Not sure whether...

KC,

If you are still reading this thread, I just wanted to let you know that you are one my favorite posters on this forum. Your posts are always intelligent, insightful, and compassionate.

You are clearly an amazing human being, but it sounds like you have difficulty conveying that to the outside world in person. And you have difficulty recognizing when people DO notice that you are an amazing person and that they DO like you (as evidenced by many of Woody's friends liking you, but you don't notice and so Woody has to tell you directly that they like you).

So, okay, I don't think this is as serious a problem as you think it is. You have clearly overcome this problem enough to obtain a spouse, children, and a wonderful boyfriend. The rest is just learning.

I believe you can learn to acquire the social skills you don't have. Try this book: https://www.amazon.com/Lifeskills-Adult-Children-Janet-Woititz/dp/1558740708

Life Skills for Adult Children by Janet Woititz and Alan Garner.

It's aimed at the adult children of alcoholics, but don't be put off by that detail: it will work for any adult who did not learn normal life skills from their parents. The book contains what you want--actual scripts for practicing social interactions.

I hope you are able to tell your therapist (or a new therapist) exactly what you wrote here: that you wish you could attend the social-skills programs designed for people on the autism spectrum. Maybe the right therapist can do similar roleplaying scenarios with you, or can recommend some sort of support group for you?

Maybe you could practice roleplaying with people on the autism spectrum who also want to practice social interactions? I don't know how you'd set that up, though.

This thread really moved me. You sound so adorable and so sad. I'm sorry that your social anxiety is so crippling--believe me, I've been there. I just had to wade through it and force myself to be in situations that made me uncomfortable.

My partner is a little bit like your Woody--he's always trying to help me be more social and to recognize that people like me. He's taught me to pay more attention to other people's body language, which I had never done before because I was so worried about trying to hide my own own tense body language.

Best of luck, and please keep posting here! The fact that you are making money as a writer is quite amazing, you know. All the writer's groups I belong to are swarming with still-not-published hopeful maybe-writers.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with one romance writers' group. That sucks. But there definitely ARE many different romance writers groups, erotica writers groups, etc, that are open to much more than just hetero romance novels.

Keep trying!
 
Oh no, I just read Mags' reply! :(
 
Thanks, everyone.

I am still reading the forums here. I am not posting (other than this explanation) because I'm letting the dust settle, and I'm learning to be more cognizant of the boundaries about posting on forums like this. I'm also taking advantage of not spending so much time here to work on my next novel, my business, and some personal improvement projects I'd been avoiding ;)

So the advice is still appreciated, and Meera, I'll check out that book. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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