Having the Talk with Your Parents.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2013 12:51 AM GMT
    No, I'm not talking about the birds and the bees. No I'm not talking about coming out of the closet (at least not yet).

    I'm talking about the "I'm an adult now ..." talk.

    I've decided to change the direction of my life, (Thank you people of RJ), but my biggest hurdle (besides getting a job) seems to be my overprotective mother.

    Long story short, I've been practicing on a treadmill, which is no longer available to me. When I mentioned trying to run outside, my mother said "I can't keep up with you. But I guess I can follow you in the car."

    After having a "wow ... is she being serious?" moment, I jokingly said, "Well, you don't have to follow me, I don't mind going on my own." At which point she started freaking out, and saying that we don't know what could happen. (The irony is that I live in a good neighborhood).

    Basically, she won't let me out of the house without adult supervision. (For the record, I'm 20, never done drugs, or alcohol. Never been to a party either. I know how to drive, but don't have a car. I've been out of the house once by myself, but my brother tagged along for that. And to the ones who look down on me for living such a boring life, just know that I was all about school until I hit 18. I have plenty to show for it, just not alot of life experience.)

    If I get a job, and start my own life, then I'll need to overcome this eventually. I don't even want to think about what she is going to say when I decide to move out (I was hoping to do so in 6 months to a year or so. Depending on how soon I can get a job.)

    So my fine fellow gays, what would you do in my situation? Did your parents act like this? Any advice you can give?

    Keep in mind, I want to prove I'm an adult, so no angry rants and "F you" advice please.
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 377

    Apr 21, 2013 1:49 AM GMT
    You need to start showing more independence NOW so by the time you do leave it's not such a shock to either one of you. You can't go out on your own and be naive about how it's going to work. You should probably have several calm conversations with your mother about her overprotectiveness and that she needs to start giving you space as an adult.
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    Apr 21, 2013 2:27 AM GMT
    That's tough. It's worked this long, and you didn't leave when you had the chance so you liked it. Now you have to make a decision, and decisions are never easy because they have consequences. Moving out of the house is not a change because the only true change can be in yourself. So I'd start there.

    It's not that we act in dysfunction because every family is dysfunctional-- only some try to make it better. Family dependency issues go way beyond just the financial.

    Start by not being responsible and dependent for her feelings or thoughts while you're still there. It'll make transition easier. You've got a long road ahead of you.
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    Apr 21, 2013 3:59 AM GMT
    1blind_dog saidYou need to start showing more independence NOW so by the time you do leave it's not such a shock to either one of you. You can't go out on your own and be naive about how it's going to work. You should probably have several calm conversations with your mother about her overprotectiveness and that she needs to start giving you space as an adult.


    Any ideas how? I try to cook my own meals (sometiems for the whole family too), and clean the dishes. I always keep my room clean. And I take care of my own schooling. There isn't much else I can do.

    And I guess being honest is a way to show my maturity and independance. I'll try that.
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    Apr 21, 2013 4:04 AM GMT
    deltalimen saidThat's tough. It's worked this long, and you didn't leave when you had the chance so you liked it. Now you have to make a decision, and decisions are never easy because they have consequences. Moving out of the house is not a change because the only true change can be in yourself. So I'd start there.

    It's not that we act in dysfunction because every family is dysfunctional-- only some try to make it better. Family dependency issues go way beyond just the financial.

    Start by not being responsible and dependent for her feelings or thoughts while you're still there. It'll make transition easier. You've got a long road ahead of you.


    Did you read the whole post? I definitely didn't like it, but school was always top priority. I was in there like 300 days of the year. And I used summer school to get ahead, so a job never came up. Add to the fact that money was always tight, and I didn't have a car, or bike, and there wasn't much else to do.

    I've spent the last year chaning myself. And I have increased tremendously. Sadly, no one around me has taken any of my hints.

    Right now, I am not dependant on her at all. Obviously I respect her and try to understand her, but we have grown apart over these last two years. She still views me as a kid, despite the responsibility I've tried to take on.
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    Apr 21, 2013 4:43 AM GMT
    First off, I just want to congratulate you on your efforts. It's always a joy reading your posts as it seems like you're slowly evolving into the person you want to be, and this is just one step forward! Kudos to you for that!

