I feel like a child trapped in an adults body - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 08:33 AM
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I feel kind of like this too. I hate the adult lifestyle and I prefer to hang out with little kids and talk to them than people my age. I can't relate to most adults. I hate to drive, I hate the idea of a job, responsibilities. And to be honest, I still play with dolls sometimes. What's scary is that as I get older, my body will continue to age and people will expect more and more out of me and I'll fail to deliver.
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post #22 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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I believe you are all right in the case of me understand my situation however it means one thing to understand and another to accept it. I am going to try an the groupmeet. I think I miss talking to people that like the same things I do. Living in a house to doctors and accountants is not exactly my idea of fun nor does it make me feel very safe.

As for anything happening to me at age 10, yes. When I was in 6th grade I got bullied very very badly. Two girls spit on me and hit me. They were just playing around but it shook me up pretty bad. Then when they got punished by the school everyone in my class shunned me and called me a tattle tail. For the whole year no one spoke or even would sit by me. It really did a number on my head. After that I did not trust anyone. I ended up staying at that school for 13 years K-12 and those years I think are years I am trying very hard to get back.
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post #23 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:33 AM
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Hakuna matata... what a wonderful phrase

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post #24 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 11:05 AM
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Exactly, if I knew what I knew now I would not be in this situation. Thats why I'm cutting off everything that would continue holding me back. No more video games, tv shows or movies unless in a social setting.
I don't think you necessarily need to give up the things that you love in order to make that transition into adulthood. Heck, I have my G1 (not my full liscence, but my dad is the one whose teaching me how to drive). I hit the gym and I'm currently trying to look for Volunteer work, but I still enjoy watching cartoons and anime.

Anywhoo, I can completely relate with all of these posts:

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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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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?
But especially this:

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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.

... I can completely understand and sympathize with. I'm 23 (turning 24 in May), but mentally and emotionally I still feel like a little kid. I suppose it could be because I didn't get many necessary experiences when I was a teenager, which is exactly what you need to become an adult. My colleagues all have jobs, live on their own, have boyfriends, can drive, etc. except for me. It's extremely embarrassing, but at the same time, it's hard for me to give up the 'childish' things that I love; toys, cartoons, anime/manga, etc. I feel like even if I become an adult, a part of me is still going to love doing those things.

I'm not necessarily scared to make the transition into adulthood, but whenever I try to, like you, I also find the change extremely scary and overwhelming and I revert back to how I was before. Then it repeats: embarrassment -> getting sick and tired of it -> trying to change -> feeling overwhelmed & stopping. It's a vicious cycle, but I'm trying to beat it this year.

The good thing is that like me, you're aware of your shortcomings and you acknowledge that its bad. I think the key is to do one thing a day or every other day to get to that point. It's something that my therapist suggested and tbh, it makes sense. Don't push yourself too hard and don't make unrealistic goals or expectations for yourself, otherwise it'll lead to more disappointments, low self-esteem issues and more feelings of failure and inferiority. It all starts with doing ONE THING a day. Even if its simple or its not much, at least it's a start. Change doesn't happen overnight, especially for somebody who has SA; it takes months or even years.

I find that keeping a journal helps too. And by a journal I don't mean livejournal, or a blog or anything like that: I mean like a private diary you can write about your personal feelings and achievements in. I tried the whole online journal thing, but it didn't work because certain people were reading it too and it restricted me from wanting to write about how I truly felt. A diary gives you more freedom, and you can write about whatever you want. It helps you cope and overcome what you're going through.
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post #25 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:40 PM
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I'm similar. I'm 36, but I feel like I just got "stuck" around age eleven (the last time I was truly happy) and never moved on. I mean, I have more KNOWLEDGE and cynicism that I didn't have as a child, but that child's mentality, emotions, and childish pastimes/interests are still there.

