I feel like a child trapped in an adults body - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I feel like a child trapped in an adults body


Hi this is my first time venting this or even really telling anyone about it. I guess I should start from the beginning. I am 24 years old and I feel emotionally like a 10 year old. I come from a pretty science medical driven family so when I was 17 still playing with my toys,that I got when I was 10, and asking from toys for my 16th birthday my family did not know what to do. Furthmore I look young for my age, maybe people at me to 16. I am also sort of short, almost 5'3", and I like to talk in a little girls voice.

I have never had a real friend and was bullied pretty bad from PreK-college. I have no idea how to even flirt. Everything feels foreign and confusing to me since emotionally I don't understand even the most simplistic social cues. I have been diagnosed with social anxiety but I seriously feel there is more to it.

I gravitate to children because I relate to them. I spend three hours a day tutoring this little kids that range from ages 5-11 and I adore my time with them. They may see me as a teacher but I see them as a way to let me be a child safely without anyone judging me.

Honestly, I don't know what to do. I feel so alone and trapped and fear I will end up alone. I guess, what I want to know does anyone else feel this way?
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post #2 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:37 AM
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post #3 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Really? I can't tell you what that means to hear that. I am honestly in tears. Everyday is so hard, since I am trying to hide this from people. It is making me so tired that I can hardly wake up in the morning.
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post #4 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:50 AM
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Have you talked to anyone close about this? parents? siblings?

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post #5 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 12:56 AM
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I'm thinking about goin working with children no idea what ts like though
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post #6 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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I finally broke down and told my parents today. However, I come from a medical family and their idea for everything is some sort of med. They have been putting things in me since I was 10 years old.

Honestly, I am just really worried since I told them. They are good parents but now I am afraid they will look at me differently.

Oh by the way, do you know anyone that is like this? I have been searching around online all night trying to find someone that might relate to this or have any ideas on how to overcome it.
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post #7 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:17 AM
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I'm reaching 30 and to be honest, i feel the same thing. I have the emotional and social intelligence of a teenager. My life has been relatively the same in the past 10 years or so, which honestly scares me.
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post #8 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I know what you mean about your life sort of staying the same. I feel like even after finishing college I am right back where I started. Back at home, sitting in my room drawing playing neopets and watching anime. My parents told me the way to break out of this is to get my license, get a job, and just move instead of sitting still. They make it sound so easy, but to me it feels like one giant jump into adulthood and that scares me.
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post #9 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:50 AM
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Don't bring yourself down because of your height.

When I was at University I lived with a girl who was 4"10. She was so cool. She was very popular - she had loads of friends and she was always busy doing stuff.

She now lives in Australia and from what I've seen on FB she's living an exciting life teaching and with a BF friends etc.

Last edited by Evolution; 01-09-2013 at 01:53 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #10 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:50 AM
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I feel like a teenager trapped in a late 20s body. I on't have what it takes to be an adult. I hate responsibility, I hate to work, I hate to cook, I hate to drive and I hate everything about what an adult supposed to do in life.

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post #11 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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See I don't hate what it means to be adult, I just don't understand it. I am fear full about what it means to grow up and part of me is ok with how things are. Being a child feels safe, since as a kid there are no responsibilities. I don't know, I just sort of think I am delayed. Like the way I feel now is 10 but if that is the case, does that mean I wont hit 20 until I am like 44?
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post #12 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:03 AM
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Think about it, experiences are what you need to grow up. So if you feel like staying the same, wouldn't that make you 10 forever? even if you turn 30, 40, 50 .. ? And from where i am, i can tell you 1 thing that it's much easier in your 20s to try to get out, connect with people.
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post #13 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yes you are completely right. Oh my gosh I never thought about it like that!

I told my Mom the other day that the reason I feel like this is because I have not had that many good experiences. I mean when people don't want to be around you, you are going to want to try and find something to distract you from the pain. My toys and cartoons were my safety net back then and I think I just never let them go since. In short they sort of became my identity without me even realizing they were holding me back from ever growing up.
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post #14 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:43 AM
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A lot of people feel this way, but many can still go about their responsibilities as an adult anyway. You're actually doing this right now. You are tutoring kids, that's takes a lot more responsibility than most people have!