    I turn 21 in July and my mother still acts like this but not nearly to that extent. Lately I've explained to her that I need my space and she understands. I think our relationship has become greater because of it.

    Do what most have said: explain to her how your independence makes you happy and that you'd like to feel more like an "adult" and less like a kid. It's something YOU want so you need to lay down the rules.

    If you ever need to talk don't hesitate to message me.

    Good luck,

    Josh
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Apr 21, 2013 4:45 AM GMT
    Congrats on slowly and surely asserting yourself, but...


    ...Jesus tapdancing Christ, I hate your mom. No offense. icon_redface.gif
  • Varanus

    Posts: 58

    Apr 21, 2013 5:23 AM GMT
    Wow...Seem's like your in quite a predicament at the moment.

    It really does make me wonder how and why parents become so clingy to their children and just cant seem to fathom the fact their child is an adult and should be starting to write his own path.

    Obviously you don't want to hurt your mothers feelings, so simply starting out like "going for a run/walk" would be a way to start conditioning her to the big event.
    Simply don't tell her your going for a run, leave her a note where she will easily find it so as she doesn't freak out and think you've been kidnapped and just go, run your damn heart away.
    This is partially your fault as well buddy as you've let this babying behaviour continue up until your 20's, I mean i stopped my mother from being clucky around 10-11 years of age.

    Ultimately this is your life where talking about so live it the way you want to live it not the way your mother wants you to.
    Sometimes its good to just do things without thinking...Give it a go, it might surprise you.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Apr 21, 2013 5:27 AM GMT
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    Apr 21, 2013 12:37 PM GMT
    Of course I read it all and all the other family posts. Your story is similar to mine. It's also similar to families with a disabled/handicap child. The overprotective mother is crippling to the child's identity and emotional maturity. It reminds me of working with the Deaf adolescents at the residential school; they all secretly despise their mothers. You should read Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon.

    I've not lived at home for 14 years, but I only started to change the relationship with my Father in the past two years. I call it 'attached to the tit'. Seeking my Father incessantly for all sorts of approval because I wasn't OK by myself. What I learned was if it wasn't him, it'd just be someone else-- another personality, another dick, etc... Constant searching for the OK from someone or something else is dependency. It's a sickness. It keeps us thinking we're more important than we really are.

    It's good you're coming to see the unhealthy part of the overbearing mother/child relationship. It starts with you. Taking responsibility means no more excuses. It's always interesting how people accept criticism because it is a reflection of their emotional maturity. It's a hard bite to chew, and I hope you start today.
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    Apr 21, 2013 1:24 PM GMT
    I've spent the last year chaning myself. And I have increased tremendously. Sadly, no one around me has taken any of my hints.

    Congrats on trying to make positive changes. Sounds like it's time to have a calm conversation with your mom. Stop giving hints and be direct. Make a list prior to your conversation...on one side, what is ok for her to stay involved in and on the other, what's not ok. Be sure to point out that if you need some guidance that you'll be sure to ask. I'd rehearse how you're going to present it and anticipate any objections/questions.

    I'd also set aside some 1-on-1 time with her. Go for walks together, go to the grocery store together,etc. But also set aside some "me time" that doesn't involve her.

    BTW, what Varanus said about leaving a note saying you're going on a run is a good idea. For safety reasons if nothing else. You can possbily calm her nerves a bit by always having some form of ID on you when you run. Check http://www.roadid.com/for suggestions.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Apr 21, 2013 1:26 PM GMT
    You might want to hit your mother's fears right where they live and then encourage her to deal with them.

    "What do you think might happen that I might need your help with on a run?"
    "Have you considered a time in the near future when I would be deciding to go for a run from my work place or from my apartment and that I would be making that decision without you even knowing that I am contemplating going for a run?'
    "You've done a great job raising me, I'm still going to need your guidance and advice on some much but I think I can handle going for a run. However the single lady next door's kids are latch keyed from 3:30 to 6:00 every day maybe you could take them to the park 3 days a week and the widowed lady at the end of the street is taking cabs to the grocery store - I think she would love to have your help."
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    Apr 21, 2013 1:35 PM GMT
    Tell her that the worst that could happen is you get your legs blown off by a pressure cooker.

