Does anyone feel like they never "grew up"?

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Do you feel like you never really "grew up"?
Yes 77%  77%  [ 30 ]
No 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
Maybe/Unsure 15%  15%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 39

Nades
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18 May 2021, 3:29 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Nades wrote:
I've always thought that maturity was just as much to do with achievement as mental age.

A very extreme example is Bill Gates. He seems to have poor social skills but he's an absolute unit in all other areas of his life. He is defiantly someone who I would consider more mature and grown up than most adults I know. To buy multi-million dollar mansions, a fleet of nice cars and run a huge business isn't something a immature person is ever capable of despite his questionable social skills and appearance of not being that grown up.

I know a lot of party animals with large circles of friends in their 30s who's list of qualifications and achievements can't fill a postage stamp and I would never consider them to have ever grown up. Biggest man child's I know.

It's easy to take what human qualities one admires the most and call that "maturity," but I don't think it's useful to do so. There's little consensus on what constitutes maturity in that sense because there's little consensus on what people admire. Bill Gates is a hero to some, a villain to others. I think all we can objectively do is to state our preferences and own them for what they are. From what you've said, it appears that you admire people who manage to concentrate material wealth and power into their own hands. That's entirely up to you of course.

Me, I don't measure it with sports cars, trophy wives, enormous wallets, or high-powered careers. In as far as I admire anybody at all, I suppose I admire people who manage to live whatever kind of life makes them happy as long as it's not at the expense of the happiness of others. If that means just piddling around with some childish hobby, that's fine by me. I'd prefer people not to criticise them for it or to tell them to "grow up," and I think it's sad that sometimes the victim of that criticism will internalise it and dislike themselves for being themselves.

As for socialising instead of getting qualified and rich, naturally it depends on the person. If I had to choose for myself, I'd go for the social thing (though in a fairly specialised form), because having good, close friends to work and play with makes me feel happy and fulfilled.


To me maturity has always been less about enjoying as many hours of life possible and just taking on tasks with a difficult barrier of entry that require skill, restraint and calculation that can only really be accomplished as one gets older. Hobbies are good but all age groups can have them and to me they're not indicative of maturity for that reason, at least in my eyes but hobbies are essential as a vent and stabiliser in ones life.

Having a good career, good qualifications, perhaps being a able to master a good business or managing to legitimately amass enough wealth to be able to buy 10 super cars and a mega mansion is a quintessential (mostly) adult only activity and being able to do any of those needs a focused and mature mind to go along with it. Doing any of that is far out of the realms of immature adults who are perpetually stuck in their high school years of drinking and partying.

As superficial as it sounds, everyone I met who have achieved any in the list above have an aura of maturity and intellect that's hard to ignore. I can't help but admire them to varying degrees.



Nades
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18 May 2021, 3:38 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Nades wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
But I kind of feel like I'm in the movie Freaky Friday, and I'm an imposter in an adult body.


I feel the same. It's weird and something that I doubt I will ever get to grips with and I'm not alone in thinking that.


I think it's very common for people on the spectrum to feel this way. It is a developmental disability, after all. There are parts of our neurology that didn't grow up properly, or was severely delayed. It's not that we are silly immature little kids, but we're very thoughtful people torn between adult minds (overthinking) and underdeveloped coping mechanisms.

I almost feel like it should be in the diagnostic criteria.

At one point my therapist was going to get my daughter to teach me how to be a teenaged girl because I plateaued before that stage. She was going to teach me different ways of styling my hair, doing makeup, dancing, flirting, and all about the nuance of female communication. I still feel like my daughter knows all those things and I don't. She learned those stages whereas I stopped dead cold at 13 and haven't progressed since.



We are torn between adult minds and underdeveloped coping mechanisms. I haven't heard it put so eloquently in some time. Being a life long disorder autism just needs to be cancelled out by other traits as there is only so much that can be done to improve social skills.

I think dogged determination to achieve something (whatever that might be) is the simplest way for an aspie to show maturity and hopefully endear themselves better with others. Being an aspie with poor social skills and additionally nothing else going on in their lives only makes the feeling of never growing up all the more overbearing while also putting on a immature persona to others.



Dear_one
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18 May 2021, 3:43 pm

I found out the hard way that advice on how to behave and what to expect is usually only correct for one setting of genders, races, ages, and levels of wealth in the encounter. Also, any of them usually need some practice before they work well.



ToughDiamond
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18 May 2021, 5:34 pm

Dear_one wrote:
I found out the hard way that advice on how to behave and what to expect is usually only correct for one setting of genders, races, ages, and levels of wealth in the encounter. Also, any of them usually need some practice before they work well.

That's the beauty of a multi-ethnic group - without a common set of customs, they have no reference point for judging individuals as weird or "not one of us." Homogenous groups are more of a problem. Even when you've figured out their expectations and know how to meet them, the process might feel rather servile, which in a sense it is, because when do they pander to your expectations?



Texasmoneyman300
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21 May 2021, 1:36 am

I feel like i never grew up.



DuckHairback
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21 May 2021, 4:51 am

I'm growing up but I've always felt that I was behind my peers in that sense. I remember at school, when everyone hit puberty I became very withdrawn because I really felt like I was just getting the hang of being a kid and now everyone was too cool to 'play' and do anything I thought was fun. This continued in late teens when people started getting into girls and drinking and drugs and music, I just found it all frightening - I wasn't ready for any of that stuff until I was in my 20s.

