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Featured How do you grow up?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Qoyote, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Qoyote

    Qoyote Active Member

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    Not sure if this is the right section to post in, but here goes.

    I'm 17. For starters, I'm getting more into little kids' shows than I ever was as an actual little kid, and I'm talking shows I'd never even heard of until a few weeks ago, not nostalgic stuff. I'm also realizing I use my dog as a stuffed animal. I don't even think they're coping mechanisms, they just feel so natural. I know I'm not supposed to care what other people think, but I'm ashamed anyway. It makes me feel weak.

    I also honestly just have no willpower whatsoever. I complain, I put things off, I've even faked being sick a few times because an hour or two of homework a day stressed me out so much. Random internet comments leave me pissed for hours. It feels like there's a wall in my head and once I break through it I'll be a better person, but every time I try it's too painful and I give up.

    Did any of you go through what I'm talking about? What do you think I should do?
     
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  2. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    The story of my life.
    Imagine an adult that looks just like any other ordinary person in the crowd, but, inside the emotional
    maturity is like a six year old lost at the fair!
    Being drawn by the fun and wonder of everything you suddenly realize you've wondered away from your
    parents and can't find them. You never find them!
    And the crowd pays you no attention. As if you are invisible.
    An intense feeling of What do I do now?

    I never developed the usual desires of growing up.
    So how do you make yourself like artichokes when you don't?
    But, from now on you have to eat a diet of artichokes!
     
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  3. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Chaotic Neutral

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    Growing up is overrated.
     
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  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    don’t read a lot !tried that ,don’t look at a computer screen for a long time !tried that ,I’m 49 younger than @SusanLR still feel like a toddler and a certain amount of the time even feel younger than that ,don’t push bad feelings down ,stay !with them ,don’t !try to ignore them,did that, now I’m a basketcase, until my mother died my life was slightly better got a lot worse when she died, you haven’t been cursed with female hormones you won’t have to fight that,Keep talking to us ,if you don’t write down what you’re feeling ,if you can’t write draw pictures.
     
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  5. Darwin

    Darwin Active Member

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    In my opinion, people give up such behaviors when they realize that there are other things that matter more. If you felt that your life was in danger, you would prioritize solving the problem over watching a show or hugging your dog.
    I think that, regardless of the physical age, people behave like adults when they are under stress.

    But I can’t say that teenagers in your age are actually adults because most or all of them play video games or date for entertainment instead of what you do for entertainment. Autistics may appreciate things like stuffed animals or pets more than neurotypicals because many autistics are more sensitive to touch, for example, so it may feel better (or at least different) hugging a furry pet. You just chose that over what your peers entertain themselves with.

    It could be that; but you said that you had "no willpower whatsoever."
    I suppose, you are talking about homework and school.
    The reason why your brain prioritizes entertainment over homework is either that you don’t realize why you have to study or do homework( in other words, they are not rewarding enough for you,) or that, because autistics are more sensitive to sensory stimuli, you are kind of addicted to your dog or kids' shows in the same way that thousands or millions of teenagers worldwide get addicted to video games.
     
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  6. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Alright this topic is one I have alot of experience with. Like, alot.

    Ok, so, a bit of context here: I'm 37. But I'm DEFINITELY on the childish side. Even people I barely know or just met will always refer to me as a "kid". Not quite sure why, but they're not exactly missing the mark. Even my appearance isnt quite right, for someone my age (apparently). But there's a couple of photos I want to show here, just to make a point:

    stuffs1.jpg

    This is the top of my dresser. As you can probably guess, I'm a gamer, so it's all game related stuff. Aside from that starfish anyway, that's not from a game, it's just dead.

    stuffs2.jpg

    And that's my desk downstairs, currently set up for a solo playthrough of Spirit Island, a board game (many these days are playable solo, so that's what I do, I have alot of them). That big monolith with the freaky red light is my main PC, and the "VR zone" is behind me, that's what those tall things are for.


    You can probably spot a bit of a theme here. If you were to wander around my other "areas" of the house, they're much the same. You'd find lots of twisty puzzles, drones / quadcopters, and every conceivable Minecraft-related object you could think of. I'm also really into cosplay.... that's what the green and yellow thing in that drawer in the first photo is for.

    Yeah. I'm about as childish as it gets. I am fully aware of this. Heck, you should see how I am around my dog (or any dog, or any cat). Around him, I ignore everyone else, and get down on the floor with him, so I'm not towering over him. I'll often then make alot of very high-pitched noises, because for some reason he likes that (heck if I know why, dogs are strange). Would that look silly to most "adults"? Sure. Do I care whatsoever? Not remotely.

    And like you, I'm familiar with alot of "kids" stuff. Heck, freaking Pokemon, right on that dresser there. And if a show looks entertaining and whatever? I couldnt give less of a crap that said show is intended for 8-year olds. If I like it... I like it. It really is that simple. Also, yes, I've had alot of stuffed animals over the years, ever since I was little. It got to the point where I cant sleep unless I have my arm wrapped around something (which these days is this misshapen, smashed up pillow). As you have said, all of this stuff "feels natural".


    And here's the thing: There's nothing wrong with any of that. Yes, some parts of society will say otherwise. Those parts are bloody stupid.

    Alot of people out there spend so much time trying very hard to be something that, deep down, they really arent. And then later on, they end up wondering why they're so depressed and sad all the time.

    But I say... why bother? If you are a certain way, just go ahead and BE that way. You like childish stuff? Kid's shows, toys? Hey, great. That's super. Or maybe someone is the sort of person that lives and breathes football and screams when their favorite team scores? Hey, great. That's super too. Whatever.

    It's alot more important to be yourself, rather than to try to be what others tell you to be. PARTICULARLY for us on the spectrum here.

    And you know what, there's a certain way I've always looked at this. I always say "normal is boring, at least weird and strange are actually interesting", and that's my genuine outlook on stuff like this. Sure, I'm strange, I'm aware of that.... but holy heck am I glad I'm not "normal". How fantastically DULL that would be. I'm surrounded by "normal" adults. They could put a concussed chicken to sleep, they're so boring.

    But there's another aspect: I think you'll find... if you look around... there are alot more people like you than you think there are. And they might REALLY get into the stuff you're into. I mentioned things like board gaming and cosplay, right? For board gaming, I know people who are in their 50s or 60s who are REALLY into it, some of them purely playing solo even... these people will have entire WALLS of games (whereas I only just started my own collection). There are ALOT of people like that, it turns out. And for the cosplay? Entire giant conventions of people acting as bizarre as can get, dressed up as.... anything. Absolutely anything. It's like a festival of geeks. And in meeting people at those events, I find that by far the vast majority of them have the same childish qualities I do, even outside of the conventions.

    In other words... instead of trying to follow the lead of people nothing like you, why not try looking elsewhere? You can absolutely find groups of people... who are not kids... that are really into things like kids' shows or toys or whatever. Heck, I used to know someone that was into toys of all sorts. Like, REALLY into them. The guy could have put together a freaking warehouse with all those things. And what's wrong with that?


    And there's one thing I want to end this post with, which is the concept of maturity. People have alot of ideas as to what that means.

    To me, it means the ability to BE YOURSELF. All that stuff I do, all the games and cosplay and whatever? I'm a mature adult... I can make my own bloody decisions. If I want to sit here and play Pokemon as my hobby, I'll freaking do that. If I want to collect toys, I'll freaking do that. REAL maturity isnt about just following the herd. It's about understanding that YOU make the choices now... someone else doesnt make them FOR you.

    It's just too bad that so many people out there cant grasp that.

    There, I'm done ranting.
     
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  7. Darwin

    Darwin Active Member

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    I agree with you.

