I'm 25 but I still feel like I'm stuck being my former 14/15 weak self

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lara 3 months, 1 week ago.

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    It’s been a decade since but I still feel like, after a decade, nothing really changed about me and my situation. I mean, I’m still the fearful, paranoid, avoidant teenager but even more worse than ever.

    If I’m gonna go back to my childhood, I’d say I never really had any physical abuse but I guess I could say that I felt abandoned and unloved. I didn’t receive much care or attention as a kid. Being introverted at early age, I guess that’s one of the main reasons they don’t find me fun to play with. I don’t react to things like a normal kid would or fun enough to be played with by adults. I was just awkwardly “there” so I guess they don’t know how to respond to that and just left me alone. Yes, I did enjoy those quiet times and the solitude, but I never really outgrew it. I guess it just worse as years go by. I grew up with no friends and no kids to play with. I don’t really remember anything that I spent a childhood with someone. I was closed so off and never felt human connection and warmth.

    I grew basically never talking to my parents or anyone. I always just played video games and they were basically the ones who raised me. I have fond memories with video games and wished I could just play video games forever. I’d never felt a sense of belonging and enjoyment before and I found it on video games. It became a huge part of my life. But then again, this attachment is also the reason why I can’t move on with life. I still feel isolated to people. I tried what I can do with my parents or friends I made in college, but still nothing.

    I try to understand that my parents aren’t really the paternal people who gives hugs and kisses to their children. They are just more concerned with my studies and future so I can’t really blame them and ask them for emotional support I want to have from them. They give me reality checks and life preaching on how to do things right and survive life, but I just have trouble listening to them. I just wish sometimes they stop being logical for a second and actually listen to me, but then again I just feel like I’m asking too much. I’ve been told I’m just whiny, weak, lazy, have attitude problem, have ego/pride problem, just making excuses, i have to grow up and so on. I mean, it’s always a competition who always have it worse for some reason. I don’t have it worse so I have no right to feel this way. I mean is it really that bad to find people who will atleast try to understand me or my situation? I guess for them its just for attention and finding people who will try to listen is too much to ask, I guess.

    Anyways, I hope everyone is having a not a bad day. There are lots of us here and I wish happiness for everybody.

    Sorry for the ramble. I lost what I want to say.

    I’m currently still struggling finishing my degree. I still don’t feel well physically and mentally for the last 8 years.



    Dear monica:

    Before you became “introverted at early age”, before you were “just awkwardly ‘there'”, you reached out to your parents with love,  again and again. All young children do. But they didn’t respond to you and so, they rejected your efforts to connect, to love-and-be-loved.

    We forget our early  efforts to reach out and  forgetting, we think we were born that way,  “just awkwardly there”.

    You wrote  about your parents: “I just wish sometimes they stop being logical for a  second and actually listen to me”- as if listening to one’s child is illogical.

    To get un-stuck, it will not happen by reaching  out to your parents once  again. It will be about reaching out to someone who will respond to you empathetically, someone who will actually listen to you.

    But you adjusted well to not being  listened to,  to not being  attended to by being just awkwardly there, by being introverted, not responsive, not inviting people to reach out to you, maybe missing opportunities, not responding to others who do reach out to you.

    What do you think?

    Here on your thread, I invite you to type your thoughts and  feelings. I will listen.


    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  anita.


    Hi monica

    Sorry your having a rough time of it lately. I think is pretty normal to see oneself from a younger perspective. For the longest time I saw myself though the eyes of my 18-year-old self especially when I when home for a visit and I would ask myself the same questions your asking. Perhaps because I was 18 when I left home.

    Jung taught that one of the tasks of becoming or individuation was to come to terms with the mother/father complex. This tends to come up at the age you are regardless of the type of parents we have.

    Basically, what I think this means is that as we enter adulthood we need to become our own mother and father – connect to the mother/father archetypes – allow that “energy” to resonate within ourselves vice outwardly… However you want to put it the task requires that we learn to nurture, discipline and protect ourselves.  One of the steps of this process is to get to a place where you can see your parents as individuals and not only mother and father. Individuals with hopes and dreams of there own as well as other imperfections.

    A great book by Cheryl Strayed called the Wild is example of a young woman going through the process after her mother dies to soon. In this case her mother was “to good” and Cherly was dependent on her to nurture her. Without her mother and no father in the picture she was at a loss as to how to nurture and be disciplined. At the end of her hero journey, a walk in the wild, she see her mother as she was and in that way developed a more healthy relationship to the archetype mother and better able to take care of her self



    Dear monica,

    I used to play Online-RPGs as well when I was young or hide in books. For a while an online game was the only place where I had friends and felt valued, and even though all that lvling did waist a lot of my time it was still better than sitting in my room beeing fully isolated. I am not sure if you play interactive online games or PC games without other people, but for either I can understand the appeal.

