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#124714 - 10/08/05 01:39 AM parent troubles
nightlight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/04/05
Posts: 5
i'm a teenager,i go to boarding school. alot of why i went, was because i needed personal freedom. i had no privacy at home, and got no respect. i met a good friend over the summer, and he invited me to spend thanksgiving at his house. i talked to my mom about it over the phone and she got so insulting. she first wanted to talk to his parents, (which i said was ridiculous, i'm 18) and then she started asking me all these questions, like "does he wear chains" "is he gothic" "is he wild" and then like "is he straight". i was so pissed, why would she ask that? she immediately responded, ya know like ur other friends, so i'm thinking she meant is he normal, but what if she was asking if he was gay? i mean, should a parent ask that? i was offended, although i didnt say anything becuz i'm not sure if it was meant that way?

do u think it was meant that way? should i talk to her, and say thats an inappropriate question? or is it okay for parents to ask?


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#124715 - 10/08/05 02:02 PM Re: parent troubles
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Nightlight,

From what you say here this sounds like a boundaries problem. In your teen years, when so much else is going on and you are going through so many changes, there are enormous pressures on you and also on your parents. I remember that from when I was your age; my parents were rather traditional and it felt like they were driving me crazy sometimes. Now I am a father with two kids of my own, so I have seen it from this side now as well. It isn't easy, I can tell you that for sure!

I had an experience similar to your Thanksgiving problem when I was 19. We had a break from my university, and I decided that instead of going home I would go stay with a friend in another city so we could go see the Who in concert. My mother in particular was incensed at this, and she had a lot of questions that I considered really invasive and insulting, as if I was still 14!

What really irritated me was that this was just part of an ongoing pattern. I got hassled about drinking, drugs, girls, changing my field of study to history (my mother said that historians become atheists!), where I was going, the music I liked, the way I dressed (yep, a hippy), responsibilities around the house, everything! Like you, I felt like I was being cornered and disrespected.

As a father who has gone through this with a teenaged son, I can tell you that the problem of boundaries is a rough one. I tried to give my son the room he needed to grow and develop and make decisions on his own, while still being there to intervene when things looked really bad or when he needed my support. Everything seemed to be changing on a daily or even hourly basis, and I felt like I was just guessing a lot of the time. And when I got it wrong or there was a conflict of opinion, well...I am sure you can guess the rest!

Good parents are always worrying about their children, and I'm afraid you being 18 doesn't change that a lot. It just takes time to let go I suppose. My guess is that your mother was looking forward to you being home for Thanksgiving, so she was hurt that you made other plans (like mine was when she found that I was "choosing" the Who over her). She just had not anticipated that this might happen.

You ask did your mother mean to ask is your friend gay. I have no idea, of course, since I don't know your mother. But my guess (and that's all it is) is that this is exactly what she meant. Mothers worry about every little thing concerning their children, bro; they're hardwired for that \:\) . Ask SAR! Your mother probably doesn't see this as invading your privacy concerning sexuality, she more likely sees it as an expression of concern about who you are hanging with and how these other people might "influence" you. Will my son become a Goth? Will he "catch" HIV? etc.

So what to do? That depends on your relationship with your parents. If possible, I think the best thing to do would be to find an opportunity to discuss this with you mother. Don't raise it at a time when you are angry or she is climbing the wall over something else; find a quiet moment when you both have time and some privacy and just bring this up. Try not to make it an attack. "Mom, I know you worry about me but there are some things we need to talk about because they are really bothering me." Something like that.

What you say in your post above is more or less what she needs to hear from you. Tell her how you feel and what you need, but respect her side of the issue as well and be prepared for a frank exchange of views and concerns across the board, including the issue of sexuality, which seems to loom over the whole thing.

This is just how I see this, and I should tell you that when I was your age I talked easily and openly with my mother about many subjects. We differed on many things, but she always respected my right to my opinion and my own ideas. But even if your relationship with your mother is less open, it is probably still a good idea for you to express how you feel. You both need to find a way to make the shift in your relationship so you can communicate with each other still as mother and son, but also as adults.

Good luck!
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#124716 - 10/13/05 04:32 PM Re: parent troubles
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Nightlight - I think Larry is giving good advice. I would add that it appears the family communication is in sorry shape. Your mom does not really say what she means (?) and you're not sure what it is you should say. Ambiguous! If you have a Goth history and it disturbs your mom, that might be just what she's asking! If you have any gay rumors in your past, she may be hinting at that. Myself, I would control the questions with my answers. By that I mean, I would think she's only asking about Goth, chains, tatoos, piercings, etc. I would avoid any gay questions UNLESS you are gay/bi and are prepared to 'come out'. In your school situation, you may have too much to handle at this time to become too involved in this. You are in control of how much information she receives. Asking to talk to his parents is common for mom/dad to do (if you are a teen at home) but she may still be in that kind of mom mode. It really depends on how far a step as an 18 year old your ready to make! Think that through before you move ahead.

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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