Saturday, 31 October 2015

Peter Pan Syndrome

I was on the phone to the dog shelter last week
We were in the middle of a conversation
When the lady asked my what age I was
I told her
She began to laugh and said that I sounded like a teenager
I get this a lot 
Told that I sound a lot younger
And even look a lot younger
I know when I was very underweight 
I looked quite strange
I had this childlike body
With the face of a withered old woman 
But as I have become well
And regained weight 
My face has filled out 
As well as the rest of me
And I guess I do look a bit younger than my 34 years

I remember when I was a teenager 
I was in such a hurry to grow up
I did everything young 
My first disco
My first cigarette
My first drink 
My first boyfriend 
All before I was 15
Now that I am an adult
I wish that I had allowed myself to grow up slower
That I had taken the time to enjoy my childhood and teenage years
I look at my nephew
He has just turned 15 
And this week went to his first disco
To me he seems so innocent
I can not imagine him smoking or drinking 
And he seems to have no interest in these things 
Which I am so glad about
Because there is a chance
Like the four members of my own family
That he might inherit that addiction gene
So far he shows no sign of it 
But I know that can all change in a heartbeat

I guess my life thus far has been rocky
I began smoking and drinking at 14
Had my first proper boyfriend at 14
Began taking drugs at 15
And the next 15 years were a Wright off
My twenties
The years when you discover who you are and what you are about 
Didn't happen that way for me
So I guess now in my thirties 
I am living my twenties 
If that makes sense 
I am 24 years old 
Barely an adult 
I guess I dress young too 
In my jeans and trainers and hoodies
But I'm ok with that 
I am still growing up
Finding out who I am 
My views and opinions
My dress sense 
My way of coping 
Of dealing with life

They say that youth is wasted on the young
I agree 
I didn't appreciate my youth 
My childhood 
My teenage years 
I was so busy trying to be an adult 
So busy wanting to grow up
I got my first full time job when I left school
I was doing well
But it wasn't long before my drug use began to spin out of control
The next 14 years were chaotic to say the least 
There were a few years during that time
That I don't know how my family got through
My mum and I were speaking about this just yesterday 
There was a time when four out of six of us were in active addiction
It was crazy 
So many shocking things happened 
Addiction rips families apart
As it did mine 
It's only years later 
And with the four of us in recovery
That our lives have begun to heal
They also say that the age you are when you start using/drinking/starving/purging is the age you stay until you stop
I was 14 when my problems started 
And that makes sense to me 
That I am still a teenager
A young adult 
And physically 

I think our eating disorders 
Are also something thdt keeps us from growing up
There is something very child like about EDs
Anorexia is sometimes a protest to growing up
Bulimia is the inability to control ones self
Like a child 
I know I have resisted growing up once I reached adulthood 
Being an adult
And everything that goes with it
Scared the bejesus out of me
I worried and stressed that I wouldn't be able to cope
Wouldn't be able for the responsibility 
It just all seemed like too much 
I struggled to deal with reality 
Struggled with substances that allowed me to escape from that reality
I struggling with impulse control
Which has bothered me a lot over the years
Like a child 
There is no no for me
I see something and I want it right now 
There is no control
None at all

Its only now
At the age of 34
That I am getting my life together 
That I am starting to grow up
I know I have a lot of work to do
I have taken the first step 
But there are still many miles to go 
And maybe it's actually a nice thing that I don't look my age 
Maybe it will stand to me in years to come 
I've seen over the last couple of weeks
The areas I need to work on
I want to be a responsible adult 
I want to act my age 
Sometimes it bothers me 
That at my age I am still living with a parent 
But then I remember that I am not living with my parents
I am sharing a house with my mum and sister 
I have the freedom to do as I please
And I get on with my mum very well
It would be crazy for me to try and maintain a house by myself 
It makes more sense for me to live here
And I like living here 
I feel safe 
I feel loved
Honey and Lea love it here
They are happy here 
Our house is home 
It's where we all meet for tea
For dinner
To play games 
To celebrate holidays and birthdays 
It's the centre of our family 

With all that said
I was wondering about you
Have you resisted growing up like me?
Do you think that your ED has anything to do with not wanting to grow up?
What age do you feel?
And what age are you?
Do you like being the age you are?
Inquiring minds want to know.....


  1. All this "i look so much younger blah" on social networks is pretty fashionable right now, as perhaps people look younger than our grandparents did at the same age. Also it seems to give people the illusion of having 'still time' and thinking they can "still be anything", or maybe it is just what everybody says atm. I think you look brilliant and very pretty but totally like a woman in her 30s. Although in the recent pictures nothing gives away what you have been through.I am 21 and i think i look it and its fine!

    1. Oh I wasn't aware of that
      I don't use FB or anything else
      I guess it's just something that has come up a lot for me recently
      And sometimes it's cool
      And other times it's a pain in the ass

      Thank you
      And I think I am growing in to myself
      I don't feel 34
      But that's the age I am
      So I will embrace it
      Rather than fighting it x

  2. I think you definitely look your age, but you are right you don't act it.

    1. Don't quite know how to take this....

  3. Interesting thought!! I feel like I was forced to grow up much too quickly. Neglect and emotional abuse that required me to support and care for my dad in ways that a little kid normally would never have to do. My ED started when I was 12, but I'm 34 now. I definitely like being this age, because it means I am free to choose what to do with my life. I'm married but have no children and almost no responsibilities. In a husband and I both live like we are teenagers.

    1. You are the same age as me SW
      You sound like you have a lovely life
      And yes
      I agree
      34 is a nice age to be x

  4. i think i am stuck at 32, was at my happiest then so don't mind, and yes people still ask to talk to my mum when i answer the phone! not sure i look so young though,wish i did xx jo

    1. I get that too Jo!
      We must sound like little girls! X

  5. Great post! I can also relate, I definitely think eating disorders have to do with not wanting to grow up, my eating disorder started so early at 8 years old when I was being abused.
    And I still do feel like that same abused child sometimes it's sad, hope your well xx

    1. Gosh it started very early for you
      I'm sorry you had to go through that
      It's quite shocking

      How are you doing now? X

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  7. For a long time, I grew up too fast. Ages 13 on, I was often mistaken for an adult. I don't want to get too much into it, but part of it was just wanting to be an adult, part of it was the childhood abuse forcing you into very adult situations.

    Now, I literally feel like I'm stuck at the age AN developed - 17 (I'm 22, for reference). I actively have to think about my age. I don't think it's the AN alone that caused this, but rather was the final straw in a MH mess. I think the abuse definitely has more to do with it, even if it took a while for the change to happen. But around the time I developed AN, my mind flipped from being a young adult to a classic Peter Pan.

    Very thought provoking post.

    1. I understand you not wanting to go in to it Bella
      But thank you for sharing this
      I can relate too

      I hope you're doing ok
      I know things are tough
      But keep on hanging in there x

  8. I had a similar teenage experience as you. I think for some people, a hellish childhood forces you to grow up too fast. When I was 13, I felt like I was about 90. Friends and family said it was weird because I looked years younger than my age, but acted years older.

    Apparently I still look years younger, so no complaints from me! probably because I never go in the sun.....

    You've done a lot of growing up just in the time I've been reading your blog. I figure we'll always be in some stage of growing and learning for our whole lives--there's no set timeline. We just have to figure out where we are and how to keep going forward. <3


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