    Or shin splints.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:46 PM GMT
    JumpMan_Josh saidFirst off, I just want to congratulate you on your efforts. It's always a joy reading your posts as it seems like you're slowly evolving into the person you want to be, and this is just one step forward! Kudos to you for that!

    I turn 21 in July and my mother still acts like this but not nearly to that extent. Lately I've explained to her that I need my space and she understands. I think our relationship has become greater because of it.

    Do what most have said: explain to her how your independence makes you happy and that you'd like to feel more like an "adult" and less like a kid. It's something YOU want so you need to lay down the rules.

    If you ever need to talk don't hesitate to message me.

    Good luck,

    Josh


    Thanks Josh, and that was the plan, I wasn't happy, so I decided to change.

    And thanks for sharing your experience. After some mental prepration, I'll definitely try talking to her and seeing how it goes. She can be a bit stubborn sometimes, so we'll see how it goes.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:48 PM GMT
    Rhi_Bran saidCongrats on slowly and surely asserting yourself, but...


    ...Jesus tapdancing Christ, I hate your mom. No offense. icon_redface.gif


    None taken. I know I portray her in an annoying overprotective way, but I do understand that she still loves me. That's what happens when introvert parents decide to have kids, they shut themselves and their children away from the world.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:52 PM GMT
    Varanus saidWow...Seem's like your in quite a predicament at the moment.

    It really does make me wonder how and why parents become so clingy to their children and just cant seem to fathom the fact their child is an adult and should be starting to write his own path.

    Obviously you don't want to hurt your mothers feelings, so simply starting out like "going for a run/walk" would be a way to start conditioning her to the big event.
    Simply don't tell her your going for a run, leave her a note where she will easily find it so as she doesn't freak out and think you've been kidnapped and just go, run your damn heart away.
    This is partially your fault as well buddy as you've let this babying behaviour continue up until your 20's, I mean i stopped my mother from being clucky around 10-11 years of age.

    Ultimately this is your life where talking about so live it the way you want to live it not the way your mother wants you to.
    Sometimes its good to just do things without thinking...Give it a go, it might surprise you.


    Yeah, I wonder the same. My dad still treats me like a toddler. I guess that's what happens when we grow old, parents long for the old days.
    I was actually gonna try going for a run when she wasn't here, then telling her (and yes leaving the note). But at the same time, I feel like if I do that, it will cause friction within the family, whereas getting her permission makes everything easier. But I guess that's something kids do right?
    I know I'm to blame for taking the "go with the flow" attitude. It's just annoying that it feels like all my relationships are crumbling. I'd like to have at least one I know I won't lose so easily.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:55 PM GMT
    deltalimen saidOf course I read it all and all the other family posts. Your story is similar to mine. It's also similar to families with a disabled/handicap child. The overprotective mother is crippling to the child's identity and emotional maturity. It reminds me of working with the Deaf adolescents at the residential school; they all secretly despise their mothers. You should read Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon.

    I've not lived at home for 14 years, but I only started to change the relationship with my Father in the past two years. I call it 'attached to the tit'. Seeking my Father incessantly for all sorts of approval because I wasn't OK by myself. What I learned was if it wasn't him, it'd just be someone else-- another personality, another dick, etc... Constant searching for the OK from someone or something else is dependency. It's a sickness. It keeps us thinking we're more important than we really are.

    It's good you're coming to see the unhealthy part of the overbearing mother/child relationship. It starts with you. Taking responsibility means no more excuses. It's always interesting how people accept criticism because it is a reflection of their emotional maturity. It's a hard bite to chew, and I hope you start today.


    Very good points deltalimen. I guess to a certain extent I did despise her. (Which I did not want to do). I rarely look to others for approval, but it is true that I value my families opinions greatly. I guess I need to man up and just lay it out for her.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:58 PM GMT
    runnerjc saidI've spent the last year chaning myself. And I have increased tremendously. Sadly, no one around me has taken any of my hints.

    Congrats on trying to make positive changes. Sounds like it's time to have a calm conversation with your mom. Stop giving hints and be direct. Make a list prior to your conversation...on one side, what is ok for her to stay involved in and on the other, what's not ok. Be sure to point out that if you need some guidance that you'll be sure to ask. I'd rehearse how you're going to present it and anticipate any objections/questions.

