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Feeling guilty about growing up? watch

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    I'm 22, in legal terms I'm an adult and it's not unusual for a 22 year old to do adult things.

    However, I find myself getting tense and feeling guilty whenever I'm in the presence of others... (PARTICULARLY older adults and ESPECIALLY MY PARENTS) ...and am drinking or smoking or talking to boys. This also happens when I am around my friends, I can't understand why but I want to change this.

    I think factors that contribute include the fact that I'm the youngest child and also very babyish-looking and innocent-LOOKING. People often tell me that they feel uncomfortable if they hear me swearing or talking about sex, saying that I "should'nt" - people are always telling me that I shouldn't drink or smoke etc. as if I'm 12 years old, they wouldn't tell other big butch 22 year olds what to do, or that they "shouldn't" but for some reason it's different if you are physically young-looking.

    It gets embarrassing, I was in a club with some friends and was dancing with a guy friend (a bit sexily) and caught a glimpse of my girl-friend looking and I just stopped because I felt guilty and ashamed.

    I think I'm very much under the control of my parents, whenever I have a decision to make I always think 'oh my parents wouldn't allow that' and stop myself getting into relationships, going abroad, piercing my ear.. etc.

    I think it's because psychologically I've learned that qualities parents like include, obedience and innocence, any other behaviour is shunned, so if I'm doing anything else I just feel really guilty and ashamed (an important note is that I only feel like this when others are around, when I'm alone I don't judge myself for smoking or having sex etc. I'm an adult and I'm doing what I am ready to do, I'm not a child although others see me that way.

    What do I do, how do I stop feeling guilty without going to extremes (i feel like it's going to build up and one day i'm going to rebel and go wild) and without making people feel repulsed by my behaviour?

    I don't do these things to a destructive extent, I just do it when the feeling takes me, I drink when I'm in the mood but don't have to get drunk, I smoke maybe 10 a month, I swear to emphasize or express passion but generally I'm quite articulate.

    The point is I just need to step out of line by half a toe and I get the impression that everyone is in uproar and judging me.
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    i know how you feel, whenever i try smoking every now and again my friends beg me to stop cos they think they're corrupting me, whenever i like a boy, i don't tell my parents cos they'd embaress me and make me ashamed of it. remember though. our parents secretly expect us to do these things though, because they can't understand why i don't have a bf at the minute. its like that poem...

    Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse
    They **** you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were ****** up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another's throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don't have any kids yourself.
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    I know exactly how you feel.
    I'm 18 and don't even feel it. I feel guilty buying alcohol even though I'm allowed to.

    It probably is because you're the youngest and still a baby in their eyes. Its all so complicated.

    You just have to keep reminding them that you are 22 you can do what you like.
    Are you living at home? If you are I can sense it would be even worse. Where as, living on your own you'd be able to be independant. [Im only asking about living with your rents because I know people your age still at home, and it does get claustrophobic with their parents views and judgements there everyday.]
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    Thanks for the replies so far...

    I want to stress that it's not just about my parents, it's extending to my friends and other adults and all family members.

    How did you grow up and stop being completely controlled by your parents and stop being completely obedient and childish?
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    I feel similar But you know, we all grow up.
 
 
 
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