So there's a guy...

Brand-new? This is the place for your questions and discussions on any and all topics, with fellow users or staff, while you get your feet wet.
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

Yeah. I really want my situation to change. I did babysit my nephews by myself the other day, which they never let me do before.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

I know that you do. Please know that we understand these kinds of dynamics, and we also know the effects they have on someone who grows up in them. We get that this isn't about you being lazy, or not doing things when you easily can. You asked me the other day if I'd ever known anyone in your kind of situation. I have, and we have also worked with others in similar situations here at Scarleteen. I feel for you, Jenny, I really do. I know that this is really challenging, and I know that there's also a lot of conflicting feelings at play here. I think in your particular situation as an adoptee, as someone rural, and as someone with the seizure disorder you have, it's particularly complex.

I wanted to find you something the other day when we were talking to address the kinds of dynamics it seems you're living with, something outside our site so that you could see some information that wasn't just from us. I found this, which I think is a very good basic primer on the general kinds of dynamics you've grown up with and are still living in: https://www.choosingtherapy.com/controlling-parents/

I found a few more things I think are good, if you're interested in reading some more:
https://eggshelltherapy.com/paranoid-co ... g-parents/
https://www.parentingforbrain.com/controlling-parents/

I do think you might have more options than you think you do, and more ways around their control than you may think. I get how fearful you feel: you've been taught over a long, long time to feel fearful, and you're still living in that environment, so it's understandable you feel that way. But with some coordination (like, for instance, between us and maybe that friend you mentioned, or with help from your brother and sister-in-law) you might be able to do things like, for example, apply for disability income for yourself or at least get some information about it. (You can look at some information on that online if you like, just so get a sense of things: https://dhs.sd.gov/disabilitydeterminationservices.aspx) We don't mind going the extra mile for users here with special needs like special needs for extra security, truly. If you want to start trying to take some extra steps at any point, but don't feel secure/safe enough doing that, we can help you get connected with others who understand your need for that security or work with you ourselves in that way.

I do want to say that I believe the level of control that your parents are exerting on you at this point and at your age is such that were adult social services to be involved, they would likely help you leave your home. In other words, they would likely agree with me that this is an emotionally (and at this point, maybe also financially, and, should it be impacting your physical health in any way, potentially even physically) abusive situation, and possibly get involved to remove you from it or otherwise help to change the situation there. You've had enough people making choices for you and taking control away from you: I'm not saying that's something we will try and do, I'm saying that is an option YOU have for yourself, and we can talk more about what that might look like if you want to.

I'll leave you to read those things, but I just want to leave you with one more clear statement: you are deserving of age-appropriate autonomy, freedom and respect. You are worthy and deserving of your own life and choices, and the kind of basic freedoms you have talked about wanting and more. It not only isn't okay that you haven't had them, it isn't healthy you haven't, and your parents telling you it is for the sake of your health is gaslighting, not truthful or caring. If they truly believe it's the latter, not the former, then something is deeply the matter in their own understanding of how to parent in a healthy way. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

I know my parents love me unconditionally. I know they would never physically abuse me. But they do not treat me like an adult. They think I know nothing of the world. They think I am naïve.

And you're right, I am scared. I can't just do any of the stuff I actually want to. I don't want them to be disappointed or upset with me. No one in my life wants to help me get my freedom because they're scared of my parents too. My sister is too scared to ask them for Instagram bc she fears their reaction. We shouldn't be afraid to ask our parents for things. But we are.

This afternoon, I finally told my mom that my friend has a bf she met online. My mom assumed that I want to online date. I don't want to, but she assumed I did. She said if I had an online dating account to delete it(I don't). She yelled about how dangerous online dating is. She said my friend is too young to online date. My friend is 20. My mom asked me if I trusted her. I said yes even tho I didn't fully mean it. She says she knows better than me. She said she is scared for my friend's safety and my friend's mom(who is dead) wouldn't approve. My mom doesn't even know my friend's mom.

My mom judges people...all the time. She judges me too. I can't do anything without her judging me. Every time we leave the house, there is something wrong with me that my mom has to fix. I'm scared that this will go on forever. How do I change it? I just want to be normal.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

It's very normal to be afraid of parents who have engaged in emotional abuse, which is what this kind of control is. It's not a kind of caring or love, and I know that that is hard to hear and to take in, and it's not something I'd ever expect someone to take in and accept all at once. But it isn't. Caring is healthy. Control is not. That you feel scared is a very clear sign that things aren't right in your home. We don't feel scared of people who are safe for us. We don't feel like someone's disappointment in us would be devastating, that we couldn't risk it, or that we should give up on normal, healthy basic needs so we don't disappoint.

Again, these are all signs of abuse.

So, how do you change this? Well, one of the ways to start -- there's no all at once here -- is to start trying to accept that this isn't healthy, the way you have been living, and this isn't about protection or love or care. You are living within a dynamic that is unhealthy and controlling. You can't change that dynamic. You can't. They are not going to be the people who change here first, if they change at all.

You can leave it, though, and that's how you can start to change it and your life for yourself. And in the meantime, you can start to do things that can get you there in time, and you can start doing some things to start protecting your heart a bit better, and start getting your head out of the beliefs of these dynamics.