For me, I think part of it was that when I was little, people really appreciated my imagination and creativity; I wrote stories and drew pictures and played with toy animals and made believe. And I was valued for that. Then I entered junior high...and stuff like that wasn't valued anymore. My peers all moved on to more adult things, but I didn't. My best friend, who had shared in my writing and creativity, moved away and lost interest in me. And I never made another friend like that. And nobody was interested in my stories or creations anymore. And...I just started withdrawing, and stayed stuck that way.

Also as someone mentioned earlier, there's the fact that I just haven't had any of those experiences most other adults have had by my age...if I were forced out into the world to live on my own, I'm pretty sure I'd die.

I also look somewhat younger than I am since I'm short and don't wear makeup and never focus on anything like fashion, though I probably just look more awkward than anything. When someone refers to me as a "woman" I feel ill at ease...I certainly don't feel like a woman.

I could go on, but I think you get the point by now. To this day, I spend most of my time in my head, thinking about my characters and imaginary worlds...doing the exact same stuff I did when I was a kid, just making believe mentally, and in writing, rather than in reality.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

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***

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post #26 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:45 PM
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I think this is my main reason for having SA. Me and my friends growing up were into the same things, like Nintendo, Ninja Turtles, Nicelodeon, etc... Then when teenage years came around they were doing different things like hanging out with girls, and I was still into Nintendo and all that. I just wasnt as interested. Now being in my 20's i feel like im always behind on what everyone else is doing.

I might have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.. don't try it suckA!
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post #27 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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We can do it. Are you in? Here are my goals for 2013. In order.

1. Get a license
2. Get a Job.
3. Get a Car
3. Move out
4. Get a partner
Yes I am completely in. I think this is a great idea. I have decided that January is my month to get my drivers licence.

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I'm not necessarily scared to make the transition into adulthood, but whenever I try to, like you, I also find the change extremely scary and overwhelming and I revert back to how I was before. Then it repeats: embarrassment -> getting sick and tired of it -> trying to change -> feeling overwhelmed & stopping. It's a vicious cycle, but I'm trying to beat it this year.

\
I think this is exactly how I feel. It really is a vicious cycle. So what do you say, you want to make a pact with me to try and beat this. I seriously feel so invigorated being here talking about this with people who completely understand how I feel. Many times I just suffered alone and felt like I was lost and one day I would wake up out of this dream like state and my life would start. Yet, I never really did what I needed to change things because of that cycle. You could not have said it any clearer.

tehuti88
are you sure you are not not. Everything you have just said is exactly like my life. When I was younger my parents, teachers, and peers were impressed by my art, my creativity, the stories I wrote but when I got older things changed. I never had friends so I would run up to my room and play neopets or play with my toy animals. I did not stop playing with my animals until I was 17 because of college and quitting the virtual pet site neopets is not something I see happening any time soon. You are seriously just like me!
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post #28 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 04:30 PM
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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.
When you say you come from a medical family do you mean a family of just phsycians or psychiatrists (I thought they couldn't treat their own family). I act pretty immature for my age too I'm 22 btw, and some people find my childishness annoying. I really can't help it if I like to have a good time. Sometimes I don't really feel like an adult because of my maturity level. I don't see anything wrong with you having fun. The fact that you say that you were bullied in college makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with those people? It's college to think people would grow out of being high school douche bags.
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post #29 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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My family does not treat me by any means but I come from a family of physicians and a mother who was a pharmacist, so they know all about the drugs. My father was bullied as a kid and both my parents came from nothing but moved up so they think they understand how I feel. Many times my father says, "You remind me of a female version of myself." The only problem is he did not have this issue. He had SA but once he got successful that all went away and now he is the big doctor who everyone loves.

