Do you ever feel like this? Like something dragging me down and not letting me grow.

hello everyone. I am new here. I am in my 30s and sometimes I feel like I am still a child. Not just metaphorically... but literally. I stopped driving because of my dissociation. I almost never put on makeup even though I am very good at it. I don’t dress any differently now than when I did in my 20s. I just feel like a total failure tbh. I feel like no matter what I do, I feel something dragging me down and not let me grow. Do you feel like this? Did anything help? Books? Podcasts? Anything? Thank you 🙏
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hiya @MkMtl , quite often I feel like I regress in my age, (feel alot younger than I am) and I've just been put on new anti-depressants and I feel quite insecure. Also I haven't drunk alcohol or smoked for 19 months. I spoke to a friend recently who is also an addict and he said at one point he felt like he had the mental age of a ten year old. Mental illness, (Depression and trauma) can definitely make you feel like your being held back.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
Oh yeah, I feel a lot like that especially in areas of life I didn't have the chance to behave like a kid. Younger I've always felt older than I am and now there are moments I feel like I regress and don't get to understand stuff of my age. I see friends getting into the jobs and housing and kids and family things and it all looks so alien to me, I'm getting in my 30ies and honest what looks like a desirable life now is to go out and take drugs. I didn't get to get chaotic. Now I'm not gonna do it unsafely but it's kind of a sadness I have I didn't enjoy myself at all for most of my youth.

So now, I do actual kids stuff. Playing in carousels, playing games, cracking silly jokes, running and jumping and giggling. Eating marshmallows lol.

I'm lucky I'm in a domain where it's possible (I'm studying video games development) and where that kind of playful behaviour is not only considered normal but positive. Before that I was in contemporary art (still am a little though) and the seriousness of it really ended up eroding me. There is a reality to the cliche of people dressed in black and birching about one another.

All this to say I think that feeling set back really has to do with the frustration of not having had the experiences that we would have wished to have, like we spent time in a parallel universe with no access to the main reality of most of people. Which in a sense is true. Dissociation made me spend countless hours watching walls and diving inside myself and missing things out. Trauma made me spend years in a tsunami of distress, sadness and confusion. No much space to just feel alright and exploratory. And feeling ashamed or frightened of happy experiences.

You don't have to wear make up or drive if you don't feel like, but if you do like make up and it's something that you miss, you might try it just alone in your bathroom and not to take the risk of being seen. And progressively feeling more okay with it and yourself. You also can find other things to do.

I had a stupidly long moment just considering to play Metal Gear Solid which for a lot of complicated reasons was emotionally bizarre. It was a game I really wished to have so much when I was a kid but couldn't. So now I could buy it 20 years later, it stayed there for like months with the console sitting in my room. I tried a few moments and while it was really cringe somehow, at a point I just let it go and could find the space of niceness and excitement I did wish to have before. And I was scared of going there perhaps because I was scared it wasn't gonna work. Ways of winding oneself up with small things innit? But honestly it's therapeutic.

And I'm happy to now enjoy myself like the kid I was before should have been and didn't get to be. As much as some people would find it "regressive" because really there is an element of childhood, I find myself much more comfortable with myself in accepting that and just pace up with that loss of time instead of telling myself it will never find compensation and repress it because it's cringe. I call those moments "let the kids out". It's sweet.
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
Yes this comes and goes for me at this point in processing my trauma.

about a year ago a common theme Id cry to my T was
I feel like a baby, and I have to relearn everything I ever knew or anything my brain did
not walking talking but mental health stuff

some days I regress in my trauma healing which has nothing to do with age feeling
I just am not as good as other days

thanks so much for your post it was nice to reflect
Mindfulness helped me the most

not as much mediation, as I pray
but meditating on the here and now

my hair is up
my pajamas are on
im not a kid
whats bothering me right now etc.



glad you are here, its a good place
 
Oh yeah, I feel a lot like that especially in areas of life I didn't have the chance to behave like a kid. Younger I've always felt older than I am and now there are moments I feel like I regress and don't get to understand stuff of my age. I see friends getting into the jobs and housing and kids and family things and it all looks so alien to me, I'm getting in my 30ies and honest what looks like a desirable life now is to go out and take drugs. I didn't get to get chaotic. Now I'm not gonna do it unsafely but it's kind of a sadness I have I didn't enjoy myself at all for most of my youth.

So now, I do actual kids stuff. Playing in carousels, playing games, cracking silly jokes, running and jumping and giggling. Eating marshmallows lol.

I'm lucky I'm in a domain where it's possible (I'm studying video games development) and where that kind of playful behaviour is not only considered normal but positive. Before that I was in contemporary art (still am a little though) and the seriousness of it really ended up eroding me. There is a reality to the cliche of people dressed in black and birching about one another.

All this to say I think that feeling set back really has to do with the frustration of not having had the experiences that we would have wished to have, like we spent time in a parallel universe with no access to the main reality of most of people. Which in a sense is true. Dissociation made me spend countless hours watching walls and diving inside myself and missing things out. Trauma made me spend years in a tsunami of distress, sadness and confusion. No much space to just feel alright and exploratory. And feeling ashamed or frightened of happy experiences.

You don't have to wear make up or drive if you don't feel like, but if you do like make up and it's something that you miss, you might try it just alone in your bathroom and not to take the risk of being seen. And progressively feeling more okay with it and yourself. You also can find other things to do.

