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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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SouthernBelle. Offline
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Overprotective Parents - April 30th 2011, 04:41 PM

My parents, especially my mom, are too overprotective.

I can't go to any of my friends' houses, or with them anywhere. A month ago, one of my friends was going to go to a concert, and she wanted me to come along, too. It was this free thing for any kid who wanted to go, and it was being held somewhere that was very, very safe. With police there, even.

So, my mom's reply?

I don't know the girl, I don't know her parents, and you're not going.

While I do understand her worry, in part, has she ever thought of the fact that maybe I had thought it over for a while, and decided that it was a good idea only after a while?

My best friend has been wanting me to come over and visit her. I can't go, and I'm not even going to bother asking, because I know my mom will say: "Ana, you can't go over there. Maybe she can come here." It's not that I mind her coming to my house, it's just that if my mom doesn't like her, she's not going to let her come back, and she's probably going to say bad things about her around me. Or, if I do anything wrong, she'll criticize it behind my back with my grandma and aunt, and laugh at me, or even worse, she'll call me cute. When I'm around my mom with some of or even just one of my friends, it makes me feel awkward and I can't talk. I don't know what to say or do. If it was just me, I'd be able to turn up several hundred different things for us to do in the span of a millisecond. With the fact that we probably wouldn't be able to go anywhere in the house or on the farm without my mom, it makes it all awkward and a bit scary.

I desperately want to see some of my friends outside of school. It makes me jealous whenever I see a bunch of kids walking anywhere out at town together, because I see them going into stores and trying on glasses and whatnot and having a good time outside school together and it makes me jealous. To the point that I almost cried -- no, actually, I think I did cry -- for the first time in months last week.

Once, the girl I liked asked for my phone number. I had to tell her I couldn't give it to her, because my mom -- knowing she liked girls -- wouldn't have liked it at all. She practically would have killed me, not to mention probably not let me out of her sight while I was talking to her. I dread to think of the day when I actually do get a girlfriend, because we won't be able to go each other's houses without my mom peering over my shoulder the entire time. It would be very, very hard to keep a girlfriend and hide my sexuality, with my mother always, always there.

And if I got a boyfriend? Even worse. No privacy, whatsoever. They'd insist on either one of them (my parents), my aunt, my grandma, grandpa, or one of my younger siblings being around at all times. Do you know how awkward that would be? Hell, it's not even like I'm going to do anything stupid. I tend to think like an adult in these matters, really. I don't jump into anything without thinking about it -- sometimes overthinking it -- first, and nobody touches me without my say-so. It's like my mom has zero trust in me.

The thing that really triggered this whole 'overprotective parents' upset was that my cousin -- also my longest, most best friend, like a sister to me; let's call her Katidid -- had to move to another county where she didn't know anybody at all. My mom was saying how Katidid's mom had offered to let her stay with her older sister, but she hadn't wanted to. So I said, joking: "Hey, mom: Why don't we just let her stay here?" And my mom's reply was this:

"Oh, she wouldn't like it because I wouldn't let her go with some friends and four boys to the fishing hole. She wouldn't be able to go anywhere alone with any boys [that is to say, on a date]. She wouldn't be able to go stay all night with her friends on vacations or on weekends or anything. She'd leave in a month."

What she doesn't realize is that I don't like it very well, either, and if I had a choice, I'd be gone, too, just because of that. Sure, I love her, and I'd still come back to visit sometimes. But she's so controlling and overprotective that it's not even funny, and my dad's just old-fashioned when it comes to me and boys. However, I have a feeling he might be a bit more sympathetic on the 'going to friend's houses' thing, but he's kind of intimidating, so I don't want to talk to him about it.

It's just, sometimes I'd like to go visit my friends, spend some spare time without my mom hanging over my shoulder, monitoring the websites I go on, the movies I watch, the playstation games I play, the places I go, the people I talk to on the phone, the music I listen to. I mean, come on! Does she not realize that I listen to the depressing, suicidal, rebellious music I do because it helps me vent my feelings and makes me feel like I'm not the only one in the world living under a roof with a mom who nags me for sitting by myself in my bedroom a lot, living just down the road from a grandma and aunt for whom Three Days Grace's 'Let You Down' could have been written?