College was hard my freshmen year. I went to a small private college much like my high school and the kids were not nice. They made fun of everything I did and when you live in a dorm room it is hard to watch anime or play neopets and stuff like that when you are sharing a room. Thus, my roomie would invite people to out room and when I was sitting watching anime she would snatch my headphones out of my computer and let everyone hear what I was listening too. My life was hell. It did not help that we were both bio majors at the time and fighting to keep our grades up. In the end my SA and stress level hit such a high note my Mom had to come and get my every weekend to keep my sane.
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post #30 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:06 PM
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My family does not treat me by any means but I come from a family of physicians and a mother who was a pharmacist, so they know all about the drugs. My father was bullied as a kid and both my parents came from nothing but moved up so they think they understand how I feel. Many times my father says, "You remind me of a female version of myself." The only problem is he did not have this issue. He had SA but once he got successful that all went away and now he is the big doctor who everyone loves.

College was hard my freshmen year. I went to a small private college much like my high school and the kids were not nice. They made fun of everything I did and when you live in a dorm room it is hard to watch anime or play neopets and stuff like that when you are sharing a room. Thus, my roomie would invite people to out room and when I was sitting watching anime she would snatch my headphones out of my computer and let everyone hear what I was listening too. My life was hell. It did not help that we were both bio majors at the time and fighting to keep our grades up. In the end my SA and stress level hit such a high note my Mom had to come and get my every weekend to keep my sane.
Aww I'm sorry that happpened to you darling. But hey people have to do things to keep themselves entertained. What's wrong with neopets? I play video games too so I can relate to the fact that people would judge just because of that. I too like to play video games and many gay guys see me as lame because they thing it's beneath them. Wow they're *******s. At least you weren't out getting drunk like an idiot.
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post #31 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:07 PM
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That might sound wrong the entertained part I meant you played neopets to keep yourself entertained.
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post #32 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously that is very true. I try to equate it too ignorance but it still is painful. Also really? Gay guys have an issue with you playing video games and think you are lame? I am sorry but I went to an art school and majored in animation, so I knew many gay guys who loved Disney and video games. I think you need to start looking for a different kind of guy who will understand that side of you.

I guess, I should take my own advice on that as well, but it is sort of hard to find a cutie who is funny and likes the same things as me. XD
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post #33 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:26 PM
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Firstly, sorry that this is really long. I'm forcing myself to share this, because I was going to avoid replying out of the usual fear of being judged.

I feel like this too. So many of these posts I can completely understand, and it echoes experiences from my own life. It's funny seeing a few people mentioning the same age... around 10 or 11... because that's age where life started to go wrong for me too. I first started to have panic attacks in my final year (age 10) before starting senior school, because I was going to have to leave all my friends behind to start school in a different town. And from then on, I had this deathly fear of adulthood looming closer and closer. I guess it was the fear of having to go through it all again, when I would need to leave that school for college. My second breakdown, that I've never really recovered from, happened at age 16, with the final exams coming up. It's like my life has been on hold since then.

At secondary school, I continued playing with toys too. I had a best friend, who was the same. We invented this code language to speak at school, so that we could discuss playing with toys without anybody understanding us! It sounds so ridiculous now, but we both felt like deviants and were petrified that other kids would find out, and that we'd be ridiculed.

But the thing is, my friend was just a bit delayed. Around 14-15, he made this conscious decision to leave me behind and join a "popular boys" social group. He completely changed his appearance, and started drinking and chasing girls. But I was still clinging on to childhood, so he totally discarded me at that point. I still don't drink alcohol, partly because it feels like this "adult" thing that I don't want to do. Anyway, I don't play with toys anymore, but I still collect them. My room is full of Transformers, but only the 1980s and early 90s characters from my childhood. I only collect stuff that fits into that era, because it's familiar and comforts me. I guess it makes me feel like I can control things, by creating a little bubble of the time period that made me happy. I have all the cartoons on DVD too, and I'll endlessly rewatch other TV shows and movies, or play old computer games, from when I was younger. It's like being stuck in a time warp, but I do it because I want to go back to that time.

Somebody else said he has model kits now, instead of toys, and I do that too. But I suppose actually collecting toys meant for kids is less socially acceptable, lol.

