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Does it ever get better???

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I'm 36, neurodivergent and I've been through a lot of trauma in my 20s and early 30s, back to back trauma and hardships trying to fit in, trying to find my place in the world and trying to find the love of my life, and still struggling in the love department. 

Does it get better? 

Is this existence worth it? 

Does anyone have any success stories of going from having an unfulfilled life to a more content, fulfilled one? Whether it's having found a partner or not, any success stories appreciated! 

Thanks in advance!

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I NEVER dated as a teenager nor had a boyfriend during college.  No man ever paid attention to me.  I truly felt unworthy so I gave up.  I said to myself:  "To _______ with it."  Therefore,  I concentrated on my career and as I focused on myself,  getting healthy, fit,  immersing myself into various hobbies,  intellectual pursuits and great friends,  suddenly I garnered attention galore.  It seems to me that men were intrigued by my  economic independence and self confidence.  I even went so far as to decline many dates. 

Fast forward to today.  I'm a happily married wife and mother of two sons in the suburbs.  It's a very secure,  content,  settled,  stable life. 

My secret was not trying so hard,  focusing on my own life and then it was like bees to honey.  Yes,  it gets better and I didn't even have to try so hard nor pursue any man.  I created the draw by concentrating on myself. 

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8 hours ago, princessbp87 said:

Does anyone have any success stories of going from having an unfulfilled life to a more content, fulfilled one? Whether it's having found a partner or not, any success stories appreciated! 

I'd question why you want to "fit in" and who  you want to fit in with? I took the long way around so I don't fit in with typical younger moms or typical families who skedaddled to the burbs as soon as the positive pregnancy test came in, or people who live in my city (I grew up in a major city first 43 years -been here 13 and it's a major but smaller city where car/driving culture reigns huge), don't fit in with people who salivate and drool over team sports for their kids.

I also didn't marry till we were 42 so not only am I an older mom in a city where moms my age are grandmothers quite often (as opposed to my hometown where many women first got married in their late 30s/early 40s), I also had a fun, action packed but mostly PG rated social life, world and domestic travel, and intense career -parts of which involved famous people and celebrities, for my 20s and 30s which means - I don't need that sort of excitement -including partying/fine wine (never got drunk though), traveling child-free (meaning a real vacation), dressing to the nines, etc. 

I had my fill and I loved it, miss it extremely little, loved transitioning to being an unemployed SAHM for 7 years and then having the excitement of a married family life.  But I don't fit in with the 20 and 30 somethings who are craving a way to leave their children with overnight sitters/grandparents/at a resort kids camp because they didn't get all those years that I had - I had all the downsides of late marriage and high risk pregnancy though.  I get what they want -and why! - but it means I don't really fit in were I to want "Mom Friends."

Unfulfilled -I was a shy and unattractive child IMO- I was socially awkward with an older and much more beautiful sister (IMO).  Not at all popular. As a teenager what helped me come out of my shell was my friends I met through a religious youth group and my high school sweetheart (who I met indirectly through that group) -he taught me how to dance -I mean dance -free style to 80s new wave/rap/disco -you name it - he helped me come out of my shell. I'm not saying that finding a boyfriend was the key -the key was meeting him -and others who I had stuff in common with and finding a way to connect and have fun (dancing and yes disco rollerskating LOL). 

Also I embraced my nerdiness to an extent - but didn't call it that -I went headfirst into getting educated, being out there and making career choices and following up, networking from a really young age despite being shy and making that career and those educational accomplishments helped my self esteem (and starting in the early 2000s much later anti-frizz hair products helped um the rest).  

I still wanted desperately to fit in -I won't lie -but those self-growth and accomplishments may not have made me more "popular" but then I owned those accomplishments and no one could take that away from me and I built those from the ground up. 

Yes I had supportive parents for sure, yes I lived rent free in my 20s during grad school but this was almost all me and grit and resilience.  Those actions and qualities made me more attractive to the right men and right people. I originally met my husband at work -my first post-grad job in my career.  I wouldn't have met him or had the confidence to interact if I didn't get to work making my life happen.  

Absolutely I'd never have been fulfilled with just a career or just my education - I knew I wanted marriage and family -but most of why I went from feeling unfulfilled to fulfilled was my own hard work, being blunt with myself, throwing myself out of my comfort zone again and again -finding mentors and being a really good mentee so my mentors wanted to keep mentoring, networking for professional and husband-hunting purposes.

I understand you say you are neurodivergent.  I can't speak to that aspect other than as I said I was a quirky nerd and in ways still am -I had to improve my social skill for sure over the years.  I hope there are ways for you to do that -resources for your particular situation and needs- and I'd take advantage of that.

That's my story -you asked for our stories and I hope other's stories help and inspire you.  Please if you do feel despondent reach out for professional help.  I wish you the best.

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I understand the desire to fit in, the need for acceptance etc.

At some point, I think you have to decide, "I'm good enough for me" and you are doing the things that matter to you.

I have definitely seen examples where a person's situation changes with what seems like no effort but things are rarely what they seem. Things do not come easily for most people. 

So if want things to get better, you have to make them better for yourself.  How do you do that? Focus on things you can do for yourself.... as others mentioned exercise and following your interests. 

Life is not perfect. Find a way to enjoy what you can. 😉 

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