So now I'm early 40s and my peers own their houses and have started businesses and lease nice cars and clothes and take their families on holiday and I'm still running out of money at the end of month, renting, buying cheap second hand cars and driving them until they break irrepairably.

I don't know how much of it is to with being on the spectrum but I've always felt years behind my peers developmentally.


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Dylanperr
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22 May 2021, 1:14 am

I can't use an exact number to describe who I am.

I will likely live out on my own. But probably can't do it without my stuffed animals.



longshot
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24 May 2021, 4:32 pm

Yes, though I'm much older now, I still have inherent child-like qualities pertaining to having a fondness of interests usually indicative of someone much younger than myself as a whole.
I still enjoy my interest in comic books and other media for said timelines of my life.


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24 May 2021, 10:27 pm

In ways I do feel stunted, it is odd because I do have a job (though all my jobs have been lowly, cant seem to progress much there) and am married. My husband bless him does help me navigate things, hes kind of like my spokes-person. Its awful because I am aware of my deficiencies and how Im not like a "normal adult" my age, but there will never be a fix for it because the autism will never go away, nor the lifetime effects of it on me and this does get me down but I guess the only thing is to keep going. I always have this fear that Im not gonna be able to handle things on my own if i need to and its hard not to think bad thoughts about it sometimes. I know its hard to navigate things, things normal people kind of take for granted then look at me like whats wrong with you?



Lady Strange
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24 May 2021, 10:31 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
I'm growing up but I've always felt that I was behind my peers in that sense. I remember at school, when everyone hit puberty I became very withdrawn because I really felt like I was just getting the hang of being a kid and now everyone was too cool to 'play' and do anything I thought was fun. This continued in late teens when people started getting into girls and drinking and drugs and music, I just found it all frightening - I wasn't ready for any of that stuff until I was in my 20s.

So now I'm early 40s and my peers own their houses and have started businesses and lease nice cars and clothes and take their families on holiday and I'm still running out of money at the end of month, renting, buying cheap second hand cars and driving them until they break irrepairably.

I don't know how much of it is to with being on the spectrum but I've always felt years behind my peers developmentally.


I'm similar in age to you and feel very similar, you've explained it well. Here I am still living in a run down apartment and will never have what others my age do unless I win the lotto lol. My husband is disabled, but we get along fantastic so thats the bright part of life for me. It sucks to feel so far behind, I've always felt 10 steps behind my peers all through life.



Dear_one
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24 May 2021, 10:50 pm

^^ I have stayed much poorer in material things than many early peers, but I was aiming for the world average as a reasonable goal, and the sustainable world average as my stretch goal. When people see what their pursuit of wealth has done to the planet, I expect some colossal regrets.



auntblabby
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24 May 2021, 10:54 pm

i am stunted in multiple ways. thankfully i'm much closer to the finish than to the start.



Redd_Kross
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24 May 2021, 10:58 pm

Well now.

I seem to have missed the stage where NTs learned how to ignore all the contradictions and problems in their world.

Because I can't / won't mask, to pretend I agree with a lot of things that are blatant bollocks, apparently I'm socially deficient. Whereas au contraire mon frere, actually I might be ahead of the game? Simply by not being delusional.



Redd_Kross
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24 May 2021, 11:06 pm

auntblabby wrote:
i am stunted in multiple ways. thankfully i'm much closer to the finish than to the start.

"Heaven...
Heaven's not a place I'll go
So I'll be wearing jelly shoes
And drinking liquid ether
From now on...."



AlanMooresBeard
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25 May 2021, 6:21 am

bottleblank wrote:
Half of me feels like an adult, I can pay bills, I can generally keep on top of things, find my way to fixing adult life stuff if it goes a bit wrong, that sort of thing. Functionally, in that sense, I feel like I'm mature and independent enough to get by.

The other half of me is still a late teenager. I haven't had the life experiences to make me feel where everybody else is. Jobs, partners, living independently in different places and with different people. That part of me just hasn't moved on, there's not been anything to move on to. There's just a sort of streak in my timeline from then until now, doesn't change, like a room that's never been redecorated, it's always that same old place.

Those two halves of me argue sometimes, the young half keeps looking back, the old half keeps trying to drag it forward, neither side has won yet.


Thanks for posting this. You’ve pretty much described how I’ve found “adulthood” so far. I really could not have put it better myself.



bottleblank
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25 May 2021, 7:39 am

AlanMooresBeard wrote:
bottleblank wrote:
Half of me feels like an adult, I can pay bills, I can generally keep on top of things, find my way to fixing adult life stuff if it goes a bit wrong, that sort of thing. Functionally, in that sense, I feel like I'm mature and independent enough to get by.

The other half of me is still a late teenager. I haven't had the life experiences to make me feel where everybody else is. Jobs, partners, living independently in different places and with different people. That part of me just hasn't moved on, there's not been anything to move on to. There's just a sort of streak in my timeline from then until now, doesn't change, like a room that's never been redecorated, it's always that same old place.

Those two halves of me argue sometimes, the young half keeps looking back, the old half keeps trying to drag it forward, neither side has won yet.


Thanks for posting this. You’ve pretty much described how I’ve found “adulthood” so far. I really could not have put it better myself.


...and thank you too for saying so, I was beginning to think I was the only one :D