I can also relate to what some of you have said about being valued for your imagination when you were younger, but having to retreat into it alone as everyone else moved on. While I was having this mental breakdown at 15/16, and lost all contact with the outside world, I coped by sketching stories based on TV shows, like Star Trek. Spending hours and hours drawing my own starships, and writing their histories, detailing the crews, etc.

But in some ways, I feel different to what you guys have said. Because I've created this serious, "adult" version of me to hide behind. And when I say adult, it's more like my impersonation of the guy I feel expected to be. The real me has never grown up, and I just want to mess about and act like a child, or a teenager. But that person can only come out around my closest family members. Around anyone else, I totally stifle who I am for fear of being judged. But I can only pretend to be "adult" until I'm in a situation where my near-total lack of experience will become apparent. So I avoid situations that would reveal me as the inexperienced, frightened little kid that I am inside.

I do have a question though. Were any of you quite precocious children? I ask because I frequently got teased by other kids for supposedly "acting like a grown up", instead of being like a kid. I was very knowledgeable, and had an interest in things like politics and history from an early age. And I also had a keen sense of right and wrong. I rarely got into trouble at school, but when I did it was because I had no fear of authority, and I'd talk back to the teachers as if they were my equal. Obviously, I wasn't their equal, but I'd question them in front of everybody, without any malice or mischief intended. It's strange, because as an adult I feel the exact opposite to how others saw me as a child.
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post #34 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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But in some ways, I feel different to what you guys have said. Because I've created this serious, "adult" version of me to hide behind. And when I say adult, it's more like my impersonation of the guy I feel expected to be. The real me has never grown up, and I just want to mess about and act like a child, or a teenager. But that person can only come out around my closest family members. Around anyone else, I totally stifle who I am for fear of being judged. But I can only pretend to be "adult" until I'm in a situation where my near-total lack of experience will become apparent. So I avoid situations that would reveal me as the inexperienced, frightened little kid that I am inside.

I do have a question though. Were any of you quite precocious children? I ask because I frequently got teased by other kids for supposedly "acting like a grown up", instead of being like a kid. I was very knowledgeable, and had an interest in things like politics and history from an early age. And I also had a keen sense of right and wrong. I rarely got into trouble at school, but when I did it was because I had no fear of authority, and I'd talk back to the teachers as if they were my equal. Obviously, I wasn't their equal, but I'd question them in front of everybody, without any malice or mischief intended. It's strange, because as an adult I feel the exact opposite to how others saw me as a child.

I first want to thank you for writing this. It takes a lot to write something so personal, so thank you.

I have done the exact same thing. I have made an adult version of myself so no one will know who I really am. However, there are moments when it comes out and I mean really comes out. If someone says something about Disney or Anime my face lights up like a Christmas tree and I can't hold anything back. I just get so happy that they are talking about something I know something about and love.

Also, I too was very precocious and to this day have been seen as older then my years but that is only in thinking or actions. However, emotional I am a scared little ten year old. Also, I too try to stay away from bars and popular boys and what not since I know nothing about how that world works. Thus like your friend my little sis who is 22 use to love me and play with me all the time but now she is running in the fast lane and I am on pause. IT hurts and as much as I don't want to go out into the real big scary world my adult version says I must even though the kid one says stay home.
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post #35 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:39 PM
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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.
Sounds like I'm gonna feel right at home in this thread.
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post #36 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 05:58 PM
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tehuti88 are you sure you are not not. Everything you have just said is exactly like my life. When I was younger my parents, teachers, and peers were impressed by my art, my creativity, the stories I wrote but when I got older things changed. I never had friends so I would run up to my room and play neopets or play with my toy animals. I did not stop playing with my animals until I was 17 because of college and quitting the virtual pet site neopets is not something I see happening any time soon. You are seriously just like me!

To be honest, I would still be playing with toy animals, if I could find and afford some. I see those plastic tubes of little toy animals they sell and they're so cute!