Where I live there are a lot of meet up groups from meetup.com where people meet up to play board games, video games, watch cartoons and I'm sure they even play with toys too. You don't have to hide because you think your interests are childish. If you find meet up groups like these just go out there, I'm sure there are many people who share your interests and would love to be friends with you.
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post #15 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 03:08 AM
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I have been feeling like this ever since I turned 18. I'm 21 now and people tell me that I only look 16. I have only few social experiences and don't know at all how to connect with others. I'm scared thinking about I can change this or not. My mom cooks, does the laundry and even gives me money when I need it. I'm trying to do things on my own now though.

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post #16 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actinia View Post
I know what you mean about your life sort of staying the same. I feel like even after finishing college I am right back where I started. Back at home, sitting in my room drawing playing neopets and watching anime. My parents told me the way to break out of this is to get my license, get a job, and just move instead of sitting still. They make it sound so easy, but to me it feels like one giant jump into adulthood and that scares me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by actinia View Post
See I don't hate what it means to be adult, I just don't understand it. I am fear full about what it means to grow up and part of me is ok with how things are. Being a child feels safe, since as a kid there are no responsibilities. I don't know, I just sort of think I am delayed. Like the way I feel now is 10 but if that is the case, does that mean I wont hit 20 until I am like 44?
Quote:
Originally Posted by actinia View Post
Yes you are completely right. Oh my gosh I never thought about it like that!

I told my Mom the other day that the reason I feel like this is because I have not had that many good experiences. I mean when people don't want to be around you, you are going to want to try and find something to distract you from the pain. My toys and cartoons were my safety net back then and I think I just never let them go since. In short they sort of became my identity without me even realizing they were holding me back from ever growing up.
I think you understand your situation better than you give yourself credit for. Change doesn't have to be bad, but maybe you need some help? Someone to talk to outside of your family?
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post #17 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 04:21 AM
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Firstly, can you relate to people with mild autism / asperger's? Did anything happen around age 10 like a stressful event or family situation that might have stunted your emotional growth? Those sounded like possibilities, but I don't think there is anything wrong with how you are.

You actually seem to have a good understanding of your own emotions (see the reply by probably offline) and you don't come across as mentally/emotionally immature at all. You just need to develop social skills and have more positive social experiences with adults. It's unfortunate that there's a stigma about playing with toys and liking 'childish' things, and the isolation and exclusion that you received because of that has caused these problems. I doubt you would feel so inadequate and childlike if your interests were perfectly acceptable to everyone, so try not to feel like the fault is in you.

There are people who can relate to you. Everyone gets terrified about entering adulthood, some more than others. When you don't have social support from your peers or social experience, it's even harder because you can feel like you're skipping too many steps or being thrown in the deep end. I actually feel older than I am now, but when I was a teenager I sort of felt like a 12 year old, and then at some point during the last few years (I'm 22 now) I realised I finally felt like an adult... but I never really had many teenage experiences and that feels like a blank part of my life. Sometimes I feel 22, but sometimes I feel like an odd mix of a child and a 40 year old.
Lots of people love toys and you'll find friends your age who share your interests. Anime in particular is very popular with all ages. I still make detours to the toy aisles when I'm shopping... The 'toys' I play with are acceptable for adults (model building), but I'm embarrassed that I also want to play with the army men, plastic farm animals, and lego sets. I've always liked dollhouses which is even more embarrassing as an adult and a man. It's silly to not do what I would enjoy, but I guess that's why I have social anxiety.. I'm scared of being judged and excluded.

I bet there are two types of adults; those who still play with toys, and those who wish they had the courage to play with toys.
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post #18 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:45 AM
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I'm 27 and at this moment in time I couldn't do most of the normal things adults do (i.e. pay bills, manage a home, look after people).

Basically I have a teenagers mindset for the most part, because I just want to have fun and not have to worry about responsibilities. God knows how I'll cope when I finally have to face up to things like that though.
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post #19 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:22 AM
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I'm like that! I don't think your mom really wants a 10 yr old driving! lol Best advice my Mom gave me was "If you don't want to be treated like a child you have to stop acting like one!"

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post #20 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:24 AM
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It is making me so tired that I can hardly wake up in the morning.
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