social worker or know some, maybe this could be the beginning of more solid support for the socially disabled. Medication won't help us. Patience, sympathy and friendships will. The world needs more institutions that offer friendly interaction and empathy rather than psychotherapy and pills.

And read that book if you don't believe I am not babbling nonsense.


Well-Known Member
Your story and explanation has hit something inside me..like dropping a marble into a metal pail or bumping one against a pole. just a little '...dink' that's reverberated through my whole structure of perspective and understanding.
(Wow, if that didn't make it seem like I'm drugged or high on something, I don't know what would...)

I thank you for sharing this...I don't think this is some sort of whacked-out theory because I sometimes find myself doing the same things you do...
stutter, don't know what to talk about, speak quietly, experience blackouts concerning simple things I am asked about, and tend to give out of place comments that don't come off the way I had planned
I...well, I don't know if I can really say I could...but..I would like to help spread this message to someone who could convey better than I..without all this social anxiety and such that I've found lurking inside me as of late.

...If nothing else, this reply could stand as a "Hey, me too." sort of thing.

Though sometimes I wonder if I'm really just stupid or have the ability to be superly shy and that the only problem with people like us is that, if I may be so bold as to batch us together, we deep down inside, don't really want to bother with other people...be it that they're imperfect (..though we all are) or that we don't want to be hurt by them or for any other reason you could think of...

*I'm just waiting to be laughed off the stage here by the next replier that will say 'what?? you goofs...no'*

But...in the future I hope I will be more sensitive to people that show the same symptoms I do..maybe there's hope after all.

Again, thank you..
- Henry
I...well, I don't know if I can really say I could...but..I would like to help spread this message to someone who could convey better than I..without all this social anxiety and such that I've found lurking inside me as of late.
Please do. Please help me if you can think of any way to do it at all, maybe with the help of a friend, or the internet? Help yourself, too... ask around for offers of social-oriented therapy. I am currently doing the same. Maybe someday the two of us will have the courage to visit schools and talk to the kids about our experiences, and hopefully spread awareness that way.

Oh, and... read that book!
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I seem to have some trouble finding people to talk to, any contacts on support sites I have found so far appear to be inactive. Can anyone recommend me an active chat, or a place to turn to?
I'd like to remind everyone to send me a PM if they want to talk at all. Don't log off MSN without notice after saying hi and never log back on! :tongue:
To be honest I don't know if I will find the strength for a blog after all... a very important line of defense that I still had has fallen. Even with all my faith, and all my love, things are so hard right now... I used to believe I could go on and keep my sanity because I could still talk to that guy in the online community where we play, but now his girl is going to get in there as well, and just the thought of having to see her on there is enough to gut me emotionally. Why is Father taking every last little thing that gave me comfort from me? Every fiber of me longs to still be friends with the guy at least, but if I have to see and listen to the girl who replaced me after everything I did in 9 months of waiting for him, I'm going to lose my sanity.

He didn't even mention the possibility to me beforehand and try to find a solution with me... then again, he has severe bipolar, and he has always avoided talking about things that were extremely stressful / depressing for him and adding to his daily struggle. I forgive him... but it is so hard... so hard...

I think I'll get my photoshooting on the 21st, put the pictures online for him, write some poems and letters, and make an end.


SF Supporter
Bit off the topic i'm afraid but just saying your an amazing writer. Ive found it very hard to concentrate on long posts due to lack of motivation from depression but you reeled me in. That's a very commendable talent. Have you written any short stories before etc..?
Yes, I'm a writer... I used to write quite a lot in my native language (german), but stopped in my late teenage years as I started to feel too empty and unhappy to find any more energy for writing.

This is an extract from the only story I ever wrote in english, it relates to the roleplay story me and the guy wrote together in our online community (which is science fiction based):

The cruelly slow trickling of passing moments was nearly a physical presence in the apartment. The large, airy rooms, tastefully furnished with Matari design of her and Ethan's choosing, should have cheered her up... but Shiva was sprawled upon the large black futon like a discarded puppet. The waist-length hair surrounded her petite form like a mourning veil and spilled onto the red bedsheets in messy black waves, its shimmer dull in the dim light of a lamp drone floating above. Her slender hand, turned pale by the reclusiveness of the passed months, was resting upon the pillow at her side. His pillow.

He had hardly touched it in three days.

