I’m not good at making friends (and a little warehouse adventure)

It is said that autistic people are not good at making and keeping friends and this definitely applies to me too. I currently have two friends: The Friend who is Polish but I met her in the UK over 10 years ago, but who came back to Poland in the meantime, and another lady, also Polish, who I met in my last permanent job. This lady is 70 and just decided she’s going back to Poland to retire for good. Both of those are good, honest, supportive people, but I also have a history of being friends with ladies who were not always nice. The problem with those is though, that they appear nice enough for long periods of time and although I can sense something is not right, it’s not bad enough to end the friendship.

It can be something like for example paying a lot of attention to my problems and asking loads of questions around those while never spending any time to enjoy my successes or possibly never having time to meet up even though one doesn’t work, doesn’t study and doesn’t have a family. It does make me think why people are like that and whether they don’t understand this is ruining their chances to build positive relationships, and what is the reason that they don’t understand as they’re certainly not autistic.

The problem with the above mentioned ex friends is, that although their behaviour makes me uncomfortable, it’s not severe enough for me to end the friendship at this stage. It always seems to me that either there’s an explanation for those behaviour that I just didn’t discover yet, or that possibly it’s me who’s misinterpreting. The friendship then drags for a couple of years up until the point when that person finally does something that makes me open my eyes. With one of them it happened shortly after my second psychotic episode – basically she started being very patronising towards me after that. Another started making passive aggressive comments to me on Facebook. Because those friendships weren’t what I really wanted in a friend it was very easy to finish them as soon as I gained the clarity I needed.

There are also those situations, unfortunately, that I’d like to be friends with someone, as they’re fun and very approachable but they seem not to have any more space in their social schedule for me, and that really hurts.

And, on top of the above, I have those situations every now and then that someone who I consider a good friend decides to move. It’s easier for me to make friends with other Polish people and it seems like they move more often than others, or at least more often than British. Considering they already moved from Poland, moving within the UK doesn’t seem that difficult. Or sometimes they just decide to go back.

I met that lady in town today, after leaving the warehouse shift. Basically, I was told by the agency that there’s not enough work in the warehouse where I was for two days and was asked to go to another warehouse of the same company but it turned out everything looked different there: there was loads of noise and no clothes to pack and I was told to move pallets using pallet truck. Just like that. I never touched a pallet truck before in my entire life and the job was meant to be ‘light warehouse work, packing clothes and jewellery’. Or at least that’s what I was told last week.

I found the pallet truck really difficult to manoeuvre (I wonder whether that’s something to do with the fact that I’m probably dyspraxic) but the team leader was telling me to just do it, even though he saw I was struggling. The whole situation was getting really ridiculous and I thought, a few more moves and I’m going to do some damage there or possibly even hurt myself or somebody else. It’s so strange to me that neurotypical people can’t seem to see that something may go wrong as a result of their actions (unless it is a social situation) so finally I said, sorry, but I’m not doing this.

I left and called this friend of mine who’s 70, and that’s when she told me she’s going back to Poland for good. We met in town and did some window shopping and then separated. It will be sad without her. I’ll have no local friend at all.

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