@teresa,hopeful33250 , I feel so bad for my long absence from Connect. I had a serious meltdown which led to a long period of burnout. It began one short week after my first caregiver support meeting. Turns out, it was to be my last meeting, as well. It was so traumatic, it seems as though it was much longer ago than just a matter of three or four weeks.
I was so happy I had found that group. It was small, but the people were super nice and spoke my language. Or so I thought.
Turns out, the "leader" of the group ( who had not been at the first meeting), and her assistant leader, met me in the coffee shop just past the entry way, where folks sit on the sofa and read the daily news with their coffee. They anxiously stopped me ftom getting my coffee, and requested that I join them on the sofa. I felt my hesrt drop into my stomach. I knew something bad was about to happen. Kind of like when you are hauled into the principal's office and have absolutely no clue why.
I was promptly told that my acceptance into the group had been an unfortunate mistake, for which they were terribly sorry, but they could not permit me to continue with the group. They have a "closed" group of no more seven. (Not true. The leader and at least one other person, the lady who had invited me, were absent.)
I may be Autistic, formerly known as Aspie, but I know when I am being lied to. Their purpose in "catching" me before I got my coffee was to prevent me from joining the group in spite of their decree. I feel that they knew quite well that I had a few allies in the group, already. They might have protested my dismissal, which could have caused an uncomfortable scene, at the least. One lady in particular seemed to feel a connection with me, as we both are musicians and play the organ. She was so excited to have a sub in hand she could barely contain her delight! She had asked me to come join her at the church prior to choir practice, so that we could play a duet on the pipe organ. Musicians always seem to find each other.
I had already cleared my calendar for every Wednesday at noon, and told family members not to set appointments during that time. I had found my people.
Ah, nope. I am pretty sure that there is no "quota." I am fairly certain that something about me made them nervous. I disturbed their already set clique. I was different, new, strange. A stranger. Their rejection threw me into a tailspin of self loathing and doubt. I was accepted by at least 2/3rds of the group and heartily welcomed. They were not lying. It was real. But as soon as their "leader" was informed of my entrance into their fellowship, a plan was hatched to oust me permanently.
It worked. They offered to let me know if anyone dropped out, whereupon I would be welcomed back with open arms. Ah, no. No thank you.
What they don't know is this. After they gave me the boot, I started realizing where I really needed to concentrate my efforts. Not sitting with an elite group that some feel is an exclusive gathering of perfect people. I needed to be with those who could give me absolutely nothing in return for all my efforts. Nothing, that is, except for what is eternal and real. This change of mindset coincided with the revelation from my CRNP that my brain does not naturally make enough "happy" hormones. Gene testing revealed the deficits that will be corrected.
I am in a much better place now. I will be working in the Medically Fragile Classroom as a volunteer. They are my first love, right along with their neighoring class, the Autism Unit. It has been a hard road back to Mayo Clinic Connect. You would think that rejection would not hurt as much at this stage in life. It was so devastating that I found it next to impossible to reach out to my family here.
Like literally, I could not figure out how to reach you all on this site. I would type in "Autism sites" and other variations and it kept saying " no such site found " I was beginning to feel that old familiar depression coming back. But I fought it.
Sorry this is so long. I felt the need to be transparent. Maybe it will help someone out there in cyberland. Thank you for your unconditional love and support to all who seek a friend here, to be heard.