Shiva's fingers traced over the soft silk in a slow half-circle, a shiftless caress of memories. She closed her eyes, long dark lashes sinking downwards to veil the pale blue orbs he adored so much. A single tear trembled underneath, reluctant to fall and moisten the smooth red silk of his pillow. He might want to use it tonight... or tomorrow... or next week...


SF Supporter
That's amazing. I love writing myself but never really got around to doing much. But that piece was beautiful. It's massively discriptive but the discription supports the feeling of Shiva. Like your using the surroundings to show her mood. I've read books before where discription has just been used solely to describe a place without addition to character and I just find it dull.

Do you like political science fiction, i.e. "1984", "Brave New World", "The Handmaids Tale"?

I've never heard of "social learning disorder" but it almost sounds like it matches me. I have almost always been isolated, and I have always found it incredibly hard to express myself socially. So much of what you wrote could have been written by me. I have found it hard to articulate exactly how I feel, and you seem to have done that pretty well.

I, too feel that I can only let my true personality show when I am online or with people I am very comfortable with. I find it incredibly difficult to speak to strangers without stuttering and blanking out. I have a hard time looking people in the eyes. In any kind of social situation, I will usually try to sit alone, which makes people assume that I am stuck-up or creepy. I really am not... if only I could express myself correctly, people would be able to see that. I feel terrible, because I know that I am a good person inside.

I know it sounds lame, but I just feel empty inside every day. I have dreams of one day falling in love, having a wife and kids, and all of that. I don't see that ever happening, though. I almost feel like it is an impossibility for someone in my sorry state. I will never be able to find a date. I can only interact normally with someone that I am comfortable with. I don't know how I could ever possibly find someone that would overlook my bad social skills at first. I don't think I am ugly, but I'm sure I come across as extremely awkward when trying to communicate to others. It is so much worse for me, because traditionally the man is supposed to be the one that initiates the relationship.

Every day I wonder why God would have me suffer like this. The pain of being alone and isolated is greater than almost anything I could imagine. I feel so bad when I see a man and woman together. I ache so bad for something like that. Sometimes I wish that I could just make the feelings go away. If I could be numb to my overwhelming urge for human affection, I would do it.

To someone reading this that is able to interact normally with others, this probably sounds strange. You might be thinking "Why don't you just go out and talk to people?" You have no idea how hard that is.

Thank you for making this post, Serene. It feels good to know that there is someone out there that might understand me.
Likewise, Lyme... you could be a soulmate, it is good to know we are not alone. I get plenty of social interaction every day, but I keep failing at it... which is why it has to be a disability (as described, a very weak form of autism) - otherwise I would have learned how to do the social stuff 'right' by now. I also believe this could be treated with social therapy at a young age, which is why I hope that more people become aware of the issue, and that someday therapy will be available to people like us.


SF Supporter
Not everyone is articulate. But being articulate is just a good way of expressing passion. I bet your a passionate person but don't know how to express it. If you didn't have passion you'de be a robot. If you give us a try we can try and understand you as best we can. What's on your mind?


SF Supporter
Threads are just threads. It's peoples problems that matter. We can listen to you both here just fine. It's always a good idea to unload your mind to people. It helps to make sense of mass of thoughts running around in there and can give you purpose (hopefully).
I get plenty of social interaction every day, but I keep failing at it... which is why it has to be a disability (as described, a very weak form of autism) - otherwise I would have learned how to do the social stuff 'right' by now. I also believe this could be treated with social therapy at a young age, which is why I hope that more people become aware of the issue, and that someday therapy will be available to people like us.
Yes, exactly. I have had many opportunities to be social, but I have never gotten used it. It makes me feel so depressed when I see everyone around me talking together and having fun conversations. I feel so trapped sometimes; I know that I can convey my true self online, but in daily life I just can't do it. Anyone my age should be able to converse normally with others. I feel like I am at the social level of a small child still.


Well-Known Member
i think your have a smililar problem as mine

i too find it very hard to hold interestng conversations with poeple. i fear being rejected feel inferior and got strange complexes and confusions in my mind that iw ant to sort out away but cant. i have had no real friends ever and am absolutely no romantic relation ships i can explain my state in detail but i dont feel like it. I am a net addict and feel that its the only place where i am goona find a way out. i have this idea that west would treat me well as opposed to the corrupt and criminalised society here in pakistan. i dont know if it is just a wishful thought.
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