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Melancholya

Being an adult is hard

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Call me a whingy millennial (older millennial thank you very much) but adulthood is HARD. Or maybe it's just hard with depression. Or maybe I'm a woman-child. 

I cannot stay on top of the cleaning. Most days I don't want to cook because I feel agitated by the process of having to think about what to make. I cannot organise my house to save myself. We're homeowners for the first time (been a year now!) and general house maintenance boggles me. I literally have no idea who to call to fix random issues. In my daughter's bedroom one corner of the window frame is swollen - obviously got wet somehow but is a window expert the person to call? I suppose it is. Called one anyway. I also booked a gutter clean this morning but it's taken me all winter to get around to it, and we have literal waterfalls in multiple places around our house when it rains. 

A few years ago I discovered "Adult Children of Alcoholics". I read a bit of their material. I ultimately decided it wasn't for me (it's another one of those twelve steps programmes and I feel iffy about it) but some of the stuff made me wonder about myself. One of the ideas they present is that children of an alcoholic parent don't properly learn to be adults because their parent(s) was/were not emotionally available to them. 

I went to university not knowing how to use a fucking washing machine. But, I grew up with so much anxiety I often didn't ask questions about how to do new things, or even try to do new things. I didn't show a lot of independence til I left home really. In some ways I still don't. Sometimes I still find myself wanting someone to "hold my hand" through things. 

Whenever I start a new job, I heavily rely on someone else to help me through it as long as possible before I start doing things independently. 

I couldn't even use the phone til I was in my late teens maybe? Actually in my early 20s I was too afraid to use the phone at my job. 

I feel as though I am a child in an adult's body. 

Anyone else? 

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I'm with you on all counts.  My house is a wreck, it's a struggle to even 'see' the clutter let alone deal with it.  I don't wash my laundry until I absolutely have to do it, and everything in this house is based on 'does it need to be done today?' rather than having any kind of fucking adult routine or standard.

House guests are hell for me.

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9 hours ago, Melancholya said:

But, I grew up with so much anxiety I often didn't ask questions about how to do new things, or even try to do new things. I didn't show a lot of independence til I left home really. In some ways I still don't. Sometimes I still find myself wanting someone to "hold my hand" through things. 

Whenever I start a new job, I heavily rely on someone else to help me through it as long as possible before I start doing things independently. 

I couldn't even use the phone til I was in my late teens maybe? Actually in my early 20s I was too afraid to use the phone at my job. 

I feel as though I am a child in an adult's body. 

Anyone else? 

I totally relate to this bit. i had a ton of anxiety as a child, fear of failure, self-consciousness, low self-esteem. I just don't pick things up as quickly as I think I should, I struggle to remember little detailed procedures/directions that involve a lot of steps. It's embarrassing, I require hand-holding as well.

On the job, any time I need to "perform" or be assessed, I panic about screwing up and not doing it perfectly. I need to do a task several times before I can do efficiently, independently.

I also don't do well with ambiguity & decision making, which sucks because all higher level jobs require this. I believe it's all due to anxiety & depression. It consumes a huge part of my mind and behavior, so my capacity is limited compared to people without these disorders...

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11 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

I totally relate to this bit. i had a ton of anxiety as a child, fear of failure, self-consciousness, low self-esteem. I just don't pick things up as quickly as I think I should, I struggle to remember little detailed procedures/directions that involve a lot of steps. It's embarrassing, I require hand-holding as well.

On the job, any time I need to "perform" or be assessed, I panic about screwing up and not doing it perfectly. I need to do a task several times before I can do efficiently, independently.

I also don't do well with ambiguity & decision making, which sucks because all higher level jobs require this. I believe it's all due to anxiety & depression. It consumes a huge part of my mind and behavior, so my capacity is limited compared to people without these disorders...

We have a lot in common. I relate to all of this! 

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Hmm. I hadn’t heard of that particular characteristic of adult children of alcoholics, but as an adult child, I can relate to everything you’re saying. I’ve found it really stressful and exhausting managing a household, though I also have an ADHD diagnosis. My kids are 13 and 16 now, and I feel like I’ve done all of it by the seat of my pants. I’ve never been organized, never been great at keeping a calendar, and am totally last minute about figuring out meals. Cleaning requires an almost herculean effort and level of focus I often don’t have. The good news is that my kids are mostly well adjusted good people, I guess in part because I have other strengths as a parent, so all is not lost, but it sure is stressful not feeling like you’re on top of things.

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I suppose some of it comes down to personality type - I am never going to be a tidy person, but I sure could be doing better and it's made worse by mental illness. 

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