    I'd also set aside some 1-on-1 time with her. Go for walks together, go to the grocery store together,etc. But also set aside some "me time" that doesn't involve her.

    BTW, what Varanus said about leaving a note saying you're going on a run is a good idea. For safety reasons if nothing else. You can possbily calm her nerves a bit by always having some form of ID on you when you run. Check http://www.roadid.com/for suggestions.


    Everyone in my family is quite stubborn, so the hints were just a way to avoid conflict. Bt since none of them seem to show signs of changing, I guess it's all on me. It's annoying that everytime I go in to a conversation I feel like a man, and everytime I leave I feel like a child. It's gonna be hard to try to overcome that in her eyes. And if I went running, I'd definitely have ID on me.
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    Apr 21, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    LuckyGuyKC saidYou might want to hit your mother's fears right where they live and then encourage her to deal with them.

    "What do you think might happen that I might need your help with on a run?"
    "Have you considered a time in the near future when I would be deciding to go for a run from my work place or from my apartment and that I would be making that decision without you even knowing that I am contemplating going for a run?'
    "You've done a great job raising me, I'm still going to need your guidance and advice on some much but I think I can handle going for a run. However the single lady next door's kids are latch keyed from 3:30 to 6:00 every day maybe you could take them to the park 3 days a week and the widowed lady at the end of the street is taking cabs to the grocery store - I think she would love to have your help."


    Very good points Lucky, I think I'll use some of those. Making her realize that this is a first step toward the future is definitely crucial.
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    Apr 21, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
    OK WaytoDawn, I have been in the same situation as you. I am going to give you some advice that is going to sound harsh, but you need to hear me here.

    Get out. The only way you are going to break them from this smothering mentality is to distance yourself from them. You need to go away to college or find a way to move.

    I know you want to respect them, but you also have to assert yourself. Stop asking for permission. You are an adult. You can cross the street if you want to. They need some tough love. It's going to be hard, but you have to this now.
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    Apr 21, 2013 6:03 PM GMT
    Why do you allow your parents to treat you like a 9 year old? Grow up and get out. College is a good first step (and not living at home...) to make this transition if you feel like the schooling will be useful for whatever you want to do with your life.
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    Apr 22, 2013 1:42 AM GMT
    TheQuest saidOK WaytoDawn, I have been in the same situation as you. I am going to give you some advice that is going to sound harsh, but you need to hear me here.

    Get out. The only way you are going to break them from this smothering mentality is to distance yourself from them. You need to go away to college or find a way to move.

    I know you want to respect them, but you also have to assert yourself. Stop asking for permission. You are an adult. You can cross the street if you want to. They need some tough love. It's going to be hard, but you have to this now.


    That's kinda the plan for now. But I need to get enough money to at least be able to support myself first. The tough love part is gonna be hard though.
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    Apr 22, 2013 1:43 AM GMT
    S34n05 saidWhy do you allow your parents to treat you like a 9 year old? Grow up and get out. College is a good first step (and not living at home...) to make this transition if you feel like the schooling will be useful for whatever you want to do with your life.


    Because I fear/love them. Honestly, I just kinda go with the flow sometimes to avoid conflict. But I'm trying to assert myself more.
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 377

    Apr 22, 2013 1:51 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidTell her that the worst that could happen is you get your legs blown off by a pressure cooker.

    Or shin splints.


    Oooo, too soon
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 377

    Apr 22, 2013 2:07 AM GMT
    WaytoDawn said
    S34n05 saidWhy do you allow your parents to treat you like a 9 year old? Grow up and get out. College is a good first step (and not living at home...) to make this transition if you feel like the schooling will be useful for whatever you want to do with your life.


    Because I fear/love them. Honestly, I just kinda go with the flow sometimes to avoid conflict. But I'm trying to assert myself more.


    Your mother is flowing you in the wrong direction. She should want you to get on your own, support yourself, find a girl (assuming she doesn't know you're gay), start a family and live your life. It's obvious she has protective issues when it comes to you, by letter her continue those problems are becoming your own. You know that it's not how it should work and should take action to change this unhealthy behavior because it is only going to cause more damage. Seek out professional counseling if you have to, possibly through your school.

    Tell us some things we don't know. What is your degree level? What is your degree in? What is the potential for work in the near future? Would you be able to be financially stable and independent if you got a job in your career field?