From a woman in the U.S.: Lately, I am simply not able to deal with people much. I can’t get too close and I have become very withdrawn.  Over the past 7 years I have gone through a lot, and relationships of any kind just have not worked for me no matter how hard I’ve tried.

I have always been a quiet person by nature, but I do talk especially if I feel I can relate to someone.  But all my life people just don’t get me.  I really don’t want to sound like a victim because I am not blaming anybody, but sometimes it’s hard to feel like you belong.  God knows I’ve tried.

Like I said, people have really been disrespectful and I have had to defend myself more than usual.  Maybe because I’m getting older, I just can’t handle much anymore.  I feel like something is wrong with me because I would rather not be bothered with anyone anymore and that’s not right.

I’m so tired of faking it but I don’t know how to deal with all these flood of emotions?  I have no fun, no peace just work, work and work.

I am so very sorry you are feeling so lonely and so hopeless to change it.  It’s just true: All work and no play makes us dull and tired.

You are now in your 50s and tired. I get it. But 50 is not 100. You could still have a long life ahead. I think you can do things now to make the next decades better than the last ones.

You didn’t mention whether you have seen a therapist. If not, I hope you will. I don’t think you need to be working harder. I do think maybe you need to work smarter. Whatever you have been doing to solve your problems hasn’t worked – no matter how hard you have tried. A therapist may be able to give you new perspective on the situation and may be able to offer you the advice and support you need to be more successful in finding good friends.

You did say that you have a problem with relating to people your whole life. I suggest you take the quiz on the site for Autism/Aspergers.

It may be that you have a bit of Aspergers in your make-up that has handicapped you in the social world. Don’t let this idea worry you. If it is true, Aspergers is manageable. If it isn’t true, than you’ve just ruled it out as being the source of the problems.

I also suggest you see if there is a therapist in your area who offers group therapy. The advantage of group is that participants have a safe place where they can get feedback about how they are relating and they can get support for trying out new ways to relate. Look for a group that includes at least some people who are about the same age. Peers often share life experiences and cultural references that even wonderful young people just don’t “get”.

I know you are tired. But I hope you will follow through on these suggestions. I’d hate to think you will resign yourself to the way you feel now. You deserve better.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie