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50+ Years Old and Trapped


ArthurP

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It's been awhile, but it's always comforting to know I can put on some ambient music come here and find some solace.

So, I turned 52 seven days ago and all I see about my life is a waste. I never accomplished anything. Never had a truly long-lasting relationship or short ones either for that matter. People who are attracted to me I of course have no interest in and so have spent most of my life alone. I've gone literal years without sex.  I always felt that success would somehow come to me so I never made the effort that truly successful people have and have exactly what no efforts gives you: nothing. Hell, I'm still dealing with student loan debt!  I have no money saved so now I'm 52 and trapped in an executive assistant job that I hate working for someone who inflicts her own neuroses on everyone around her and is allowed to do so because she's very good at her job. I share a one-bedroom apartment in NYC with the same roommate I've had for nearly 30 years.  To top it off I've got a 70-year old father who refuses to admit he may have Parkinson's and so won't do anything about it and my mother has basically become his 24 hour nurse while he has my sister search in vain on the internet to find another solution and he's slowly wearing them both down as he  himself slips away.  Because I have no success or financial security I can't take care of them the way they need.  The comedic cherry on top is that I've been mistaken for another person with my name in a lawsuit in Texas and had a judgement delivered to me today. Now I have to fix that mistake before it becomes my real Kafka-like problem.

I try to remind myself that I don't have any real problems. I didn't lose my house or a loved one in a fire. I'm not at the border being showered with tear gas. I'm not like one of my friends who's spent the last few nights in a hospital with four-month old infant on an IV with oxygen (she's better and hopefully leaving tomorrow). I'm just a sad old loser trapped in a situation he made for himself and can't see anyway out.   I'd love to leave my job, but a) am only qualified to do something I hate and b) am equally terrified that the next place will be even worse and I won't have the few perks of the job currently (11 years means a good amount of vacation and I walk to work).  And right now more than anything it's that feeling of having no options that's crushing me and has me crying on my keyboard as I type this. I'm just so trapped. I don't know how to get out.  I don't know where to go or what to do.

Thanks for reading.

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Hi Arthur,

    Your post resonates with me since tomorrow is my birthday and I will be 64 years old.  Happy belated birthday to you!  

     I'm very sorry you are feeling so badly.    What you write of are things I can definitely relate to.  Your post helps me feel less alone and isolated with my own personal anguish and pain and so I am profoundly grateful to you.   I wish I could write more but the tendinitis in my hands is acting up today and I cannot type for long.  My apologies to you.  Hopefully others will make up for my woefully inadequate response to your heartfelt post.  You deserve so much more and so much better than you have received in life ! ! !   - epictetus

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1 hour ago, ArthurP said:

It's been awhile, but it's always comforting to know I can put on some ambient music come here and find some solace.

So, I turned 52 seven days ago and all I see about my life is a waste. I never accomplished anything. Never had a truly long-lasting relationship or short ones either for that matter. People who are attracted to me I of course have no interest in and so have spent most of my life alone. I've gone literal years without sex.  I always felt that success would somehow come to me so I never made the effort that truly successful people have and have exactly what no efforts gives you: nothing. Hell, I'm still dealing with student loan debt!  I have no money saved so now I'm 52 and trapped in an executive assistant job that I hate working for someone who inflicts her own neuroses on everyone around her and is allowed to do so because she's very good at her job. I share a one-bedroom apartment in NYC with the same roommate I've had for nearly 30 years.  To top it off I've got a 70-year old father who refuses to admit he may have Parkinson's and so won't do anything about it and my mother has basically become his 24 hour nurse while he has my sister search in vain on the internet to find another solution and he's slowly wearing them both down as he  himself slips away.  Because I have no success or financial security I can't take care of them the way they need.  The comedic cherry on top is that I've been mistaken for another person with my name in a lawsuit in Texas and had a judgement delivered to me today. Now I have to fix that mistake before it becomes my real Kafka-like problem.