    “I’ve been told I’m just whiny, weak, lazy, have attitude problem, have ego/pride problem, just making excuses, i have to grow up and so on.”

    Those are pretty harsh words. I remember hearing similar things and feeling worthless, like I would never find a job (and how could I, sitting in my room playing MMRPGs?) or connect with real people. How did it make you feel?

    I have more thoughts on this but for today I am running out of time. If you don’t mind I would like to ask what your current situation is. Are you studying?  Working? Living with your parents or on your own? How do you interact with others nowadays? If you don’t want to answer some or all of these questions, I understand.



    Hello everyone, sorry for the late reply

    Thanks for sharing your perspectives. Thanks for taking your time to read and respond. I appreciate it. This is gonna be a lengthy one so I apologise in advanced

    To anita: Well I dont remember much doing anything to connect with them as a child. More like just staring at everything interaction they do. I questioned and wondered about things like wondering why they seem happy but the second I didnt respond they feel disappointed and remained silent and distant for the most part. But I did reached out to them but in a rebellious way when I became 12 years old. I gave them an earful of things when they started to teach me things I’m not interested in. Esp with playing with other kids or things I feel like Im gonna hate doing. They were proud that I was smart to be on top class but I never paid attention close attention to it esp when I reached highschool. I just submerged myself to things that made me happy. They want me to successful because of this and had their hopes up. I guess I dissappointed them numerous times after that.

    I was exploring and learning things and the world around me on my own (in which may include negative experiences they didnt know about). Like going around the house and rummaging through stuffs, I guess like a normal curious kid would. They gave me toys but never really played with them. But when I discovered how to operate a pc and console, I was hooked since then. I found a comfortable way to entertain myself all the while knowing about things Im interested in.

    When I reached college, this is where I started to spiral down. I didnt worry about thing in highschool being not top of the class and just minding my own solitude. But after graudatig highschool, I feared for my future since I didnt really know what to do. I went for Computer related course but then again Im not really that good at it. My bubble also burst when I graduated highschool since I never interacted with anybody and got really used to it, so I dont know what to do with new people around me. I have no idea how to blend in for a long time and I always felt like a sore thumb. I felt confused and paranoid of my surrounding so I was always on fight or flight mode where I run to my perfect bubble all the time. But when I reached college, it burst for some reason. I couldnt keep up with people in college. I still do run in my bubble but added with responsibilities thinking about the future and the decisions I make greatly impacts it. Life and people tell me I need to grow up now and do things adult do to survive. But I keep refusing and continuing to do things that I was comfortable with for years. I refuse gaining social skills on how exhausting they are to do. My parents still preach to me to do things the right way to make get out of my bubble/comfort zone.

    Ive wanted to go get myself checked out to psychologist/psychiatrist to see if there’s ever anything wrong with me or not. But my parents refused and dont believe in it. They always compare and feel Im just a normal person like them and theres nothing to be fixed. They think they can fix me on their own methods. I feel stuck and helpless from their methodings and I feel like whenever I reach out to someone they always the same thing. Or I just cant feel the empathy towards me since I always rationalize what people say vs what I really feel. I feel always wrong and everyone is always right about me. I feel devestated everytime they argue back things to me when I share my feelings. Always giving quick fix to solve what I feel. Go get exercise, stop being lazy, do some cleaning, stop thinking, you’re already an adult stop making excuses, theres nothing wrong with you just go to sleep, everyone gas problems so stop feeling special, be productive, its all in your head, just move your body, stop doing unproductive hobbies (listening to music, watching movies/shows/youtube, playing video games, reading comics) and so on. I mean theyre not really wrong so I couldnt do anything about it. This is the “reality” as they always say. “No one cares about anyone and learn to be independent”.

    I dont know if this is considered reaching out since I normally just read posts that have similar situation as I am around forums like this. I dont know what it feels like when someone do reaches out. I dont know someone’s empathy supposed to feel like. I feel so closed off even tho I do share these things.


    To Peter: I see. Seems a bit struggle for me to understand and I feel Im being choked by the way my parents teach me things even though maybe for them and other perspective theyre not doing such a thing to hold me in the neck. As they just teach me lessons and guidlines to life. But I take them as some kind of horrific world even if theyre reality of life. They heavily simulated the world outside and I cant really find any freedom in it. That they want me to follow these list of rules on how to properly live and securely. Even though I want to be free and experience the world myself, they already gave me the horrors of life and how hard it is to live life that I became fearful of ever leaving even though I feel like a prisoner that wants to be free.


