Does anyone else with Asperger's have issues with their age?

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katiegococo
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28 Sep 2016, 2:16 pm

I'm really not sure if this is just some weird part of my psyche, or if this is more common than it's been made out. I'm going to risk seeming strange to write about this for the first time ever, and hope that someone else has experienced this and maybe even has some advice for getting over it? :)

I have, for a few years, had serious hang-ups about my age. Even though I'm not "old", I'm worried about getting older, and not just to the usual extent that I assume most people are. I worry that it means I have to not be true to myself, that I'm going to just find myself more and more detached from the world, and that I'll be unhappy about missed opportunities. I'll try to explain what I mean by all of that.

I'm pretty down about all of the things I've missed out on when I was younger. Because I was only diagnosed with Asperger's as an "adult", I didn't have any support when I was a child or a teenager, and as a result just spent that time being bullied, weird, or a loner for most of the time. Nobody helped me to develop any skills, and so I just got more depressed and lived in my bedroom. I had friends sometimes, mainly when I started drinking, but I missed out on having a normal childhood and teenage life - and it kind of upsets me, especially in the case of the latter.

I don't feel ready to be an "adult", in the sense of all of the responsibilities that come with that, and the expectation to dress a certain way, act a certain way, and so on. I'm mature in some ways, but I'm so immature in others, and I have no doubt that I'm always going to be giggly and playful and the older I get the weirder than will be. Due to my life circumstances, I live on my own, but I can't cook and I'm just so bad with it.

This all means that I feel detached from how old I actually am. Mentally, my social intuition is always going to be limited by Asperger's, and I find myself on the wave length of people who are a few years younger than me more than anything. I'm hoping that I get the common thing with Asperger's where I'll always look younger than my age, as a lot of people seem to, but I can't have my teen years back and that upsets me.

Anyway... It has some pretty big effects on me besides regret. This is probably where it gets weird, but, I don't really watch TV or movies because it bugs me watching teenage characters and stuff. (I'll actually practically spoil a movie to myself to make sure it's entirely adults in the cast.) I don't like being out in the school run because sometimes I get jealous. Stuff like that.

It's just a feeling that I'm, like, the wrong age for where my brain is. But whereas some people change their gender, you can't exactly change your age, so it's something I suppose I need to learn to deal with. I've told the mental health people I now have involvement with, but they just don't seem to have any answer about it, although I've never discussed it with an autism specialist.

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else feels this way? I have no doubt it's tied into Asperger's, my social skills and stuff not being as developed as other people, and all of the other factors. But I don't know if this is just a really extreme case of something. It's kind of a hard thing to discuss because, you know, some people might get the wrong idea. :/

Anyone?! :?



Kiriae
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28 Sep 2016, 5:09 pm

Sort of. But I try not to think that way.

I am 27 year old, I never worked, never lived by myself and never had a real boyfriend.
But I finished college (2 degrees actually), have savings, could try getting welfare from government and I am not that delayed with relationships - my friend from college met her husband when she was 28 so who knows what happens to me? I have myself time till 32. If I still have no relationship after that I will give up. I wonder if I even want a relationship? Some sex would be nice but do I want to date someone and make a child? I wonder.

My issues are near future related - I finished 2nd college so I am supposed to finally find a job and I want to move out form family house. I believe I am finally at 18 year old age mentally. I improve! Although the improvement goes slowly.
I struggle getting a job - but I try not to think like I am too late for having a job. My 2 months younger cousin has nearly the same amount of job experience as I do (for different reason though - right after college she married and got a baby boy so she wasn't looking for a job) so we are almost equal.

