What is loneliness for me
My name is Shane and I am 17 years old.
I have Autism and sometimes find it difficult to process language.
What is loneliness for me?
I don’t have friends. It hasn’t been easy for me. Most of the time, I don’t really know what to say to people. It can be very tricky. I never had a good friend.
I have often been ignored by people because I don’t respond quickly enough when they talk to me. So, they would just walk away from me leaving me on my own.
I have often seen in my reports that I feel really contented to stay on my own. I would like to have a friend but I don’t know how.
When I was at mainstream school, I would spend most of the time with the support teacher during school trips. This made me feel sad to always stay with adults.
No one really wanted to play with me.
Some children seemed to avoid me.
I now feel that if there were more clubs or activities in Enfield, then I would have been able to meet more young people and make friends.
There is not much going on these days. May be we can just play a game of football or table tennis in Youth clubs. I’m not very good at playing them and most of the time I’m not invited to join in.
I do feel lonely sometimes. It can be very hard. My sister has got her friends calling her and texting her. I don’t.
I also feel that it is not really safe to go out on my own.
I can also be laughed at because I don’t always say things that make sense. Once I was asked to watch a movie about Volcano in Geography and comment on it. I said I could see “flood” coming out of the mountain rather than “lava”. Everybody laughed at me.
Even my support assistant said in the annual review meeting that if I never heard about lava then I would not be able to do the work in a mainstream school. My level of understanding is too low. I was the odd one in the class who always needed help with my work.
Things have changed quite a bit now because I think that people are more aware about autism and they do not find me that weird, but I am working very hard to fit in as opposed of being left out.
But I still sometimes feel lonely and bored.
This piece was written as part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.