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Home » Ask the Therapist » Why Do I Want to Be 10 Again?

Why Do I Want to Be 10 Again?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a girl in Poland: Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m 10 again. I already usually feel 12 (I’m currently 14) which basically means It’s way harder to accept changes in my body/the way I feel about things ect. my perception of time isn’t all that good either.

I can deal with being 12 since not much happened when I really was 12, it was actually one of the best years in my life so I guess that might be the reason why I’m “stuck”, but being 10 is really painful since it was the year after I lost a very precious friend of mine and only then it started to actually take a toll on me, making me turn to some bad coping mechanisms (currently I’m a few months clean from cutting myself and I’m proud of it).

It now comes back, the same exact pain I felt at that time, I also feel more childish than I already did. I want to just jump around all the time, play games and read (reading and playing also were big coping mechanisms at the time, i spent so much time simply ignoring my feelings and reading/playing) I also feel more dependable on adults than I usually do.

I’m sorry if this sounds really dumb but I can’t explain it any better. What should I do to come back to normal? Should I try to ask my parents so they will let me go to a real-life therapist?

Why Do I Want to Be 10 Again?

Answered by on -

A.

It doesn’t “sound dumb” to me at all. You suffered a major loss when you were 10. You say that you used unhealthy ways (like cutting) to cope with your feelings of grief and confusion. Although it was an unhealthy way to cope, it did work for you. Unhealthy coping distracted you from feelings you were unprepared for and that were too big for you to deal with.

Now that you’ve stopped cutting, I think psychologically you are going back to the time of your loss to try to cope in a better way. But, it’s as if the only coping skills you know you can count on are the skills you used at age 10 — playing games and reading.

Your challenge now is to make up for lost time. You didn’t spend the last 4 years developing age appropriate coping skills. To get on with your life, you do need to do that.

I think seeing a therapist is a good idea. A therapist can give you some coaching and support while you catch up and learn the skills you need to go forward. She can also help you use those new skills to deal with the feelings and changes that happen at adolescence.

I’m very glad you wrote. Your letter indicates insight and intelligence. I think you will make good use of therapy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why Do I Want to Be 10 Again?

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APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Why Do I Want to Be 10 Again?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/05/02/why-do-i-want-to-be-10-again/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Apr 2020 (Originally: 2 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.