I try to remind myself that I don't have any real problems. I didn't lose my house or a loved one in a fire. I'm not at the border being showered with tear gas. I'm not like one of my friends who's spent the last few nights in a hospital with four-month old infant on an IV with oxygen (she's better and hopefully leaving tomorrow). I'm just a sad old loser trapped in a situation he made for himself and can't see anyway out.   I'd love to leave my job, but a) am only qualified to do something I hate and b) am equally terrified that the next place will be even worse and I won't have the few perks of the job currently (11 years means a good amount of vacation and I walk to work).  And right now more than anything it's that feeling of having no options that's crushing me and has me crying on my keyboard as I type this. I'm just so trapped. I don't know how to get out.  I don't know where to go or what to do.

Thanks for reading.

Hi @ArthurP. I am sad to hear you are in this predicament too.

Your post could have been written by me. I am past 50 and in a dead end job(I have never had a job I truly enjoyed, all of them have been entry-level with a low pay) with no skills or interests. Nothing in my life feels right. I realized a long time ago I have felt out of place, dissatisfied and disappointed with myself ever since I started thinking for myself. I worry about my parents too as they are old now and they both have illnesses they are not taking seriously. I feel like a colossal failure and I can see no way out. A while back I realized that I have never really wanted to live. All I do is exist. I feel guilty feeling this way. There are people out there willing to k ill for what I have. Like you, there is no immanent threat to my life, I have a roof over my head and a steady supply of sustinance that I can just about manage to pay for. I hate myself and I don't really like people in general either. I have given up making the effort as it always lead to the same dead end place I am in currently.  I am pretty much just waiting to die or getting the the courage to do it myself.

I wish I had something positive to say other than that you are not alone feeling the way you do. Some people do make it out eventually. I hope you are one of those people. Take care!

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Hi Arthur. I'm a couple years shy of 50 and I also feel stuck, lonely, unsatisfied with where I am and with what I've accomplished, worrying about my 84 year old mother and terrified when pondering my own future. 

I've lived and worked in NY, it's a fabulous city. I remember it's hard on the wallet and the workplace is seldom friendly and dating is hard. But it ain't boring.

I wouldn't say that you don't have any real problems, I think you did a really fine job of outlining them. Putting your problems in perspective is fine so long as you acknowledge they are still real. And presumably made harder by dealing with mental illness.

Since I'm struggling with some similar problems - including an unfortunate and severe case of the existential flu - I'll share some things I'm doing and considering doing for myself. 

A creative outlet. I'm not returning to a hobby I've previously had rather trying something new. I'm writing poetry. I'm rubbish at it but that's unimportant because it's merely a creative outlet, a way of expressing how I feel, it isn't a contest. 

Volunteering. I've done it before, I think I'll return to it. I don't bother with the calculus of whether I'm actually helping people and I no longer feel like I have to save the whole damn world. It just feels good to serve, if just for a while.

Spiritual pursuits. I don't mean communing with ghosties and I'm not ready to embrace religion again. The feeling of being connected to all things and what follows, feeling a part of something bigger than myself. Delusion? Fantasy? I don't care. It feels good and I need those feels. Now. 

Dancing. Yikes, how am I ever going to overcome my anxiety to do this, I haven't the faintest idea. It is going to be all effort for a while. Still, before I'm dead I really got to know if it's going to give me pleasure.

That's me. You do you, of course. Whatever makes you happy, whatever gives you hope. Just don't go back to the same restaurant and order the same thing, this is midlife, we need to know we can yet be pleasantly surprised by self-discovery.  

Wishing you happier days. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Atra said:

Hi Arthur. I'm a couple years shy of 50 and I also feel stuck, lonely, unsatisfied with where I am and with what I've accomplished, worrying about my 84 year old mother and terrified when pondering my own future. 

I've lived and worked in NY, it's a fabulous city. I remember it's hard on the wallet and the workplace is seldom friendly and dating is hard. But it ain't boring.

I wouldn't say that you don't have any real problems, I think you did a really fine job of outlining them. Putting your problems in perspective is fine so long as you acknowledge they are still real. And presumably made harder by dealing with mental illness.

Since I'm struggling with some similar problems - including an unfortunate and severe case of the existential flu - I'll share some things I'm doing and considering doing for myself. 

A creative outlet. I'm not returning to a hobby I've previously had rather trying something new. I'm writing poetry. I'm rubbish at it but that's unimportant because it's merely a creative outlet, a way of expressing how I feel, it isn't a contest. 