She lets me go visit my grandma and aunt by myself, just them, even though they've did more to me than anyone else in this world could ever do to me. She won't let me visit my nicer aunts by myself, or her own mother. She won't let me go stay the night with the only aunt on this side of the family I genuinely like, and Katidid, my longest friend, because she's afraid they'll, quote: "Leave me alone in the store," or: "Let you do more than what I'd let you do." Meaning, go places with Katidid and her friends, ride fourwheelers all over the place, or talk to any boy or girl who I may even remotely like (even though my mom doesn't know I like girls, thank goodness).

I just feel so trapped. I might only be fourteen, but I do know what's right and what's wrong, and I have dreams that are too big to let myself be caught up in drugs, or not do everything that's possible not to have a kid at fourteen years old. I've never even been kissed, because it's against the school rules to kiss anyone, and nobody's ever been at my house. I've never even held hands with someone, or told anyone outside my family that I love them. Love aside, I've only ever had one friend at my house, and ever visited one friend's house, at which point my mom was told by my grandma that I shouldn't be allowed to go, and I was kept from going. I've only ever been to one party, only ever once went to the movies with my friends, and both of those times, my mom was watching me the entire time.

What would be the best way to tell my mom that I'm not going to do anything outside of what I feel comfortable doing, and that I'll always call her if I need her to come pick me up, and that she doesn't have to worry so much about me getting hurt? I just want more freedom, but I don't even know how to begin asking for it in a way that wouldn't seem disrespectfu, but would still be persuasive enough to get her to at least let me try.

Any suggestions?


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: Overprotective Parents - April 30th 2011, 06:01 PM

I kind of read it through quickly, so sorry if I've missed out important bits. First, the most asked question on teehhelp. Have you spoken with her on how you trully feel? From what I've read it seems she understands what your cousin feels like, but doesn't appear to care or want to change.

I'm only responding to this post because it's something pretty similar with what I've had to put up with, but I never dealt with it the right way. It's enough that you read some of my other threads & posts to gather how it has shaped me. It was all out conflict and row. Things got broken round the house a lot, and I'd get my way regardless of her threatening to withdraw pocket money etc... I got sick of the blackmail and crap.

-__-

I don't talk much about it anymore lol... you have to make her recognise that she's probably doing more damage to your mental health than she's savouring by apparently "protecting" you from all the outside dangers. This isn't going to you any favours in the long run, apart from the odd instance when you'd get in trouble outside of home (it happens to almost everyone), but that won't compensate for the damage she's doing. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that what she's doing is selfish, since it appears she doesn't care about how your cousin felt about what's going on.

Your going to have to live on your own eventually anyway, go out to shops on your own, meet friends, travel on your own, and you will definitely run into problems now and then, but you'l be completely unprepared in dealing with them if you've never been given the opportunity before to confront such day-to-day problems, because she won't let you. Now's the time to make mistakes and learn from them, when you have parents around to guide you. When you move out later and live on your own, it's going to be shitloads harder without parents to help. She's not helping.


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.



Last edited by BDF; April 30th 2011 at 06:08 PM.
   
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Re: Overprotective Parents - April 30th 2011, 10:35 PM

BDF made an excellent point, and it's one I eventually used when asking my mom for more privileges. I told her that I would be going to college someday - and since there are no four-year universities around here, that would mean moving away from home. I did not rub anything in my mom's face, and I wasn't argumentative... I CALMLY listed several things that I would need to do upon going to college and living away from my mom. Here are some things you could tell your mom when talking to her:

- Getting a part-time or full-time job.
- Having enough money for public transportation or for a car.
- Waiting alone at the bus/train stop to get to work.
- Maintaining a car (ex. making sure it has enough gas, checking fluids).
- Purchasing groceries.
- Keeping tabs on upcoming deadlines for school, work, rent, etc.

Now, I think you should know that the "let me make mistakes now so I don't make them later" argument probably won't work. If anything, she'll just suspect you have something "bad" in mind, and she'll crack down even further. The approach I would take is that you need to begin preparing for the day when you'll turn 18 and have to become an independent adult. You're obviously too young to get a job or drive a car, but you'll need to have some exposure to those elements beforehand. If you don't have a job or car at 18 years old, and you've never prepared yourself for those two things, you'll have a much harder time adjusting. If you start working on your learner's permit at 16/17 years old, though, and if you start interviewing for jobs so you can work over the summer breaks, you'll be a little more confident in your abilities upon becoming an adult. THAT is what you need to emphasize when talking to your mom.