Were you able to read the links I put there for you? How did those things feel to read? What did you think about them? What resonated with you in them?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

Yeah I read the articles. Some of those things sound like what my parents do. I want my parents to realize that those articles basically describe them, but they would never read them. I know there are people out there with parents like mine. I want to know what they do.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

They leave.

Or they don't, and they get stuck.

And some people repeat these dynamics with their kids and in their other relationships. Other people work hard -- often including therapy and other work -- to end the cycle and learn new ways of engaging in family relationships.

I'm so sorry that that's all it boils down to, but it really does. Abusive and controlling people don't just change, they don't have lightbulb moments like we hope they'll have, especially when we're talking about people like your parents who have had these patterns for such a long time. It's why a few posts back I said to talk to your older siblings - I wanted you to hear from them why they left, why they keep their distance, and probably what they tried to do before they realized they couldn't make them change, either. :(
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

I'm heading out for the day, but I'll be back tomorrow if you want to talk about this some more, Jenny. I'd also be happy to set up a time that works for you to talk about this in our chat client in the event that talking about it on the boards has you feeling too exposed for any reason. Like I said, we really feel for you and want to do what we can to help you out, so just let us know.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

I do still want to talk about it and I don't feel too exposed. I would love to talk to you, but the chat window opens up when I'm called up to eat dinner. The time zones are different.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

That’s okay, those times aren’t great for me, either. I can work out a time that works better for both of us. Why don’t you toss me some days and times that work best for you and let’s find something that works for us both.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

Does 2pm(idk what time that is ur time) on the 25th work for you? I don't know how long I'll be able to talk since I have school, but I think I can talk and do some of my hw at the same time.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

I’m also CST. I can absolutely make that work. On that day, if you just come to the boards, the little icon you’re seeing in the right hand corner that’s gray now will be red and yellow then, and you can just click in.

We can keep talking here if you want, or table our conversation until then, whichever feels best to you.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

Ok that sounds good! Thank you! And yeah we can keep talking here.

I have my college small group tonight for the first time. My mom was concerned that it was at my leader's house. Like I would rather have it be at my church bc it's closer, but I'm not bothered that it's at a house. My mom kept asking me questions about it and it's like idk chill.

My parents talked and they said that I could keep $200 from the covid check I got. I really wanted $300. I really want to say that it's my money, but I don't want them to not let me keep any.

My parents are still worried about online dating. I heard them talking to my aunt this morning when I came up for breakfast. She was saying how dangerous it is. It's like let it go, I already said I don't want to.

I've thought a lot about talking to my parents. I just need to tell them that they're not treating me like a normal college student. They always say it's for my safety, but it's like STOP! I don't need them to keep me "safe". How do I do that? All I want is to have the social media I want and to have my phone in my room until I move out. It's not that unreasonable. I thought a lot last night about how I would say it. Like when I move out and I do have this freedom, I'm not going to know what to do bc they never let me do it at home. I can't just move out and be able to do whatever I want, bc I won't know how to handle it all. They said I can't have my phone in my room bc of my health. They said I need to sleep. It's like obviously I know that. I know I need sleep so I don't have seizures. It's infuriating.

When my mom asked me if I trusted her yesterday, I really wanted to say kinda and not yes. Like her reasons for us not to be able to do certain things is so stupid. Like she didn't let me and my sister watch GMW when we were in high school bc it had too much boy-girl stuff in it. It's like dude we are in high school and the characters were in middle school. My mom doesn't let my brother play Fortnite and she's afraid he'll want to shoot people. It's like he doesn't like killing bugs and he gets lonely when he watches tv alone, he is not going to shoot someone.

The guy I might like says he's just gonna let a relationship happen. Like if it happens it'll happen. He doesn't know I might like him. We've talked about deeper stuff lately. Do you think he might like me someday?

Sorry this was all over the place.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

We're on for Monday at 2, and I'm happy to talk in the meantime.

You are absolutely, positively right: moving out on your own without any real transition leading up to it makes that change really hard. It's why part of parenting is supposed to be all about helping people transition from childhood to adulthood rather than keeping them in the former.

What your parents are doing is about control. I hear you that they are saying it's about safety, and maybe they actually believe that. I don't know their own histories and backgrounds to have an y real sense of where they're coming from or how they were raised, what kinds of cultures they have and haven't been exposed to, what kinds of educations they have to know that. But objectively, controlling you in these ways isn't something that keeps you safe and healthy, because it's psychologically and socially unhealthy, at the very least. If you're also not able to do things like get outside each day, or away from an environment that's triggering your seizures, it may also be physically unhealthy, too.

I'm really glad you're going to be able to get out and go to this group! It's a small step, I know, but I think steps like this are really fantastic for you, both the doing of them and the standing up for yourself as best you can to do them. Same goes with you doing what you could to stand up for the money that belongs to you. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

I really do want to stand up to them. But what happens is that I think about it a lot and all that anger builds up in me. And then I finally burst and yell and cry. Do you have any advice on how to talk to them without yelling or crying?
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

I think that it's not surprising that you have a whole lot of pent up feelings that you have a hard time containing around this. I also get the impression that your relationship and environment isn't exactly one where the conditions for communication are chill and aren't stressful, or where you've learned how to communicate with them in any other way than they do with you.

