As some of you may know from a previous thread, I have been working in retail for the past couple of months. Retail shops are busiest in the evenings and on weekends—precisely when my family is off and do family things—so I missed out on a lot of family activity. I am also paid barely above minimum wage, which is frankly insulting for a 22 year old with (now) a bachelor's degree. It's not enough income to buy a car or move out of my mom and stepfather's house. The job is seasonal, too, which means I basically have only one more day of work.
It's not going on my résumé since the experience isn't relevant to the career I'm going into and my résumé is already filled with other stuff. There's no fear of being fired since they're letting me go anyway.
I use work as a form of therapy. I vent my frustrations—on the customers. Sometimes I am nice—if it's less effort than the mindless, boring task I'm already doing—but if it isn't, I sometimes purposely ignore them and make them repeat their question a few times. If a customer has a "tone" or is too insistent, I become condescending and sarcastic.Some customers apparently want me to "hand-hold" them through the burdensome process of actually finding the size pants they want. Some of them take it upon themselves to tell me in depth about the mishaps and adventures of finding The Right Size, going from store to store; if they could be ground and encapsulated, they'd make the perfect cure for insomnia. I sometimes cut people off and brush past them as I walk. When customers ask me for a fashion judgment, I simply tell them I don't care about fashion and don't know the difference between all those styles myself and that I "just work here."
I nearly rammed a folding table into a complaining customer's leg (I moved it just before hitting her). I slammed an article of hanging clothing back onto the rack when I noticed a nearby customer had been just wadding up clothing or leaving it on the floor; needless to say, she stopped wadding clothes up and leaving them on the floor pretty quickly.
Obviously, my frustration level has only been increasing. Those entry-level programming jobs aren't just appearing; and honestly, I really don't know what to do to find a real job since what I've been doing hasn't been working very well at all. I am extremely sexually frustrated too. I haven't built anything up with any of the women at work (although I had been working on that at every opportunity). I have continued to use MySpace to meet women and have actually gotten one on-going conversation going from that (just recently! that's one actual positive of late).
To take care of my immediate sexual desires until some kind of real-life relationship buds, I have attempted to contact some "female companionship." It's frickin' expensive as anything (think a whole two-weeks' paycheck), and it really lacks that component of an intimate relationship or even a nonpaid one-night stand (or so I would hope; I have never actually done any of these). Needless to say, this is an avenue of last resort for many reasons. "Solo" is really lacking, and I hope I don't need to explain why.
I used to be nice. I wasn't rude and nasty to people unprovoked or even with provocation. I worked diligently: getting good grades, doing the traditionally right thing, patiently hoping for a future better than the miserable, depressing present. I was as friendless then as I am now. What's more: People rationalize my behavior; I am understandably stressed and frustrated; others will simply dismiss the unpleasant rumors. In other words, even being mean and nasty isn't a social death sentence (nevertheless, if you have Asperger's syndrome, you are already unrevivably dead).
Maybe it's a matter of finding the right therapist (who'll take Medicaid), but they haven't really been any help in the past. They've offered reassurances like, "Your social skills seem all right to me," but I don't see practical results of, for example, my social skills. Some have admitted to not knowing all that much about Asperger's syndrome. The advice is usually the kind of common wisdom I have already desperately tried (like think positively and people will be more attracted to you). Believe me: I've tried zapping out every negative thought and keeping a purely optimistic attitude for extended periods of time and especially when around others, but I have still failed to make friends. Some have even called me borderline delusional for my insistence that we are friends and all is well. I have been so willing to consider advice that, after hearing about how some guys have had success attracting women with the cocky jerk act, I even gave that a try briefly even though it struck me as completely counterintuitive (I tend to like people who are actually friendly towards me). I have attempted to modify my personality in various ways based on what I've observed as successful from movies, TV, and real life (in, for example, attracting women or passing a job interview).
Medications (e.g., SSRIs) don't seem to do much.
I really can't even say I'm much afraid of death anymore. It's hard to care whether I live or die when every day is so empty and lonely—even with my hobbies and passing the time on my computer trying to make it better any way I can think of. I have literally walked into oncoming traffic more than once in the past to cross the street, really not caring if I was hit that moment or not. Maybe I didn't want to die necessarily, but I wouldn't exactly mind if the pain of living was relieved. Things like binge-eating and obsessive ruminations (with titles like "my love" and "overcoming frustration" and ever-increasing nonsense chatter) increasingly fill the emptiness of my life. I often just want to go to bed and not get back up ever again.
Now they're calling me "the Wal-Mart of starry-eyed romantics, always rolling back standards for women," and "a most malodorous new breed of pugly American capitalist swine."