At times, you're going to feel like your mom isn't listening. You're going to feel like communicating with her is completely pointless, and you'll be tempted to give up. DON'T. Your mom is hoping that you'll do that! She wants you to become frustrated and stop trying, resigning yourself to a life under her control. She has the same mentality many adults do: teenagers are weak, and when they fail once or twice, they won't try again. You need to show your mom that you're not going to stop talking about what you feel is best for you. You need to keep talking about your preparation for adult life, even if she says "no" once, twice, or one hundred times. Every time you bring up the issue, though, you need to remain calm and use rational thinking. Don't go into a conversation unprepared - don't let her get the upper hand and make you look stupid. Don't lose your cool and start yelling at her - that will just show that you are an immature 14-year-old who isn't worthy of such privileges.

Don't give up. I know it's hard - I went through a similar experiences. I wasn't able to hang out with friends outside of school until I was 16 years old, and I had to FIGHT for that privilege. My mom also didn't want me to hang out with friends unless she 1) knew them, 2) met their parents, and 3) could get in touch with me at any given time. Of course, she didn't want to take the time to get dressed and go drive 5 miles to their house in order to meet their parents... so I never got to hang out with friends outside of school. Whenever I asked if friends could come over instead, she would say "no" because the house was "messy" and she "didn't feel like having noisy kids over". I persisted, though, and eventually, she realized I wasn't going to stop asking for that privilege.






   
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Re: Overprotective Parents - May 1st 2011, 02:23 AM

One, Three Days Grace is not suicidal, or depressive. Rebllious? Possibly.

Anyway, I would recomend talking to your mom. Explain everything. Tell her about how she would (Or did) feel if, or when your grandmother followed her around. Explain how you feel this is unfair. Tell her you feel that you are old enough to make your own choices. Or when friends come over, you know ignore your mom. Explain to your friend prior the situation and simply brush her off whenever possible.
Your sexuality is something you should bring up with her as well. Simply ask her opinion on being gay/lesbian, and then once she has stated your opinion simply say "Mum, I am lesbian/gay" . If you aren't 100% sure, avoid it. It's impossible to take back what ou've said.


Talking is the best choice, it would avoid hurt feelings that may ensue if you and your friends ignore your mom, or the don't listen to her. I could rant about how she wants the best for you, and she does. However this does not make her actions right.

- Justin



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Re: Overprotective Parents - May 1st 2011, 02:12 PM

Lol, Justin, I know that Three Days Grace isn't depressive or suicidal. I was referring to another band I listen to often, and I only referenced 'Let You Down' because if my grandma was truthful with me, those would be the words she and her sisters would tell me. Every damn time they try to tell me that I need to be more like them, and step up and start becoming more of a Christian and not wearing dark clothes and keeping my hair blue. They've constantly told me to trust them, then let me down every single time, often driving me further away from everything they were trying to make me think. Which is another problem, but as that's not what I'm talking about here, so...

And about telling my mom about being bisexual -- more lesbian than bisexual, I'm beginning to realize -- I think that'll have to wait until I have completely figured myself out, and am prepared for whatever she throws at me, seeing as she is against gay people. Or, more to the point, seeing as she is against her children being gay people, because she really doesn't mind gays as long as they're not affecting her life in any way.

I will try to talk to my mom about her keeping me away from my friends after school. I was going to give her a letter, but when it comes down to it, I don't think a letter will cut it. So I'll probably just talk to her about it next time we go running or go to town alone together. I'll probably just see if she minds taking me to visit my best friend one evening, and leaving me there after being introduced to everybody, so she can see that not everyone in this world is going to harm me.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: Overprotective Parents - May 1st 2011, 04:41 PM

Okay, firstly it's good you haven't told your mother about your bisexuality or lesbianism. Parents will try to talk their kids out of it, and if you are unsure, you could be talked into the fact this is a "Stage" which at this point would be very counter productive.

Secondly, I'm unsure of how you, or your family have learned christainity. But Luther Christians believe that God doesn't hate gays. God will leave everyone with good in their heart to heaven. And that God accepts us all. I would assume you are Roman Chatatholic. It might be a good idea to study other kinds of christainity, should you want to keep faith, but not play by the same rules. The different types of christainity are all different, I know some people who like baptist churches. Find the kind of church for you, and your needs. Explain this to your mother. Tell her that although you believe in God, and Jesus, you believe in them differently than she does. Explain pros and cons, show her you are becomming an adult.

Also, about talking to your mom in public. A great idea. It would stop any major melt downs, it's a releaxed environment, and you will at least leave her introduce herself, you are still involving her. You are doing great, best of luck.

- Justin



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