Functioning in our society with no social skills?

#1 Posted by Squeets (8184 posts) -

I made a thread before describing my disability and some people offered advice with regard to the issue at hand in that thread which was helpful at the time. Just wanted to ask for a little more advice on that subject.

In addition to being crippled and in a wheelchair, my entire life up to now has been marked by social rejection. When I was first forced into my wheelchair, the kids I grew up with didn't care much since they had always known me. Shortly after being confined to the chair, however, my family moved and my situation didn't go over so well socially speaking. No one in my new school wanted me around, no one wanted to know me, etc... I didn't care much at the time because I was 10, but that trend continued all through school; by the time I graduated high school I had no friends, I was excluded from everything, made fun of by many, etc...

This trend continued in college... No one wanted me around as being with me was embarrassing for them. Working with people in groups was awkward because I didn't have anything to talk about with them, etc.

This is all on top of the fact that my cancer (the treatment for it) destroyed my sex organs, so not only can I never father children, I can't even have sex. So as far as I can tell for my future, I can and never will be social and I can and never will have a significant other; nor do I have a reason to since nothing can come of any of it. All of that has led to me becoming rather bitter and I avoid social interaction where possible at this point and I am not receptive to the few people who actually make an effort to be nice. My prospects for finding employment are weak as well since any job is a social job at this point, and the importance of interviews and what not are higher than ever. I did very well in school, but that is rather irrelevant it seems.

So my outlook on life is pretty grim.

With all of that in mind, just curious if anyone could offer any advice on perhaps fields of work crippled asocial people with no social aspirations would thrive in? I am not looking to get rich or anything of that sort, just looking to make enough money to live alone comfortably until I succumb to my disabilities.

Thank you.

#2 Posted by MirkoS77 (7165 posts) -

I'm really sorry to hear of your situation, but I can hugely relate. I'm a cancer patient too (since 20), and while I haven't grew up with it in my very early years like you have, the diagnosis was an absolute killer in terms of my social life when I was right in the prime of it. College and lifeguarding at the Y. Chicks all over the place, friends, hanging out, partying. But once that phone call came, that life, those "friends", and some of my family disappeared like I was the plague in a matter of days. It was amazing at how fast it happened. Nothing exposes peoples' true character like illness does.

I don't know how old you are now, but after having lived with my diagnosis for 16 years, I've learned one thing (which is pretty cynical, but it's the truth): 99% of the people you meet, especially young people in high school/college and even those in their thirties onward.......many have no concept of what disease entails, and they want nothing to do with it. It's something that happens to "other" people, and it's a reality of life best not acknowledged because once they acknowledge it, it can happen to them. Being young is about having fun, and being care-free. People don't want to see what you and I have, and I know it sucks to hear but I'm sure the wheelchair is an immediate turn-off for a lot of people.

Makes sense that many don't want to be around severe illness and disability, but it's still a shit lot for the sick/disabled. I used to, but I can no longer get mad at people who run away. Truth be told, if I wasn't in my position and I didn't know better, I'd more than likely do the same.

I can totally relate, really, but if people are nice to you then you really should try to reciprocate and keep a positive attitude towards that. They've already seen your chair and are being nice anyway (though they might be acting kind out of sympathy, hard to tell), so that's one hurdle already over from the get-go. There are people out there who will accept you, don't mean to say there isn't, they're just less than a healthy person would encounter.

But from reading that and what you've gone through, I've no doubt you're one very strong dude. My advice would be to join some groups, or volunteer. Helps me. For a profession, what's your education? What do you enjoy?

#3 Posted by Squeets (8184 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

My advice would be to join some groups, or volunteer. Helps me. For a profession, what's your education? What do you enjoy?

Thanks for the advice and for relating your own situation.

I am 23 right now and have a BA (double major of history and political science), I also graduated with honors. I had always been interested in such subjects and assumed I would go to law school after graduating but that is not going to happen.

As for what I enjoy, I can't think of anything. I am not really looking for a job I enjoy, simply a job I can actually get and make a living wage with.

Once again thanks.

#4 Edited by adders99 (2594 posts) -

Never say never my friend! there are plenty of avenues you can try to start to become more of a social person. You mention that you have cancer, is there any cancer support groups you could go to? This not only would be a good social situation but you would be able to get support from others and have something in common, to which you could talk about your experiences etc.

#5 Edited by Squeets (8184 posts) -

@adders99 said:

Never say never my friend! there are plenty of avenues you can try to start to become more of a social person. You mention that you have cancer, is there any cancer support groups you could go to? This not only would be a good social situation but you would be able to get support from others and have something in common, to which you could talk about your experiences etc.

I no longer have cancer, I have been cancer free since just before I was two years old. All I have now are the long term side effects of dosing a one year old baby with radiation and chemotherapy for close to eleven months.

EDIT: And if you are wondering how cancer/treatment as an infant relates to becoming confined to a wheelchair at 10, the cancer itself and the radiation treatment caused a lot of damage to the bone of my pelvis and femurs, especially on my right side. With time osteonecrosis set in and the bone continued to decay to the point where the top of my right femur had almost completely dissolved.

#6 Posted by Gaming-Planet (13998 posts) -

I wanted to say some sarcastic but reading that just hit me in the feels. There is more to life than just sex, and since you're having a difficult time interacting people maybe you should set yourself out there and explore. Discover who you are and find the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. School is great place to discover that, it just takes some effort and some getting used to.

If it helps, you could always interact with communities online, like Youtube and other sorts of social media and build somewhat a "family" of people with common interests.

#7 Posted by adders99 (2594 posts) -

@Squeets said:

@adders99 said:

Never say never my friend! there are plenty of avenues you can try to start to become more of a social person. You mention that you have cancer, is there any cancer support groups you could go to? This not only would be a good social situation but you would be able to get support from others and have something in common, to which you could talk about your experiences etc.

I no longer have cancer, I have been cancer free since just before I was two years old. All I have now are the long term side effects of dosing a one year old baby with radiation and chemotherapy for close to eleven months.

EDIT: And if you are wondering how cancer/treatment as an infant relates to becoming confined to a wheelchair at 10, the cancer itself and the radiation treatment caused a lot of damage to the bone of my pelvis and femurs, especially on my right side. With time osteonecrosis set in and the bone continued to decay to the point where the top of my right femur had almost completely dissolved.

I am pretty sure that cancer support groups also include people who have beaten cancer... Its just one option, there are plenty of other community groups that may provide the opportunity to be social with others... trying to find something in common with people is a great way to start conversations, so If you find something that you are interested in or are really good at, then try finding the groups of people that have the same interests as you.

#8 Edited by -Blasphemy- (2945 posts) -

i dont know what to tell you but i am sorry to hear how your life has been. i wish i had the power to heal you. im pretty anti social myself but i have not gone through nearly as much as you have. it has cost me alot of relationships and i dont know what to do.