    I think that it should be ok as long as an autistic doesn’t spend most of his/her time playing without leaving any room for studying or working, and, similarly, it should be ok as long as a neurotypical doesn’t spend most of his/her time getting drunk, watching sports, series or movies, or even having a lazy Sunday. They call them the "adult stuff," but I find it really, really hard to comprehend the difference; they both provide fun, entertainment, or "instant gratification." That’s how they affect people’s brains. Since it is the same effect in both cases, it can’t be unhealthy. And describing some of them as "adult" and others as "childish" is really pointless.

    What’s funny is that getting drunk and eating fast food can actually be unhealthy, while playing some video games may actually be healthy for our brains by improving our memory abilities or problem solving abilities!
     
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  8. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to Autism Forums! I can not help you much, my wife is always telling me to grow up and I am 73. In fact, I have heard it said that if do not grow up by the time that you are 70, then you do not have to.
     
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  9. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I grew up when I decided to put some effort into my responsibilities instead of hiding from them by drinking or playing computer games. It was a long process and I still have moments where I want to hide from the world and just do what feels good, but I give myself a proverbial kick in the rear and do what needs to be done.
    It’s easier for me to do this when people are depending on me. Going to classes in university was difficult for me because no one noticed when I wasn’t there, so I figured I’d stay at home and play video games instead, reading the relevant chapters at a later point. When I started doing internships, my supervisors depended on me being there to do my assigned tasks. And once I got a job I wouldn’t dream of not showing up, because my patients depended on me being there. Not that they’d die if I didn’t show up, but for continuity of care I needed to be there.
    Fast forward and now I’m the sole breadwinner, since my boyfriend is starting his own business and isn’t making any profit yet. So now I’m even more cemented in my role as an adult, taking care of my responsibilities.
    Which isn’t to say I have hobbies that most people consider mature. I love playing video games and get very invested in them. I also love watching animated shows, such as Adventure Time. I also spend a lot of time cuddling my cats. I’m so fond of them that I actually have trouble falling asleep if my little cat isn’t sleeping on top of me. I see nothing wrong with special fondness for animals and I don’t care if people think my hobbies are immature. It’s how you deal with life that matters, in my opinion.
     
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  10. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Whenever I see questions like this I have to ask the question - what do you think "grown up" actually means?

    Most people in the developed world don't feel particularly grown up when they're honest about it with a loved one or a psychiatrist. Everyone, not just autistics. They put a brave face on it and act the part in public, but most still feel like a scared little kid who's out of their depth in this world. You only have to look at how many middle aged people play video games and watch Marvel movies to get an idea of how widespread the phenomenon is.

    It's not an autistic thing, it's a people thing. What IS autistic is believing the facade we see everyone wearing of being in control and making mature decisions that we can't. They're often little or no different to us in this respect and spend their lives lurching from one bad decision to the next. Unlike us, many like to pretend that they're not mistakes and are part of a plan that you're just too immature to understand.

    Don't believe the hype ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Imagine how many people probably told Walt Disney at various points in his life to "grow up".

    Something you likely never heard his tax accountant say to him. ;)
     
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  12. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    This was delightful to read. I can obsess about fixing up houses, computers, art, cooking,. Guess growing up meant that l need to keep everything in perspective and nobody needs to care about how l think or what l do. We are here to find our particular "brand" of happinesss, put it in 7 day packages and make sure to feel joy and passion everyday.
     
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  13. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I adult when I have to, and avoid doing so when I don't have to. My childish side is actually better at dealing with some issues than my adult side is, but he freaks out easily, so it is a symbiotic relationship. [​IMG]
     
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  14. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Nice name, @Qoyote!

    Don't worry about any of this. This is not growing up or being childish - it's just liking what you like.

    I'm a "responsible adult" - I have a job, support my family, mow my lawn, and wave to the neighbors. I also like fidget spinners, cartoons, walking on stilts, and stomping on crunchy leaves and mud puddles. Having child-like hobbies or likes has nothing to do with being grown up.

    For this, you have to find ways to hack your brain. You'll have to pay attention to the time you get necessary stuff done and then figure out what led to you getting it done. Then, you try to reproduce that next time.