Volunteering. I've done it before, I think I'll return to it. I don't bother with the calculus of whether I'm actually helping people and I no longer feel like I have to save the whole damn world. It just feels good to serve, if just for a while.

Spiritual pursuits. I don't mean communing with ghosties and I'm not ready to embrace religion again. The feeling of being connected to all things and what follows, feeling a part of something bigger than myself. Delusion? Fantasy? I don't care. It feels good and I need those feels. Now. 

Dancing. Yikes, how am I ever going to overcome my anxiety to do this, I haven't the faintest idea. It is going to be all effort for a while. Still, before I'm dead I really got to know if it's going to give me pleasure.

That's me. You do you, of course. Whatever makes you happy, whatever gives you hope. Just don't go back to the same restaurant and order the same thing, this is midlife, we need to know we can yet be pleasantly surprised by self-discovery.  

Wishing you happier days. 

 

 

I feel you my friends because I’m knocking on the door of 50 and I’m about to go in and I’m beginning to realize that the old me is slowly disappearing and he will be no where to be found.  It’s hard realizing that you are not the dream that people are looking for but you are the nightmare people are afraid to approach but this is the reality of becoming older.  Doors closed on us and we have to force them open just to get the opportunities to go in.

:Coopyahoo:

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1 hour ago, Floor2017 said:

I feel you my friends because I’m knocking on the door of 50 and I’m about to go in and I’m beginning to realize that the old me is slowly disappearing and he will be no where to be found.  It’s hard realizing that you are not the dream that people are looking for but you are the nightmare people are afraid to approach but this is the reality of becoming older.  Doors closed on us and we have to force them open just to get the opportunities to go in.

:Coopyahoo:

My life has been a waste and a failure. Getting old scares and abhors me like nothing else. I have always felt that way about old age.  And here I am.

I have also always been lethargic, apathetic and scared about everything. Life has been a challenge, a competition I have had little interest in participating in. I thought that eventually that it would change, that I would change, that I could change. It never does. Whatever I do I stay the same. The same dead end. I hate myself so much it isn't funny anymore. Haha.

I don't want to live in this world. It is a sad place and I feel like a misfit wherever I am. I want to be over with this pointless existence. I just don't have the courage to take my life though. As far as I have seen, life is just various degrees of hell without any hope of finding anything resembling peace or contentment. 

You know folks, I don't believe I have ever truly been alive. No idea what it could feel like.

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Hi ArthurP,

Is your boss able to teach you anything that can make you more marketable?  Also what finances can you re-allocate to paying off your debt?  Or what can you cut to enable you to do so?

I have spent my whole life without sex.  All of my encounters I was not consenting.  I have not had a relationship either.  I do have a few friends and am trying to make more. 

Do you go to or are you able to go to any networking events that you can start building a network?  Please do so. 

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19 minutes ago, samadhiSheol said:

My life has been a waste and a failure. Getting old scares and abhors me like nothing else. I have always felt that way about old age.  And here I am.

I have also always been lethargic, apathetic and scared about everything. Life has been a challenge, a competition I have had little interest in participating in. I thought that eventually that it would change, that I would change, that I could change. It never does. Whatever I do I stay the same. The same dead end. I hate myself so much it isn't funny anymore. Haha.

I don't want to live in this world. It is a sad place and I feel like a misfit wherever I am. I want to be over with this pointless existence. I just don't have the courage to take my life though. As far as I have seen, life is just various degrees of hell without any hope of finding anything resembling peace or contentment. 

You know folks, I don't believe I have ever truly been alive. No idea what it could feel like.

My friend perhaps everyone around us are the misfits and we are trying to measure ourselves to them when actually they should be measuring themselves to us.  It just a thought and nothing more my friend.

:console:

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5 minutes ago, Floor2017 said:

My friend perhaps everyone around us are the misfits and we are trying to measure ourselves to them when actually they should be measuring themselves to us.  It just a thought and nothing more my friend.

:console:

Pretty much how I think at times. But it amounts to the same. The world clearly doesn't want me as I am and I don't care about the world.

I don't want to live. That is all there is to it.

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In less than a year, I will be 60. I never thought I'd be saying/typing that. I honestly thought I'd be gone before I turned 30. I lived very recklessly when I turned 18. But the fates prevailed and now I've been stuck in this sh!tty excuse for a life for decades. My accomplishments are meager...though I did manage to raise a daughter who's now 24. But I even sucked at that...she had to put up with my depression and self-loathing throughout her life.