Anyway. You are 20, right? You got diagnosed at least 5 years younger than me and you are still very young. For now focus on going to a college - it sounds real to you, right? You don't mention difficulties with learning.
There are free schools for adults, you don't have to attend university.
You will get some tradeable skills there but first of all you will get some social experience. College students are different than teenagers. Adults don't bully people for being different so much and you might actually find yourself being liked for your clueless, immature personality - especially with the older students(adult colleges have all kind of people - in my IT college the age range was 19-52, in accounting it was 19-43). They will explain your behavior as simply being way younger than them, not as being different - and they will be more than happy to explain stuff to you. Because being a "mentor" feels good.



kraftiekortie
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28 Sep 2016, 6:17 pm

I'm 55, wish I was 27 again LOL

Yes, I got issues! LOL



racheypie666
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28 Sep 2016, 6:46 pm

I was saying this in a thread the other day. I still feel like... not a child exactly, but not a grown-up either. It's funny because as a kid I was always more mature than my peers in a lot of ways, but now it's kind of flipped. There were moments in high school and college where my friends' interests and attitudes were changing and I noticed mine weren't. I'm not totally immature by any means, I have a job and I study, I pay rent and I cook and all that kind of stuff, but I'm not quite 'there' mentally as an adult. I think it's quite a nice way to be; as long as you're not immature to an irresponsible extent I don't see anything wrong with just doing things your way. Some people seem drawn to that youthful personality actually; I get told a lot that I am interesting, refreshing, quirky etc. and that I am very energetic. I also have limitless ambition and I think that's quite a rare trait as you get older.

Were you also considered mature as a child? I been pretty consistent with my interests since I was very young; e.g. in primary school I read classical literature which was too old for me and played with my toys - I still do the same at 22, but now the books are age-appropriate and the toys are not.



Twilightprincess
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28 Sep 2016, 6:49 pm

I'm 32 and content for the first time in my life. It's like I've finally passed adolescence and all the angst and frustration (most of it anyway) is gone. I wish I would've figured things out a decade ago.



kraftiekortie
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28 Sep 2016, 6:51 pm

I was always considered immature as a child.

I'm 55, and I still act pretty young, though I have been independent from my mother since age 20.



Twilightprincess
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28 Sep 2016, 7:00 pm

I still have many of the same interests as I did when I was younger. I wouldn't want to grow up completely. :p



GuitarJamz16
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28 Sep 2016, 7:22 pm

I'm 57 (ugh), but missed out on normal teenage & young adult life, bullied and alienated and became a loner. Mentally, I still feel like a young adult , because I missed out having peers, and can't connect with people my own age. Fortunately, was able to move out my parents house and live independent since age 18. Late diagnosis @ 52.



kraftiekortie
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28 Sep 2016, 7:24 pm

Think of it this way: When you're 70, you'll still act like you're in your 30's!



Jacoby
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28 Sep 2016, 7:46 pm

I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, I feel like I've matured emotionally a lot slower and unevenly than from my peers and I think about a lot of the regrets I have that I now realize in hindsight. I feel like the sands in the hourglass are wasting away and that if I can't get to a certain level of functioning socially and in general by a certain age(30 is a nice round number) that it would seem pointless after which point as you can never make up the lost ground and as you can't turn back time. I have my parents but they won't be there forever and my siblings are probably more likely to lean on me than the other way around so I feel pretty much as good as dead, I figure either I get better or I get dead.



Exuvian
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28 Sep 2016, 8:07 pm

katiegococo wrote:
I have, for a few years, had serious hang-ups about my age. Even though I'm not "old", I'm worried about getting older, and not just to the usual extent that I assume most people are. I worry that it means I have to not be true to myself, that I'm going to just find myself more and more detached from the world, and that I'll be unhappy about missed opportunities. I'll try to explain what I mean by all of that.


That sounds a lot like what this lady refers to as "living loss".

I often feel like I've lost a lot of time since I haven't had a lot of the typical experiences someone of my age usually has. This makes me feel older than I want to be while simultaneously feeling perpetually "younger" (less mature) than other people my age.

It can cause guilt and depression, which I've already had enough of. I often turn to comedy shows or live vicariously though movies, but that probably doesn't help much in the long run. Bottom line, if any of that makes sense, than I guess I know what you mean. Hopefully someone else has a more practical reply though.



