I expect this post is going to surprise you. I know you have probably already finish the phrase in the title with a myriad of responses. But for me, it is
I am the loneliest when I am in a large group of people.
All my life, I have never been able to figure our why I have so much trouble fitting into groups. One of my favorite type of TV shows are those where a group of people are constantly together. I love the way they all mesh so well. One of my favorite streaming video show is “5 Bedrooms” on the Peacock channel. It is about 5 very different people sharing a house together. I think I like these types of shows because I dream that I could be in a group like that.
There has only been once in my life that I even came close to accomplishing that type of togetherness, and it was only three of us, but we got together very well. That is, until the other two got married and moved out. Then I was back on my own for ten years before I joined another group. The other group was a group of one other person, that was my wife. We lived 36 years together, and she managed to put up with my peculiarities without too much conflict.
I have been alone again for three months now, and it has brought back all the pain of communications difficulties. So, here I go again, trying to figure out how I can “fit” in. I have pledged to work on this problem harder than ever to make that happen, at least to a small degree.
But, I realize the only way to make it happen is to, like the Phantom of the Opera guy, cover up who I am and try desperately to make a good “first impression”. Nothing can happen unless that happens first. Hiding, as best I can, all my Aspie traits seems counterproductive to me, but I see no other way. Maybe, once some friendships are accomplished, I can start taking off my mask to let them know I am on the autism spectrum. To let them know who I really am. Maybe they will accept me when they finally get to know me.
Let’s close out this post with the way it started. I have little hope of ever being able to function in a large group of people, so that will continue to be when I am the loneliest. I have only got a few more years to do something I have not really been able to do in 75 years, But, I know I will never take getting lonely in a large group off my radar screen.