    Here are a few things that work for me:
    • Making lists. If a task it overwhelming, I make a list of individual steps that I can focus on one at a time. Making lists also helps me switch from one task to the next with less wasted time between (without the list, I spend too much time trying to figure out what to do next).
    • Self Awareness / Mindfulness. I have to stop once in a while and just observe my own behavior. Am I putting something off? Why? What's blocking me? Taking a deliberate look at myself helps me to recognize behaviors that I do without thinking, and then address them if needed.
    • Just get started. When I'm faced with an intimidating task, I want to put it off. But if I just get started on it, I will become involved and emotionally invested in it - I will want to get it done. But I have to force myself through that first part - I have to fake it til I make it.
     
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  15. Creep

    Creep Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

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    How do you grow up? Trial & error. Or in my case, error & error. But srsly, never stop growing. Always be learning. & Good Luck!
     
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  16. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    Are you sure? ;)

    Keep being you and continue to do what makes you comfortable and happy. If it’s not hurting you or anyone else, then great. It’s your own space and if people don’t like it, they know where the door is.
     
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  17. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    How do you grow up? You probably just collect experiences and learn from them. And then there's something about brain development, which you needn't sweat until you're twenty-five, as that's when it's supposed to be finished.

    Those shows are a huge part of NT development, so why would you miss out just because you missed the totally imaginary time window?

    I'm over thirty, and though I mostly watch legal dramas and crime shows, I binged Indigo League earlier this year. Twice. It wasn't nostalgia, either, it was the furry super-powered animals.
     
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  18. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Qoyote, please don't be too concerned with being a grown-up, or acting like a grown-up. We think that "grown-ups" have everything under control and can manage every situation that creates a problem requiring mitigation or heroic response. Experience helps people deal with complicated issues, but there is no definition of what a grown-up is. Life requires some vigilance, recognizing opportunities and setting some goals. When you make your own money and make life choices on your own, you are in the adult world.

    Adults can act like children if they don't get their way. Adults can be much more competitive than children. Adults can be more sinister and meaner than children. Adults cheat on their spouses, cheat on their taxes, demand nicer hotel room views, and they are easily disappointed when the world doesn't cooperate with their agenda. An adult tantrum can be as ugly as a child's. An adult can fight dirty and hold grudges for a lifetime. They can compete with siblings over inheritance and use power over fairness in financial dealings. Holiday event drama is always created by adults - the kids just want to have fun. The adult ego can be very fragile - easily challenged or disturbed.

    I believe that being an adult requires that a person let go of the petty, competitive attitudes that have driven a person to seek the trappings of being successful, and therefore, more of an adult than other adults. The human qualities that we develop in our youth need to be sustained into adulthood. Being honest and helpful, caring, and considerate are good adult qualities. Some adults manage to retain those. On the other hand, some adults use their authority and status as adults against other people. These are the loser adults. Instead of teaching children, they use the child's ignorance against them.

    Adulthood is associated with age, but there are too many adults who create problems and exhibit the worst qualities of humanity. Adults are supposed to know more and possess qualities that make life better for everyone. Some do. With growth and experience, the adult should manage life's issues with grace and competence. Without adults, we have nobody to turn to for advice and guidance. Don't worry about becoming an adult. Keep the qualities that make you a great person. You will age, so as you do, you will be treated as an adult.
     
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  19. Schism

    Schism Member

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    Probably the most accurate quote I have seen here. Just underestimates the anxiety I feel on a day to day basis as a result. I tend to turn to drink to negate the day/feelings.
     
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  20. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I think the first step toward becoming an adult is checking for toilet paper before you sit down on the toilet.

    Children don't, because they aren't thinking ahead. If there's no toilet paper, they can yell and someone will fix it for them.

    Checking first means you think about what can go wrong, what your needs will be beyond the current moment, and you take care of it yourself. It involves foresight and responsibility.

    All other adult activities are just variations of this.
     
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