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28 Sep 2016, 8:14 pm

i'm a big old kid with creaking bones. :bigsmurf:



drlaugh
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28 Sep 2016, 8:18 pm

Major changes in my 30's make my 60+ OK these days.
Just finished a big dinner following a spin/cycle and weights class.
My programs don't have the physical comedy at the same level as 30 years ago though I did add a yoga bit to my schtick.


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katiegococo
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28 Sep 2016, 8:22 pm

I just spent time writing such a long, in-depth reply to this thread only to get yet another Cloudflare message and lose it all. I'm just so angry about that right now that I don't think I'll be back. So much for a place to be able to discuss how I feel.

Edit: After calming down I've posted my reply on the next page :)



Last edited by katiegococo on 28 Sep 2016, 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

auntblabby
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28 Sep 2016, 8:26 pm

katiegococo wrote:
I just spent time writing such a long, in-depth reply to this thread only to get yet another Cloudflare message and lose it all. I'm just so angry about that right now that I don't think I'll be back. So much for a place to be able to discuss how I feel.

please don't be discouraged, you are welcome here in a big way :) the best way to post here is to compose first on wordpad, then copy/paste into the WP post window, that way you will always have a copy to repost if something goes awry. :idea:



katiegococo
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28 Sep 2016, 9:25 pm

Thanks for the replies so far everyone! I’m glad that a few people can relate to how I feel, even if not experiencing it quite so intensely as I do at times.

I have at times considered that it’s maybe part of some “quarter-life crisis”, which a lot of young people go through. The fear of having to go out into the world and be an adult, and worry about responsibility and careers and move on from childish interests and just being carefree. But it’s much more than that, I think, for me. It’s an actual feeling of being the wrong age, almost, and not wanting to grow out of those feelings.

I was chatting to the friend that suggested this forum to me at the weekend, and we sort of discussed this a little bit. She said that she’d herself started to look at her wardrobe and wonder if certain clothes were too childish for her now. I feel like that, but almost just about being me. I'm becoming scared to express myself naturally, because natural to me isn't always age appropriate, or so my anxieties tell me.

For example, until not too long ago I’d still skip and float around the place sometimes, but I’ve kind of stopped doing that. I’ve been told to “grow up” and reminded that I’m an “adult” just for being myself or being playful and fidgety. It’s difficult for me to not be true to myself, but I feel like I’m supposed to be something I'm not now.

Someone earlier in the thread asked if I was mature for my age when I was younger, and I guess the answer is yes and no? On one hand, I definitely wasn’t. I was (and still am) so naïve for my age as a teenager, and still played with childish toys occasionally up until the age of 13 or 14. I would pretend I was a train, apparently, in the school yard aged 8 or 9. But at the same time, I was well ahead of everyone else academically (at least until my problems started to creep up on me), a really good writer, and generally ahead of other people in terms of interests and stuff.

Some of how I feel is definitely regret on having missed out on things, and the grief of not getting to be a normal teenager with an active social life. But a lot of it is also just, I don’t know, feeling like in my head I’m younger than I am biologically. For now, I can generally get away with being young, but I have an internal panic that before long I’ll be called out more and more about behaving childishly, or worse go further into my shell rather than express myself in ways that aren’t accepted of adults.

I actually hate being called an adult, or a woman. I don’t relate to it. When I was 12 or 13, I wished I’d wake up younger, and just after leaving school I felt the same way. I feel like I’d be happier if I was 16 or 17, more comfortable with where I am in life. And because that’s unattainable, it’s so hard for me to process. I mean, I’m someone who if I was rich would probably look at cosmetic surgery to keep myself looking young, just to be more comfortable in my own skin. I guess it borders on a sort of age dysphoria, a feeling of just not fitting in with my life phase.

Anyway, I’m kind of rambling, sorry! I guess I’ve just never really properly explained these feelings out loud before, so I’m letting a lot of it out. (This is also my second time of trying to post this, so I feel it’s less eloquent than attempt number one…)

I do think this maybe ties into Asperger’s, though. But I don’t know. I’d love to hear from more people because this is a hard thing to really discuss with anyone else…