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techstepgenr8tion
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02 Jan 2022, 6:40 pm

I don't fully know because I feel like so much of my life has been spent in duress of various kinds.

Thinking about it sparked my interest because it's a popular trope but a lot of people aren't very good at defining it other than someone acting like their pregnant without having a baby (in terms of personality and odd food cravings).

It seems - at least from my own perspective - like as you reality test the world around you and you find out what you're really surrounded by in terms of other personalities and levels of competence, you start realizing how much you sold yourself short when you were younger (at least in terms of your own competence - having to defer to power games of other people because there was no choice) and you start asking about how you can actually apply your own competence in the world.

I kind of see this, in a much younger case (due to overparenting) in the stories about Todd Marinovich making it to the NFL where he had a dad who pushed him so relentelessly that by the time he made it to the NFL it's like the ground disappeared beneath him and it was a traumatic enough experience that he ended up acting out in all kinds of ways, playing ball on LSD, eventually getting into heroin, getting kicked off the team, it's like he had some twenty years or internal regulation based on his dad's personality bearing down on him and it had been so much weight that he wasn't equipped for life without that downward pressure.

I've had something like that happen more recently when I started to realize that I actually am competent, can do a job well, can be accountable for my work (regardless of how much people like to play games, distort that, pass it off as weakness if they're lazy, etc.) and I've been able to properly peel the funhouse mirror that people hold up against me far way enough to see myself doing well on a social level if I can just force the issue. I mean internally I've always felt like I had it together (though a few times I've been through profound trauma and it did gash my sanity a bit) but I'm feeling like I should be able to permanently take that away from our cluster B ubermensch and be able to fully stand on my own and deflect them at the same time.

I say that last part as someone who, at least as I've experienced life on the spectrum, developed a lot of 'sigma male' traits to get through it. I find that trope actually fits a lot of us well who have a congealed sense of self and can think clearly.


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txfz1
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02 Jan 2022, 6:53 pm

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood." -Tom Robbins

I always viewed it as a sudden change in lifestyle due to aging by rejuvenating youthful pursuits for whatever reason.



techstepgenr8tion
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02 Jan 2022, 7:21 pm

Yeah, that's where I suppose it gets rather individual and it depends on what pressures and longings you're dealing with.


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02 Jan 2022, 7:55 pm

Oh, Techstep, where has the time gone? I come back and see you asking a question like this. You're making me feel old.

But, to answer your question, I don't really know? I just sort of have a collection of stereotypical images in my head of what they usually look like and a sense it's undergirded and driven by a deep longing that many people might have trouble fully acknowledging to themselves or processing. And, a sense of panic.

Easier for many people to do the external stuff, get a sports car or whatever, than to do the real work.



techstepgenr8tion
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02 Jan 2022, 8:29 pm

blueroses wrote:
Oh, Techstep, where has the time gone? I come back and see you asking a question like this. You're making me feel old.

But, to answer your question, I don't really know? I just sort of have a collection of stereotypical images in my head of what they usually look like and a sense it's undergirded and driven by a deep longing that many people might have trouble fully acknowledging to themselves or processing. And, a sense of panic.

Easier for many people to do the external stuff, get a sports car or whatever, than to do the real work.

Well yeah, I can see how society is really good at rewarding people for giving themselves up for x, y, z, pretty much 'fill in the blank', and a lot of people make it quite a distance parceling out their will to live for status points.

I get the sense that identity crisis are as common for people as just feeling in their bones that the rules in the world around them have somehow changed in a way that they can't articulate, and it's off to the races figuring out what to do about that. In trying to think of a 'mid life' crisis in particular though (especially in one's early 40's), it seems like it would reflect back on something about common developmental occurrences at that age, and I think it's perhaps the place where - unless you're a prodigy in your teens of the sort who graduates college by 20 and is building start-up companies all over the place - most of us have our sense of authority stolen from us, or we're forced to see ourselves as children or not quite up to the task (particularly as our seniors and plenty of our peers try to pull the rug out from under us regularly), and after a while it sets in that we actually could take the wheel of the ship and steer it effectively, that we won't get struck by lightning or the floor won't open up under us for trying.

edit: I was actually thinking as I wrote that last paragraph.... adult development... I wonder if Robert Kegan has anything interesting to say on it.


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15 Jun 2022, 11:28 pm

My take on this is that it's a reflection of the fact that NT normies mask, too... it just costs them less to do it, and the distance between their real self and their 9 to 5 professional persona probably isn't as great. Then they wake up one day and realize that the person they've moved in the world as, might not even be the real them.


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rse92
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06 Jul 2022, 2:23 pm

A mid life crisis is when you wake up one day shortly after turning age 40, you live in a nice house in the suburbs married to your college sweetheart who works hard every day to provide a very good living for his family, you have two beautiful, smart, sweet, well behaved daughters (sometimes you are mistaken for their older sister!), you don't have to work, and you come to the conclusion that since you dated the same man throughout college and never sowed your wild oats you missed out on what your youth and beauty might actually have brought you, and you still have your looks and figure, and so you leave your husband and children, get your own place paid for by the ex-husband, become a wage slave, meet one man then a second who is not like your soon to be ex-husband -- which is to say men who are not not alcoholics and who are not not physically and psychologically abusive -- and leave behind the wreckage of your ex-husband and daughters, all of whom suffer from depression.

At least that is how my ex-wife had a mid-life crisis.