Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Delayed Emotional Adolescence....or None At All?

For the past 6 months or so, since my diagnosis opened my eyes to various facets of myself and led me on a path to self-discovery, my first thought was that it was then I was beginning the emotional/mental stages of adolescence, as I never went through such during my chronological adolescence. However, I'm beginning to wonder if that's what I would call it in the first place, as a lot of the key features of typical adolescence still aren't there. Questioning one's interests. Wanting to act older but not knowing how. Starting to develop more mature interests and wanting to leave childhood things behind. I haven't gone through any of that, and quite frankly, I'm glad! I'm very content with the person I am and am in no hurry to act "older."

See, my mind and my body have never really been in sync. I remember being 9 and still having the interests of about a 6-year-old. Then came middle school and high school, where the other girls suddenly thought a lot of the things I still liked were lame, and started to change. There was no way I could understand it, as it wasn't happening to me. I remember watching my friends start to worry about their appearances, becoming confused and wanting to act older all of a sudden, and becoming interested in boys. None of it made any sense to me. I couldn't rationalize it. Why was it that when I felt perfectly happy the way I was, others didn't seem happy with themselves anymore? They'd beat themselves up about their weight, and other things that just seemed unimportant to me. I remember feeling kind of sad for some of them who seemed unhappy, as well as kind of lost amongst them, all the while being glad that none of it was going on with me.

Today at 31, most of these things still have never occurred to me. I still have the same interests I had when I was a teenager. I'd rather play video games than worry about my appearance any day. I collect toys and stuffed animals. My idea of a good time is going to the movies and eating lots of candy. I've never questioned my likes and dislikes. They come natural to me, so why try to change them? As for the acting older part, I see many of my peers maturing and starting families. It still just doesn't appeal to me. I don't feel older, so I'm not going to act it. It wouldn't feel natural. I still like the same stuff the Sue everyone's known in school always liked, such as Sonic the Hedgehog! I like how Asperger's gives me a childlike view on life and allows me to appreciate the little things. It may make development go at a slower pace, but so what? It's MY pace and no one else's, and it can go at whatever rate is right for ME.

Maybe what I'm going through isn't an emotional adolescence after all, but rather just a period of learning more about myself, without the changing part. I can live with that :)

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