    To Lara: I dont play online games and only played single player games mostly on console. I avoid making friends and just enjoyed myself in this isolated room where I play games I love and do things I enjoy without anyone interrupting me or physically there to disturb me. I never had any that I consider friends even tho I made some in college, weirdly enough. They consider me a friend but I dont feel anything towards them and I feel bad about it. Ive been considered special to some but I dont feel the same back as to why I feel I never really had any friends, in my pov.

    The things they say do hurts and feels awful to be misunderstood that way. But then again, I take their words as “universal truth” and “reality”. So I find them scary and retreat to my own world. Connecting with people is something that do makes me question my own sanity sometimes. I feel like theres something wrong with me but I felt like its gonna be impossible for me to find a human being to connect with. I dont even know what connecting to people means.

    Im still in my senior year of college. I graduate highschool at 16. On and off college for the last 8 years. Im still living with them since they think I cant even manage to get myself together so I believe them and Im still with them. Im not interacting with anybody except with my parents who profusely nags on me being unproductive and avoiding responsibilities.

    I cant finish my course properly also because I hate doing the mandatory minor subjects. Since in my country, youre not really allowed to choose which minor you want to take and forced to take whats listed instead. I really feel physically ill and I have migraines since entering college. I cant even imagine myself working at this rate. 25 is already old for people and should be somewhat established by now. I feel pressured but then again, if I want to continue college or do have work, I want it to be something related to my own leisure times and I enjoy it. But the world I was shown isnt like that ofcourse and everyone gets crap. Atleast from the words of mouths Ive seen and heard from other people.


    Again sorry for the lengthy post. I think Im all over the place. I cant really express myself concisely enough. I feel like a heavy baggage of nonsense

    Thank you again for the time and hope you guys have a good day now



    Dear monica:

    I will try my best, based  on my life experience and learning, to undo that baggage  of nonsense for you  (“I feel like a heavy baggage of nonsense”):

    As a young child you wanted to make your parents happy (“I questioned and wondered about things like wondering why they seem happy”), but whatever you tried, you failed to make them happy to have you in their life (“they.. remained silent and distant for the  most part”).

    Your parents preached to you, and they still do; they didn’t interact with you and they still don’t  interact with you (“My parents still preach to me”).

    You don’t remember now how life was when you were a young child. You don’t remember trying to reach out to your parents, trying to make them happy to have you in their lives, but you did try,  all young children do.

    You don’t know how empathy feels like because your parents didn’t, and still don’t, express empathy for you (“I don’t  know  someone’s empathy supposed  to feel like”). You don’t know what connecting to people means because you tried as a young child to connect with your parents  but they didn’t connect  with you, they rejected  your efforts, so you closed  off (“I don’t even know what connecting to  people  means…I feel so closed off even tho I do share these things”).

    You think that there is something wrong with you (“I feel like there’s something wrong with me”) but it  isn’t that you were born defective or inadequate. What is wrong with you is that you don’t have the experience of being  the receiving end of empathy by your parents, you don’t have the experience of your parents interacting with you. Instead of interacting with you, what they did and still do is preach to you, criticize you, interrupt  and disturb you.

    The reason you find refuge in single player games is that no one interrupts you or disturbs you, and this is all your parents do for you: interrupt you, being physically there to disturb you (“I play games I love and do things I enjoy without anyone interrupting me or physically there  to  disturb me”).

    What you clearly need is the connection you never had. No child can grow up healthy without that connection, but it  is not too late. This connection you need, the interacting, the empathy, you cannot experience that with your parents, but with someone else, a competent, empathetic therapist will be one such person and place.

    It will be difficult but it is very  possible for you, I believe.





    Dear monica,

    how are you doing these days? Sorry, things got rather busy and I had some problems and didn’t get back to you though I meant to.

    You wrote “25 is already old for people and should be somewhat established by now.” Oh yes, I know that feeling. I once said that to my therapist, she said: “Well if you feel like everyone is racing past you, feel free to take a moment to cheerfully wave them goodbye while you walk at your own pace”. Most people don’t know what they are doing, and some will run into a dead end and have to try again (which is okay too). You just start from where you are and take steady steps forward.

    ” But the world I was shown isnt like that ofcourse and everyone gets crap. Atleast from the words of mouths Ive seen and heard from other people.” Yes, that doesn’t sound like a world I would want to cheerfully step into, either. Quite frightening. But is it true? For some jobs, absolutely. But I don’t believe for all jobs. And also not for every human interaction. In my opinion one key is to have small, achivable goals to check out the world. E.g. small talk with someone you meet (that might actually be a big goal though). Just saying “Hello, how are you?” and test that with different people.


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