I had a stupidly long moment just considering to play Metal Gear Solid which for a lot of complicated reasons was emotionally bizarre. It was a game I really wished to have so much when I was a kid but couldn't. So now I could buy it 20 years later, it stayed there for like months with the console sitting in my room. I tried a few moments and while it was really cringe somehow, at a point I just let it go and could find the space of niceness and excitement I did wish to have before. And I was scared of going there perhaps because I was scared it wasn't gonna work. Ways of winding oneself up with small things innit? But honestly it's therapeutic.

And I'm happy to now enjoy myself like the kid I was before should have been and didn't get to be. As much as some people would find it "regressive" because really there is an element of childhood, I find myself much more comfortable with myself in accepting that and just pace up with that loss of time instead of telling myself it will never find compensation and repress it because it's cringe. I call those moments "let the kids out". It's sweet.
Wow! Thank you! This is exactly how I feel. My friends talk about buying a house and I look at them with a blank stare. Like what? It just feels so strange to me. I wake up In the morning and look out my window and see SO much traffic around 6am — people going to work. I don’t know why but it gives me anxiety and it feels so unreal as though I don’t belong in this universe. And it’s a very real feeling not just a thought.

You are absolutely right.. the moment you said it.. it hit me! I have NEVER experienced things I enjoyed as a kid or a teenager. My father didn’t let us watch cartoons so now I play These fairy tales. Would you believe me if I told you that I watched Beauty and the Beast recently? And that I never watched Pocahontas. I haven’t watched 95% of all the movies my friends talk about. I don’t understand the lingo. I haven’t heard the music. I was into everything related to spirituality as a teenager and in my 20s. I look at those books now and it makes me so nauseaous. I hate them now.

Thank you for this ❤️
 

Bigmess

Learning
Wow! Thank you! This is exactly how I feel. My friends talk about buying a house and I look at them with a blank stare. Like what? It just feels so strange to me. I wake up In the morning and look out my window and see SO much traffic around 6am — people going to work. I don’t know why but it gives me anxiety and it feels so unreal as though I don’t belong in this universe. And it’s a very real feeling not just a thought.

You are absolutely right.. the moment you said it.. it hit me! I have NEVER experienced things I enjoyed as a kid or a teenager. My father didn’t let us watch cartoons so now I play These fairy tales. Would you believe me if I told you that I watched Beauty and the Beast recently? And that I never watched Pocahontas. I haven’t watched 95% of all the movies my friends talk about. I don’t understand the lingo. I haven’t heard the music. I was into everything related to spirituality as a teenager and in my 20s. I look at those books now and it makes me so nauseaous. I hate them now.

Thank you for this ❤️

I'm also an age regress-er, it feels like I have 2 people in my body. One does the hard, ruthless work of driving my life and I'm just a child still. I also never had a childhood, I have a handful of good memories but they're very scattered about. I was not allowed to do much of anything, to experience the world I often had to sneak out to just go for walks and do thing independently. When I would other kids and teenagers having fun and being free I would get confused. I grew up with the delusion that all parents actually wanted to hurt their children, it was the kids job to survive living with them, and those kids that were more free were just the most ruthless fighters while I was just weak/scared. The world more appeared to be a hyper aggressive blood sport than anything else and it wasn't until I actually started getting more independent that I realized none of these people experienced anything of the sort abuse wise and everything was to my relief in a way actually much less nightmarish in reality. Growing up like that gives you some funky beliefs alright.
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
Same here!! I’m also in my 30’s. Especially as I’m processing my trauma with EMDR…I’ve felt like an angsty teenager for the last few months as I’ve been focused on trauma that happened as a teen in therapy…feels like my adult parts are far away. It’s definitely impacted my ability to engage in my adult responsibilities. I have repressed a lot emotions when the traumas happened and I’m finally able to experience those feelings that I didn’t feel at the time. I was also always told when I was young that I had an “old soul.” Are you in therapy? I’m hoping the more I process through my trauma the more whole I feel.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
Wow! Thank you! This is exactly how I feel. My friends talk about buying a house and I look at them with a blank stare. Like what? It just feels so strange to me. I wake up In the morning and look out my window and see SO much traffic around 6am — people going to work. I don’t know why but it gives me anxiety and it feels so unreal as though I don’t belong in this universe. And it’s a very real feeling not just a thought.

You are absolutely right.. the moment you said it.. it hit me! I have NEVER experienced things I enjoyed as a kid or a teenager. My father didn’t let us watch cartoons so now I play These fairy tales. Would you believe me if I told you that I watched Beauty and the Beast recently? And that I never watched Pocahontas. I haven’t watched 95% of all the movies my friends talk about. I don’t understand the lingo. I haven’t heard the music. I was into everything related to spirituality as a teenager and in my 20s. I look at those books now and it makes me so nauseaous. I hate them now.

Thank you for this ❤️
Oh yeah I feel ya. My parents also had opinions about what was correct to see and what wasn't, plus I had to move between continents several times, so I don't have a corpus of culture coherent with people of my age. It took very long to pace up and get a better idea of what is what and what it does mean for others. I guess I also landed in contemporary art because I am quite an outsider.

Now I came to terms with this and it's okay not to be in the norm. I have other things to bring to people. Kid/teenager part of me still is scared but also remarkably preserved. It's strange sometimes. But I feel way more coherent and happier since I just accepted it and found the things I did want to do for myself instead of fighting against it.
 
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