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''Missing out'' may not be so bad and hopeless after all, what do you guys think?


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Hey folks. So in the past, I've lamented the time I spent as a Christian(deconverted around age 17) and the social awkwardness growing up with Asperger's. I haven't dated or kissed a girl, didn't do sports and few extracurriculars in high school(tried wrestling, but quit and didn't even compete, but did writer's club one year and dodgeball club the next). This bummed m out for awhile, and for those of us who grew up with abuse, strict religion or other such inconveniences it can be upsetting seeing others have the opposite experience. But more recently it doesn't bother me so much anymore. Mainly having to do with gaining perspective and realizing one doesn't have to follow the glorified ''life script''.

 

 

There was one tall, muscular and stocky guy I met in a Judo class at a junior college in my town. He had been a wrestler at my HS and when I mentioned being lonely there he said ''don't judge friends based on high school because everyone is immature'' One cheerleader I had art class with said it was the worst part of her life due to some drama with a friend or something and didn't talk to anyone from there, and apparently this went for a couple other peers as well, saying everyone from our school sucked or it being just a bunch drama. It did make me perplexed about high school friendships and relationships since nearly everyone just drops each other after graduation even if they stay local. Like, I'm not referring to those who went off to university, the military, etc but those who went to local community college/work don't talk to each other anymore.  While I still would have liked to be more social in school it makes it feel kinda hollow honestly. And looking online, plenty of people may not have the idealized childhood for so many reasons(abuse, living in the boonies, dealing with terminal illness, living in poverty, etc).

 

Ultimately, there's nothing I could have done as a teenager that I can't do now. For instance, there might be a certain thrill in sneaking a girl into your house for a makeout session in high school, but as an adult you can take them to your own apartment/house with complete privacy, or out on the town with no curfew. And if things don't work out with Becky you don't have to see her in Algebra 2 or overhear her friends talking shit about you in US History. Granted there are unique things about your formative years like the lack of responsibility and seeing your friends every day, but there is also the immaturity and drama that comes with raging hormones and lack of life experience and the people you don't like you're stuck with. At least I got out at 17, and I'm just starting my 20s so I can't be too bitter. And for others who may have ''missed out'' I don't think they should either.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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I wouldn’t say my teenage years were miserable, but I wouldn’t want to re-live them.  Being an adult beats being a teenager by a country mile, IMHO. 

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I keep dreaming about going back to 1st grade but keeping my current life experience. There would be some things that would be SO annoying, like my mom's continual smoking, dad's volatility before he mellowed in middle age, having to invent a solid back-story to explain how I know some things ahead of time without being a "haint" (demon/spook) maybe reincarnation which fascinated dad, being somewhat poor compared with my peers. But... I'd be working out every day to have a fine body instead of being an ultra shy geek; I'd know ahead of time how to make and keep money instead of spending on stupid shit, and then knowing when and in what to invest (which my parents incorrectly saw as stupid gambling); being a lot more kind and helpful to my mom who was depressed; enjoying the 70s for it's quirky everything; doing kid stuff like going to the movies with my cousins who lived with us, riding bikes everywhere, singing and studying music would be a big part, as would be studying other languages. At least one girl would live because I would get my dad to help me intervene when she was snatched and murdered by a transient during a walkathon in grade school. Others I couldn't help because they died of cancer. Sure the timeline would change, but that isn't always a negative thing. 

 

So I do feel like I missed out on a ton of great life stuff because of my shyness all the way through my second college degree, compounded with believing whole-heartedly that Jesus was the only important thing. I've also watched and learned how shallow some of life's pursuits can be, and how shallow people can be. I've also learned a lot about love, and what not to do with other people's "hearts". And now during COVID time, I'm re-learning what happens when most the goodies of social activities are stripped away and I have to look at daily routine and figure out what is important for survival and avoiding depression. What did average people do during the 1920s long before Internet? Read, chores, build things, garden, take care of the family, repair things instead of buying new things, music, canning food, enjoy nature.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with you. I don't think anyone can make you feel a certain way unless you allow it, you don't have to stick to the "I missed out" belief if you don't want to. It can be really tempting to want throw everything out with the bad, and (at least with me) there was plenty of BAD. After a period of grief, for me it's been a solid 4 years since deconversion, 7 since I left my parents' home, I'm in a much better place to be thankful for what I did NOT go through. It has taken life perspective for me to see that there are pros and cons to almost everything, our attitude in how we handle the card we are dealt seems to be key. I had a lot of cons, yes, but they can blind you to the pros. Even though my parents are narcissists and there was serious emotional abuse and indoctrination in my home, none of that okay, when I treat them like I would want to be treated with an eye for understanding, I can see that they were scared, had no clue, and were trying to love me how they had been taught to love. Yes, what happened was fucked up. I still believe they tried their hardest and made a lot of sacrifices for me which has soothed some of the hurt. There are a lot of people who don't care enough to even try with their children and that was not my parental situation. I don't remember, as a homeschooled kid growing up, being jealous of their situation because I was so indoctrinated. Probably kept me from making some really stupid decisions.

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4 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

 since I left my parents' home, I'm in a much better place to be thankful for what I did NOT go through. 

 

Like you, getting out and seeing a good cross section of the world helped me to appreciate my early years.  My parents made several mistakes, but overall I got a good foundation for life.  HA!  You have to have a certain amount of nurturing and confidence to question the big daddy in the sky.

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16 hours ago, Weezer said:

Like you, getting out and seeing a good cross section of the world helped me to appreciate my early years.  My parents made several mistakes, but overall I got a good foundation for life.  HA!  You have to have a certain amount of nurturing and confidence to question the big daddy in the sky.

 

You know, I never thought about it that way. I'm going to have to think about that for awhile, that thought never occurred to me. 

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5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

You know, I never thought about it that way. I'm going to have to think about that for awhile, that thought never occurred to me. 

 

I've had several of those experiences on this forum.

 

I went through a phase of being angry with them and said some things I later regretted.  They were just passing on what they learned.  I think a lot of Christians latch on to the omnipotent daddy in the sky because they missed out on a secure, nurturing childhood which left a deeply engrained fear of abandonment.   That definitely applied to my father who had a very abusive fsther.

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17 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

I've had several of those experiences on this forum.

 

I went through a phase of being angry with them and said some things I later regretted.  They were just passing on what they learned.  I think a lot of Christians latch on to the omnipotent daddy in the sky because they missed out on a secure, nurturing childhood which left a deeply engrained fear of abandonment.   That definitely applied to my father who had a very abusive fsther.

 How interesting. I think what you're saying points to a larger, broader theme I've been thinking about lately of our choice in life to either take care of ourselves or expect/demand that someone else take care of us.

 

Taking control of my life instead of living for others, which comes with sincere and sometimes exhausting effort, has been truly liberating and rewarding for me personally.

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I get a chuckle out of the statements in your signature, or post script, or whatever it is called.  👍👍

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14 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

Taking control of my life instead of living for others, which comes with sincere and sometimes exhausting effort, has been truly liberating and rewarding for me personally.

 

Ditto.  But it can be lonely when everyone around you is "Christian".  But having inner peace is better than feeling lonely at times.

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