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I'm A Little Bit Afraid

By catdog55616 · May 12, 2019 · ·
  1. It's nothing new to me that I feel "behind" my peers. Socially, emotionally, interest wise. Instead of a regular high schooler (9th-12th, about 14/15-17/18 years old for those who don't know), I feel like I'm 12 or something! I'm 16 though, and I'm afraid of what the future holds.

    Everyone seems to have some semblance of a plan for after high school, but I don't. Everyone's either employed or looking for a job, and I'm not.

    Everyone seems to know their sexuality and their interests and passions but I don't! I'm confused all the time, and I hate how it feels like everyone knows something I don't, and it's like I'm being left behind.

    Is this an ASD thing? Or is this something everyone goes through?


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  1. inkfingers
    Hey, there! I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm 19, but I feel like a 13 or 14 year old. I've always been emotionally and socially immature compared to my peers, and that hasn't changed over the years. The feeling like everyone else is in on something, but you don't know what, is normal (for me at least). I often feel like all the NTs are in a secret club that no one told me about, and I don't know how to get invited. For that reason, I feel left out most of the time.

    As for knowing your sexuality, interests, and passions, that will become apparent over time. Don't expect to have everything figured out at your age. And interests can shift and change as you get older. Enjoy the interests you have now, and realize that no one can fully understand themselves.

    Planning ahead for after high school is a good idea. You don't need to make super detailed plans, but for now, try to have a rough idea of what you want to do. Do you want to jump straight into college? Or work a part-time job while getting a college degree? Or just go straight into the work force? Or take a year off to decide what you want to do?

    Overall, "finding" oneself seems to be something everyone goes through. For people with ASD who are socially behind their peers, it might be harder because we are tempted to compare ourselves to others. Try not to compare yourself to your peers, and understand that everyone has unique needs and strengths. Work on improving yourself to be the best version of YOU, not trying to be someone else, or trying to fit into society's standards.

    I hope you feel a little less confused in the future.
    1. Michelle Espinosa
      Maybe we are the secret club and NT social codes are not conducive to authentic human interaction based on compassion. NTs have always seemed to me to revel in fakery.
      catdog55616 likes this.
  2. shysnail
    I couldn't say if it's an ASD thing, since I've been through similar but I also have ASD. But yeah, 16 is so young. You have a lot of time ahead of you to figure stuff out. If you feel like a 12 year old, great! There is literally nothing wrong with not having stuff figured out. It's not stuff you can force. It comes to you.

    Also, don't assume other people have stuff figured out. They may have decided things like their sexuality/interests/career, but those things are so liable to change, it's not exactly more valuable than having no clue.
      catdog55616 likes this.
  3. Michelle Espinosa
    Oh my god, I cannot believe a 16-year-old has to worry about those things! No, you don't have to and yes it's very challenging to navigate the pressure to fit in when 16 (and more), but please please please give yourself a break. If those others want to stress about that stuff, let them.
      catdog55616 likes this.