I hate my job, but I'm stuck there. I got cleaned out in the divorce 4 years ago and I desperately need the $$. So I shuffle through "life" and spread suckage wherever I go.

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6 hours ago, JD4010 said:

In less than a year, I will be 60. I never thought I'd be saying/typing that. I honestly thought I'd be gone before I turned 30. I lived very recklessly when I turned 18. But the fates prevailed and now I've been stuck in this sh!tty excuse for a life for decades. My accomplishments are meager...though I did manage to raise a daughter who's now 24. But I even sucked at that...she had to put up with my depression and self-loathing throughout her life.

I hate my job, but I'm stuck there. I got cleaned out in the divorce 4 years ago and I desperately need the $$. So I shuffle through "life" and spread suckage wherever I go.

You will get past it JD4010.  Do everything you can to be successful as it is the best form of revenge.

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On 11/27/2018 at 2:08 AM, Epictetus said:

Hi Arthur,

    Your post resonates with me since tomorrow is my birthday and I will be 64 years old.  Happy belated birthday to you!  

     I'm very sorry you are feeling so badly.    What you write of are things I can definitely relate to.  Your post helps me feel less alone and isolated with my own personal anguish and pain and so I am profoundly grateful to you.   I wish I could write more but the tendinitis in my hands is acting up today and I cannot type for long.  My apologies to you.  Hopefully others will make up for my woefully inadequate response to your heartfelt post.  You deserve so much more and so much better than you have received in life ! ! !   - epictetus

Thank you, E. It does help not feeling so all alone in this so you've provided the same comfort for me.

I'm sorry for your ailments. A recent doctor's appointment about some pains I was having had him saying things like "a little arthur..." and I was confused for a second before I realized he was talking about arthritis!

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22 hours ago, samadhiSheol said:

Hi @ArthurP. I am sad to hear you are in this predicament too.

Your post could have been written by me. I am past 50 and in a dead end job(I have never had a job I truly enjoyed, all of them have been entry-level with a low pay) with no skills or interests. Nothing in my life feels right. I realized a long time ago I have felt out of place, dissatisfied and disappointed with myself ever since I started thinking for myself. I worry about my parents too as they are old now and they both have illnesses they are not taking seriously. I feel like a colossal failure and I can see no way out. A while back I realized that I have never really wanted to live. All I do is exist. I feel guilty feeling this way. There are people out there willing to k ill for what I have. Like you, there is no immanent threat to my life, I have a roof over my head and a steady supply of sustinance that I can just about manage to pay for. I hate myself and I don't really like people in general either. I have given up making the effort as it always lead to the same dead end place I am in currently.  I am pretty much just waiting to die or getting the the courage to do it myself.

I wish I had something positive to say other than that you are not alone feeling the way you do. Some people do make it out eventually. I hope you are one of those people. Take care!

Thank you for responding and I hope we all make it out together with one of those annoying "didn't find purpose until late in life" stories.

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On 11/27/2018 at 12:11 PM, JD4010 said:

In less than a year, I will be 60. I never thought I'd be saying/typing that. I honestly thought I'd be gone before I turned 30. I lived very recklessly when I turned 18. But the fates prevailed and now I've been stuck in this sh!tty excuse for a life for decades. My accomplishments are meager...though I did manage to raise a daughter who's now 24. But I even sucked at that...she had to put up with my depression and self-loathing throughout her life.

I hate my job, but I'm stuck there. I got cleaned out in the divorce 4 years ago and I desperately need the $$. So I shuffle through "life" and spread suckage wherever I go.

You don't spread any "suckage" here, JD...quite the opposite, in fact

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3 minutes ago, LonelyHiker said:

You don't spread any "suckage" here, JD...quite the opposite, in fact

JD.  You are so valued here and we really appreciate you a lot.  Try not to be so hard on yourself because you are a hold lot better than you give yourself credit for.  From one friend to another who understand your pain.

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Great thread here.  Well, what I mean is that there are a bunch of us all in the same boat.  We should give this support group some pathetic but funny name.

