I recently got involved with an adventure activity company. I have been on a few trips so far and I can sincerely say that they are a lovely bunch. I was asked by the owner to help out as a volunteer and in return I can come along to all of his events for free.
I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
This is such good news for me because I don’t have many friends who enjoy outdoorsy activities. Normally I do things on my own which is risky and I am prone to taking unnecessary risks and getting lost. I have’t had anything awful happen (a couple of near misses) but this way, I will get to do what I love and meet new people, in a much safer environment.
As I spend more time with the group, I’ll be getting to know them better and at some point someone will want to know more about me. At some point some of the icky things about my life will come up in conversation. If they ask about my relationship status I’ll be struggling to find an answer that is authentic and appropriate.
I don’t want to talk about surviving domestic abuse, or how I’ve been spending my time with the various health professionals, victim support providers and the criminal justice system (which is taking up a lot of time and head space at the moment).
People are trying really hard to get to know me and I’m struggling to gloss over all the shit that I’m going through. It’s getting harder to avoid the icky topics, in a way that is kind and friendly.
Also I’m worried about “oversharing”. Ever since I can remember, people have pointed out that when I get talking about myself I tend to over-share, which is a bad thing. I am told that it can be inappropriate or awkward for other people.
Getting this feedback from people is really embarrassing for me.
Oversharing also leaves me vulnerable, I’ve been told.
Apparently I have weak boundaries.
It is common knowledge that over-sharing of personal information is a classic ADHD thing (AKA impulse control issues). And we know that for people on the Autism spectrum, it’s down to having under-developed social skills.
So as an Autistic ADHDer, it is extra difficult for me to say the right things at the right time. I’m high functioning and reasonably self-aware, so I’ve found ways to rein it in, but it takes ALOT of effort and only works to a point.
It is much easier if I just avoid talking about myself. The best way I can describe how I do this is, I build this invisible wall around me and I don’t open up to anyone outside the wall. This feels safe but it doesn’t really work because once the seal is broken then all the icky stuff pours out and I don’t know where to draw the line.
I’m not sure what is “too much information”.
In my current place of work, it took me about a year to have an honest conversation about my personal life with my colleagues. It was a really big deal to them that I opened up finally. Now I wish I hadn’t shared some things because people use your icky stuff to make fun of you.
“We know all about your track record with men, ha ha ha!”
It really hurts when they do that – but they tell you it’s harmless fun. But it still hurts.
I have to say that as I get older, I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable talking about myself to strangers. It’s even worse when someone shows a genuine interest in me. If someone I don’t know starts asking personal questions I actually find myself freaking out a bit.
I know, in theory, that there is a balance to be had – especially with people that you work with.
I say too much. I don’t say enough.
I just can’t get the balance right. I don’t know how to be social and share little bits about myself in a way that’s friendly and appropriate (i.e. how humans should behave).
On the other extreme, if I really like the person (which equates to, we have similar traits and vulnerabilities) then I will open them straight away – usually because I want to make them feel understood, accepted and supported.
Usually it’s because I want to help.
I know, in theory about bad people masked as victims or tortured souls.
I know in theory, that I shouldn’t open up and trust people, purely on the basis that they are nice to me.
The reality is, I don’t have any reliable measures to keep myself safe. I don’t know who to trust.
I let the wrong ones in.
I don’t know how to fix this.