Ultimately? With the high-stakes stuff, it's probably going to be something where that's not going to be very easy to do until after you are out of this space from them, have some autonomy, have been able to do your own work (like with a therapist) healing from some of this, and are able to come back to them from that place of freedom.

In the meantime, there might be some headway you can make with lower-stakes things and some techniques you can learn, like learning how to calm yourself when you start to get worked up, how to not take bait they might set for you, and just generally how to manage your feelings. If you look up "emotional regulation" or "high-stakes communication" (I think any communication between you and your parents is ultimately high-stakes for you) you'll find some good places to start. Did you say you have a phone you can put apps on? If so, you might find anxiety-reducing apps can help you out with this, too.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

I am normally a very chill person except for when I get mad at my family. Like my siblings when they give me seizures or when I try to talk to my parents. The only thing that calms me down is being alone and watching tv after I get into a fight with them.

My doctor says that stress causes seizures. The last two times my parents went on vacation I didn't have any seizures. But when they came back this last time I had a seizure that day. I do think they might be a factor in my seizures. I've only had 2 seizures this month and my parents were gone most of the month. Both seizures occurred when my parents were home. My dad has joked before that I had seizures bc of them, but it might actually be serious. How do I tell them that?
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

There are many causes of seizures, to be clear -- epilepsy is the most common cause, but other causes are things like stroke, fever, sleep deprivation, head trauma, and a bunch of other things, including emotional stress. But emotional stress isn't the only cause, which it sounds like what your doctor is saying. Do I have that right? If so, know that your doctor isn't giving you accurate information about seizures in general.

Might your doctor be saying that YOUR seizures seem to be stress-induced? If so, then I think that it might be easiest for you to have this conversation with your parents about this with your doctor, where they can back you up, rather than trying to have that conversation alone with your parents. You could potentially talk with your doctor in advance about wanting to have their help in having that conversation.

Setting that to the side for right now, it sounds like if watching TV is the only way you have to calm yourself when your parents cause you stress, you will need to learn some other ways of emotionally regulating yourself in conversations with them, since that obviously can't work as a tool for that during conversations. So again, I'd suggest looking into apps that offer some help with learning some techniques for reducing stress and anxiety, and I'd look up some emotional regulation techniques and see which appeal to you as things to start learning that can help you.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

My doctor said that stress is can cause seizures, not that it's the only thing that causes seizures.

I stood up to my parents. A lot happened. They said that they fear everything they've taught me, I'm not going to use.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

(I’m off Fridays and Saturdays, but I’ll be back tomorrow if you want to talk about this with me in particular. But are you okay? Safe?)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

Yeah we can talk tomorrow. And yeah I'm safe, just frustrated.
Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8691
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
Age: 51
Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Heather »

I'm around if you want to fill me in.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

It's all just kinda a blur bc I was so upset. They aren't treating me like a college sophomore.
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7582
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 30
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Jenny,

I'm sorry that it sounds like your parents are continuing, and perhaps escalating, their attempts to control you. It makes a lot of sense that the argument was a blur, since when we're stressed things can sometimes bleed together. That being said, can you fill me in a little on the gist of what they said? Or on what boundaries you were trying to set and how they reacted to them?
jenny01
not a newbie
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:51 pm
Age: 20
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: straight
Location: Sioux Falls

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by jenny01 »

So I had that covid relief check and I told them they couldn't be in control of it since it's my money. They said they were being generous by letting me keep $200. They said that since they're in charge of paying for my school, they have a say in what I do with it.

This past week i told my mom that my friend did online dating and she freaked out. She said my friend was too young(she's 20). Then she started freaking out on me. I told her that I don't want to do online dating, but she was all mad that i thought it was ok that my friend did it. I have a different friend who met her bf on tinder and they want to get married so I'm not freaking out that my friend did it. (My mom doesn't know my other friend met her bf on tinder)

I asked them again why I couldn't have the social media I want and they didn't really answer.

And I asked why I couldn't have my phone in my room. They said bc I needed sleep. It's like duh. I know I need sleep, I know I need to take my pills, I know I need to get my depo shot so I don't have seizures.
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7582
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 30
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: So there's a guy...

Unread post by Sam W »

It sounds like you're getting more confident in asking them to explain their reasoning and advocating for yourself. I'd add that a parent helping you pay for school doesn't give them the right to control the rest of your finances (I say this as someone who both received parental help paying for school and had my own bank accounts that they couldn't touch).

When they went back to the very tired argument that they keep your phone because you need sleep, did you push back on that at all? If so, how did that go?

Heather may have also touched on this, but I think one area to focus your energy on would be getting a means of receiving communication, including physical mail, that they can't control (for instance, if you get a job, you don't want documents, including paychecks, from it going somewhere they could see and potentially take them from). That would likely be a P.O box, though you may need the help of a friend who could check it for you.
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic