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Feeling younger than I actually am

C99C99 LondonPosts: 20 Boards Initiate
Does anyone feel  younger than their actual age. For the past two years, I have been a NEET (initially by choice) and have spent 95% of that time indoors playing video games and browsing the internet. Due to Autism and anxiety (general and social), I have missed out on many experiences that a lot of young people have had such as: having a job, having friendships, going to house parties (not relatives), learning how to drive, having crazy bus journeys with friends, being in a relationship, etc. 

I am totally aware of the fact that these things can still happen (I am indifferent to some of the stuff that I have listed), yet there are times where I feel insecure about this. I feel that missing out on these experiences has "stalled" my mental and emotional development. People younger than me are more experienced in particular aspects of life and that unsettles me. I turned 21 less than 2 months ago, yet I still feel as if I am 16. I hate feeling like this, I f***ing hate it. :/

Just needed to vent
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Comments

  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Crazy Rat Lady 🐀 Posts: 566 Incredible Poster
    Hey, due to some of my childhood experiences and experiencing trauma, I believe it has made me feel younger than I am. 

    I am 20 and feel about 14/15/16 most of the time. That's the kind of time I was going through different difficulties but not the traumas of the previous years. 

    I really believe experiences can effect this and your mental health may be the reason for you feeling this way. 

    I think it's a normal way of handling situations and sometimes we just don't feel old enough to be doing certain things. I definitely don't feel old enough to be driving but I got my license earlier this year. 

    I'm not into drinking and getting drunk or partying. I think that's a mixture of my personality and experiences with bullying and household abuse/neglect. 

    Hopefully this makes sense and you don't feel too out of the ordinary. I really think it's a normal mental response for some people so don't feel too worried about it. I'm not sure how to get out of it but for people like us it might just be something we have to live with. 
    👁️👄👁️
    C99
  • C99C99 LondonPosts: 20 Boards Initiate
    Thanks for that. It totally makes sense, yet there are times where anxiety/low mood takes over. 
    Anch0r33
  • JamJarJamJar Posts: 223 Super Moderator
    Hey @C99
    Can completely relate to this struggle and I certainly know some people where I have been very surprised to find out they are younger than me. 

    You said in your post that some of the things you listed you're indifferent to. What are the experiences you are sad to have missed out on.. and do you think you can make up for lost times? :) It's never too late  B)
    Anch0r33
  • C99C99 LondonPosts: 20 Boards Initiate
    @JamJar
    I'm confident that I will be able to "make up" for lost time. Most of the time I am aware that it is never too late, but sometimes these feelings just consume me out of nowhere (especially if my mood is low)
    Anch0r33
  • JamJarJamJar Posts: 223 Super Moderator
    Hey @C99

    Yea it makes sense that those are feelings that can consume us when our mood is low or when we're tired. Even if we're aware that for the majority of the time we don't feel that way, when we're not feeling our best it's understandable to feel slightly insecure.

    I suppose we can just try and be kind to ourselves when we're not feel 100%, give ourselves some slack, and remind ourselves that what we're feeling/thinking is because our brains are tired. When our minds are tired they revert back to the mental pathways that have occurred more frequently in the past, so maybe we can just allow for that? Perhaps it makes it slightly easier to cope with :)

    Are there any things you know you want to do in the future? (in non-global pandemic times) <3

  • C99C99 LondonPosts: 20 Boards Initiate
    @JamJar sorry for the very late reply. I want to travel abroad
  • JamJarJamJar Posts: 223 Super Moderator
    Hey @C99 where do you want to travel? ✈️🏄‍♀️🏝️
  • C99C99 LondonPosts: 20 Boards Initiate
    not sure yet
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 316 Moderator
    Hey @C99

    I know your original post is over a month old but I wanted to reply and say that I feel the same. I'm 27, struggled with anxiety, depression and possibly undiagnosed autism and as a result, I've not done much (apart from university) that others my own age have done. While I am searching for my first job, people on social media are becoming homeowners, engaged, having children etc. It does feel unsettling when you feel younger than your age, but I think it's also important to remember that things happen in their own time, particularly when it comes to autism. It's also good to keep in mind that though you may feel younger due to not experiencing things that are common in your age group, it doesn't mean that you are 'behind' or not good enough. Many times things that may seem 'normal' are just social constructs- we feel we should be doing something because everyone else seems to be doing it, but the reality is that it's okay to be on your own path. Instead of comparing your life to others, just focus on taking small steps to achieve what you want to do in life and try to reassure yourself that you are doing okay (easier said than done, I know). <3
    C99
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