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I do have a question though. Were any of you quite precocious children? I ask because I frequently got teased by other kids for supposedly "acting like a grown up", instead of being like a kid. I was very knowledgeable, and had an interest in things like politics and history from an early age. And I also had a keen sense of right and wrong. I rarely got into trouble at school, but when I did it was because I had no fear of authority, and I'd talk back to the teachers as if they were my equal. Obviously, I wasn't their equal, but I'd question them in front of everybody, without any malice or mischief intended. It's strange, because as an adult I feel the exact opposite to how others saw me as a child.
I don't know if I would've considered myself "precocious," but I was always a goody-two-shoes who tried hard not to get in trouble, and to obey rules and authority (so I didn't speak to teachers like an equal, but I believed in following rules), and my interests have always been rather arcane and different from what most people my age are/were into. (Other eleven-year-old girls were pretending to be horses...I was pretending I was someone out of Egyptian mythology. )

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

(Devetko's boyfriend Stan Brooks & Det. Reichert are horsing around.)

Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

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post #37 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:02 PM
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I understand where you're coming from. Even though I'm a freshman in college, it still feels like I'm not ready to be on my own so soon. Everyone tells me that I'm really mature for my age, but I don't feel like that. It feels like I missed out on a lot during high school (due to both SA and my obsession with grades), and I'm not ready to move on. I want to feel confident in myself and feel ready to take the next step in my life, but it just doesn't feel like that for me right now.
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post #38 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:07 PM
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Seriously that is very true. I try to equate it too ignorance but it still is painful. Also really? Gay guys have an issue with you playing video games and think you are lame? I am sorry but I went to an art school and majored in animation, so I knew many gay guys who loved Disney and video games. I think you need to start looking for a different kind of guy who will understand that side of you.

I guess, I should take my own advice on that as well, but it is sort of hard to find a cutie who is funny and likes the same things as me. XD
Yeah this guy I was talking to asked me what I do for fun and I replied that I go out when I can but mostly play with my ps3 for entertainment. So he replied " so you basically sit on your *** the whole time doing nothing". Just because I play video games doesn't make anyone better than me and for that matter I don't have to go out and get drunk and sleep with random people to have fun. It's hard especially here in LA where most people are stuck up and full of it. I wouldn't think you were weird if you play neopets. One of my friends she is 22 like me used to go on gaia which is like a little anime game where she went to chat and stuff ( she was 21) at the time, and I didn't think it was stupid.
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post #39 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:10 PM
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If I was a straight guy I think I would rather be with a girl who acts immature with a sense of humor than with someone with a stick up their ***. And by the looks of it you're a really smart woman.
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post #40 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 06:13 PM
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I first want to thank you for writing this. It takes a lot to write something so personal, so thank you.

I have done the exact same thing. I have made an adult version of myself so no one will know who I really am. However, there are moments when it comes out and I mean really comes out. If someone says something about Disney or Anime my face lights up like a Christmas tree and I can't hold anything back. I just get so happy that they are talking about something I know something about and love.

Also, I too was very precocious and to this day have been seen as older then my years but that is only in thinking or actions. However, emotional I am a scared little ten year old. Also, I too try to stay away from bars and popular boys and what not since I know nothing about how that world works. Thus like your friend my little sis who is 22 use to love me and play with me all the time but now she is running in the fast lane and I am on pause. IT hurts and as much as I don't want to go out into the real big scary world my adult version says I must even though the kid one says stay home.
Thanks

Yes I know what you mean about not being able to keep your enthusiasm for something inside. When people talk about, or ask me about something I'm really interested in, I can't keep it in either. And I try to, because I worry so much about seeming like I have nerdy, obsessive interests (which I do.) But that shouldn't be a bad thing. Adults ought to be allowed to retain the same interests they had as a kid. It's not hurting anybody, is it? Not that I want to make it feel like it's OK to run away from adult responsibilities. I know I need to make more changes to my life too, but we ought to be able to do one without losing the other, I think.
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