not feeling as though you are an adult

I do not feel as though I am a real adult. Diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago aged 41. I am aged 42. I have diagnoses of dyspraxia, ADHD and aspergers traits.

I have no children, no relationship, no marriage, no job, poor work history, no career despite having a degree, postgraduate e, professional qualification !

anyone feel the same way !

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I do feel like I’m far behind my how I had imagined my life, and there are certainly times that I feel like I’m not completely grown-up. I’m 45 and newly-diagnosed.

You have a degree. I do not, even though it is an important life-goal of mine. I’ve been through 5 schools and 5 majors. I work at the last university I was attending, but I ran out of financial aid, and I lost motivation to pursue my last major. (Computer Engineering is a really hard major!)

I’ve been through several jobs (though I’ve rarely been without a job), and most of them were low-paying. It is only my current job that has paid adequately. It has taken me until 45 to get a good-paying job! I’ve been working Information Technology for 9 years, mostly in technical support, but without a degree or professional certs it was hard to move up, even with past supervisory experience.

I do have a family. I consider my family life to be my greatest area of success in my life. My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years, but it wasn’t easy. We had an off-and-on dating relationship. (She dated other guys, but I held out for her. We first met at 13 years old, and got married at 26.) For the first ten years of marriage, we went through a lot of relationship struggles, but I’ve never worked harder on anything then I have on my marriage, but it is so worth it! We have four kids,

I know that I’ll finish my degree someday. In the meantime, counseling and medication are helping me to do better at work (so that I can do well in my new job).

I hope that you get a good job to use your degree in, @ALADDIN. I’ve known some people who finally got into a good relationship in their 40s or 50s, so that can still happen for you too.


I started my first regular job at age 48, and it’s not in the academic field I studied. No relationships to speak of, the only family life I know is the one where I’m considered The Kid. So, yeah, I think I know where you’re coming from. Adult life is much like a TV show my friends keep talking about but I don’t watch. I know the broad strokes of what it’s about but I don’t feel like I can contribute much to the conversation.

I’m not sure if it’s a development issue, though, or if that’s just one way it presents itself. (Although I do think my intellectual and my social/emotional development have been processing at very different speeds.) Looking back at how adulting never quite worked for me, I’ve noticed two patterns:

  1. Others seem to pick up the necessary life skills along the way, as a side effect of learning or practicing other stuff. Back in college, while I was busy learning sociology, my peers learned that and how to network themselves into a job, while also somehow picking up the social cues needed to traverse from youthful curiosity into a more “settled” lifestyle with a partner, children, different habits and even different musical preferences.
    For me, none of that was part of the curriculum and when I noticed that others had picked all of that up along the way, it became clear that it never would be.
  2. I just didn’t want it enough. Whenever it was time to lean in and pursue something, I didn’t move with conviction but with doubt. I kept myself open to the possibility that the opposite might also be legit. I never pursued my dreams or life goals simply because I didn’t have any. Not that I never wanted anything, but whatever it was at any given time just seemed too trivial to be a life goal. So I stayed within my path longer than I would have otherwise.

I do consider myself lucky because I could do a lot of fun things along the way, I learned a lot and did a lot of creative stuff. And when I had to, I managed to find the grit to scramble up my skills and find a job. (Grit and luck. Lots of luck.)

Also, being not quite the adult comes with a lot of cool stuff. I’m still discovering new bands decades after some of my peers bought their last CD. I have no debts because I never invested in a lifestyle I thought I was supposed to lead. I’m probebly never going to have a midlife crisis because what am I gonna do to rebel against my life? Settle?


It’s not just neurodiverse people who can have trouble “adulting”.

There is a man at my church whom I’m certain is neurotypical. I consider him a friend and a mentor.

He is retired and disabled (but ambulatory and drives himself around). As far as I know, he never went to college, though he is knowledgeable on many subjects because he is an avid reader. He served several years in the military in early adulthood, then worked blue-collar jobs for the rest of his career.

He never married, has no children, and lives with his sister (who is also retired, and I think also never married). Both are intelligent and capable of taking care of themselves, but they choose to live together and support one another in a somewhat co-dependent way. Neither does all the adulting, though I’m sure that both are 100% capable.

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I honestly think that /feeling/ like an adult is uncommon. I also don’t think that most people find adult tasks easy, and I find it reassuring that the stuff I find really hard is, yeah, somewhat hard. But there are also a number of things in life that most people have been able to do and so far haven’t been possible for me. That aspect is hard to take.


I do have a degree, a job, kids, a relationship…

… but I still feel the same, cause I feel I am just faking it and nobody notices that I am just a kd faking it.

… and than I pay a LOT of ADHD tax, (Jessica style) for I don’t manage to pay a fee for my kids whatever when it is due, I don#t manage to arrange a standing order, I always just pay after second warning and stuff like that.

… so somehow I managed in my hiyperfocus periods to achieve those goals, but it never feels like any one of it is secure, or actually earned, pr does belong to me