Desi and Jon are social extremists and when they are by themselves, not in a social situation, they are in pain and lonely.They both tend to deal with loneliness by sleeping.
Desi and I just had a chat about this. Why is she lonely all the time and why does she feel so needy?
She said that when she is alone, she feels abandoned, rejected, and just not happy. When she is with people the hole inside her is being filled up. So she constantly craves friends to talk with, be with, have relationships with.
The sad part of all of this is that her need is so great that she often smothers her friends with demands and soon they are no longer her friend. Thus she ends up feeling more rejection, loneliness and despair.
This is a HUGE problem for my two kids with FASD.
They seem to plan their whole life around social events.
With support to get up on time, get daily household chores done, and a ride to work, Desi is able to hold down a part time job.
She works at a thrift store.
- She is able to manage a register pretty well that tells her how much change to give back, and she LOVES being with people.
- She can chat all the time during her job with new customers and her co workers.
- This is rather fun for her and since she has some pretty amazing co-workers, she is very happy there.
Her job fulfills her need to be social.
I love that for her. She always comes out of there bubbly and chatting with everyone and I feel good when she is happy. However in her personal life, I have watched her go through friends on a frequent basis. Especially boy friends, but also this happens with girlfriends.
There are a few reasons for this.
- She is socially and emotionally immature for her age. This started to show up at about the age of 16. Gradually friends were dropping out of her life.
- She also can get bossy and demanding and who likes to be treated like that for long? She is so needy that she suffocates her friends at times.
- Once she has a friend, that friend is going to be hearing from her a lot. She can just drain them dry. One wonders why she hasn’t yet met her carbon copy and wouldn’t that solve the problem? I mean someone who might need her as much as she needs them?
Desi and Jon both have little ability to be creative about their lives.
Organizing and planning are a challenge so having creative hobbies is difficult for them. Their lives are kind of “empty” outside of their job time. They need their external brain to be there partly just so they are not alone and to manage their empty time.
They both sleep most of the day and get up with no purpose or plan for the day, and both need prompting to get important things done, or these tasks won’t be completed. Then comes the free time. They would sit there with nothing to occupy it, unless they can find a friend, a party, some where social to meet with others.
Another reason I believe they both sleep a lot if there isn’t anything going on socially, is depression. When you are running high on social events all the time, it burns up adrenaline.
Too much adrenaline burns up serotonin.
These kids are born stressed and a lot of them deal with mood disorders. Their bodies are always in high alert and using up adrenaline. Adrenaline is a drug of it’s own type. It masks pain.
When something really bad happens in our life such as the sudden death of someone close, a person can go into shock. They won’t feel pain for days. The reason for that is the large amount of adrenaline that is rushed through the body. It shuts down the pain receptors.
So keeping life on a social high also helps our kids shut down the pain receptors, but in reality it also burns up serotonin which can cause the vicious cycle. This kind of keeps them on the wheel of seeking people to fill them up on the inside and take away their pain.
They are often very bored and both of them will often just go back to sleep to avoid dealing with that pain. Sleep can be a good thing for them, as it can heal the stress on their body, but too much of it isn’t healthy as it hinders their body’s need to get oxygen and exercise.
As an “external brain” I find I do need to use gentle suggestions to Desi that maybe she needs to slow down a bit and get some normal sleep. Or maybe tonight needs to be a sit in night just for some down time. When she runs too much, she begins to show it in mood swings. OR maybe it is the opposite. Maybe now she has slept too much and I need to make her get up and get moving a bit. Then of course I need to help her keep occupied or she is lonely again and wants to go back to bed.
They are adults and we can’t make them do anything, but I find myself trying to help her manage her sleep, resting times, exercise needs and social life too.
My heart does hurt for the loneliness that my kids deal with. I am here. They know that.
DARN FASD! Stole my kid’s abilities to occupy themselves.
Lord send good and positive friends into my kid’s lives.