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I never thought I'd reach the age I am now


So, after a childhood full of trauma, I've always struggled with the sense of a "foreshortened future".

I never thought I'd make it to 30, 40 or beyond.

I'm currently trying to recover from a trauma that occured at age 40 and am now 47 and I struggle to see any kind of future at all, much less one that seems even semi-appealing.

I went into peri-menopause 3 years ago, which has definitely also contributed to "feeling old".

I've got absolutely no concept/ vision/ idea of how to live my life beyond 40 or 50, which is coming up soon.

I feel like my whole life was about "overcoming childhood trauma" and I feel like I fulfilled most of the plans that I had, in one way or another.

I keep feeling like I will die "soon" because I am "old" now.

I don't know if this is some kind of childish thinking/ trauma brain from childhood, where everyone over the age of 30 seems ancient.

Logically I'm aware that 47 is not considered "old" and many people have pointed this out to me but it does not budge my conviction even an inch.

My brain is convinced I am "old" (in the sense of "life is over now") and that I will die "soon".

It feels like it is pointless making plans, because I won't live long enough to realise them anyway.

I feel like I should be getting rid of my belongings and getting my affairs into order, writing my will and preparing for sickness, infirmity and my funeral.

I can't get this feeling to budge at all.

I think possibly, it might be due to total overwhelm because of the more recent trauma... Everything feels so uncertain and so unsafe... It feels like my brain has latched onto something safe and secure - the sense that I will die soon and then it will all be over and that will feel like a relief.

It feels like my brain doesn't *want* to open up to the idea of new possibilities, new options and hence including new uncertainties and new risks.
It feels like my brain doesn't *want* to open up to the idea of new possibilities, new options and hence including new uncertainties and new risks.
This sounds very familiar. I lost my parents very young, and I never expected to live longer than them. Now I have surpassed one and closing on the other’s age.

I’ve been very depressed after a new trauma at 39 and at one point, I wrote funeral instructions and ordered a special cloth for my coffin because it’s part of my religion and I don’t think my family members know about the custom. I felt I wasn’t suicidal, just simply preparing for my future. Because I could not see any other future, I was stuck in trauma time. My doc said it was suicidal ideation, and I agree.

Now two years later I’m still very depressed, but I think I’ll live long and it’s somehow worse. My gran lived until 99, and the thought of 50 years of this bleakness is horrible. In theory, I know I could do so many things in fifty years, but in my mind, all doors are closed.

I think it’s combination of depression and having no working model, no example on how to grow old.
I think it’s combination of depression and having no working model, no example on how to grow old.
Yes, this resonates a lot. The working models that are available are utterly unappealing.

Also, I was thinking earlier how my internal age and my biological age have never aligned.

During childhood trauma, I was a little mini adult... Then later, during trauma therapy, experienced my younger self... Then in 20s, 30s, felt more like a teenager... Now as I'm nearing 50 I feel like I'm feeling younger inside again... Like I'm 10 years old, or something like that... An age where time feels different and where I'm more in the here and now and the future is a puzzling thing. I'm wondering if I can get comfortable with that - that my internal age is what matters - how I feel - and my biological age is wholly and utterly irrelevant and just a random number on a piece of paper - whether that'll feel lighter and better...?
i'm squirming uncomfortably in empathy. i'm even kinda mad at the anti-smokers that cigarettes didn't save me from old age. that promised, didn't they?

the boredom of waiting round to die was more than i could handle, even with smoking to keep me busy, so i opened myself to new possibilities for the sake of alleviating the boredom, but the real game-changer came with the inheritance of 3 orphans at the age of 65. grab me by the heartstrings, why doncha? i'll be 84 when the baby graduates from high school. suddenly i feel motivated to get there. i kinda wanna dance at her post-doctoral wedding, too. i still don't quite believe the anti-smokers, though. they've already lied to me. ah well. . . insert mark twain here. "there are three kinds of lies in the world: lies, damned lies and statistics."
David Bowie said about older age..."it's a fascinating process by which you eventually turn into the person you were always meant to be..." -or something like that...

I'm in my late 40s and I lost 2 decades completely. Never imagined or thought I'd get old. But apart from the odd stress/panic attack I'm actually, finally feeling good and enjoying myself at last.
I can’t remember WHY I decided I’d be dead by 23. I do remember deciding it. When I was 17 or 18. As that gave me a good 5+ years of life to live, and every day after would be “bonus”.

I felt ancient by the time I was 2o.

DGAF about age by 25. I was already solidly in bonus territory.

I’m 40 something, now.

It’s a bit of a trip.
I’ve struggled/continue to struggle with this a lot. I’m turning 30 in April and I know that’s still young but f*ck does it feel surreal.

I decided when I was very little that I wanted to maybe make it to 17 because that’s the legal driving age in the UK and I love love looove cars. So to die before driving one would suck. Once I did that, well, legally an adult is only a year away. Cool.

I remember being about 10/11 years old thinking that 17, even 18 seemed possible. Unlikely still in my child brain, but possible. So I made a promise to myself that I would only live for as long as my Nan was alive. Made sense at the time because I was living with her 5/7 nights and without her I’d be back home so therefore dead. And thinking that if I’d made it to adulthood and she was still here; once she went I’d have no reason to stick around anyway.

She died in 2017.

And now…well, short of absolute disaster, I’m likely to make it until April! Beyond that though seems very fuzzy and weird. Realistically, as my partner is quite a bit older than me, living as long as she does is my new target. I guess we will see.
I think it's called "a sense of a foreshortened future".
Yep, yep!

I haaaaaated when they removed it from the DSMV, simply classing it as one of many many many cognitive distortions… Even though I can see the logic in doing so. As people with PTSD have sooooooooo many cognitive distortions in play that just mentioning a couple is kind of silly, and that the depth & bredth of PTSD -as understood- takes up a 700p book? The shortest synopsis possible IS

D. Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
  1. Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia, and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
  2. Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).
  3. Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others.
  4. Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
  5. Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
  6. Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
  7. Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).