First post on here so here we go. I have major attachment issues, specifically to my mom and my 3 dogs. These issues impact my ability to go on vacations and have a job. I’m 20 but I don’t have my license and I haven’t been to college, while all my friends are moving on. I am afraid to move on because I don’t want to grow up. Any advice?

Anxiety (Including GAD)

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  • Schiele


    New experiences are horrifying to think about if you don’t want anything to change. I went through the exact opposite because I knew if I ever wanted to be stable I had to leave the house and either go to college or figure something else out (I was lucky enough that college was an option so I went with that). Although I will say that in the years right before I moved, my mom and I got closer and I was afraid of losing that by moving. Something that helped me both adjust to “being an adult” while still being able to retain the fact that I was super unprepared for the real world and needed support sometimes was going to a university within decent driving distance of my family. I can’t drive (loosely controlled epilepsy), but my family is eager enough to see me that I can either get a ride from them or ask a friend (that usually also involved hanging out with the friend in the destination city which would be fun). I visit home pretty regularly when there’s a break, sometimes if my load is light I’ll go home during the school year. You could try finding an apartment near your mom, ideally close enough you can bus or get a lift from someone (or your mom can come get you). I have friends who get regular pictures of their pets from family members while they’re in school so they can be updated. If you’re not able to go to college (money issues are absolutely a thing and a lot of people have them), or get an apartment, you could start with trying to pushing yourself to find a job in town. If you’re not able to spend a full eight hour work day away you could try smaller increments like going for a walk alone or spending a few hours in a park sketching or reading or something until you can’t take it and have to go back home. Something that will help force you to spend some time away from your cats and mom without being a semipermanent thing (ie, at the end of the day you’d get to see them). Starting small and working your way up to larger chunks of time might help. Not wanting to grow up is not something to feel ashamed of, everyone matured at different rates (and let’s be real, living with your family is way more common than a lot of society seems to realize), so holding on to something that helps you feel stable and secure as long as it isn’t actively hindering you doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You could take online classes from home, maybe even see if your local community college is within your budget (I’ll be real, any classes you can take cheaper at a community college is less money you have to waste on some university, I wish I had taken some of my core classes at a community college rather than three to four times the price at my state college). Some people might look down on community colleges, but it’s the same curriculum for cheaper and you’d be able to feel a little more mature without having to leave the house for long if at all (if you can find online courses).

  • emoryw


    hi, i wanted to share my experience because i can relate a bit to this. i’m 22 and i have lived away from home for about three years now. i never really liked my home town with the weather and the type of people that reside there and always wanted to leave. i went to college and flunked out due to severe depression and an abusive relationship and i went back home for 6 months. my relationship with my mom was getting a lot better before i left for college and this just made me want to stay even more - i have animals at home as well. but i went back and tried to continue living on my own. every time we visit i get deeply emotional when we have to say goodbye and i always contemplate why i choose not to stay. having my own dog and one good friend that i can rely on has helped me so much, but i try to be careful not to become codependent with her because we’re both prone to those types of relationships. i read about interdependency vs codependency and talking about that has helped us realize that equal support and trust is healthy as long as it’s balanced between both people. i would ease into more independent interests and maybe even adopt an animal of your own so that moving out you won’t feel so alone. i moved out by myself first and getting a dog and then a roomate definitely has made me less lonely. other than paying bills and groceries and all that stuff, my life is pretty un-adult like. i play a lot of games and paint and watch tv. i’m definitely not the most productive person but it does help me feel like i’m not living a boring life :)

  • mashed_potato


    I would like to share my story as well... unfortunately I have a severe attachment to my mother.. but not in a positive light. She is very sweet when she's sober, but doesn't know who I really am at all.. on the other hand she is an abusive person when she drinks, but her addiction has caused her to go legally blind and develop a seizure disorder. Despite everything... I can't leave her alone, she only has distant or minimal state support, it feels like I'm the only one there for her if she has a seizure at 2am, etc. But I have developed ptsd from her, I get nightmares almost every night and I get anxiety just living with her even if she's sober.. but I still can't leave her alone. I dont understand why I can't leave if it's better for my mental health and she might be fine without me

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