I’m not 50 yet but am almost there. I have a very good job, financially, but it brings me zero fulfillment. It doesn’t help when my superiors don’t have any idea what I do and don’t realize that I keep most of the operations running.  At home, my wife has no interest in me, doesn’t appreciated anything I do, but must keep me because I am the financial strength of our family.  My kids are great but I just don’t the strength to deal with them.

Inhave no joy, purpose, or meaning for my life. I have no friends, as in zero. I don’t do anything for myself that would bring my any inkling of happiness or enjoyment. I wake up, work, go home, take care of kids, go to be, then repeat. So what the heck am I doing each day? What is the point that of living each day? What is the difference if I live 10 more days or 1,000 days? No different outcome will occur. I am simply existing because my purpose in life is to generate money so that other people can live their lives. I guess that’s the life of a dairy cow.

Sorry for rambling and lamenting about myself. I guess if there is any good here (always supposed to look at the positive, right?) there is a group of us pathetic, soulless zombies here.  At least we can commiserate amongst ourselves.

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  • 1 month later...

Well the brief respite the holidays gave is over and I'm back at work on Monday and have already had a minor anxiety attack because I made the mistake of checking my work phone. Here's the funny/sad thing about me and anxiety: I literally lose my s**t. When I hits I have to immediately go to the bathroom.  It wasn't like that when I was younger so clearly this is something age related.  

Speaking of that, for the first time in years I gained weight over the holidays and can't get it off. I'm literally 10 pounds heavier than I was before Thanksgiving.  If there's one thing I can said to be have accomplished is that I changed myself physically. It's the only discipline I've maintained.Ten years ago I hit 200 pounds and made the decision to turn it around getting down to 175 and being able to hold it in that area for the past 3 or 4 years. Now, nothing is working. It's like a switch was turned off when I turned 52.

Happy New Year, everyone,

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1 hour ago, LonelyHiker said:

I will be 51 this year and everything in this thread resonates strongly with me.

I too feel trapped in a life I despise...stuck in a prison with no walls, no door,  no lock, no key, and no means of egress..

sounds like my life

 

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9 hours ago, ArthurP said:

Well the brief respite the holidays gave is over and I'm back at work on Monday and have already had a minor anxiety attack because I made the mistake of checking my work phone. Here's the funny/sad thing about me and anxiety: I literally lose my s**t. When I hits I have to immediately go to the bathroom.  It wasn't like that when I was younger so clearly this is something age related.  

Speaking of that, for the first time in years I gained weight over the holidays and can't get it off. I'm literally 10 pounds heavier than I was before Thanksgiving.  If there's one thing I can said to be have accomplished is that I changed myself physically. It's the only discipline I've maintained.Ten years ago I hit 200 pounds and made the decision to turn it around getting down to 175 and being able to hold it in that area for the past 3 or 4 years. Now, nothing is working. It's like a switch was turned off when I turned 52.

Happy New Year, everyone,

I feel you my friend and I’m struggling as

well since I have gotten older.  I can not 

control my weight and I don’t seem to 

have the energy to do some of the things 

I always enjoyed 

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5 hours ago, LonelyHiker said:

I will be 51 this year and everything in this thread resonates strongly with me.

I too feel trapped in a life I despise...stuck in a prison with no walls, no door,  no lock, no key, and no means of egress..

the way i describe how i feel is a wild animal, a predator like a bear or lion, trapped and caged no longer free to roam, 

 

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I'm trying to live my life...as in actually live it. But I keep falling back to my old ways. I might as well still be married because I deal with my ex a lot...my daughter still lives with her.

The one good thing that has happened is I stopped drinking.

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I'll join the list as well. There's a sense of impending doom with the job I somehow still have. Given the culture of "ageism" in my field, I suspect it would be nearly impossible to find another. (Amazing how those around me have gotten so much younger over the years.)

Being alone doesn't help, either. 😞

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You're not alone.  Never tried to succeed in anything, and now of course it's too late.  New York is tough.  The cost of living where I am is really high, too.  And I do appreciate that I have food and shelter, but we're constantly  reminded of what we don't have and where we're supposed to be by this age. But mental health is never figured into life's equation, it's still ignored and hush hush.  By the time we know what's held us back for so long, and how to manage it, there's no time left to live. I guess it's good to know we all relate but it's still a lonely existence. 

 

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